Apple isn’t making it a requirement, but it’s something every developer should do anyway: because when you put an iOS 6-designed app next to an iOS 7-ready one, the difference will be incredibly stark — and not in a good way.

horizantal iPhone iOS 7 screenshot home screen

The reaction to the grand overhaul of iOS 7 has not been universally warm and fuzzy. Some are happy with it, while others are kind of freaked out by it. But, as the U.K.-based app developer group Entropy Labs astutely pointed out on its blog (via Daring Fireball), none of that matters: iOS 7 is here to stay, and if you don’t upgrade your current apps by the fall, you’re the one that’s going to lose out.

Everything about the look of iOS 7 has been tweaked or massively changed. Textures, colors, menus, buttons, navigation arrows, keyboards, dials, icons, everything will need to be updated to blend seamlessly with Apple’s new chosen design. Apple isn’t forcing this, but it’s in all developers’ best interest: because when you put an iOS 6-designed app next to an iOS 7-ready one, the difference will be incredibly stark — and not in a good way.

As Entropy says:

Remember what non-retina enabled Apps looked like when the iPhone 4 was released? Well, this has the potential to be worse – much worse. And remember when many people said that iPhone-only Apps would look “just fine” on the iPad when blown up to 2X scale. Yeah, that argument didn’t last long.

Simply put, pre-iOS 7 Apps running on the new OS stick out like a sore thumb – looking aged, clunky, and well…just ancient.

The deadline for this upgrade isn’t specific, but Apple says the official iOS 7 release will be sometime this fall.

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  1. Roger J Vela Friday, June 14, 2013

    Firs of all, I don’t download apps that lean on Apple’s old ass APIs, only apps with flat, clean, simple, and smart design find a place on my iPhone. Think Feedly, DayOne, SpringPad, Rdio, Pocket, Amount,Gmail, just to name a few. The new iOS 7 API should be a godsend to many developers who will now implement fresh and appealing interfaces. That means more sales for the little guys who build very basic apps (usually I call them trash apps), that have been the sore thumb for awhile. This news is old news that very few blogs have pointed out until whispers of iOS7 started coming out. Developers benefit, and more importantly users want this and they are the ones to put food on the table for devs and the people who hire them. Don’t forget about those guys. They want iOS7 just as bad as the end users. Devs do your jobs and make shit look awesome, iOS7 style.

  2. elvenminstrel Friday, June 14, 2013

    Downgrade the look of your app to match the butt-ugly new OS, or die. Great.

    1. #AnotherReasonWhyImSwitchingToAndroid

      1. Please…I don’t care if Android looks like Playboy models, I won’t use it because of the way it works. Or doesn’t, actually..

      2. Ironic because Android has the same issue: old Gingerbread apps look like shit on ICS or Jellybean. (I speak from experience)

        1. Change is the Game (for any good company) and it is here to stay

  3. The UI should be appropriate for the app, Apple’s changes notwithstanding.

    1. That’s a great point. You need to blend in, but not do something that feels totally unnatural to the app.

  4. christian perry Friday, June 14, 2013

    *Sigh* And this is why proprietary standards suck.

  5. i hate the look of ios 7. ios 7 looks like android while ios 6 and below look like mac osx (which is apples signature look).

  6. a simple solution: just give developers the option to add 2 set of icons.
    one for iOS7 and one for previous iOS systems…

    1. You can but remember Apple users usually upgrade in Droves. Almost who can upgrade to iOS7 WILL upgrade.

  7. Regarding automatic App upgrades for iOS7…
    Just read user reviews who download upgrades… most dont’t work or crash.

    The very idea of ‘forced’ upgrades (unless there is a way to ‘roll-back’ will ulitimately break Apple and the App Store.

    By the way… same is true for Android Apps… read what the users say…

    All this effort to re-engineer Apps that already worked well — to comply with a ‘fashion statement’ — going from 3d to flat ICONS — well is that really innovation?

    This would never have happened if Steve Job was still around!

    1. On android you can disable auto-update for certain apps if there’s a malicious update. Also, you can easily download an old version from the internet and install it without rooting or hacking.

      1. On iOS 7 you can also disable the auto-update function.

  8. mauricekindermann Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Great article. You should download and try iOS7. It’s going to be interesting the cool new things people will start making with the crazy API changes. Most people don’t realise Apple have spent a tonne of time updating all their API’s, in fact all their new apps are built with the API’s us developers will be able to use.

    Here’s a UX comparison between Android and iOS6 AND iOS7 standard widgets, with links to the documentation on the relevant Apple / Android websites. It’s a nice way to get started learning all the technical terms. You readers or followers might enjoy it.


    1. Great post (thanks for the link)… I just scrolled down through all the elements and without fail iOS 6’s skeumorphic design looks the best imho. I suspect Apple have lost their courage and are just reacting to the competition. Ever heard of Windows 2.x (google it)? A revolutionary ‘flat design’ approach released in the mid 1980s… Seems we’ve come full circle. Bell-bottoms anyone?

  9. Apps developers are essentially sharecroppers

  10. What if I don’t like the all new iOs 7? Im not a fan of it, at all. Anyways, if I have the iPhone 5, with iOs 6 already integrated into the device, can you keep iOs 6 on your device. How will this effect my device? Please, I need answers.

    1. Marc Schneider raina Tuesday, June 25, 2013

      You can keep staying on the last iOS 6 Version. But your iOS Version then will not get any updates in feature, whitch could mean security issues or other bugs. Also you will miss some of the latest functions of iOS 7+ and well probably you will get for many apps no updates at all after iOS 7 is released. Because I think no developer would like to create two user interfaces for an app. So go with the time and upgrade to iOS 7 in fall.

      1. “… will not get any updates…” LOL… What updates?

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