Developers see potential, pitfalls with iOS 5

By Joel Mathis, Macworld |  Mobile & Wireless, Apple, Apple iOS

Notifications: Wantlet's Luoma saw commerce possibilities with the new notifications and messaging features "to enable better experience in receiving near real-time alerts related to what you want to buy—and sharing the comments with your friends."

Over-the-air iOS updates: Babak Hedayati, CEO of MobiLife, which makes the MyTymz journaling app, said many iPhone users never plug their phone into a PC—and thus never get iOS updates. That makes it hard to serve older customers as the technology moves forward. That should be less of a problem now that updates will occur wirelessly. "If you go full-feature (on a new iOS) and you're on the leading edge, sometimes the newer app doesn't work with the older versions," he said. "There's a group of iPhone users who hardly ever connect their phones to their PCs or Macs—10 or 20% who just use it as a phone."

The new updating system, he said, "is really going to make it better for app developers."

But App Cubby's Barnard, while still keeping his options open, suggested that the best part of iOS 5 won't be the ability to overhaul old apps, but the ability to create something entirely new.

"With my existing apps, I don't see anything that I'll try to incorporate on day one," Barnard said. But "I do see other opportunities, with all these new features. I may go out and build a brand-new app to take advantage."

James Thomson of TLA Systems, maker of the PCalc calculator app, praised iOS 5 from both user and developer perspectives.

"Many holes in the APIs are being filled, and that will allow us to write apps that are approaching the power of those on the Mac," Thomson said. "As a user, I'm just glad to see that almost every major criticism I had of iOS appears to have been addressed. So I can't wait until it is released."

[Joel Mathis is a frequent contributor to Macworld.]


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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