Three Hidden Costs You Will Pay To Upgrade Your Apps to iOS 11

Dusko Savic
4 min readNov 16, 2017

Every year Apple releases a new version iOS and if you have apps in the App Store, you need to upgrade them. In several previous versions, the penalty for not upgrading the apps to the latest version of iOS was not severe. There used to be many apps published in, say, 2014, and still running happily on iPhones and iPad. However, this year, 2017, Apple will punish you if you do not upgrade your apps to the 64 version — your app will not be seen in the Store any more. The apps will continue to function for the existing users, but there will be no more fresh downloads… a death sentence for any app.

Death Sentence For Your App

Here is what one such letter looks like:

Letter from Apple — your app will be deleted from the App Store

(I received this letter because I was appointed as an admin within the account of the company that engaged me to upgrade the apps for them.)

There are three kinds of costs involved.

Upgrade the Existing Source Code To iOS 11

This may be a huge task in itself. Take local notifications as an example. Versions 8, 9, and 10 of iOS all had different ways of coding the notifications, all of these changes being dictated by Apple itself. Version 11 does not bring a new system for notifications, but if you skipped upgrading the app when iOS 10 was new, you will have to do it now anyways.

If you app is using video or audio player, you will have to start using the AVPlayer in iOS 11. And it will work much better, so not all change is bad for your app!

If you have missed upgrading the code in several areas for a couple of years, it will be all thrown into your face now. You or your developer will spend more hours in upgrading to iOS 11 than you would like to hear about. If you are in the business of publishing apps but are not a coder on your own, be prepared to pay larger than usual sums for upgrading the code.

Recreate the App Anew for iOS 11

The second source of hidden costs is to recreate each app anew, possibly using the enhanced capabilities of newer iPhone and iPads. For instance, you may want to include the Drag and Drop functionality into your app, with which you can transfer content from one app to another.

iPad compatibility may be another problem. iOS 11 for iPad is now (almost) a standalone operating system, different from the iOS 11 for iPhone. There is a new persistent Dock, a new App Switcher and so on.

If you want your app to be modern and use iOS 11 natively, you may well decide to support its new capabilities and — you guessed it — the costs of upgrading will just be higher and higher.

Publishing the App to the Store

The third kind of cost is to publish the apps in the App Store. The graphics may be new, the description text too and so on. Another kind of problem may be that Apple is now much faster and also much pickier about what they allow into the app store, so the price of submission to the store needs to be considered and even enlarged as to what it was before.

Apple seems now to want to crush the apps that have the same code base, i.e. the apps that are made with one base template. If you are app studio and have ten restaurants as ten separate customers but have used the same template for all the apps, Apple may crush you still — in spite of all the apps being different in content and targeting different markets.

For now it seems that changing the code base makes it harder for Apple to reject such apps. The price to pay is to have the developer change the code and that makes the publishing process slower and more expensive still.

Let Me Upgrade Your App To iOS 11

All three hurdles need to be overcome in order to have the apps again in the App Store, compatible with iOS 11. If you want help, click here to send me an email and get your upgraded app into the App Store again.

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Originally published at on November 16, 2017.



Dusko Savic

Mobile developer since 2011. Specialized in Flutter since July 2018. Rewriting old apps in Flutter.