After an outcry from some developers, Apple has announced a slight tweak to the new feature that will let legacy iOS device owners download older versions of apps.
Here’s Apple’s message on its news site for developers:
Previous versions of your apps are now available for re‑download by users who have already purchased them, allowing customers to use your apps with older devices which may no longer be supported by the current version of your app. If you do not wish to make these versions available, you can manage the availability of your apps’ previous versions in the Rights and Pricing section of the Manage Your Apps module in iTunes Connect.
So, if a developer doesn’t want to allow users to download older versions of their apps, they have the opportunity to disable that option.
First reported on earlier this week, the feature would allow owners of older devices, like the iPhone 3GS, to download the last version of an app that was compatible with their version of iOS.
Even though that sounds like a very nice perk for users, especially since a number of devices can’t be upgraded to iOS 7, some developers were concerned.
Kyle Richter, CEO and founder of Dragon Forged Software, was one developer who specifically voiced some concern. Some older version of apps might have bugs or other issues. But more importantly, an API change could easily render an older version of an app unable to function.
And Richter rightfully wondered if users would blame developers if the older apps don’t work. But in this case, I’m glad Apple has listened to developer concerns and revamped the policy.