Since the time of the iPhone’s inception, there have been 4 generations accompanied by 4 major updates to Apple’s ‘On the go’ operating system, dubbed iOS. Each new version of the iPhone and its iOS add another aspect to the mobile device: the iPhone 3g complemented the improvements of the 3g network and global positioning; the iPhone 3GS was improved with a compass, a better processor, and a higher-resolution camera, including video; iPhone 4 has two cameras for FaceTime video calls and a higher resolution screen. Due to these differences between each iPhone enhancement, new iPhone applications have been developed with different generations of iPhone. To compensate for all these changes and maintain compatibility between different types of iPhone, developers compile many versions of their apps for each iOS. For example, not all apps can take advantage of the multitasking performance of iOS 4. And some apps require a specific type of iOS to be present to work perfectly.
Most of the apps with different versions of iPhone not only fix bugs but also improve more functionality allowing all the new features that the new iOS comes with. Occasionally, a user will need to use an older app type, as the new type may no longer be compatible with their specific device. To clear up any confusion, manufacturers can point to the minimum iOS type required to use their particular app. 3 apps that have specific version changes to maintain compatibility are Atomic Web Browser, Meebo, and instapaper. Next, let’s take a look at how apps have evolved to work with each new version of iPhone.
The first app that has new types for alternative iPhones is Atomic Web Browser. This app has changed many times to maintain functionality on all types of iPhone. The latest type, 4.0.1 (at the time of writing, includes a TV-out feature for both iPhone4 and iPad. In addition, the latest version of the Atomic web browser contains numerous fixes for bugs that were a result of iOS 4.2. Similar to the Atomic web browser, Meebo is interoperable with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, but the app requires the device to be running iOS 3.1.3 or later Thanks to a recent update, Meebo now also supports iOS 4, as well as a list of bugs fixes that will strengthen future iOS functionality One of the recent generations of Meebo, 1.3.1, now has multitasking support like many other apps that have been updated to take advantage of new features in iOS 4. The third app, Instapaper, incorporates an important Version 2.3.1 fix that caused a crash on iPads running iOS 3.2.
These apps are just a few examples of how developers are constantly creating different updates for every new iOS update that is released for iPhone, iPad Touch, and iPad. With each update created for iPhone OS, there is new operability and functionality, but the differences also lead to bugs and backward compatibility issues. Regardless of what version of iPhone you have, it’s safe to say that there is a version of the app that is especially for the phone.