iOS 6 4-inch Update for Apps???

STiNG Operation

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2012
575
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The Zoo
I have no knowledge of how hard/easy it is to make an app compatible with the new iPhone 5's screen.

How hard is it for games versus/ social media apps? Time frame for each?

Almost 2 weeks after the launch of the new phone and most of the apps I use regularly are still letter boxed :(

Anyone think that games/apps are going to see the 4-inch upgrade anytime soon or is it just not a priority for developers?
 
Last edited:

hawk1410

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2011
253
0
yeah, this is really irritating. It seems to me devs were much faster when the iPhone 4 came out, i remember most of the major apps had been updated withing the first few weeks.
 
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Chundles

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Jul 4, 2005
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Most of mine are updated.

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I was surprised how quickly they were updated.

The games are still letter boxed which makes sense, you can't just do an update - the larger screen changes the whole layout. Most games will need their UI re-done.
 
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STiNG Operation

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2012
575
8
The Zoo
Most of mine are updated.

Facebook
Tweetbot
Reeder
Flipboard
OzTV
WeatherAu
TripView
Instapaper
Kindle
Metro view Australia

I was surprised how quickly they were updated.

The games are still letter boxed which makes sense, you can't just do an update - the larger screen changes the whole layout. Most games will need their UI re-done.
That makes sense, I figured it's a process to change the aspects of a game...Although the only app I have from your list is Facebook haha.
 
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brettizzle

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2011
52
0
Michigan!
I can see many of the new/big title apps being updated to take advantage of the larger screen. Soon enough just about all new apps going into the app store will have that ability. Be patient ;)
 
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nepalisherpa

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2011
2,134
1,064
USA
I have no knowledge of how hard/easy it is to make an app compatible with the new iPhone 5's screen, but really how hard is it?

Almost 2 weeks after the launch of the new phone and most of the apps I use regularly are still letter boxed:(

Anyone think that games/apps are going to see the 4-inch upgrade anytime soon or is it just not a priority for developers?
People need to be patient. It is a difficult task to update for 4-inch screen especially if the apps are graphic intesive. You have to come up with new sets of graphics. That takes time. Developers will eventually update them or they will lose to their competitors.
 
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STiNG Operation

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2012
575
8
The Zoo
I can see many of the new/big title apps being updated to take advantage of the larger screen. Soon enough just about all new apps going into the app store will have that ability. Be patient ;)
I'm not interest in being patient! just some info on this:confused::D

BTW I have a snapper turtle for sale, it won't fit in the house no more do you want to buy it?
 
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xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,671
1,842
192.168.1.1
I have no knowledge of how hard/easy it is to make an app compatible with the new iPhone 5's screen, but really how hard is it?

Almost 2 weeks after the launch of the new phone and most of the apps I use regularly are still letter boxed:(

Anyone think that games/apps are going to see the 4-inch upgrade anytime soon or is it just not a priority for developers?
It takes 2 weeks sometimes for Apple to approve an app update. Geez, have some patience. Or email the authors of your favorite apps and ask for the status. Games, I would expect, will take longer.

The majority of my most-used apps, besides the core built-in apps, have already been updated. Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Goodreader, Gmail, Evernote, amazon, Apple Airport Utility, Apple iTunes/AppleTv remote, Facebook, Twitter, Pcal lite, Week Cal.
 
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STiNG Operation

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2012
575
8
The Zoo
Would've been a great post for information if you didn't throw that lecture in there lol. My post asked for the process. I'm patient.
 
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samdev

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2011
126
0
I have no knowledge of how hard/easy it is to make an app compatible with the new iPhone 5's screen, but really how hard is it?

Almost 2 weeks after the launch of the new phone and most of the apps I use regularly are still letter boxed:(

Anyone think that games/apps are going to see the 4-inch upgrade anytime soon or is it just not a priority for developers?
Maybe the top 100 apps will get updated quickly, but some apps will never get updated.
I see no rush to update when nothing is to be gained by it. Especially for free apps.

