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Apple requires iPhone OS 3.0 support for all new mobile apps

post #1 of 47
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Starting Thursday, iPhone app developers will have no choice but to test against iPhone OS 3.0 if they want to guarantee their places in the App Store, and have been warned their existing apps may be pulled if support breaks.

The release of iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 has been accompanied by an e-mail notice to all registered developers that their code "must be compatible" with 3.0 from here on out if they expect the software to be published. While Apple believes many current apps will run without a hitch, it cautions bluntly that programmers shouldn't assume apps built for 2.x will carry over smoothly.

"If your app submission is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, it will not be approved," the message reads. "After iPhone OS 3.0 becomes available to customers, any app that is incompatible with iPhone OS 3.0 may be removed from the App Store."

Apple doesn't indicate whether submissions will have to be complied using the 3.0 version of the iPhone software developer kit or if it only requires that apps be tested using a 3.0 emulator or device.

The requirement illustrates, for the first time, Apple's approach to major mobile OS updates for third-party developers. At its iPhone OS 3.0 preview event, Apple had said it would greatly expand the number of APIs for developers to use but didn't say how well it expected 2.0 apps to carry over with all the changes made to the platform; the new update indicates that Apple intends to maintain compatibility but that it also expects everyone to be on the same footing by the time the public can upgrade to 3.0. Apple portrays it less as a request of its own and more as a reality of the market, where many will apply the update as quickly as possible and expect their current apps to run.

"Millions of iPhone and iPod touch customers will move to iPhone OS 3.0 this summer," the company reminds developers.

post #2 of 47
This is kind of a non-story, isn't it?

The notice says that existing apps "should" work with 3.0, but they just want you to test it to make sure. I would be very surprise if Apple broke any of the 2.x API's with the 3.0 version. It seems that they usually just add classes and methods in these updates.

It also seems that if you have an existing app, you will be OK until the 3.0 software is released. If you hadn't tested and for some strange reason your app broke in the 2->3 transition, you would THEN be SOL.

Kind of a dramatic headline and shrill story for such an ordinary policy.
post #3 of 47
I'd like to get in before all the ranting and cries of "Apple is evil!" just to say that this seems eminently reasonable to me.
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post #4 of 47
The main problem I have is that testing an app on hardware requires having 3.0 on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Most "little guys" don't have multiple units lying around for testing, since Apple has said not to install the beta firmware on your primary device. This leads me to believe that the firmware needs to come out sooner rather than later, because it puts a developer in limbo if they want to test their apps for 3.0, but want to keep a stable iPhone OS on their phone for typical usage.
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

This is kind of a non-story, isn't it?

The notice says that existing apps "should" work with 3.0, but they just want you to test it to make sure. I would be very surprise if Apple broke any of the 2.x API's with the 3.0 version. It seems that they usually just add classes and methods in these updates.

It also seems that if you have an existing app, you will be OK until the 3.0 software is released. If you hadn't tested and for some strange reason your app broke in the 2->3 transition, you would THEN be SOL.

Kind of a dramatic headline and shrill story for such an ordinary policy.

They're just echoing a message Apple sent out to registered developers today.

And while Apple has tried not to break anything, there's always hidden assumptions somewhere in the code that may change. And if the software was buggy but just happened to work because of some peculiarity of 2.x it could easily break in 3.x.

Anyway, I applaud any attempt Apple makes to make things more explicit.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

The main problem I have is that testing an app on hardware requires having 3.0 on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Most "little guys" don't have multiple units lying around for testing, since Apple has said not to install the beta firmware on your primary device. This leads me to believe that the firmware needs to come out sooner rather than later, because it puts a developer in limbo if they want to test their apps for 3.0, but want to keep a stable iPhone OS on their phone for typical usage.


I don't get how if you are building software you did not factor in OS upgrades into your plan. Not to sound mean, but this problem is going to reoccur on a regular basis. You need to plan an extra device into your development budget. The user community will eat you alive if on the day of Apple's release of 3.0 the software you built fails because you were trying to save a couple hundred bucks and never tested against 3.0.
post #7 of 47
Likely this is to force people to update their phones. Their have been stories about a large number of iPhone users scattered across all update points.
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Likely this is to force people to update their phones. Their have been stories about a large number of iPhone users scattered across all update points.

I agree. My guess is that Apple is going to be very aggressive about getting every iPhone to upgrade to version 3. For example it might constantly suggest an update every time you sync with iTunes.

