A new year always brings change. From new friendships to new opportunities, a new year carries anticipation, excitement, hope … and apprehension. Yes, change can be scary at first, but often the greatest changes open the door for growth and possibilities.
A new year, a new version of Proloquo2Go, a new version of iOS
Every once in a while we face a tough decision. Should the next version of Proloquo2Go continue to support older iOS versions? Or, can we focus on the most recent iOS version? On the one hand, supporting multiple iOS versions increases the workload of our development and quality assurance teams by 30 to 50%. On the other hand, dropping support for an older iOS version means that people using older devices will not be able to use the new Proloquo2Go version.
Apple is no longer able to support iPad 2, iPad 3 and the first generation iPad mini with iOS 10. This means that by making Proloquo2Go 5 iOS 10.2 and later only, it will no longer work on these devices. These are really old devices, originally released in 2011 and 2012. Yet we know there are quite a few Proloquo2Go users who still rely on these iPads. After all, the iPad 2 continued to be sold until March 2014 and the first generation iPad mini until June 2015.
Dropping support for older devices is not something we take lightly. In 2015, we spent months of extra work on Proloquo2Go 4 for it to run reasonably smoothly on these old devices. As much as we would have wanted Proloquo2Go 5 to run on iOS 9 and older devices, we have come to the conclusion that the required efforts outweigh the benefits.
First, Proloquo2Go 4.4 is an extremely solid release that serves users of older devices well. Next, Proloquo2Go 5 offers new features that require faster hardware found in newer devices. Finally, already 50% of Proloquo2Go 4.4 users run iOS 10. This is just two months after iOS 10 came out. So, by focusing on iOS 10, we can significantly reduce our development and quality assurance efforts. Instead of spending months of work on compatibility with an old iOS version and old devices, we can add more new, exciting features and deliver them sooner. While a tough call, we believe this will make a difference for users in the end.
Because we know that not everyone has the means to go out and buy a new iPad, we want to give you an early heads-up. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas coming up, you might be able to pick up a sweet deal. If not, version 4.4 is an excellent AAC app with great support for English, Spanish and French. On any device that supports iOS 9, you will continue to be able to download version 4.4, even after version 5 is released sometime next year.
Change is in the air, so keep an eye on AssistiveWare as we continue to deliver new features that serve AAC users across the globe!
~ David Niemeijer and Joe Barnick
David Niemeijer is the founder and CEO of AssistiveWare and has been active in the Assistive Technology field since 1996. Joe Barnick is a member of AssistiveWare’s Support Team and has been involved with AssistiveWare for many years.