If you want to see an app get updated, do *your* part and show some support for it.
 
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lunaoso

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2012
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53
Boston, MA
Would've been a great post for information if you didn't throw that lecture in there lol. My post asked for the process. I'm patient.
Rule of thumb is anything that is pretty much all scrolling/menus (Facebook,Twitter,etc.) are for the most part fairly easy to update. For games and other graphic intense apps, it takes longer because the have to redo the graphics because it's a new aspect ratio. So most popular apps should be updated within the coming months.
 
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8a22a

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
990
4
Yorkshire, UK
I think only 2 of my games have been updated so far. Tiny Tower and 100 Floors. I imagine games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope would be a bit of a nightmare to do.
 
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macsrcool1234

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2010
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Cut them some slack. I'm sure many developers don't even have the new iPhone yet to test things with....
 
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Quu

macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
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I think some of the developers have limited time to spend on updating past released applications so they try to issue updates when enough bugs and things have been fixed.

Some apps I use haven't been updated since July 2011 :(
 
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Sammio2

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2008
175
54
Basingstoke, UK
I'm an iOS developer for a number of enterprise & public facing Apps on the App Store, so I can give you a pretty good indication of the process needed to update an App for iPhone 5 support...

1) Graphical Work...

This is the first step, and to begin with means creating new splash screen images at the very least. Without these the App will run in letterbox mode regardless. From there the amount of graphical work really depends on the App. Any full screen graphics will need to be re-done and devs may choose to break these graphics into several pieces and make it stretchable (Especially considering all the iPad mini rumours) to allow support for more screen resolutions at some point down the line. Games etc will will obviously require much more graphical work to support a 4" screen.


2) Dev work...

I haven't been any more specific about this, because it's nearly impossible to cover all scenarios. Each app will require a slightly different amount of work to support a 4" screen. I will tell you, the easiest apps to update are the ones comprising of a top section (navigation bar), a bottom section (tab bar) and a stretchable middle section (a table view or map view for example). If you take a look, with a few exceptions, most of the Apps that are iPhone 5 compatible (like Tweetbot, etc) have this stretchable middle section, it doesn't really require any graphical work to make the change just a few layout / constraint tweaks to make it work.

Other apps will require SIGNIFICANTLY more work, especially if the developer is working to provide a unique experience for the iPhone 5 (something Apple wholeheartedly recommended in the keynote) so I think the point to note here is that while these Apps might take a bit more time to update, they will be much better to use on a 4" screen when they are released.

3) Testing....

Any developer worth their weight won't release an App until they have tested it thoroughly and completely. In some cases this means writing code to test their new code (known as unit tests.) Generally these would focus less on the graphical aspects of the App and more on the functional logic behind the App. But if a dev is doing specific things for an iPhone 5 you can bet they'll want to write some unit tests to make sure the code is functioning as it should. If these tests fail, you go back to step 2 and make it work before restarting this step.

4 ) On device regression testing...

This is generally the final test before submitting to Apple, and again any Dev worth their weight will want a full range of devices to do this test on. So if a dev is having trouble getting their hands on an iPhone 5 (not all devs can line up on day 1 to buy the device!), this will delay the process. Sure we've got a simulator, but Apple highly recommends testing on a device before submitting an update and I know i wouldn't even consider an update if it wasn't tested on a device beforehand. Like with point 3, if any bugs are found in this stage, you go back to step 2 and make it work. Then you go through step 3 and step 4 again.

5) Submitting to Apple...

So once we finally have a build we've tested and are happy with, we can submit it to Apple for Approval. This process can take anywhere up to 2 weeks generally for an update (sometimes longer if it's a new App) and if Apple finds anything not to their liking, it gets rejected and back to step 2 you go... then step 3, then step 4... etc etc (are you getting it yet :) It's not necessarily as easy as Apple suggested for us to update all our Apps to support the 4" screen!)


So that's a general overview of the steps it takes to update an App to support the new screen size. I'm not in any way saying it is the same for all dev's and all Apps. For example, games etc will require significantly more graphical and dev work to support the new screen size.

