Excellent article from Marco Arment about how iOS7, the new operating system for iPhones and iPads coming to consumers this Fall, is going to cause a major shift for App developers. His argument is that just as a forest fire erases old debris Apple’s update to its mobile operating system is going to cause a similar disruption to all existing apps. Leading to a fundamental shift in the established App environment:
iOS 7 is different. It isn’t just a new skin: it introduces entirely new navigational and structural standards far beyond the extent of any previous UI changes. Existing apps can support iOS 7 fairly easily without looking broken, but they’ll look and feel ancient.
Hard to believe?
iOS is only 6 years old. Before then there were no Apps at all and now we have a multi billion dollar industry all based on one operating system. Apple has changed things so fundamentally, Marco argues, that all established Apps will be stuck at a crossroads of maintaining for old versions and building for the new version. This is bad news for established Apps but great news for new ones. For consumers its going to be a non issue. We will update to iOS7 in massive numbers just as we always do and when we see our existing Apps look like crap we will just go find an alternative and download it.
If I were developing a new App I would be focused completely on iOS7 and be ready to hit the ground running on day one, especially if its a crowded category. Some low hanging fruit from a quick brainstorm:
Twitter/Multi Network Social Media App
Quick Note/Writing App
I would charge at least $4 for this app as the users that will be demanding this will have money to spend and will be less focused on price than functionality. They will want an app that looks good and works with all the new iOS7 bells and whistles.
Michael Barber has a great writeup on the Cohn Marketing blog about some of the significant updates to iOS7 check it out.
Google has been saying that website owners need to get their mobile game plan together. My suspicion is that they are tired of seeing all the bounces from non mobile websites when people search on their phone. Personally I have stopped using Google as much on my mobile phone especially for local searches. Yelp for better or worse is my goto resource for getting local information on my phone because I know I will be able to read Yelps pages easily. On google it is a crap shoot.
But just having a mobile website is not entirely enough. You also need to deliver a relevant experience to your users. Yesterday Google came out with specific details where it will be penalizing websites that don’t deliver what users expect when searching in google. For example if the Google result is for a specific page on your site but when a mobile user clicks on the link they get delivered to the home page of your mobile website. I have first hand experience of this and it is frustrating and always causes me to hit the back button.
The simple answer to a lot of mobile seo it to convert your website to a responsive layout. This allows you to keep your existing URL structure and deliver the same website to all devices but it will adopt the layout to the screen size you are currently using. There are a number of things you can do in addition to this but making this change will have the most dramatic effect while minimizing your effort.
Mobile phones now have web browsers and are coming to your websites, but is the experience usable? Are they able to access the information you are sharing? Is the experience a good one or are they leaving in droves?
Mobile First responsive web design which has morphed into Responsive Web Design is the philosophy of taking the mobile browser experience as the first step in designing a website. Once you have met these needs you can build up to Tablet and Laptop screens very easily.
How does your site look on a smartphone? Have you looked?
Great read about where web design is headed in 2012 over at .Net Magazine. The big ones to focus on here are mobile and responsive though.
Mobile is obvious as more people use their phones to find your business online you need to make sure your website presents itself appropriately. Which ties in with Responsive perfectly.
Don’t think you can make two websites: one for desktop and one for mobile, because you then need to make one for the iPad and now the iPad retina display. Don’t forget about the 14 different mobile phone screen sizes out there and more to come. Instead build one website that responds to the device viewing it so that the text is readable regardless.