By Julie Bort
Don't be in a hurry to upgrade to the new iPhone software, iOS 7, when it's released to the public on Wednesday unless you like buggy apps that crash all the time, an app testing company is warning. An enormous number of iPhone app makers are behind the eight ball in getting their apps to work properly with iOS 7, says Matt Johnston, chief marketing officer of uTest, a Massachusetts-based startup that does crowdsourced testing of mobile apps for companies like Google, Amazon, HBO, USA Today.
Among uTest's customers, "90% of iOS apps tested for first time are having trouble," Johnston said. Apps are having performance problems in twice as many areas as they typically do and it's taking developers three or four tries to fix all the things that iOS 7 breaks. And by trouble he means big stuff, like crashing or mis-sized fonts will cut off the text.
iOS 6 apps that use the swipe up function could have big problems. That gesture won't be available to the app with iOS 7. Apple has commandeered swipe-up to bring up its new "Command Center." Apple warned that the change from iOS 6 to iOS 7 is the biggest change in years, but a lot of app developers weren't listening. "I just talked to one large retail player and one large travel player and asked about iOS 7 upgrade plans and they said they didn't think it will that big a deal," he told us.
This is different, and far worse, than the usual iOS upgrade. "When we moved from iOS 4 to 5 to 6, we weren't seeing this kind of spike in both performance issues and UI rendering issues," he says. The app problems won't last long, maybe a few weeks. So if you can hold off from upgrading that long you might be thankful. That's Johnston's personal plan.
"I will not be the first one to upgrade iOS 7," he laughs.