Why? My guess is that version 3 will add code that they hope makes it very hard indeed to jailbreak phones. Why? Not because it wants to keep rogue apps that would not otherwise get approved in the App Store from getting on phones, but to keep pirated App Store apps from getting on them.

I have three apps in the store, all have been cracked and pirated. All the significant apps have. Apple won't be doing this so much for me as for the BIG publishers, the game publishers, the ones spending huge bucks to get major apps into the store. I'm guessing we will see major commercial apps on the phone at major prices later this year. (Like $39 games and $99 navigation apps.) Those are the ones they want to keep from being pirated. And to put a pirate app on a phone, you have to jailbreak it.
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepton View Post

Why? My guess is that version 3 will add code that they hope makes it very hard indeed to jailbreak phones.

Too Late. iPhone OS 3.0 has already been jailbroken. The jailbreak methods being used are at the hardware level. Until the vulnerabilities are addressed in new hardware there will always be jailbroken iPhones.

I don't disapprove of jailbreaking. However, I'm all for doing anything reasonable to prevent pirating of apps.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

They're just echoing a message Apple sent out to registered developers today.

And while Apple has tried not to break anything, there's always hidden assumptions somewhere in the code that may change. And if the software was buggy but just happened to work because of some peculiarity of 2.x it could easily break in 3.x.

Anyway, I applaud any attempt Apple makes to make things more explicit.

I have many 3rd-party apps that won't work with v3.0. I believe the reason is for the apps I have are developers using alternative coding methods, not Apple's APIs, to help make their apps more responsive.
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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I have many 3rd-party apps that won't work with v3.0. I believe the reason is for the apps I have are developers using alternative coding methods, not Apple's APIs, to help make their apps more responsive.

Do you have any examples of those API's? That seems like something that would be caught at Apples scan of the app.
post #12 of 47
The thing that sucks about this is as a developer once you upgrade to 3.0 you can't use the same build environment to update your 2.x code. This means you have to have 2 separate Xcode environments or separate machines, as well as two separate phones/ipod. Not really ideal.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

Do you have any examples of those API's? That seems like something that would be caught at Apples scan of the app.

No, just speculation, from reading recently about one such developer who had to use unique ways to make his app more responsive on the iPhone. I am not sure what exactly was involved. The app is Now Playing, my preferred movie app. I'm using Showtime in the interim. Dictionary.com's app won't work either. I can't recall other off the top of my head.
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post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

The thing that sucks about this is as a developer once you upgrade to 3.0 you can't use the same build environment to update your 2.x code. This means you have to have 2 separate Xcode environments or separate machines, as well as two separate phones/ipod. Not really ideal.

I'd think that 3.0 is backwards compatible with 2.0, but these things do need to be verified, so it does suck for the developer. They can't even use the lengthy workaround of reinstalling the different OSes.
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post #15 of 47
That is a good thing. It force developers to update the program otherwise have it pulled.
It also forces user to upgrade. No more zillion different versions of iPhoneOS to support.
post #16 of 47
Ok just to clear up confusions, the 2.2.1 and 3.0 SDK can be installed in the same computer. You just need to be careful which you build with. Build everything with your 2.2.1 SDK version. Then make a COPY of your project and open the copy with the 3.0 SDK on a 3.0 device. The issue comes up that once the device is on 3.0 you can't use the 2.2.1 SDK directly. You need to use the 3.0 one to build your project if you're trying to build for the device, and then create a new project in the 2.2.1 SDK and copy the source files across at the last minute for your final build.

Unfortunately the 3.0 SDK is able to build for 2.2.1 but it's runtime compilers are not production quailty and still have bugs as they're trying to make them more efficient.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

I don't get how if you are building software you did not factor in OS upgrades into your plan. Not to sound mean, but this problem is going to reoccur on a regular basis. You need to plan an extra device into your development budget. The user community will eat you alive if on the day of Apple's release of 3.0 the software you built fails because you were trying to save a couple hundred bucks and never tested against 3.0.

+1 What he said.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwarf420 View Post

Too Late. iPhone OS 3.0 has already been jailbroken. The jailbreak methods being used are at the hardware level. Until the vulnerabilities are addressed in new hardware there will always be jailbroken iPhones.

I don't disapprove of jailbreaking. However, I'm all for doing anything reasonable to prevent pirating of apps.

I read somewhere that Apple is addressing the hardware in the next version of the phone for the reasons listed above. I guess it's possible that a different vulnerability could be found at that time, but who knows.
post #19 of 47
How difficult is it to learn the iPhone OS programming language for someone that knows PHP (Procedural, not OOP) and MySQL?
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

The thing that sucks about this is as a developer once you upgrade to 3.0 you can't use the same build environment to update your 2.x code. This means you have to have 2 separate Xcode environments or separate machines, as well as two separate phones/ipod. Not really ideal.

