5 Things to Consider When Developing For iOS 7 Posted by: Rachel on 10/12/2013
When Apple first previewed iOS 7 at WWDC it received some pretty harsh feedback. Everyone had something to say about those icons, including us.
Many people were questioned if Apple had lost it and taken flat design too far. Now, one month after its release, people are learning to live with the “Crayola” colour scheme and are embracing all that is good about the OS. Now that we’ve had time to install it, use it and develop for it we have come up with this guide to what developers and clients need to consider when developing or upgrading apps for iOS 7.
1. Flat design
iOS 7 has moved away from the ‘beloved’ skeuomorphic user interface to use flat design principles. This is a huge shift for both developer and designer. Some would say it makes design simpler and is more efficient for apps, others would argue it makes it more difficult to differentiate your app, so the jury is still out on this one. A client has to consider new designs and features from a brand and cost perspective, as well as how best to support older versions of the app.
2. Include the status bar in the content area
iOS 7 now uses the whole screen for app real estate, which is great as you now have more space for content within your app. However, this means development and design requirements change and upgrading your app from iOS 6 to iOS 7 is more complex than just making the viewable frame of the app 20 pixels bigger.
With the larger content area within iOS 7 and the varied range of iPhone and iPad devices that are now out there and being supported, auto-layout has never been so important. Using auto-layout will ensure that your app looks as it should across all devices and uses the device’s screen real estate to best effect. Auto-layout is something that should be implemented from the start of the project as going back and implementing this retrospectively is time consuming and can influence the design and functionality of the app.
iOS 7 has introduced multitasking. Before, when your app went into the background, you didn’t have to worry too much about it. Now, with live previews of your apps running in the background, how you manage your apps when they go into the background is more involved from a developer’s perspective. With this new feature you may need to update your app so that users can view content from the live preview without re-opening the app.
5. Forget iOS 6
Apple’s documentation suggests that you should fully embrace iOS 7 and develop apps for iOS 7 and above. Taking this approach is good for new projects or revamped versions of apps as you can fully embrace the new features of the OS. However, this does not suit all client’s expectations. To address this Apple now allows multiple versions of apps to be available in the App Store to cater for older versions of the iOS.
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