Best iPhone model for development

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by solderguy1, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. solderguy1 macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    Hi All,
    I got a 3G for $100 on craigslist last year that I've been using for learning and development. My philosophy is that if your code works on old hardware, newer stuff should be fine.
    However from my understanding, a 3G can't be updated to support ARC, only 3GS and up. And that it's a good idea to use ARC for multiple reasons.
    Therefore I've been browsing Craigslist for a used iPhone 4, they seem about $200. I'm worried 3GS support may be dropped sooner than 4. I also have an Ipad2, and the (boring) simulator of course.

    Do people think this is a good approach?
  2. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I have a 3GS and a 4S... mostly that's just because those are what I bought for my own personal use.

    I think keeping a current device and one from a year or two ago is a good idea. You want your app to be able to make the most of the hardware capacities of the newest devices while also maintaining compatibility with a device from a few years ago.

    IE, how can you know whether your app looks good on a retina screen without having a retina screen to test on?
  3. loon3y macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2011
    question, how many years am i supposed to be supporting nonretina devices?

    like 5 years from now do i still need non retina versions for all my images and such?
  4. solderguy1 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    I probably wasn't clear enough. Is the best practice (in terms of coding time, ease of approval, etc) for iPhone development to enable ARC and verify only with 3GS models and up?
  5. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    Note: if your concern is partly the cost of test devices, you might be able to test on the iPT. I do. They can be found cheap, and have most of the functionality of the iPhone.

    At least two issues at play here:
    1. there are millions of 'older' devices out there that can't/don't run iOS5/6. People still use them and if they give them up, they usually find themselves in someone else's hands before they end up as land-fill.
    Most apps/app devs ignore these older devices making their value less and less.

    2. More people want the 'new' stuff than want the 'old' stuff. Stats show most devices are running iOS5 or higher. Apple favors new vs old in terms of what apps offer. It's hard to sell the merits of an app that doesn't have the lastest functionality.

    As a developer, you have to ask yourself what market do you want/need to target.

    If you are developing a game or something that needs to compete. I can't imagine a high end, popular game not being retina. However, a tool/utility app might run nice on a 3 year old device and a brand new device.

    The answer really begs the question: what app do you want to make?

    A high end game: I'd probably ignore the older devices.

    Tool/utility: older devices might work just fine.
  6. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Something else people tend to forget:

    Apps generally take several months to develop. If you're working on a cutting edge game right now, you want something that's going to shine on the iPhone 6, taking guesses about what kinds of hardware capabilities it'll have.

    Older, already uncommon devices and OS's are going to become even less common.

    I haven't been able to find any particularly good data source for device break down, but I generally turn to Chitika when I want to have some idea of how common each OS version is:

    Their most recent data is from December 17th, just last week:

    Unfortunately, that article didn't specify how common other versions were. I think the most recent article covering that is this one, from October 22nd:

    Between those two, we can say that right now:

    At least 71.5% of users are running iOS 6
    At least 90% of users are running iOS 5

    Further, I would predict that by the time whatever app you're developing now is released, at least 85% of users will be running iOS 6. Why? Because these articles were written before the huge holidays of the year. Come Christmas morning, I think we're going to suddenly see a lot more iPad Minis, iPod Touches, iPads, and maybe even iPhones that were just unwrapped and are running iOS 6 out of the box. This will cause the number of iOS 6 users to shoot up. Old products will also be discarded, causing the number of older iOS users to dive down.
  7. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    Actually that would be:
    At least 90% of users are running iOS 5 or 6. (you can't exceed 100%) :p

    I personally just upgraded my two test devices: 1 iOS6, 1 iOS5. Specifically because of these stats.

    With 2 test devices, I cover 90%

    Great points, I think also that 'Apple users' tend to be more 'upgrade happy' than average users.

    BTW, exactly what are the new features of the iPhone 6 ?:eek:

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