Or partition your drive and install a second development environment.
Or install your development environment on an external hard drive.
post #21 of 47
Or install in a different folder as said in the Dev Forums beta and recommended by Apple's Developer Tools evangelist...
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

How difficult is it to learn the iPhone OS programming language for someone that knows PHP (Procedural, not OOP) and MySQL?

Your SQL knowledge will still be useful.

But PHP is just different. The iPhone is like a desktop environment, very different from producing pages for a Web server.

The logical way to start is to learn Objective-C (the language) and Cocoa or Cocoa Touch, the Mac and iPhone frameworks, respectively. In XCode, these are integrated into a nice, fairly complete IDE.

I started on the Mac with Aaron Hillegass's "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS/X", though there are a number of specifically iPhone books if you want to jump straight into that.

Objective-C is object-oriented but simple. Not like C++ and better than Java for writing UI type stuff. It does help if you have some experience with a C derivative of some kind, just to be comfortable with the general syntax.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Or install in a different folder as said in the Dev Forums beta and recommended by Apple's Developer Tools evangelist...

That leaves the issue with not being able to go back to an earlier version once you install a Beta.


PS: I could be wrong (I'm probably wrong) but Beta 5 is the first that seemed to preserve my content after the install. I seem to recall that the others had reinstall all my media.
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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

That is a good thing. It force developers to update the program otherwise have it pulled.

Yeah, but what does the license or whatever say about putting apps up on the store?
Does it say anything about having to keep your apps current/compatible with the latest iPhone OS
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

How difficult is it to learn the iPhone OS programming language for someone that knows PHP (Procedural, not OOP) and MySQL?

I don't know about PHP and MySQL but I came from Visual Basic and used RealBasic. The best thing about RealBasic was that you can compile your code for Mac, Windows, or Linux without any modifications. I am not a software developer but an architectural engineer who like to make my own programs.

I wanted to learn and understand Cocoa for Mac OS programing. I started from the basics with C programing and moved to Objective-C and then Cocoa. Except for C language, I used Apple documentation to move from C to Cocoa, Xcode, and Interface Builder. Don't waste your time and money buying books and use the documentation. I was surprised how easy it was to learn Mac and iPhone programing.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That leaves the issue with not being able to go back to an earlier version once you install a Beta.


PS: I could be wrong (I'm probably wrong) but Beta 5 is the first that seemed to preserve my content after the install. I seem to recall that the others had reinstall all my media.

No Solopism, that isn't correct. When you install in two separate directories, you can use each separately. I have iPhone 2.2.1 in /Developer and 3.0 betas in /Developer3.0.

Any installs of betas do on the 3.0 partition. To go back to 2.2.1, just open the other Xcode.

Projects opened on 3.0 can't go back and thats annoying yes, but uninstalling the 3.0 beta is simple. There's a terminal code to do it provided with the SDK.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

No Solopism, that isn't correct. When you install in two separate directories, you can use each separately. I have iPhone 2.2.1 in /Developer and 3.0 betas in /Developer3.0.

Any installs of betas do on the 3.0 partition. To go back to 2.2.1, just open the other Xcode.

Projects opened on 3.0 can't go back and thats annoying yes, but uninstalling the 3.0 beta is simple. There's a terminal code to do it provided with the SDK.

I should have clarified more. Since you said there is an approved easy way to use each SDK, that only leaves the issue of testing your app on an earlier Beta of the iPhone OS, because you cannot go back to an earlier version of iPhone OS X after you have installed the Beta.
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post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

The main problem I have is that testing an app on hardware requires having 3.0 on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Most "little guys" don't have multiple units lying around for testing, since Apple has said not to install the beta firmware on your primary device. This leads me to believe that the firmware needs to come out sooner rather than later, because it puts a developer in limbo if they want to test their apps for 3.0, but want to keep a stable iPhone OS on their phone for typical usage.

Can you actually imagine that any developer would not care that his (her) app didn't work on 3.0? It doesn't matter how small they are, or even if their app is free. It must work with 3.0. I have almost 6 full pages of apps, I would get really ticked off if some of those apps stopped working after I updated my phone. I would give them a couple of weeks to get their act together, but really, there's no excuse.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

The thing that sucks about this is as a developer once you upgrade to 3.0 you can't use the same build environment to update your 2.x code. This means you have to have 2 separate Xcode environments or separate machines, as well as two separate phones/ipod. Not really ideal.

