iOS 6: It’s all about the experience
July 30, 2012 —
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Focusing on the future
Perhaps the next logical questions are as follows: How will iOS 6 affect your company’s development cycle, and how approachable is it for the new developer/company looking to finally make inroads by writing their own iOS app?
“It’s about the same jump, not much work,” said Hurst when asked how much effort it might be to make eBay’s current iOS apps compatible with iOS 6.
“We think for most apps it will not be a huge amount of work; probably less than the [iOS] 4 to 5 transition, which had the big change of ARC (Automatic Reference Counting),” said Bill O’Donnell, chief architect at KAYAK, a travel services website. “The best thing about a new iOS version coming out is that you can start to be more aggressive about dropping support for older versions. So if your app supported iOS 3, 4 and 5 to this point, you might be able to say, ‘OK, 6 is out now, time to get away from iOS 3.’ And that can really move your technology base forward.”
Others see the upcoming OS and its impending features as a means of growing their business.
“From a marketing standpoint, there are a number of new upgrades that will benefit the app developer,” said Aaron Watkins, cofounder of Appency, a marketing group currently handling public relations for a client list of iOS app developers. “Deeper Facebook integration will make it much easier for consumers to share, and thus promote, content from within developers apps, and app store pages on iTunes will now have ‘Like’ buttons, giving a great new place for developers to attract consumers into their re-marketable social networks.”
Watkins then went on to describe how upcoming iOS 6 Safari features, such as “Smart App Banners,” can be embedded into websites and allow for one-click access to the App Store to purchase new apps.
“What remains to be seen is if any other major updates to the iTunes store component will come with iOS 6, as the iTunes software will need an update to handle the new Facebook-like feature,” said Watkins. “Anything Apple can do to increase app discovery will be a step in the right direction,” he added, noting Apple’s recent announcement of the upcoming Food & Drink category in iTunes.