As iPhone owners everywhere upgrade to iOS 8, we wanted to know what developers thought of Apple's new mobile operating system, and just took a quick informal survey among our many colleagues, both devs and executives who oversee development, to get their unique perspectives. Overall they seem pretty positive, pointing out some important new features they plan on using in future apps, but are also disappointed with some issues, notably relating to ad measurement and the app review process, worth keeping in mind:
“I had hoped that iOS 8 might have helped to bridge some of the ad measurement challenges across the various environments in iOS, while at the same time bring greater transparency and control over advertising to end users. Hopefully we’ll see more in iOS 9.”
Spencer A Holtaway, Designer (with Pat Bergschneider) of the new San Francisco MUNI app, My Bus SF:
"I put the gold master on my phone two days ago and thought there wasn't much new, but on day one there's a ton of updates that are hitting that include things like the widgets and share sheet inclusion (Pocket, for example, is really easy now). Things that weren't hard but not seamless now feel seamless. From a user perspective, it doesn't feel like a lot has changed. However I'm sure that as more developers start using the new capabilities, particularly notif tray widgets, interactive push notif toasters, and the new, 'more open' share sheet, things will start to feel way more seamless across the iOS experience."
Dave, Longtime Game Developer:
"TestFlight acquisition now requires external testing be wrung through Apple's review process first. It is awful. Apparently 'Continuous Integration' and 'Agile Development' are just buzzwords to Apple.... Any 'major revision' [of an app now requires Apple review]. It's a vague term that doesn't make sense. Apple's dev forums has a nice thread of people citing how long it can take and how re-submissions can get stuck.
"Mind you, these are issues important to companies with QA departments. For the smaller developer working off his Mactop with a couple of friends, iOS 8 is a major improvement with the removal of provisioning profile BS."
Katherine de León, Head of Games by GSN on Facebook at Game Show Network:
"iOS 8 offers many new features that will improve the overall customer experience, which as a product person, is what I care most about. What Dave said [see above] is right. You need to submit test builds for approval now, which is not ideal, but it's also not a massive barrier to development."
David Klein, Head of Design at Stuph:
"It’s weird to have new features that Android users have been bragging about for so long: Custom keyboards, extensions, etc. I think we’re going to see a whole new class of applications that people on Android didn’t even consider yet. I’m looking at IFTTT to do something crazy cool. I also think Google Now is going to do something great as an extension."
IFTTT, by the way, stands for "If this then that", and basically allows non-technical people to create fun "recipes" to make apps/web services work together in creative ways. (Thanks to Amy for that explanation.)
iOS developers reading this, what's your take on iOS 8 so far? Please post in Comments, or Tweet some thoughts at us!