Xcode and iOS Updates

it has been another busy week for Apple and iOS developers with new devices and iOS updates. Much has already been said elsewhere but the highlights for me from a developer perspective were as follows:

iPod Touch Retinal Display

I think the new iPod Touch with the high resolution retinal display, gyro and front and back cameras is good news. The resolution of the camera is not as good as on the iPhone 4 but it makes the hardware capabilities of the iPod Touch much closer to that of the iPhone (minus the 3G obviously). This means that if you already put the effort in to update for the iPhone 4 retinal display you will shortly have a much larger set of users who will see the benefit. If you did not already start including support for the retinal display in your apps by default it is probably a good idea to start now.

iOS Numbers

During his presentation Steve Jobs mentioned that they have shipped 120 million iOS devices. Of course the iOS developer agreement now makes is difficult to collect data to analyse that number. So we do not know how many of that 120 million are older devices running older versions of the OS or how many are still active and not gathering dust at the back of a drawer. Either way the target market for iOS developers is huge with Steve claiming over 230,000 new iOS devices coming online every day with 200 apps being downloaded from the App Store every second.

On the other hand with over 250,000 apps in the app store (25,000 are for the iPad) it is increasingly difficult for a small, independent developer to get noticed.

iOS 4.1

As expected iOS 4.1 will ship this week with the GM seed now available for download from the (finally renamed) iOS Dev Center. Since this has been in beta for a while this is not news for developers though it is good that game center will now be live.

iOS 4.2

Again not really news, more a confirmation that 4.2 will be the release that unifies iOS versions and brings the iPad up to date with all of the features of iOS 4. Apple is sticking to a November schedule so I guess we can expect to see a 4.2 beta some time soon.

Xcode 4 Preview 3

The availability of the third developer preview release of Xcode 4 slipped out quietly the day after the Apple music event but for an iOS developer it should not be overlooked (download from the iOS dev center). Since this is all still under NDA there is not much to say. I have played with previous preview releases and will for sure only play with this version. I expect Apple will take their time developing Xcode 4 before giving us a final release. The fact that this is a “developer preview” and not even a beta makes me feel we will not see a final release until next year?