updated 02:56 pm EST, Wed December 18, 2013
Guideline enforcement begins February 1
Apple has notified developers of new guidelines that require all new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store to be optimized for iOS 7. The company is preparing to enforce the new rules beginning February 1, giving developers a few weeks to download the latest version of Xcode 5 and make any necessary changes before submitting their updates or new titles.
Four maintenance updates have already arrived for the operating system, which stands at v7.0.4, and developers are currently testing the second v7.1 beta.
Apple's notification directs developers to view iOS human-interface guidelines, promoting a refreshed UI that "helps users understand and interact with content, but never competes with it." The documents provide an overview of the iOS 7 concept, along with suggestions for stripping away an old UI and rebuilding it to align with the new themes.
A recent report issued by Apple suggests that more than 74 percent of compatible devices are running iOS 7, with just 22 percent still running a v6.x build. The company has yet to announce a time-frame for releasing iOS 7.1 to the general public, though the update is believed to be nearly finished.