June 08, 2011, 9:50 AM — When App Cubby's David Barnard witnessed the unveiling of iOS 5 this week at the Worldwide Developers Conference, his first thought was to marvel at all the "shiny new toys."
The second thought was a bit more sobering: Did it make sense to go back and revamp his older iOS apps to incorporate the new technologies, which include revamped notifications and messaging? Or would it be better to apply those "toys" to new projects?
"That's probably for everyone the most challenging thing," Barnard said Tuesday. "Most developers, at any given point, if you asked them if they'd love to scrap their code and rewrite it in two weeks with the latest technology, they'd say 'Yes!'"
On Tuesday, a day after Apple unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system, developers were still sorting through the implications. Some saw threats to their businesses, while some saw opportunities. And some—seeing the introduction of iOS 5 as inextricable from Apple's new iCloud offering—were simply ecstatic.
"It is a system that will make your iPhone feel like another organ in a bigger solution where push notifications are the veins," said Kristian Luoma, head of product at Wantlet, which mixes social networking and shopping opportunities. "Imagine what the developer ecosystem will do!"
But Luoma, who commented by e-mail, noted that some services that let users shift documents through the cloud, between mobile devices and Macs, might be left behind.
"Obviously quite a number of solutions will be deprecated as more integrated solution arrives," she said. "Dropbox, a number of photo-sharing apps and third-party cloud syncronization tools will lose their wow" with the advent of iOS 5 and iCloud.
One of those services would appear to be OfficeDrop, which lets users share business documents between their iPad and computer. But Prasad Thammineni, OfficeDrop's CEO, said he saw opportunity. Apple's new service, he said, isn't necessarily oriented toward business-sized customers—but it could educate those customers about the advantages of cloud storage and expand his company's market.