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What the New Apple Devices Mean for Developers

Mobile development pros don't have to redo their apps for the iPhone 6—unless they want to use the new features.


On Tuesday, Apple unveiled a trio of new devices: the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch. Both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus feature much larger screens than the iPhone 5 (4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively, compared to 4 inches for the iPhone 5). They also have significantly better resolution.

The good news for developers is that they won't need to rewrite their apps for the new screen sizes. iOS 8 has a desktop-class scaler that "just works," promised Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller. However, mobile development pros will need to redo their apps if they want to take advantage of new iPhone 6 features like the extra resolution, horizontal viewing, and Reachability.

The Apple Watch will not run iPhone and iPad apps but offers a whole new market for apps. "This is just validation of the category [of smartwatches]," said Mike Maser, the chief executive of FitStar, an iOS-only personal training exercise app.

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