Wow, what a great week in San Francisco at WWDC. Apple certainly had lots to say to a lot of very excited developers.
By now many blogs are full of opinions on iOS7, the two best ones i've come across are Marco's post at http://www.marco.org/2013/06/11/fertile-ground and Jeff LaMarche at http://iphonedevelopment.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/ios-7-update-or-languish.html.
I won't repeat all those points here, but I will try to make it clear what this means for users of my apps.
Firstly, the easy bit. If you are using Shared Calendar, iSitter or another more obscure one of my apps that is NOT RSSRadio you will get an update which will adopt the visual look of iOS7 some point in the next year. The basic function of the app you are using will not change however. These updates will support only iOS7 and will be a free update to the existing version.
However RSSRadio requires special attention, for the following reasons:
- still has a lot of users on iOS5
- its my most popular app, and therefore gets the most attention
- there are exciting changes in the iOS7 SDK which allow for continuous background updating and automatic content download, something RSSRadio very much needs
- the layout of the application is not optimised for the most common use cases - it has been around since 2010, so there is a lot of old code and things that can be done better
So, the plan is to create an iOS7 only version of RSSRadio, this will be a complete redesign, rewrite and rethink of the user interface for the new iOS7 metaphors. This new version will update continuously in the background and use custom transitions between screens to create an advanced interface worthy of the new iOS.
The "new RSSRadio" will be a separate, free with in-app upgrade version on the App store. Users will not be obliged to update and the existing versions will get a minor visual update so they don't look too out of place on iOS7. I will continue to run the (now redundant) push notification server for 2 years after the launch of iOS7 at no cost (I had plans to make this a subscription service).
This is an exciting time, and the apps you love and use each day have to change to survive. I hope that small independent developers such as myself can count on your support so we can bring you these apps.