inessential by Brent Simmons

Dropping Support for Older OS Releases

On the Black Pixel blog, Rick Fillion notes that they’re dropping OS X 10.7 support from NetNewsWire.

I don’t disagree with it, but it’s not quite the right call.

The right call would have been to drop 10.8 support also. Here’s why:

  • There’s almost no barrier to OS updates these days. They’re free and easy to install.

  • People who don’t upgrade their OS are also the kind of people who don’t buy apps.

  • An app succeeds based on quality, not breadth of OS support. You can make a better app by using newer APIs. You can make a better app by not having to spend coding and testing resources supporting older versions of the OS.

Yes, you will leave some small number of people behind. It’s worth the trade-off, though, because it’s your job to make the very best app you can make.

(These remarks apply to iOS also. No sense in supporting iOS 6. Once iOS 8 comes out, you should drop support for iOS 7.)