Thursday, 15 November 2012

Why iphone 5 apps updated so late?

Slow iPhone 5 app updates

There has been some talk on the world wide gossip web lately that the iPad mini is the beginning of the demise of Apple... obviously there was a band of Apple lovers who took grave offence and blocked sites for saying so on their iRouter, and the other band of iHaters relished the idea...

iPhone 5 beginning of Decline of Apple?

I personally sit in the middle and think it would be a great shame if it were the beginning of the decline, however it did get me thinking more about a casual observation that I have been capturing in screenshots on my iPhone 5 post release; I have noticed that that is the lag in the updates from the major app vendors, longer than iPad 3 (or new iPad) which does make me think Apple is either relaxing or loosing its grip (depending on how most people seem to be able to only look at these Apple issues) or; if we are lucky - that the app environment is finally maturing!
Major apps like Spotify are only just adding iPhone 5 support to their apps

iPhone5 developer roadmap maturity?

So why can this be? Well let's explore the "is it maturing" side first: proper development has a roadmap and cycles, that is; you have a roadmap of what you want to do over the next 6 - 18 months depending on many factors such as size of company, and then monthly or quarterly cycles when these features are added in priority. Unfortunately in app world this has not happened, and to be honest, UE has been impacted as a result. I only have to look as late as the beginning of this year at my Mobile Monday London event digest to see that developers in app world are still running round prioritising customer feedback features over launching new platforms, and adding them in what seems like an ad-hoc manner. Therefore, possibly, hopefully, this is a a sign that the market is maturing and the iPhone 5 new screen size is being put into the next available cycle on the roadmap rather than developers running round like headless chickens for the new ifeature as soon as they can?
4 to 5 days post iPhone 5, a major app release update does not include iPhone 5 support
Further evidence of this maturity could be seen in the shape of the native Google app for iPhone5 taking longer than anybody would have expected to go into the app store after the launch of the iphone 5 and iOS 6 with the dreadful downgrade to maps widely reported would have led to the app being in the store "yesterday" in previous times. So let's move on to:

iPhone Android app roadmap maturity is here!

The other way to look at this is that its the beginning of the decline of Apple and Steve Jobs would have not let this happen! I hope it is not, for many reasons, as Apple has pushed apps, app stores, UE and devices in the last few years further than the entire mobile industry managed beforehand (am not counting Siri in this equation)... However the fact still remains that key apps ar taking time to adapt and some could argue its sloppy management of app stores. It should also be noted people have recently moved jobs in Apple post the iPhone 5 launch: when launching a new device with a major change such as screen size and performance improvement; you do need to look at your ecosystem and identify the apps and app developers that you need to take aside and say in confidence: can I have your apps ready for the launch of my new, and let's add in here, well overdue... iPhone 5. As a user I was left seeing my bigger screen going to waste with apps I would expect to be up the in the wish list. I will also hasten to add, that this has not been during a period of low activity; I have been installing app updates almost daily since the iPhone 5 since release.

For now, I am taking thee high road and seeing it as emerging maturity in app land!