Happy to answer any more questions you may have!
 
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Bathplug

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2010
884
226
I'm an iOS developer for a number of enterprise & public facing Apps on the App Store, so I can give you a pretty good indication of the process needed to update an App for iPhone 5 support...

1) Graphical Work...

This is the first step, and to begin with means creating new splash screen images at the very least. Without these the App will run in letterbox mode regardless. From there the amount of graphical work really depends on the App. Any full screen graphics will need to be re-done and devs may choose to break these graphics into several pieces and make it stretchable (Especially considering all the iPad mini rumours) to allow support for more screen resolutions at some point down the line. Games etc will will obviously require much more graphical work to support a 4" screen.


2) Dev work...

I haven't been any more specific about this, because it's nearly impossible to cover all scenarios. Each app will require a slightly different amount of work to support a 4" screen. I will tell you, the easiest apps to update are the ones comprising of a top section (navigation bar), a bottom section (tab bar) and a stretchable middle section (a table view or map view for example). If you take a look, with a few exceptions, most of the Apps that are iPhone 5 compatible (like Tweetbot, etc) have this stretchable middle section, it doesn't really require any graphical work to make the change just a few layout / constraint tweaks to make it work.

Other apps will require SIGNIFICANTLY more work, especially if the developer is working to provide a unique experience for the iPhone 5 (something Apple wholeheartedly recommended in the keynote) so I think the point to note here is that while these Apps might take a bit more time to update, they will be much better to use on a 4" screen when they are released.

3) Testing....

Any developer worth their weight won't release an App until they have tested it thoroughly and completely. In some cases this means writing code to test their new code (known as unit tests.) Generally these would focus less on the graphical aspects of the App and more on the functional logic behind the App. But if a dev is doing specific things for an iPhone 5 you can bet they'll want to write some unit tests to make sure the code is functioning as it should. If these tests fail, you go back to step 2 and make it work before restarting this step.

4 ) On device regression testing...

This is generally the final test before submitting to Apple, and again any Dev worth their weight will want a full range of devices to do this test on. So if a dev is having trouble getting their hands on an iPhone 5 (not all devs can line up on day 1 to buy the device!), this will delay the process. Sure we've got a simulator, but Apple highly recommends testing on a device before submitting an update and I know i wouldn't even consider an update if it wasn't tested on a device beforehand. Like with point 3, if any bugs are found in this stage, you go back to step 2 and make it work. Then you go through step 3 and step 4 again.

5) Submitting to Apple...

So once we finally have a build we've tested and are happy with, we can submit it to Apple for Approval. This process can take anywhere up to 2 weeks generally for an update (sometimes longer if it's a new App) and if Apple finds anything not to their liking, it gets rejected and back to step 2 you go... then step 3, then step 4... etc etc (are you getting it yet :) It's not necessarily as easy as Apple suggested for us to update all our Apps to support the 4" screen!)


So that's a general overview of the steps it takes to update an App to support the new screen size. I'm not in any way saying it is the same for all dev's and all Apps. For example, games etc will require significantly more graphical and dev work to support the new screen size.

Happy to answer any more questions you may have!
Thanks for posting this. Its a good insight of what it take to update apps.
 
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big samm

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2008
1,317
221
I'm an iOS developer for a number of enterprise & public facing Apps on the App Store, so I can give you a pretty good indication of the process needed to update an App for iPhone 5 support...

1) Graphical Work...

This is the first step, and to begin with means creating new splash screen images at the very least. Without these the App will run in letterbox mode regardless. From there the amount of graphical work really depends on the App. Any full screen graphics will need to be re-done and devs may choose to break these graphics into several pieces and make it stretchable (Especially considering all the iPad mini rumours) to allow support for more screen resolutions at some point down the line. Games etc will will obviously require much more graphical work to support a 4" screen.


2) Dev work...

