What you really need to know is:

  1. Your app MUST use the iOS 13 SDK by April 2020.
  2. Apps developed (new or existing ones) that use an OLDER SDK will NOT be accepted from that point onwards.
  3. Apps need to support all-screen design of iPhone XS Max or later.

So the countdown has already begun as Apple Inc. has made an official announcement on the mandatory updates for iOS Apps and watchOS Apps to be submitted to the App Store by April 2020.

Submit Your iOS Apps to the App Store
September 10, 2019

With iOS 13, your app can take advantage of Dark Mode, a dramatic new look for iPhone, Sign in with Apple, the fast, easy way to sign in to apps, and the latest advances in ARKit 3, Core ML 3, and Siri. Build your apps using Xcode 11 GM seed, test them on iOS devices running the latest GM seeds, and submit them for review.

Starting April 2020, all new apps and app updates will need to be built with the iOS 13 SDK and support the all-screen design of iPhone XS Max or later.

What does this really mean and why should the App Owners be worried?

Before you know what this buzz is all about, you should know why Apple Inc. makes these updates mandatory across their offerings each time.

There are millions of apps in the app stores. Over a period of time, there has been a series of iPhone, iPad and Apple watch devices launched and so were the Operating system versions. In order to keep a uniformity across their platform, Apple literally pushes the app owners to migrate to the latest and most feature-rich technology in their basket.

The just released iOS 13 include the new Siri features, new location settings, dark mode, a more secure and authenticated sign-in feature and many others.

This means that if your app includes any of these features or even have functions that rely on any of these features, you might need help from mobile developers to update and make your apps compliant – like right now!!

Features that might influence your iOS Apps and watchOS Apps


Social Sign-in with Apple ID login

Does your app include a social sign-in feature? Such as Sign-in with Facebook, Sign-in with Google or Sign-in with Twitter etc.? Then you need to update the login APIs in order to support the additional security Apple has come up for its users.

Failing to comply to this feature, your app might be compromised and lose Apple users’ trust. Think of this like an eCommerce website but without the HTTPS (SSL) not installed.

The Software Development Kit Update

All the apps – weather created from scratch and up for the maiden submission or the already available apps in the app store and are to be resubmitted with an add-on feature, optimization etc. will have to be built with iOS 13 SDK.

Sections of your app might need to be recoded which used the deprecated methods of the SDK that were removed in the updated version. This is crucial not only from the app’s code health and performance but also the fact that your app will be rejected and you will not be allowed to update your app anymore thereafter.

Provisioning UX validation for new UI changes

The iPhone XS Max and later come with a larger screen of 6.7 inches also known as the ‘all-screen’ devices. Your apps that were built for older iPhone screens, might not align or even open proportionately across these new resolutions leaving behind unstable experience for the users.

Updates might include a reasonable adjustment to the round corners of the devices as well as the Notch on the new iPhones.

The Dark (Knight) Mode

The much awaited, much rumoured feature is finally announced – the Dark Mode. It is a feature that converts the complete OS aesthetics from light to dark (and vice versa) either by default (i.e. dark upon sunset and light again upon sunrise) or the users may custom schedule it as well.

As far as the apps are concerned, these need to be adopted to the new color mode. If you do not update the appearance sensitive changes in your app, your app may stop drawing its content correctly for the current environment.

The BIG Apple Watch Update

Submit Your watchOS Apps to the App Store
September 11, 2019

With watchOS 6, customers around the world can use the new App Store on Apple Watch to easily discover, browse, search, and install apps directly on their wrist. And for the first time, you can distribute an app just for Apple Watch, without a companion app on iOS. Build your watchOS apps using Xcode 11 GM seed, test them on devices running the latest watchOS 6 GM seed, and submit them for review.

Starting April 2020, all new watchOS apps and app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the watchOS 6 SDK and support Apple Watch Series 4 or later.

This means that all new watchOS apps and the ones which are already in the Apple Watch App Store, will be mandatory to use watchOS 6 SDK. Furthermore, support for Apple Watch Series 4 or above shall be provided.

Another big leap the watchOS SDK has made is that your watchOS apps can be created or the existing ones can be updated to run solely on the Apple Watch without the dependency of its companion app on an iPhone separately.

The deadline to submit the updates for watchOS is April 2020 as well.

Other Crucial Updates

Amongst other major changes the OS 13 brings is the way geo-data in your existing apps is being fetched. The update includes additional options for the users such as ‘Allow once’, ‘Ask Next Time’ etc. that are mandatory updates for your app for re-submission.

So how to handle this?

If you app includes any of these other features or coding assets of ARKit 3, Core ML 3 and Siri, your app needs a preventive medical check-up done.

We, as developers from the iOS apps community are under tremendous pressure to using the latest technologies to offer customers a consistent experience across all of their apps. Our sincere suggestion to you, being the app owner, would be to:

  • STEP 1: Get an audit done for your app to figure out which elements are not compatible with iOS 13
  • STEP 2: Prioritize the bug-list created in Step 1 – analyze what are the minimum changes required to make your app iOS 13 compatible. 
  • STEP 3: After completing the changes as identified in Step 2, perform a thorough testing before deploying these with resubmission to the App store.

Let’s not waste any time but empower your app with the feature-rich iOS 13 and comply to the deadlines set aside by Apple Inc.

For any assistance required in creating a new iOS 13 compatible app or getting a no-obligation audit performed for your existing iOS / watchOS apps, please get in touch with us today!