Thoughts on iOS7 and the new iPhones
After Apple's announcements yesterday, I've been thinking about what these new devices mean for both myself as a developer and others as consumers.
The iPhone 5c brings a new device to the market, which yes, is based upon last year's hardware, but will the regular consumer notice or care? Most likely not. Apple has just made this tier much more marketable and appealing to consumers as for a consumer what looks new must be new.This is a move by Apple to make the iPhone into a brand with two parts like the Macbook line with it's Air and Pro lines.
As a developer, this means the potential consumer market to sell apps within just exploded with this new device. I predict it will quickly become the best selling device in the iPhone line due to it's consumer appeal, after all who wouldn't want a cheaper, coloured iPhone.
The 5s is a remarkably easy product for Apple to market. Simply put, it's faster, has a better camera, and now has a fingerprint sensor.
The A7 processor in the 5s brings the first 64 bit processor to a phone, a processor with desktop caliber performance according to Apple and based on the initial hands-on by the press, this isn't just Apple exaggerating either. The 5s also brings what is called the M7 to the table, a motion coprocessor which seems to do exactly what your Fitbit would, tracking your motion and similar statistics. This then enables apps to read this logged data when launched. Consider this bad news for the likes of Fitbit.
The camera in the 5s got a major bump up in specs, slow-mo video recoding, burst-fire mode for stills, true tone flash and auto image stabilisation are all new. Combine these together and you get the feeling that Apple is chasing down the point and shoot manufacturers by combining what is slowly becoming great camera hardware in such a small package with superb software.
Finally, you have the key new feature of the 5s, Touch ID. Touch the home button with your finger and unlock your phone, seems great to me. This is one feature I'll have to play with in person to see if it works as good as it is advertised to but if it does, it's gonna be awesome for iPhone consumers.
The new gold colour is an odd choice by Apple, one that seems to lend itself more to the Asian markets such as China and Japan than the western market but as Apple is expanding within China this year, it makes absolute business sense to introduce this colour.
I've actually had iOS7 on my main phone since WWDC in June. It's a solid OS stability wise by now and is a pleasure to use once you get over the initial design shock.
The whole OS has change which will help to liven up the third party apps as well as iOS itself. Every developer I know is now rethinking their products to suit iOS7 and it's goals of clarity, deference to the content and depth. This is an exciting time to be an iOS developer, it opens up a wide field of opportunities even in niches that have been filled dozens of times.
Overall, the announcement will help Apple and the ecosystem grow even more, and provide great opportunities for developers. I can't wait to see what apps come out soon with iOS7 in mind.