I haven't been any more specific about this, because it's nearly impossible to cover all scenarios. Each app will require a slightly different amount of work to support a 4" screen. I will tell you, the easiest apps to update are the ones comprising of a top section (navigation bar), a bottom section (tab bar) and a stretchable middle section (a table view or map view for example). If you take a look, with a few exceptions, most of the Apps that are iPhone 5 compatible (like Tweetbot, etc) have this stretchable middle section, it doesn't really require any graphical work to make the change just a few layout / constraint tweaks to make it work.

Other apps will require SIGNIFICANTLY more work, especially if the developer is working to provide a unique experience for the iPhone 5 (something Apple wholeheartedly recommended in the keynote) so I think the point to note here is that while these Apps might take a bit more time to update, they will be much better to use on a 4" screen when they are released.

3) Testing....

Any developer worth their weight won't release an App until they have tested it thoroughly and completely. In some cases this means writing code to test their new code (known as unit tests.) Generally these would focus less on the graphical aspects of the App and more on the functional logic behind the App. But if a dev is doing specific things for an iPhone 5 you can bet they'll want to write some unit tests to make sure the code is functioning as it should. If these tests fail, you go back to step 2 and make it work before restarting this step.

4 ) On device regression testing...

This is generally the final test before submitting to Apple, and again any Dev worth their weight will want a full range of devices to do this test on. So if a dev is having trouble getting their hands on an iPhone 5 (not all devs can line up on day 1 to buy the device!), this will delay the process. Sure we've got a simulator, but Apple highly recommends testing on a device before submitting an update and I know i wouldn't even consider an update if it wasn't tested on a device beforehand. Like with point 3, if any bugs are found in this stage, you go back to step 2 and make it work. Then you go through step 3 and step 4 again.

5) Submitting to Apple...

So once we finally have a build we've tested and are happy with, we can submit it to Apple for Approval. This process can take anywhere up to 2 weeks generally for an update (sometimes longer if it's a new App) and if Apple finds anything not to their liking, it gets rejected and back to step 2 you go... then step 3, then step 4... etc etc (are you getting it yet :) It's not necessarily as easy as Apple suggested for us to update all our Apps to support the 4" screen!)


So that's a general overview of the steps it takes to update an App to support the new screen size. I'm not in any way saying it is the same for all dev's and all Apps. For example, games etc will require significantly more graphical and dev work to support the new screen size.

Happy to answer any more questions you may have!
After reading this, all i can say is ill be patient!! I don't want a app that is buggy just because the dev is in a hurry to satisfied a couple of inpatient users!
 
Comment

Sammio2

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2008
175
54
Basingstoke, UK
Thanks for posting this. Its a good insight of what it take to update apps.
You should see what it takes to make Apps from scratch! :p

I guess another point to note, is that due to the nature of App development, many of your favourite Apps will possibly be written by dev's working in their spare time, not as a day job... So obviously updates to these will be slower again!
 
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Avatarshark

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2012
176
9
The Digital Frontier
I have to agree with the people who are saying give the devs sometime to fix and update these apps. I mean when iOS 4 and the iPhone came out, many apps didn't support retina display. It was a gradual process, even then it took like a year for all of my games to be updated. Remember iOS 6 only came out like 2 weeks ago, and the iPhone even less than that.

Sometimes, changing aspect changes gameplay. Also, I think many of the devs don't use vector graphics (all probably only know photoshop).
 
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kappaknight

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2009
1,577
79
Atlanta, GA
Really, more people need to learn basic programming so these questions will disappear. In addition to that, it'll help you get good paying jobs.
 
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dasx

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2012
1,098
17
Barcelona
What I can't understand is why hasn't whatsapp been updated already. It's one of the top5 apps no matter what country and yet they haven't even made an statement.

And I don't see a lot of work in their app tbh...
 
Comment

Avatarshark

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2012
176
9
The Digital Frontier
What I can't understand is why hasn't whatsapp been updated already. It's one of the top5 apps no matter what country and yet they haven't even made an statement.

And I don't see a lot of work in their app tbh...
Just because you don't see a lot of work, doesn't mean there isn't a lot of work.
 
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