In a positive sign for the popularity of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest mobile operating system, a recent survey found that approximately 95 percent of iOS app developers are working on updating their apps for iOS 7 reports Apple Insider. The estimate was derived from a survey of 575 developers and was conducted by Craig Hockenberry at Furbo.org.
Among the developers that were implementing changes to their apps for iOS 7, over half of them (284 out of 545) were developing apps that would require iOS 7 in order to function. Hockenberry notes that he was “surprised” at how many developers were not providing support for the last iteration of iOS. However, he points out that, “The depth and breadth of the changes in iOS 7 makes it difficult to support older versions of the OS.”
Although this may mean more work for App Store developers, it could also mean better apps for consumers. In other words, since the difference between iOS 6 and iOS 7 is so pronounced, developers will likely spend more time testing and improving their app designs in order to ensure that they are working well in iOS 7. The latest iOS may also give Apple’s mobile devices a competitive software edge over rivals’ devices that utilize Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform.
What about the approximately five percent of developers that are doing no update for iOS 7? Developers who haven’t recoded their apps may find themselves left behind after iOS 7 is released to the public as their iOS 6 apps will appear “old and clunky,” notes Hockenberry.
Apple’s iOS 7 features the most radical changes in appearance that Apple’s iOS has gotten since it first debuted in 2007. Although many apps written for iOS 6 will still be compatible with iOS 7, it may leave those apps with an outdated style and appearance.
Perhaps the most radical change in Apple’s latest mobile operating system was the shift away from the skeuomorphic design elements that have long been a part of iOS. Skeumorphic design emphasizes icons that resemble their counterparts in real-life. The icon for Apple’s iCal personal calendar application that appears to resemble a paper calendar is an example of this enduring design approach.
Here’s how Apple closed out the trading week.
Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)