Developers must ensure apps are optimized for iPhone X

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Guidelines
The notch isn't going away anytime soon!
Photo: Apple

Apple wants iOS developers to make sure that they are creating their new apps with the iPhone X in mind.

According to the company’s newly updated developer guidelines, all apps submitted to the App Store from April 2018 onwards must be sure to support the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge Super Retina display, as well as accommodating the still-controversial “notch.”

“Starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK,” the instructions read. “All new apps for iPhone, including universal apps, must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X.”

The guidelines also encourage developers to make the most of the new features offered by iOS 11, including Core ML, SiriKit and — perhaps most importantly from Apple’s perspective — ARKit. Not every app has to offer all of these features (with the exception of the Super Retina compliance), but Apple no doubt hopes that as many as possible will. Since launching ARKit, developer interest in introducing apps that take advantage of Apple’s augmented reality tech has reportedly dipped.

Apple’s insistence that developers make sure their apps are optimized for the latest version of iOS is designed to keep the App Store fresh, and to push users to upgrade to the latest mobile operating system as quickly as possible. The latest iOS 11 adoption figures (measured in mid-January) suggest that 65 percent of users have already upgraded to iOS 11, with 28 percent running iOS 10, and the remainder on a previous version.

Interestingly, despite telling developers to make sure that their new apps are notch-friendly, Apple may reduce the size of the polarizing iPhone X notch for its next generation handset.

3 responses to “Developers must ensure apps are optimized for iPhone X”

  1. tjwolf says:

    From the excerpt you provide it doesn’t sound like Apple requires new apps to make sure they work with the notch – as you state initially. It requires them to use iOS 11’s SDK. Big difference. I’m guessing that they don’t actually have to care – the SDK will make their app work in some default way. To make functional use of that area around the notch, they’d have to write some code.

    • Kenneth Thomsen says:

      There are specific guidelines in terms of how you design your app.. e.g. how far from the bottom of the display you place icons/buttons, so they won’t interfere with the iPhone X Home-bar.. How far from the top you have to place important icons and stuff. Of course, they will fit in the status bar icons in the SDK, but if you place a shutter-button in e.g. Snapchat right in the bottom-center of the screen to take a photo, it would probably cause a lot of issues with iPhone X users, that would just close the app everytime they tried to take a picture..

      • tjwolf says:

        Thanks for the explanation. I, perhaps naively, thought that the notch would be taken care of by virtue of adhering to Apple’s SDK API.