Apple wants all new and updated apps in its App Store to be optimized to iOS 7 starting in 2014.
In a note on its iOS developer portal yesterday, Apple stated:
Starting February 1, new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and must be optimized for iOS 7.
Apple updated iOS this year to include 1,500 new application programming interfaces for developers and a slick new “flat” design. Most app developers have been building apps optimized towards iOS 7 since Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in June 2013. Apple released iOS 7 to the public a week after it introduced the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in September. App developers have had the second half of the year to build new apps optimized towards iOS 7 or update existing apps.
Apple has let developers have two versions of their apps optimized towards both iOS 6 and iOS 7 with the knowledge that many businesses and enterprises must test the new operating system on their networks for security and functionality before rolling out the latest version to their employees.
The next update to iOS—iOS 7.1—is currently in beta for developers through Apple’s portal. iOS 7.1 is currently in beta 2 and there is no clear timetable from Apple when it will be officially released to the public.
iOS 7.1 beta is mostly under-the-hood updates for developers including updates to the Xcode integrated developer environment. Noted areas of change will be in the iOS MapKit that adds and modifies several existing functions including the ability to pin locations on a map, open the camera and annotate items on the map. The Media Player in iOS also has several changes of note adding several different including a specific function for “child items” in the content data source and a new content manager and navigation controls. SpriteKit—Apple’s new game rendering engine in iOS 7—gets a couple new updates as well.