After Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) executive in charge of the company's mobile software division, Scott Forstall, was ousted, there were doubts. Would Apple's design guru, Jony Ive, be able to carry over his magic from hardware to the software? Now the answer is here, and it's looking good.
After Apple previewed iOS 7 in June, optimism for Apple's new design began to surface. Now, with iOS 7 live, initial positivity surrounding the update is turning borderline euphoric.
Reviews for Apple's new mobile operating system mostly are positive. Here are a few snippets.
While we were all a bit shocked with the look when it was first introduced, it doesn't take long to adapt. In fact, there are many things I like better." -- Jim Dalrymple, The Loop
Like any big change, it's a shock at first, but I have come to like it and consider it a step forward, despite a few issues. -- Walt Mossberg, AllThingsD
In my view, iOS is still simpler to use than Android, and made even simpler in iOS 7.-- Ed Baig, USA Today
Customers have flocked to download iOS 7 faster than any other previous version.
Mixpanel's live iOS 7 adoption tracker indicates 46% of iOS users have already downloaded iOS 7 -- just two days after launch. Even more, adoption of iOS 7 has already passed up the adoption of Google's Android Jelly Bean.
The total overhaul on the iOS 7 design sparked a number of developers to redesign their apps. Popular productivity app, Evernote, says it was "inspired" by Apple's minimalistic design. A look at many of the new apps hitting the App Store seems to suggest that Evernote speaks for many of the developers launching iOS 7 apps; many of the redesigned apps seem to sport the "flatter" approach that Apple used in iOS 7.
Developer willingness to quickly update their apps, of course, leads to a greater willingness for consumers to upgrade to the latest version of iOS. Apple saw an opportunity to turn revamped apps into a reason for consumers to upgrade; shortly after iOS went live, Apple launched a "Designed for iOS 7" section in the App store to highlight the apps made specifically for the new version.
Positive reviews and soaring adoption is more than just bragging rights for Apple. The company's ability to continually compel its users to upgrade to the latest version has real benefits.
Apple's popular new version of iOS makes things a whole lot easier for developers. With an installed base of nearly 700 million iOS devices, high adoption rates on such a large number make it worthwhile for developers to invest in updates on the platform. Sure enough, developers are moving rapidly. A survey of 575 iOS developers suggests that 95% of developers are already working on adding support for iOS 7. Even more, 52% of developers' new versions of their apps will require iOS 7.
A combination of consumer and developer willingness to adopt Apple's latest updates is the driving force behind higher revenue for developers, and better security for consumers. Apple's App Store generated developers 2.3 times more sales than Google's app store, Google Play, according to analytics firm App Annie. The U.S. Department of Homeland and Security favors iOS over Android due to Apple's better security, citing Android's poor adoption rates as a serious security issue.
Apple investors can sleep well knowing iOS 7 looks set to preserve Apple's dominance among competing app markets. The stronger the app ecosystem, the more developer investment. The more developer investment, the stronger the app ecosystem. The cycle goes on and on.