Apple tells developers: optimise your apps for iOS 7
By Barry Collins
Posted on 18 Dec 2013 at 10:59
Apple has warned developers that they must optimise their apps for iOS 7 by February.
The new edict was made in a terse message on the Apple Developer site, warning app makers that: "Starting 1 February, new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and must be optimised for iOS 7".
iOS 7 heralded the most significant visual overhaul of Apple's mobile operating system since its inception. While many apps have been updated to reflect the iOS 7 look and feel, some retain the old icons and style of the previous generation, something that Apple is clearly intent on eradicating.
Apple has a detailed set of Human Interface Guidelines, which stipulate how the company wants apps to look. The guidelines suggest that content extends to the edges of the screen, instead of using insets and frames; that apps use Dynamic Type so that users can adjust font sizes; and that in-app buttons are predominantly borderless.
Apple can, of course, refuse to admit apps that fail to adhere to its style guidelines.
Forcing developers to use Xcode 5 is perhaps not as onerous as it sounds. The development environment is a free download, and includes features such as automatic integration of Apple services, such as iCloud and Game Centre.
However, developers may find that they need to update their Macs. While Xcode 4.6 was compatible with OS X 10.7 (Lion), the latest version requires OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or 10.9 (Mavericks).
In mitigation, Apple recently made Mavericks a free upgrade from previous versions of OS X, so as long as the hardware is capable of supporting Mavericks, developers shouldn't incur any extra cost.
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