Apple has told developers that all new apps submitted to the App Store must support the iPhone X’s Super Retina display from April 2018. It means that developers will have to ensure that their apps are natively designed to embrace the notch, go edge-to-edge and most importantly support the 19.5:9 aspect ratio of the 5.8-inch OLED display.
Apple has been getting aggressive with its app design rules to support the latest devices from the company. While developers working on iOS apps are relatively quick to adopt new features introduced with the launch of every new iPhone, developers have been relatively slow to roll out support for iPhone X launched in September last year. Apple has not given a deadline as to when updates to existing apps must support the iPhone X natively.
In an email to developers today, Apple is encouraging adoption of latest iOS 11 features like CoreML, SiriKit and ARKit. Apple also wants all new apps to be built against the iOS 11 SDK from April.
For developers, compiling their apps with the new iOS 11 SDK does not necessarily mean they support all of the new features. Apple is only trying to ensure that developers are using the latest development tools and might even force them to adopt new features. The major benefit will come in the way that apps will have a common design guideline and interactions, and will make the App Store look streamlined across platforms.
However, Apple asking developers to natively add support for iPhone X shows that the company is set to go big on that design this year. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple will launch three new iPhones this year with all the model supporting edge-to-edge display design and Face ID like iPhone X.
Kuo also believes that one of those models will be an update to the existing iPhone X while another model is said to pack a larger OLED display and launch as the iPhone X Plus. The third model is said to be the replacement to iPhone 8 Plus with modern design but will use an LCD display to keep costs low. Kuo has already suggested that Apple will sell more of its LCD-clad iPhone X model than the ones with OLED display.
The new app design rules announced today don’t mean much till Apple forces existing apps to support the iPhone X and the iOS 11 SDK. As pointed out by 9to5Mac, the majority of the App Store is dominated by updates and most developers will be targeting the iPhone X as a top priority when they start working on a new app. The announcement comes even as Apple shifts its focus to reliability and performance over adding new features with the major update of iOS.