iOS 7 teaser (iPhone 5s ad 003)

Apple has published a new note on its developer portal this evening, announcing some upcoming changes to its App Store policy. Starting next year, all new App Store submissions must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and ‘optimized for iOS 7.’

The new rule goes into effect on February 1, 2014, and applies to both new apps and updates. So that means that, after this date, any apps that are built on older versions of Xcode or that haven’t been optimized for iOS 7 will be rejected from the App Store…

Here’s the announcement:

“Starting February 1, new apps and app updates submitted to the app Store must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and must be optimized for iOS 7. Learn more about preparing your apps by reviewing the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.”

Now to be clear, “optimizing” an app for iOS 7 does not necessarily mean that you need to flatten all of your icons and splash white paint every where. It just means that the underlying code in the app must be optimized for the latest major release of iOS.

The consensus is that this will inspire developers who haven’t already updated their apps for iOS 7 to do so. Earlier this month, Apple announced that its new firmware has seen a surprisingly stout adoption rate of 74% since it debuted just three months ago.