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New mobile OS versions

Using Perfect Ward on iOS 10 and Android 7.0 Nougat - plus retiring iOS 7 compatibility

· iOS,Android,Development

As summer turns to autumn, it seems there is now a seasonal tradition of updating mobile operating systems. This bring a mixture of excitement and fear to developers, as it potentially lets us do new, useful things with smartphones and tablets, but also risks breaking features that were working perfectly happily on previous versions.

Android v7.0 (nicknamed "Nougat")

All Android versions are nicknamed after something sweet, with each new version working through the letters of the alphabet.

Version 7.0 of Android is now available on a hand-full of phones (individual manufacturers can choose when to make it available for their handsets, and some will need to do a lot of work to make that possible). We've been testing Perfect Ward on Nougat using the Google Nexus 5x, and so far we haven't spotted any issues. But Android can be a tricky beast, as the implementation on each different model can vary in ways that developers cannot predict. So if you have got a new phone running Nougat and you experience any problems please do let us know.

Apple iOS 10

Apple iOS 10 is, at the time of writing, almost here. We're not predicting any issues with compatibility as we've designed with iOS 10 in mind, but you're never fully sure until the final version is released (13th September 2016). We will keep a careful eye on compatibility and across the team we have most Apple devices to test Perfect Ward on, but again if you issues please let us know.

Retiring old versions - iOS 7

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of the new mobile operating system versions launching is that it gets very difficult to maintain backwards compatibility as far back as we'd like. With the launch of iOS 10, we will no longer be able to support iOS 7. It's something we do reluctantly, particularly as we put quite a lot of effort into getting Perfect Ward to work with iOS 7 in the first place. This is largely out of our control - many of the components we use within the app ("libraries") are already no longer iOS 7 compatible, and we would be harming the functionality of the app for the vast majority of our users to maintain usage for a very small number still on iOS 7. In fact analysis of our users shows that fewer than 1% of users are now running iOS 7. About the only iOS device that is impacted is the original iPhone 4 on sale from 2010 until 2013 (not the subsequent 4S model, that's fine) - all phones and iPads since then should be able to upgrade to iOS 8 or later (and probably already have). If you think this is likely to impact you or your users, please let us know - either contact us through our standard channels, or get in touch with your usual Perfect Ward contact. And if you're really interested in the precise detail, there are some great graphics like this that explain it all very well.

For now we do not have the same issues of backwards compatibility on Android, but we will keep you posted next time we do need to make changes to Android version support.

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