Problem of Yearly Releases

Gigaom has a good post on the problem of yearly releases. iCloud drive is a mess since there’s not a simultaneous Yosemite and iOS8 release. Honestly though the signs of change are there. With iOS8 there are major changes coming with 8.1 (Apple Pay) and then large 8.2 and 8.3 releases. (One of which will be the watch release) Ideally we’d stop syncing phone releases with the major OS release.

Ideally we’d have WWDC in March and then the iOS release in August and the phones released the end of September but with major releases – 3 or 4 – throughout the year with major features that don’t require a lot of developer work to integrate. Heck, remember the year OSX’ new release was announced in January with betas in February? We need more of that.

The other thing we need is something akin to Snow Leopard again. Those of you who’ve been using Macs a long time remember that was the release that didn’t add many, if any, noticeable features. But it did clean up all the internal code.

Apple’s been at a breakneck pace to compete with Google. However the time really has come to slow down a bit. The OS is mature. Yet the apis have been changing so fast it’s hard to keep up with what one is supposed to do. (At least for part time developers like me) I think developers have been hit hard because of several things going on at once:

  • the glut in apps in the iOS apps store making it hard to make money
  • the low prices in software at the moment
  • having to spend so much time keeping up with OS changes to remain competitive

I know some roll their eyes at this, but all of those make it hard to have the money to spend time writing complex key components that make your apps stand out from others. Every day you spend adjusting your app to look good on the latest device or OS build is an other day you’re not adding significant features or writing a new app. It all adds up.

What I hope is that perhaps this is now slowing down a bit. We’ll see I guess.

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