Apple to require all iOS app submissions be iOS 7 optimized by Feb. 1

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
In an email sent out to developers on Tuesday, Apple said all apps submitted for review after Feb. 1 must be optimized for iOS 7, a move that will bring parity to titles presented in the iOS App Store.

App Subs
Example of aesthetic changes from iOS 6 to iOS 7. | Source: Apple


Apple posted an identical message to its Developer website, noting both new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store need to be built with the latest version of Xcode 5.

With the requirement, Apple is looking to push developers who may not already be in the iOS 7 fold into action.

As noted during the unveiling of Apple's iPhone 5s and accompanying 64-bit A7 chip, the Xcode 5 development tool is now capable of addressing 64-bit processes and grants access to specialized iOS 7 APIs. Currently, only a few apps tap into the A7's potential, and while many don't need the added processing power, it appears Apple is quietly urging developers to optimize the back end as it moves toward a more cohesive iOS experience.

The note also points developers to the iOS Human Interface Guidelines, which were revamped for iOS 7's aesthetic and under-the-hood changes. In the document, Apple says iOS 7 embodies three key themes:
  • Deference. The UI helps users understand and interact with the content, but never competes with it.
  • Clarity. Text is legible at every size, icons are precise and lucid, adornments are subtle and appropriate, and a sharpened focus on functionality motivates the design.
  • Depth. Visual layers and realistic motion impart vitality and heighten users' delight and understanding.
With the upcoming iOS 7 optimization requirement, Apple is aggressively pushing for a unified ecosystem that works smoothly with its latest devices. Aesthetically, developers will most likely deprecate vestiges of the previous skeuomorphic iOS 6 from which iOS 7 is such a vast departure.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    The biggest issue with compiling for 64-bit is that the app becomes iOS 7 only. Otherwise it's pretty easy to convert. My tiny apps converted in an hour or so, but I still release 32 bit only since I need to support older versions of iOS. (Android is interesting in comparison... Much more disparity of versions in use, but you can include the new SDK in your apps and use many of the newer APIs on older versions of the OS, something Apple rarely allows.)

    I do use the latest Xcode, though, so should be fine and will probably be 64-bit in a year or two.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Is it also required to force users to read entire sentences of text instead of quick-to-understand visuals? (weather and weather notification)

    Is it required to destroy readability by eliminating contrast throughout the GUI? Yeah, light text on light backgrounds is brilliant! :-p

    Is it required to fill every screen with bright color or empty white/gray space so that an iPhone feels like it needs its brightness turned down, when it's already turned down?

    Is monochromatic the new color?

    Is it also required to get users lost in the interface by avoiding clear visual cues for controls?

    Is it also required to avoid differentiating your app's icon?

    How do they call the new use of text "easy to read" with the new thin and smaller fonts?

    Is it also required to exterminate all elegant shapes in favor of solid, edgeless flat shapes? Is flatness a requirement?

    I mean... Depth? Seriously?? There's almost no depth left in the entire UI!

    It's pretty clear in that one example above (weather app): the new version is hard to look at, is dull & disinteresting, is harsh on the eyes, is extremely poor for users with eyesight problems, and is generally a downgrade.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    dysamoria wrote: »
    Is it also required to force users to read entire sentences of text instead of quick-to-understand visuals? (weather and weather notification)

    Is it required to destroy readability by eliminating contrast throughout the GUI? Yeah, light text on light backgrounds is brilliant! :-p

    Is it required to fill every screen with bright color or empty white/gray space so that an iPhone feels like it needs its brightness turned down, when it's already turned down?

    Is monochromatic the new color?

    Is it also required to get users lost in the interface by avoiding clear visual cues for controls?

    Is it also required to avoid differentiating your app's icon?

    How do they call the new use of text "easy to read" with the new thin and smaller fonts?

    Is it also required to exterminate all elegant shapes in favor of solid, edgeless flat shapes? Is flatness a requirement?

    I mean... Depth? Seriously?? There's almost no depth left in the entire UI!

