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[fa icon="calendar"] 12-Jun-2013 15:00:00 / by Entropy Gang

Entropy Gang

Well the smoke has cleared from this year's WWDC - and one thing is certain - iOS will never be the same again. 

Let's put aside the (competing) arguments about whether the new Jony Ive-led design is "flat" or actually "deep and rich" for just a moment and focus on what iOS 7 means to developers (and thus content and App owners).

In short - we all have a LOT of work to do before iOS 7 is formally released into the wild.

Looking at the traditional Apple release schedule, the loose date of "Fall 2013" probably translates into an early-October GM release and thus the final version ready for general user updates. In development terms, considering some of the new features and the (extremely) necessary UI updates - that's really not a lot of time. 

The key takeaway we've reached (after less than 24 hours playing with the iOS 7 Beta release) is this - every App must consider even basic updates to its UI to survive in a post-iOS 6 world.

We're not talking about simply flattening the App icon so it matches alongside the Apple stock Apps new, sleek design. Fundamental elements - from borderless buttons to translucent bars through to full-screen layouts must be considered - and added - to allow your App to take full advantage of iOS 7.

What's the risk? 

Remember what non-retina enabled Apps looked like when the iPhone 4 was released? Well, this has the potential to be worse - much worse. And remember when many people said that iPhone-only Apps would look "just fine" on the iPad when blown up to 2X scale. Yeah, that argument didn't last long. 

Simply put, pre-iOS 7 Apps running on the new OS stick out like a sore thumb - looking aged, clunky, and well…just ancient.

Perhaps we're being a bit harsh (suffering from a mild case of the "faith of the converted" now that we have iOS 7 running on our personal iPhones), but again after only 24 hours, we really cannot imagine reverting back to previous OS versions - much less interacting regularly with iOS 6 apps on our shiny new platform. 

iOS Apps have always succeeded (to a large degree) on the strength of their design, polish, and attention to UI detail. Without even discussing some of the key new features and APIs we Developers are drooling over - such as background updates & multitasking, a new Map Kit, inter-app audio, and AirDrop - given what we've experienced, we can't think of a single App that shouldn't be seriously overhauledprior to "Fall 2013".

And Apps currently in development? Do as Apple suggests, design for iOS 7 first, then adjust features for iOS 6 (should you need to support it) from there.  

Apple handed the Developer and App Owner community plenty of work on Monday - and there's absolutely no time to waste believing your current App or design is simply "good enough" for iOS 7. 

Hesitate in planning your updates, and you risk looking like a very sore thumb. Very soon.

Entropy Gang

Written by Entropy Gang