Trivially and iOS 7 (Part 1)

This is the first of two posts detailing our plans for supporting CrowdGame Trivially on iOS 7.

Wrapping our heads around iOS 7

We’ve been using early versions of iOS 7 for a while now, and are excited about most of the decisions Apple made about how to move iOS forward, from an end-user experience perspective.

However, now that Apple has changed the operating system, the apps must follow. For the most part, existing apps should mostly run as-is under iOS 7 (as to why “mostly”, see below regarding Trivially).

However, Apple’s vision and intention is that app developers follow Apple’s lead with the new design; Apple would be happiest if all existing apps were updated to use iOS 7’s new features and design overnight. Based on its experience with previous releases, Apple expects the vast majority of its iOS users to upgrade to iOS 7 within weeks. It’s really astonishing how quickly the millions of iPhone, iPad, and iPod users take up Apple’s major new iOS offerings.

To that end, we’ve been working to figure out where and how we should change Trivially to adapt/adopt to iOS 7’s new design and capabilities. Generally speaking, the changes are fairly specific and targeted, since Trivially is a fairly customized full-screen experience. And a bit of the work is “under the hood”, where the magic happens. 

As of this writing, we’ve identified the backlog of work that has to be done, and have made good progress on doing the work. And so, we thought we’d share what we know so far.

The current version of Trivially, 2.3, runs “mostly” fine on iOS 7

The first thing we did was test the current version of Trivially on iOS 7. The good news is that it works fine EXCEPT: sound does not work. So, if you can live without sound for a while, please continue to enjoy version 2.3 of Trivially once you upgrade to iOS 7.

The next version of Trivially, 2.5, will be iOS 7 only

At this point, this is what we can tell you about this new version.

Version 2.5 of Trivially will only run on iOS 7. Taking this approach allows us to focus on ensuring that Trivially delivers a robust and entertaining experience on iOS 7, which we expect the vast majority of our users to upgrade to within days or weeks of iOS 7’s release.

According to our analytical data, about 10% of our current users enjoy Trivially on iPad 1 devices. Since iOS 7 doesn’t support iPad 1, those users won’t be able to upgrade to Trivially 2.5. Those users will need to continue with Trivially 2.3. This was the difficult part of the decision for us. While we’d like to always have all of our users using the latest and greatest version of Trivially, we don’t have the resources to ensure that it works excellently on both iOS 7 and pre-iOS 6 devices. We suspect that many, if not most, of the smaller app development houses will take this approach, and that Apple expects us to.

Remote experience on Mobile Safari

The experience that remote players have – in multi-player situations where each player visits to join the game – will be degraded slightly due to Apple’s changes to full screen options in Mobile Safari.

Prior to iOS 7, we could control more aspects of the experience, so that the player saw more Trivially on the screen, and less iOS (specifically, the browser address bar). Now, however, iOS no longer allows Trivially to hide the address bar, with the result that the player will need to scroll the page up slightly to see his or her player name at the very bottom of the screen.

While this is hopefully just a slight annoyance to the user, it’s much more of an annoyance to us, since we designed that screen carefully, down to the last pixel.

As far as we know, there’s no way to automatically make use of the full page in iOS 7, as was possible in earlier versions. We’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Next Steps – Trivially 2.5

We’re working as fast as possible to release Trivially 2.5, to address the sound issue and other work that we’ve identified. We expect to submit this new version to Apple for review within a week or so.

Watch this blog for more info, as we get closer to releasing Trivially 2.5. And, as always, thanks for your support!