Thoughts on iOS 7

ios7.pngThere’s a thought provoking post by Marco Arment where he says that iOS 7 will make it harder for non iOS (Android) ODMs to copy the iOS UI, will make life hard for developers who have used cross platform frameworks and that developers might be busy updating and re-designing their apps for iOS 7 rather than expanding into other platforms.

As regards Android ODMs copying iOS, I believe this time is long gone. Since Honeycomb (and a few legal challenges) the majority of the latest devices and launchers (home screens) tend to follow the newer Android design guidelines that offer a competitive and attractive alternative to copying iOS.

As for developers busy re-designing for iOS rather than expanding into other platforms, the converse might also prove true. It might equally be said that developers will be too busy on Android to update their apps for iOS7. From where I sit I am seeing ‘developers’, or more accurately developer’s clients asking "but where’s the Android version" and this is the main emphasis at the moment. At least in the UK, looking for a permanent Android employee is an impossible task.

Some developers say migrating apps to iOS 7 won’t be that bad. Developers who have stuck to using the standard UIKit elements will find their apps render as the new UI. The big problems will be for those cross platform frameworks that don’t end up rendering as UIKit elements and apps that create their own custom drawn elements.

Whatever Marco or I say about developer mindshare/effort due to iOS 7 is pure supposition. However, what developers of new apps can learn is that the choice of the wrong cross platform framework and extensive use of custom interfaces can seriously affect the amount of effort required to keep apps up to date. This is on iOS or any platform.