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Like it or not, all iOS 6 apps will need to be upgraded for iOS 7

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(s aapl) 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.

30 Responses to “Like it or not, all iOS 6 apps will need to be upgraded for iOS 7”

  1. Aaarrggghh damn it! Why are you forcing us to upgrade all Apps! There is one App I refuse to update if I do I will lose so much information and patient information! Therefore now I cannot update my iPhone.

  2. SO i have iphone 4. If i stay at ios 6 will all my apps like google maps, gmail, fbook, google+, wordwithfriends. Will these still function as they always have? My phone does all I need for me, will it stay the same as new ios’s come out or will these apps fail?

  3. Masao H K

    I actually like how the new ios 7 looks, android-like or not. Apple is really opening up and isnt being as restrictive as they once were. To me its kind of like a breathe of fresh air. How long has Apple kept their software looking like this? Just like most everyone else they are changing the look of their OS. Considering the 52 percent developers are already abandoning ios 6 its time to upgrade. However for those of you that cant or wont. There are 5 percent of developers that will stay strictly to ios 6.

  4. Lucinda

    I hate this design.
    I’m not updating my ipad or iPod and if the design proceeds I won’t get a iPhone next year.
    Apples going down hill.

    • Masao H K

      Thats being too stubborn aint it? Its not going downhill, this is definitely an upgrade. Just because you dont like the new design doesnt mean its now crap. I get if you dont want to get a new idevice or update to ios 7 because of the looks, however.

  5. Mike McKee

    Someone else here said it best: iOS 7 is nothing more than a fashion statement. It’s change merely for the sake of change, which is usually a bad thing.

    I love my iPhone and iPad. I never in a million years thought Apple could do something that would make me seriously consider ditching Apple, but this butt-ugly iOS 7 has done it. I strongly suspect I am not the only one. How stupid is it to do anything that would fracture a fanatical customer base and alienate at least half of them? The post-Steve Jobs Apple apparently doesn’t understand that what makes an Apple product special is its luxurious look and feel. Every detail must feel polished and intricately designed. This new flat design fad is stupid, and at best only makes Apple just another face in the flat UI crowd.

    There is no way I will upgrade from the rich and intricate iOS 6 to the childish look of iOS 7. I really don’t care about feeding Jony Ive’s ego.

    This flat design nonsense reminds me of a bunch of art museum patrons standing around a blank canvas, each trying to act more “enlightened” than the next. “It’s such a profoundly stark vision.” “The absence of color is a bold statement.” “Beautifully minimalist.” “Genius.” …Sound familiar?

  6. Alexandra

    The fact that I NEED to upgrade or else it’s getting on my nerves. I absolutely love the look of iOS 6 and they are going to ruin it for this piece of shit?!!?!! Wtf is wrong with you Apple??! If Steve Jobs was still alive I’m pretty sure this would not be happening. My guess is one of the idiots that used to work do android got hired by apple and started to shit all over the place!!! It’s should not be changed to this “thing” because it completely ruins the apple signature.

    They say it is your choice to change it but they are not giving us much choice by saying that all the apps will start to crash or not work at all if you don’t upgrade it. For the first time I am completely disappointed in Apple.

  7. 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.

    • Marc Schneider

      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.

  8. mauricekindermann

    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.

    • 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. 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!

  10. Roger J Vela

    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.