Apple’s many iOS 5 additions force some developers to think different

“It’s pretty much a given that with each major update to Mac OS X or iOS, Apple will add to the OS features previously provided by third-party developers,” Dan Frakes reports for Macworld.

“These are often features that were in such demand that others had stepped in to provide them, but, eventually, Apple saw their utility and decided they were things that should be a part of the OS (or its built-in apps),” Frakes reports. “Whatever the case may be, each year, select developers come away from an Apple keynote or press release rethinking their future business plans.”

Frakes reports, “With iOS 5, potential ‘victims’ of these new features include one of the most popular reading services, a couple entire genres of apps, and a standout utility… At least a few developers have a sense of humor about the topic: Earlier this week, as I was talking with developers at WWDC, the only-half-serious consensus was that if you want to develop a really successful iOS app, you should provide a feature that many users complain is missing from the iPhone or iPad—just make sure it’s not a missing feature that everyone complains about.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sarah” for the heads up.]

30 Comments

    1. Spark, I’m with you. I’ve been an Instapaper subscriber and have no notion of abandoning ship. Marco Arment is awesome and I can’t live w/o Instapaper.

    1. AirDrop is nothing like Dropbox.
      AirDrop provides a way to transfer files between computers on the same network (eg; the same office or home), while Dropbox allows you to store files that are accesible from any number of different devices no matter where they are as long as you have ‘net access.

  1. I personally dumped many apps due to the new iOS 5 stuff.
    About the only one I will keep, dropbox. And prob still use photobucket, the rest lion/iOS 5/iCloud take care of.

    Notification center even killed all desire for me to jailbreak anymore.. Finally after 3 years of owning an iPhone, apple finally gave me every thing I want in my iPhone. iOS 4 was a huge upgrade, iOS 5… Even bigger.

    1. I tried jailbreaking, but in the end kept only one from it that Apple doesn’t provide on iPhone: a universal brightness slider (double-click Home, slide left twice). Why Apple chose to put a totally useless VOLUME SLIDER there is beyond me–you have physical volume buttons on the side, volume in the iPod app, goddamn it there’s like five different places to access change, but only ONE brightness control, and you have to first exit whatever app you’re in.

      I also liked the SBSsettings but it literally halved my battery time, so it was gone.

      1. Agreed. The brightness slider should be accessible to the left of the menu bar as there is already a variety of ways to adjust volume, one of the most obvious being the physical buttons.

        1. keep the volume slider there, and add another swipe to the left… and put the Brightness there.
          I don’t ever go there to use the volume slider, maybe put the brightness first then the volume.

          But i agree… we have physical buttons for volume…. why a slider with quick access?

      2. Sbsettings dropped your battery life?
        Never affected mine.

        For me, iOS 4 added all but 1-2 things I used to jailbreak for. Backgrounds, folders, multitasking, etc. The last thing I wanted was lockinfo, and notification center takes care of that. Sbsettings was/is still wanted but it’s not like I used it constantly. It was nice to have it when I needed to change something.

        That’s why iOS 5 killed any desire for me to jailbreak now. Zero reason for me now. Unless there is a time machine app on cydia… Allow me to jump forward to when iOS 5 is released so I can have it faster. 😉

        1. Before JB, typical weekday usage I could go two days before recharging. After JB and a bunch of different cool things, I had to recharge every night. I removed as many post-JB additions as I could until just SBSettings and the brightness hack was left. Battery life was still garbage, so I finally removed SBSettings, then I was back to 2 days (almost–there’s still some extra drain with the JB that drops it just below 50% after one day).

          1. thats odd.
            Mine was only slightly affected on my 3G.
            but i had folders, backgrounds, lockinfo etc.

            With my iPhone 4, when i had it JB, “normal” use could get me to 50-60% in a day. non JB now, 50-60% in a day heh.

            I have seen people install a million things on the JB iPhones, and Battery life was horrendous. I tried to keep the installed stuff to a minimum.

            It could have been the brightness thing also.
            I did have a 20 sec lockscreen mod also, and it WAS bugged for a while.. it would never turn the lockscreen off unless you hit the lock button. I didn’t know about the bug till my iPhone ran out of juice 4 hours after i unplugged it one day lol. you could of had a bad SBSettings build also, or some setting on that could have been off. I had to SSH into my iPhone just to remove the mod so i could actually use my iPhone again. (caused other problems from doing so as well.. was not a fun day. Had to restore and start over with JB..)
            That is honestly the problem with JB.. since it’s not “Standard” it could be a number of things that could go wrong. and no simple fix either..

            When you do JB, you really should accept the fact the battery life will drop. but it shouldn’t be that much. The last time i was JB all i had was SBSettings and Lockinfo. All i wanted really.

            Not arguing with you.. Just talking JB 😉
            Jailbreaking YMMV. No problems for some, others run into them. all a Gamble IMO.

      3. 1. I’m amazed they haven’t fixed this yet. Clearly Steve doesn’t read or watch movies in the dark much — probably an up-with-the-sun guy, along with his amazing engineers! Alas, for me, it would be used daily.

  2. Assuming that everything works as I’m expecting it, iOS will get rid of about 10 apps for me.
    What I’m most excited for is seeing what will come of the really creative developers that are able to one-up Apple’s offering.

  3. There’s always going to be opportunities for developers to provide services better than Apple’s. Take OmniFocus, for example. It buries Apple’s “Reminders” by a good margin.

    The biggest challenge faced by developers – aside from having Apple co-op your app – is dealing with the limitations Apple places on developers regarding system-wide integration of their apps. That should improve with iOS 5.

    1. Apple deliberately withholds private APIs from developers that are available only to internal builds. So you’re starting at a disadvantage already. So power management can be impacted.

  4. So I have a lot of PDFs on my iPad that aren’t being pushed to my iPhone. Both devises have the iBookstore turned on. Maybe this isn’t part of the new features?

    1. I’m not sure PDF’s would work with the Sync. (or at least not yet)
      I am just thinking here, but that would be i assume something that iCloud would do which isn’t up yet.

      I *think* the only thing being pushed right now is Apps/Music and Purchased books. IF you have all the sliders turned to on.

      I must say, i LOVE it so far. Picked up Chop Chop Hockey for free today on my iPad (Free App A Day rocks) and it was on my iPhone 5 minutes later 🙂

  5. In cases where it was clearly someone else’s idea and successful implementation first, Apple ought to pay a licensing fee or else buy the app outright from the original developers. At least something to soften the blow, and not stifle further development.

  6. so what’s new? When M$ windows was still growing (think back to w3.1 time period) M$ also kept adding new functionality that was initially provided by 3rd party software providers.
    The same is applicable to most other OS platforms, including OS X.

  7. It’s the natural progression Of the operating system to include these features. Those developers were smart enough to into the market when there was a need for certain functions and make profit. I’m sure theyll be smart enough to deliver again.

    And yes I agree with you on the whole brightness slider. There needs to be some other implantation of it without quitting and go into settings. And now that they got notifications right why not give a quick reply feature for messages like the jailbreak app. Those two will keep me from jail breaking.

  8. Developers will find new ways to provide services and functionality. Many will compliment iOS 5’s new features. That’s the nature of software development – the OS maker has to add new features to grow and sell new OS copies, and so do app makers.

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