    It's pretty clear in that one example above (weather app): the new version is hard to look at, is dull & disinteresting, is harsh on the eyes, is extremely poor for users with eyesight problems, and is generally a downgrade.
    Wow I guess I must be special because I have yet to get lost in iOS 7. And according to Apple's developer portal 76% of devices are now running iOS 7. Highest uptake of any iOS version. But clearly iOS 7 isn't for you so perhaps you'll be more comfortable using Android or Windows Phone. The good thing you have choices. :)
  • Reply 4 of 40
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Wow I guess I must be special because I have yet to get lost in iOS 7. And according to Apple's developer portal 76% of devices are now running iOS 7. Highest uptake of any iOS version. But clearly iOS 7 isn't for you so perhaps you'll be more comfortable using Android or Windows Phone. The good thing you have choices. :)

    The only time I get lost, or rather not know where to go, is when I'm trying to locate seldom used options in Settings. I'd love for a search field in Settings that would point me to the right option by letting me simply search and click it to access it as well as searching for it and seeing a sub label that lists the path. For instance, searching for battery and seeing General » Usage » Battery Percentage.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    I'm curious how they plan to enforce this now that human beings no longer seem to be looking at the apps. It's easy for software to tell if an app was compiled by Xcode 5, but not so easy to know if it's following the Human Interface Guidelines.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gerrit View Post



    I'm curious how they plan to enforce this now that human beings no longer seem to be looking at the apps. It's easy for software to tell if an app was compiled by Xcode 5, but not so easy to know if it's following the Human Interface Guidelines.

    HIG is not a requirement for developers.  It’s just a guideline for what Apple considers good practice.  The only requirement is that it has to be done in Xcode 5 which would involve under the hood changes - visual changes are solely up to the developer.

     

    As you point out, they can easily check for this. There is no enforcement of HIG, no 64 bit requirement.  You just need to use the latest tools to develop.  Your app can look 100% as it did before.

  • Reply 7 of 40
    sporlosporlo Posts: 143member
    The points about Deference and Depth, are, in my experience, complete bull. Yes, at this point, a pre-iOS7 app does look jarring beside everything else, but using iOS 7 design philosophies aren't going to make apps magically better than before. Time and again I conclude that a change from 6 to 7 was more motivated by a blind desire for prettiness (and a bad assumed-to-be-modern aesthetic) over and against solid functionality.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    booga wrote: »
    The biggest issue with compiling for 64-bit is that the app becomes iOS 7 only. Otherwise it's pretty easy to convert. My tiny apps converted in an hour or so, but I still release 32 bit only since I need to support older versions of iOS. (Android is interesting in comparison... Much more disparity of versions in use, but you can include the new SDK in your apps and use many of the newer APIs on older versions of the OS, something Apple rarely allows.)

    I do use the latest Xcode, though, so should be fine and will probably be 64-bit in a year or two.

    There isn't a 64-bit version of iOS 6, so not sure why you would want to sell a 64-bit app that runs on iOS 6. It wouldn't work.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    sporlo wrote: »
    The points about Deference and Depth, are, in my experience, complete bull. Yes, at this point, a pre-iOS7 app does look jarring beside everything else, but using iOS 7 design philosophies aren't going to make apps magically better than before. Time and again I conclude that a change from 6 to 7 was more motivated by a blind desire for prettiness (and a bad assumed-to-be-modern aesthetic) over and against solid functionality.

    And yet it's funny how all the fandroids and concern trolls who complained about "stale user interface" have become quiet since iOS 7.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    And yet it's funny how all the fandroids and concern trolls who complained about "stale user interface" have become quiet since iOS 7.

    Oh of course iOS 7 is not stale at all. But something fresh can still be, er… bad. I've been an Apple fanboy my whole life, but Apple's core philosophies have shifted in directions lately that have really put me off.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sporlo View Post



    but using iOS 7 design philosophies aren't going to make apps magically better than before. .

    I guess it’s a good thing that Apple isn’t requiring that you use them.  They are just asking that you compile with the latest Xcode which contains the new frameworks.  The design philosophies are not mandated that you have to use them.  They are 100% optional.  

