iOS 7 is the biggest change to Apple’s mobile operating system to date. It comes with all new features, but the most noticeable change is a brand new design philosophy that focuses on flat layouts, contrasting pastel colors, edge to edge design, translucency, and continuity above all else. Apple has updated their stock apps with the new design, and slowly, but surely third party developers have started to update their apps with similar ideals. There have been valuable changes to Evernote, Mailbox, NBC, and many other apps that now provide more on screen without the reliance on framed menus, buttons, shadows, and layering. Updating an app for iOS 7 can be a major undertaking depending upon the status of the original app, and how much Apple’s new design ideals are taken into account. There’s a lot of back-end code changes as well with numerous functions just from iOS 5 that are legacy code strings. The App Store has built a reputation of offering free app updates, with many updates improving apps considerably. Now though, with such a big change to iOS 7, some developers are wondering if it’s worth their effort to overhaul their apps for iOS 7 if it’s just a free update. The question is whether, or not iOS 7 updates are worth being paid for.
It turns out that the developers of Reeder, Clear, and soon to be Fantastical have gone with paid iOS 7 app updates. It’s not technically possible under App Store rules, so instead there are new versions of the same app, but with iOS 7 support. Reeder 2, is a lot like the original, but with iOS 7 support requiring users of the original to buy the sequel just for it to be made for iOS 7. Clear+ is a brand new universal app with an iPad version for the first time alongside an iOS 7 optimized iOS 7 version. The existing iPhone version of Clear was left alone until numerous complaints got the developers to update the existing iPhone version with the iOS 7 design from Clear+. Now, the developers of Fantastical are working on Fantastical 2 with new features, and made for iOS 7.
This is an interesting time for developers to choose to update older apps for free, leave them alone, or create new apps, and sell them again in the name of iOS 7. What do you think? Do iOS 7 updates warrant paying again? The existence of numerous other free updates gives me less inclination to pay for an update. That is with the understanding that this is the type of attitude that dissuades developers from continuing to work on their older apps, and the proliferation of numerous in-app purchases. The maneuvers by both Clear & Reeder put a bad taste in our mouths, and we’re hoping Fantastical’s work is worth the price of a true sequel, but the book’s open. For now, we would like to see more iOS 7 updates, and think the new OS should be supported for free like previous versions of iOS, what do you think?