Such is the life of someone who ties their fate to another company's rules. It's to be expected.

I don't see this as being a big problem. After a while, you will be able to forget the older OS.

Considering that Apple is giving the OS away for free to iPhone users, and for $9.95 to iTouch users, most everyone will upgrade quickly. At some point, you will simply need to tell your users to move to 3.0. If they don't want to, for whatever reason, too bad. It's no different with computer programs. All of them require an OS that's no earlier than some update that has something the program needs.
post #30 of 47
This is no doubt to avoid:

Quote:
I upgraded and all my apps broke, bad Apple

syndrome and all the associated negative publicity. Which is smart.

Like it or not, hardly anyone blamed driver manufacturers when stuff didn't work with Vista, no they mostly blamed the operating system.
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepton View Post

My guess is that version 3 will add code that they hope makes it very hard indeed to jailbreak phones.

sure, dream on...
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I'd like to get in before all the ranting and cries of "Apple is evil!" just to say that this seems eminently reasonable to me.

post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

Like it or not, hardly anyone blamed driver manufacturers when stuff didn't work with Vista, no they mostly blamed the operating system.

And since beta versions of vista had been released with proper documentation for these driver manufacturers, it really made no sense.


i had more stuff written but i'll try not to go off topic lol
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

This is no doubt to avoid:



syndrome and all the associated negative publicity. Which is smart.

Like it or not, hardly anyone blamed driver manufacturers when stuff didn't work with Vista, no they mostly blamed the operating system.

most of that was probably just guerilla marketing from apple. like when the original EDGE iphone was released which was an overpriced piece of junk you had people posting how good it was all over the internet and their posts read a lot like talking points
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Likely this is to force people to update their phones. Their have been stories about a large number of iPhone users scattered across all update points.

The jailbreakers write a lot about this on their sites and argue strongly against testing an app "needlessly" against a new firmware. It's certainly an obvious fact that it's better for the jailbreak community as a whole to have multiple firmwares "in play. Erica Sadun on Ars who is a big developer on the scene pushes quite hard for this.

Personally, I don't think that the jailbreakers are right when they imply that Apple is out to get them. It's too close to exactly what paranoid conspiracy types *want* to be true to actually be true. Apple has a vested interest in having a small jailbreak community so it can get a handle on what people think is missing from the product they are offering IMO.

I think there is a better reason to force developers to test against 3.0, and that is the sheer amount of absolute dreck in the store.

There are lots and lots of apps that are hardly above the level of a tech demo, that took all of five minutes to create and haven't been updated since the day they were loaded in the store. Possibly Apple is just sick of all the trash and wants an excuse to take out some really dumb old apps that are just getting in the way. There has to be some reason to remove apps or the store will gradually get out of control.
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post #36 of 47
Guerilla marketing?

What's that?

Maybe something to ponder over a refreshing glass of Coca Cola!



Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

most of that was probably just guerilla marketing from apple. like when the original EDGE iphone was released which was an overpriced piece of junk you had people posting how good it was all over the internet and their posts read a lot like talking points
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post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Such is the life of someone who ties their fate to another company's rules. It's to be expected.

I don't see this as being a big problem. After a while, you will be able to forget the older OS.

Yeah thats true, but when you first start testing your app with the 3.0 (in this case) apps using 2.2 are still being updated. It's a pain in the ass but it's not an insurmountable problem.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

No, just speculation, from reading recently about one such developer who had to use unique ways to make his app more responsive on the iPhone. I am not sure what exactly was involved. The app is Now Playing, my preferred movie app. I'm using Showtime in the interim. Dictionary.com's app won't work either. I can't recall other off the top of my head.

I have that app and it crashes on me too, I hadn't tried it since updating. It's also possible that an app using an API that has change may behave this way too, but I'm not sure about the backward compatibility issue.
post #39 of 47
Gotta wonder when developers are going to start charging for upgrades. Perfectly reasonable, but you've got to wonder about people with 50 paid apps that will have to start paying developers to keep their software up-to-date with Apple's software and hardware changes (especially if Apple's changes don't fall in line with a developer's product cycle). It has to happen sooner or later.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Gotta wonder when developers are going to start charging for upgrades. Perfectly reasonable, but you've got to wonder about people with 50 paid apps that will have to start paying developers to keep their software up-to-date with Apple's software and hardware changes (especially if Apple's changes don't fall in line with a developer's product cycle). It has to happen sooner or later.

Yeah, going back and putting in those extra hours to retest the software adds to the cost somewhere down the line.
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