What Apple iPhone 5s & iPhone 5c mean for mobile app developers


Today Apple CEO Tim Cook took center stage at company headquarters in Cupertino, CA, unveiling the much-anticipated iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. What do the new smartphones mean for mobile app developers? A lot. There’s huge potential to piggyback on device launches and now that we know the details, dev teams can move past rumor into reality.

iPhone 5s (starting at $199)

iPhone 5s delivers more power, longer battery life and an improved camera. Highlights that could be driving the next trends in apps include:

  • 64-bit A7 processor—twice as fast as the A6 in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c—packs a punch for gaming and photo apps
  • M7 motion co-processor for feature-rich exercise and sports apps
  • Camera with f/2.2 aperture, larger sensor, image stabilization and 10 frame per second burst mode to capture multiple images—a win for mobile photogs and those developing apps with photo functions
  • 720p HD video shot at 120 frames per second, with a slo-mo feature users are bound to use on videos they share online

iPhone 5c (starting at $99)

Available in five fun flavors (green, blue, pink, yellow and white), iPhone 5c comes with an even more attractive $99 price tag to stave off sticker shock with budget-conscious consumers. Looks like Apple finally realizes it has to make inroads in affordability if it wants to grow its international marketshare.

China will be an especially interesting market for iOS developers to watch. It might be the world’s largest smartphone market, but iPhone sales have lagged far behind less expensive Android devices from Samsung, Xiaomi and others. Keep an eye on your analytics over the next few months to see if your apps gain traction.

iOS 7 rolls out Sept. 18

Next week, hundreds of millions of users will be able to download iOS 7 (for iPhone 4 and up). Along with the flat visual design everyone’s been talking about, Apple promises smarter multi-tasking, single-swipe Control Panel access, AirDrop (to share anything over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth at the press of a button), and an improved experience for photos that includes Instagram-type filters and smart photo grouping.

Craig Federinghi, head of software at Apple, says iOS 7 will be like “getting an all new device.” Of course, it’s counting on developers like you to make it happen. Apple has released iOS Gold Master (GM) (11A465), likely the last pre-release version of iOS 7, and encourages developers to have app updates ready. The expectation? Interfaces that take advantage of design elements such as translucency and integration of APIs for AirDrop, multitasking and other new features.

Good news for Android, too

Android developers shouldn’t feel left out. Big device launches typically produce app trends to watch across the board. We also expect users disappointed in Apple’s news or leery of fingerprint technology (a new feature that replaces passcodes on iPhone 5s) to snap up Androids in time for the holidays.

Official launch date

New iPhones go on sale September 20. iPhone 5c is available for preorder September 13.

Is Apple’s news enough to get you to purchase a new phone or change your development roadmap? Are you ready for iOS 7? Let us know in the Comments.

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