Whether your iOS app is generating income for you, mostly used as a company marketing tool that you manage, or just something you put together as a hobby – our impression is that Apple’s latest iOS 8 and iPhone 6 releases represent a should-do upgrade to your existing app offerings.
Though on the surface – judging by the look of their UI’s – you may not be able to distinguish iOS 8 from iOS 7, Apple has indeed made significant changes albeit primarily on the development end of things. One new addition, iTunes Connect Analytics provides developers with answers to some vital marketing questions such as how people found your app, how many installed it and made in-app purchases, how often is the app is used, etc.
iTunes Connect Analytics provides developers with answers to some vital marketing questions such as how people found your app, how many installed it and made in-app purchases, how often is the app is used, etc.
While it’s not necessary to update your app in order to start using the new Analytics feature, there are several benefits to doing so, as well as certain drawbacks you will encounter if you don’t. Below, we highlight the five main reasons we believe you shouldn’t hesitate on iOS8:
Reason 1. Hardware Update
The remarkable Apple Live event revealed two new iPhones with significant improvements: graphics that render 84 times faster than the original iPhone, and processor performance that’s 50 times faster. It would be a shame not to take advantage of these upgrades, especially since the latest developer SDK releases are more than capable of handling the task.
The remarkable Apple Live event revealed two new iPhones with significant improvements: graphics that render 84 times faster than the original iPhone, and processor performance that’s 50 times faster.
Reason 2. AppStore Restrictions
Just like George R. R. Martin has no problem with hero annihilation in Game of Thrones, Apple has no issue offing its previous generation of devices when the newborn arrives. This winter or in spring of 2015, Apple may announce that apps not upgraded for compatibility with iOS 8 will be removed from the AppStore.
Considering that apps which do exploit the latest hardware and software enhancements tend to more quickly appear in the Best New Apps category on the App Store (where we all want to be, right?) it’s probably a good idea to upgrade whether or not Apple mandates it.
Reason 3. Backwards Compatibility, Apple Style
Considering the astonishing adoption rate of new Apple devices that we witnessed last year, you could practically drop iOS 7 support by the end of Q1 in 2015 and still be financially successful focusing exclusively on iOS 8 (until the next update, of course).
Even though the percentage of Apple customers holding onto their previous-generation devices is generally pretty low, it still could be a considerable number of users. However, in line with Apple’s underlying policy that it’s better to invest money into recruiting new customers (e.g., via localization), rather than into spending on the implementation of backwards compatibility into previous models.
Reason 4. Pioneering Can Make You More Compatible in Your Market
New features open up new horizons, and once you grab them – you can corner the market. Let’s use an Indoor Global Positioning System as an example…
Complementing GPS (which has never worked well inside buildings) and iBeacon technologies and the like, Apple has added an indoor GPS feature. Usage applications for such a feature are virtually endless, from the mapping out of the floor plans of galleries, museums, and stores to developing ever-smarter Smart Home solutions.
Another awesome improvement that may seem trivial at first is called Active Notifications. Put simply, it’s a time and effort-saving feature for your users that eliminates the need to exit an application in order to read or reply to a text message or email. It may not sound like a big thing but in reality offers app a competitive advantage once again based upon one of Apple’s favorite mantras: usability matters.
Reason 5. Added Functionality
Extensions alone deserve an entire article of their own. At last, the dev team doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel each time it wants to integrate third-party services into an app such as social networking, photo filters, etc. Apple has removed certain restrictions that prevented apps from working together, and apps can now automatically check to see if a required function is offered within any other apps that are already installed on the device.
This outstanding update not only saves time in the development stage but also makes apps easier to maintain later. Previously, if a third party issued an update (i.e., Facebook), developers needed to update their code too. Now apps can incorporate third-party changes directly with no need to rework code.
Why to Update Your Web App
No reasons here. The only important Safari web browser’s new feature is support for high-resolution Retina graphics.
Why to Upgrade Your Hybrid App
No compelling reasons here for an upgrade because projects that use various cross-platform tools cannot really benefit from new, innovative native features right away. It will certainly take considerable time for their developers to adopt a solution to incorporate the update.
Afterword: Enterprise Apps
Choosing not to implement backwards compatibility appears to be the right choice on most consumer apps. However, enterprise apps present a different story. Here, we recommend focusing on two questions:
- How much will the new features of iOS 8 enhance the efficiency of employers?
- Since no device lasts an eternity and it has become harder to find an older iPhone/iPad to purchase nowadays, one must ask one’s self what would be less expensive: updating each employee’s device, or ensuring a long history of backwards compatibility?
Image credits: Apple