     

    Apple just wants your app to be coded for iOS 7 specifically (and not exclusively I should point out) by compiling in the latest version of Xcode.  They are not requiring anything else.  If you want to make ascetic changes, that is the choice of the dev, but this is under the hood requirements.

  • Reply 12 of 40

    The notice on the developer website says "Starting February 1, new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and must be optimized for iOS 7." and it is immediately followed with a link to the HIG.

     

    So I guess I'm not sure what "optimized for iOS 7" means... They certainly seem to be implying the look and feel of an app, but again: While I believe a person looks at the app meta-data, I really don't think people actually run the apps themselves any more.

  • Reply 13 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Wow I guess I must be special because I have yet to get lost in iOS 7. And according to Apple's developer portal 76% of devices are now running iOS 7. Highest uptake of any iOS version. But clearly iOS 7 isn't for you so perhaps you'll be more comfortable using Android or Windows Phone. The good thing you have choices. image

    I wonder how many of those actually like iOS 7.  Tim Cook is always fond of his customer satisfaction ratings so I'm curious to know if Apple's iOS devices can maintain their high customer sat ratings in light of iOS 7.  I've read many a blog article by designers who claim that iOS 7 overall design is flawed.

     

    http://stevensblog.org/marco-on-button-shapes/

     

    http://rarebitstudio.com/blog/2013/12/when-platform-design-goes-bad

     

    http://rarebitstudio.com/blog/2013/12/neither-first-nor-right

     

    http://blog.jaredsinclair.com/post/64880801326/untouchable

     

    http://www.nngroup.com/articles/ios-7/

     

    http://uxcritique.tumblr.com/

     

    http://ignorethecode.net/blog/2013/12/16/visual_preferences/

  • Reply 14 of 40
    Originally Posted by CanukStorm View Post

    I've read many a blog article by designers who claim that iOS 7 overall design is flawed.

     

    I’m not QUITE sure, but I THINK I’ll trust the company that invented computer UIs to make one that isn’t flawed.

  • Reply 15 of 40
    sporlo wrote: »
    Oh of course iOS 7 is not stale at all. But something fresh can still be, er… bad. I've been an Apple fanboy my whole life, but Apple's core philosophies have shifted in directions lately that have really put me off.

    It's good to see those talking points shift to keep up with Apple's latest OS changes.
    Out: "stale"
    In: "bad"
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    I’m not QUITE sure, but I THINK I’ll trust the company that invented computer UIs to make one that isn’t flawed.


     

    EDIT; what I said was a bit rude...

    Apple didn't invent the GUI.   See XEROX...

  • Reply 17 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    I’m not QUITE sure, but I THINK I’ll trust the company that invented computer UIs to make one that isn’t flawed.


    Those blog articles are by designers who are pointing out design flaws in iOS 7, not inventing UI's themselves.  I'm well aware that Apple invented computer UI's and they're good at it no doubt but that doesn't make them infallible. They do make mistakes.

  • Reply 18 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sporlo View Post





    Oh of course iOS 7 is not stale at all. But something fresh can still be, er… bad. I've been an Apple fanboy my whole life, but Apple's core philosophies have shifted in directions lately that have really put me off.



    I agree with you.  iOS 7 actually made me consider buying a non-iPhone.  My iPhone 4s had very few issues.  My iPhone 5s is full of bugs.  Apple's pushing developers, but their stuff still doesn't work right.  Bluetooth is now flaky.  The Settings app crashes often.  It's just not "Apple quality". 

  • Reply 19 of 40
    Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

    Apple didn't invent the GUI.   See XEROX...




    Yeah, you keep living that pipe dream there. Apple has done absolutely nothing with computers since 1984, and in fact has created absolutely nothing they have ever released, ever.

  • Reply 20 of 40
    EDIT; what I said was a bit rude...
    Apple didn't invent the GUI.   See XEROX...
    Yes the PARC Xerox did create the mouse interface and GUI however Xerox was remiss in not exploiting this R&D effort; furthermore Xerox was primed to be the leader in corporate copying through the connection of an interface of the Xerox copying machines into the corporate PCs. A copier after all is a printer and Xerox lost out to HP.
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