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iOS 7 developers discuss Android/Windows similarities and redesign challenges

Karen Haslam | June 17, 2013
After the WWDC keynote on Monday night we fired off some emails to developers to gauge their reaction to the announcements.

Binary Formations' Hamilton said: "The new look will be a larger factor for upcoming apps already in development or in the planning stages. For these, we will definitely want to adhere more closely to the design cues in iOS 7."

Hamilton added: "We do plan on taking advantage of some of the new capabilities in iOS 7."

As Hamilton noted, it's not just the new look of iOS 7 that developers need to address, there are a number of new features that they will be endeavouring to incorporate.

Plastic's Andrew Till expects that developers will plan to update their apps to take advantage of the new features available in iOS 7, or risk looking old fashioned. He said: "My first thought is that many developers are going to have to really step up their game to match the fluid animation in iOS 7. The transitions when opening apps, neat visual touches (bouncy speech bubbles when scrolling in Messages for one) and parallax wallpapers are all Apple on top of their game and I think most apps are going to seem very old-fashioned unless updated with similarly simplistic design and more dynamic animation."

Developer Jonathan Teboul told us: "I will have to completely redesign my app. There are no longer bordered buttons, police fonts are thinner, status bars are gone, etc. Plus, I will have to handle new gestures as other built-in apps do."

IGG's Gillespie has the same plans: "To look good on iOS 7, our apps will need some UI rework. Like many apps out there today, we've followed Apple's lead on previous designs: significant use of gradients, shadows and textures. Now most of that is gone, so we won't want our apps to stick out as antiquated."

"We want to play nice with the OS so we can provide our customers with the best experience possible," he added.

The only problem with such a big change is that it will cost developers time and money to adapt to it, and as one developer pointed out, customers are not going to want to swallow that cost. CEO of Boinx Software Oliver Breindenbach said: "Of course customers will expect our apps to follow Apple's changes. It is great to see that after 5 years, iOS finally gets a refreshed look, but it also means a lot of work for developers that customers are not willing to pay extra for."

Luckily it looks like the new features will be easy to integrate. MacAce's Gary Hall told us: "I think many developers design there own iOS interfaces inline with Apple's in order to provide a familiar experience. The SDK makes that very easy so I would assume the new SDK and guidelines will allow many of these to automatically change with very little re-coding. As with all major updates though, we will be testing and tweaking things where necessary to keep thinks looking and working great."


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