I had the chance to discuss the iOS 7: move now or be an insta-delete article a bit with its author, Dermot Daly, who was kind enough to chat with me about it over email. He agreed mostly with my post listing the modifiers to the insta-delete rule but disagreed with one part.
I’d said that apps that don’t use any of the default UI at all, such as Tweetbot or VSCOcam, wouldn’t have to change as quickly, if at all. Dermot pointed out that apps like Tweetbot are actually really UIKit apps with extensive styling — that is, they adhere to the underlying UI principles of the system. As such they’re actually under even more pressure to update their look because they’ll persist with old UI ideals. As soon as one of their many competitors has something that’s modernized, they’ll leak users like a piñata full of motor oil.
Taking a longer look at Tweetbot and a couple of similar apps, I have to agree. You can lump the apps that don’t have much to do with UIKit in with the third bullet in my previous article: apps that have worked hard to be unique. The fact that when iOS 7 is installed on a device a lot of apps will be automatically updated1 means that heavily-styled apps like Tweetbot will stand out like an infected, gangrenous thumb.
iOS 7 is in its infancy. Perhaps many intrinsic changes are still to come in future iterations. But the massive upheaval it’s going to cause to the app market infrastructure can’t be understated. The new, improved iOS is good news for everyone except Android users, anti-Apple pundits, and lazy developers.
In a way, although no doubt there will be a lot of ugly bugs. ↩
Published on July 17th, 2013