App Store Ghosts

Apple just unveiled a seemingly neat new App Store feature — the ability to download an older version of an app if the latest version of that app requires a newer version of iOS than the one you have installed on your device. Sounds great, right? Kyle Richter raises some interesting questions about it, though:

No one ever told us [developers] about it. Let me rephrase that, because it sounds pretty entitled. No developer expects Apple to run this kind of stuff by them ahead of time. The problem is no one ever thought this was a possibility. The common misconception here is when an app is updated it is updated to add new features and maybe some bug fixes. These new features may require a newer version of iOS so old users are left in the cold. The truth is a lot happens under the covers during updates, API endpoints are updated, data models changed, multiplayer protocols changed, even legal issues are addressed.

The likelihood of any complex app, especially anything API driven, working after several years of neglect are slim.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013