View Full Version : How to release app that replaces several old apps?

Aug 21, 2012, 04:39 AM

I am developing several apps for AppStore, with different bundle IDs, but similar logic. Now I am working on a new concept, which covers all the logic from those apps into one common project. Hence, I would like to prepare a new app, that is intended to replace all the old apps. How can I ensure that?
To be clear, I want all the users to install the new app, run it, so that it can transfer data and functionality from old apps installed on user's device. How can I do that, so that all data and functionality will be kept depending on which old apps had each user installed, and Apple will be OK with such a change and behavior?

Aug 21, 2012, 05:49 AM
Theres no automatic way to do this in the app store.

You could either create a completely new app, or choose one of you apps (most popular, or most similar) to be the one that gets upgraded to your new app.

Then, you could release minor "end of life" updates for the other apps to add a a message stating that the app is no longer supported, and users should upgrade to the new one - with a link to the new app on the app store. Don't make the message too annoying, though. Just pop it up every week or so.

Aug 21, 2012, 05:53 AM
You could bundle the data up in documents from each of the old apps, export them (maybe through email?), then make your new app interpret the documents.

Ray Wenderlich has a nice tutorial on sharing data by email... I believe it's part 5 or so of the Scary Bugs tutorial (I haven't gone through the other parts of the tutorial but I think they cover other ways of sharing data.) Google for it.

Your new app shouldn't, and can't (without jailbreaking), delete the old apps. The biggest issue I see you having is upset customers should they discover you're planning on charging them for an upgrade to an app they've already paid for.

Aug 21, 2012, 06:05 AM
Your apps can share data via a shared Keychain (for small amounts of key-value data) or via iCloud (shared container or key-value store).

Keychain: http://shaune.com.au/ios-keychain-sharing-data-between-apps/
iCloud: https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#documentation/iPhone/Conceptual/iPhoneOSProgrammingGuide/iCloud/iCloud.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40007072-CH5-SW1

Aug 29, 2012, 08:18 AM
Thank you for your replies. I am OK if user keeps older apps installed, the thing is that the new app has to know which data the user owns (since (s)he had bought the older app) and hence provide him/her with the data 'for free' in the new app.

The 'e-mail' solution seems interesting, however. Thank you for it, I try to look for more details. The shared keychain mechanism also looks as a great way of solving my issue. I will check it for sure.