Apple is requiring all apps submitted to its App Store after 1 February 2014 to be optimised for iOS 7 and built using the latest version of the Xcode 5 development framework. The change applies to both new apps and updates.
Over the past few years, Apple has been encouraging developers to support the latest editions of its OS more rapidly.
This is likely to be even more important with iOS 7, which represents the biggest upgrade in terms of functionality between versions of Apple’s mobile OS, featuring a distinct new look that older apps will not fit into.
According to Apple’s developer support centre, 76 per cent of all iOS devices are running the latest version, compared to 20 per cent using iOS 6.
Xcode 5 includes 64-bit support and access to features such as multitasking APIs. An app can be built against the latest version of Xcode without having to be redesigned, according to TechCrunch, but may need to be reworked to function correctly for iOS 7.