iOS 7 is Here
On September 18th, 2013, Apple will release the latest update to their mobile operating software for iPhones & iPads.
Till now, every iOS update has been so subtle that it was practically unnoticeable. 200 changes? Really… where? Most iPhone users would have had to search them out or trust some tech blogger to list out all the (non)details.
iOS 7 Visual Changes
For Apple, iOS 7 is a blatant new direction of form and function. Once past the lock screen, users will be greeted with sharp new visuals that give more than a passing nod to modern design with flat textures, bright colors, and opaque layers.
iOS 7 Functional Changes
The new iOS looks great, but how does it run? Apple’s put a strong emphasis on intuition, seamless function, and improvements for enterprise clients this time around. Here's a few big new iOS 7 features:
Multi-tasking will let more than one app run at once or update in the background so information is completely current
Control Panel will be available at a swipe so users can change settings without going into submenus
Data will be easily sharable via Bluetooth or WiFi with other nearby iPhones in a new function called AirDrop
As a Business With Existing iOS Apps, What Choice Do I Have?
Well, Will the iOS 6 App I Paid a Bunch of Money for Still Work?
Yes... but it's likely to not look very good. Here's a general rule:
The more my iOS 6 app deviates from the default styling, the worse it's going to look in iOS 7.
Should I Freak Out?
Don't panic, but don't ignore this iOS 7 update. Historically, 60% of iOS users updated to the latest version within a month. At six months, 90%+ have updated. Developers are complying with the seemingly “or else” user interface guidelines. Smart developers know some of the new intuitive functions are also likely to make the iOS experience even more enjoyable (imagine that).
OK, I Have an iOS 6 App: What Should I Do?
Any business that has an iOS app should be reaching into its pocket right now and pulling out some money to dangle in front of its mobile developers. (You don’t need new developers, by the way. The old ones will do.) This iOS update is happening, and apps need to get with the program.
If the thought of stroking a check for what it cost to develop an app in the first place is keeping you awake at night, take a deep breath and go back to sleep. Roughly, SDW estimates it should only cost somewhere between 10 to 15 percent of the original development price to get an iOS 6 app up to iOS 7 specs by throwing some new horses under the hood.
How Much Time Do I Have?
Apple’s big new update should be available in the fall, which—as usual—means it’ll be ready when it’s ready. If you’re a business owner or app developer, now’s the time to start thinking about iOS 7 and what needs to be done. On day one of iOS 7's availability, no users want to open up their phone and find out that your business doesn't care enough to give them new buttons, textures, colors, and standard-available functionality.
Remember, the Apple app store is a very big place, and you could easily disappear in it. So update… or else.