Too many apps still look lousy on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The oversized, ugly status bar still greets us several times each day. And the system keyboard ever-so-slightly changing size is enough to make anyone crazy. Why? It's been nearly three months since iOS 8 launched to consumers, and while many developers big and small were quick to optimize their apps for Apple's bigger screens, there's still a massive list of laggards. And that list includes some pretty huge, powerful, and wealthy companies.
When we say "iPhone 6 support," we mean it at the most basic level: just make your app look right on the bigger-screened phones. After all, that's the way most developers are going; apps show longer lists, more emails, a few more songs, and so forth. We're not asking for radical redesigns, as clearly not many app makers are trying that. That kind of thing takes time. We're just getting tired of squinting at fuzzy text is all.
Before moving on, it's worth mentioning two apps that just barely escaped public shaming: Spotify and SoundCloud. Spotify repeatedly dashed our hopes by delivering several updates to its iPhone app in recent months, but only today did the company finally get around to making things look right on Apple's flagship phones.
@chriswelch Hey Chris. Rest assured we're working on it as we speak. Stay tuned :) /J— SpotifyCares (@SpotifyCares) December 9, 2014
Snapchat was also pretty late, sneaking in an iPhone 6 / 6 Plus update just a few days ago. But honestly, that's one case where we doubt most of its users ever noticed. On to the list, then.
How is it that this massively popular music app has gone months without an iPhone 6 update? We understand that Pandora's got plenty on its plate thanks to ongoing tussles with record labels and artists who want more money for streams. And to be fair, the app still fundamentally works just fine — much like the others on this list. An iPhone 6-optimized Pandora won't make your favorite stations sound any better, but it'd certainly look nicer.
Apparently one of the web's leading online retailers can't spare a few developers to make its app look right on new iPhones. That's somewhat surprising, since eBay has traditionally been very quick to embrace new iOS features. Apple software VP Craig Federighi even used the company's app to demonstrate the addition of widgets in iOS 8. Yet here we are in December with no update. Same goes for PayPal, by the way.
You could argue that Google's important apps have been optimized for iPhone 6. But if that's your stance, you must not consider Google+ very important. Maybe Google doesn't, either. It still hasn't been updated for Apple's latest handsets. And other Google releases have also gone without fixes. That list includes Google Voice, Google Authenticator, Google Earth, and Google Play Movies and TV. In fairness, Google's been very good about getting speedy updates to Docs, Drive, Play Music, and earlier today it revamped the core Google app for iOS.
Speaking of Google, the company's other navigation app still hasn't been brought up to speed for iPhone 6. Waze, which Google acquired back in June for $1 billion, still hasn't been updated to look its best on those new iPhone displays. A late-October app update offered "enhanced iOS 8 compatibility," but did nothing to rid us of the ugly status bar. For the most part, Waze still works fine. Street names are a bit fuzzy though, so there's room for improvement — if you're not already using Google Maps, that is.
Starbucks seems to put a pretty big focus on design and making its app like nice, so why the long wait for an iPhone 6 update? Again, it technically works fine; you can still hold up your phone to pay for your pumpkin spice latte. But the scaling that iOS 8 does to fit Starbucks on both new iPhones makes text look pretty fuzzy. Again, we'd have expected to see a software update sooner. But there's been nothing.
So let's get this straight. Square Cash, the Venmo competitor that makes Jack Dorsey little to no money, looks just splendid on the iPhone 6 Plus. But Square Register — the app that helps many customers and small businesses make a living — still has the humongous status bar and ugly text. Someone explain those priorities.
Fandango's been on iOS forever and normally moves swiftly to keep up with Apple's software changes. You can store your movie tickets in Passbook, after all, and the app's got a sleek iOS 7 design with some neat accelerometer/gyroscope visual tricks built in. But clearly something's holding up an iPhone 6 update, and as a result Fandango just doesn't look great on the latest Apple phones. You're better off asking Siri for movie times.
An average review rating of 4.5 stars suggests that Seamless users aren't desperate for an iPhone 6 update. But sharper images would only look those menu items look more delicious. It's not like GrubHub is moving any faster, but at least it looks at home on iOS 8. Seamless, on the other hand, still looks like an iOS 6-era app. Ordering lunch is still super simple, but it might be time for a makeover here.
This list is pretty long. Other than Target, very few big retailers have made the necessary optimizations to support Apple's latest devices. Best Buy, Walmart, Walgreens, Home Depot... and on and on and on.
Most major banks (Bank of America, Citibank, etc.)
The big banks lined up to participate in Apple Pay, but they're still lagging badly when it comes to updating their actual iOS apps. You wouldn't expect these huge businesses to move swiftly, and they're most definitely not. Simple stands as a notable exception. The nimble, online-only bank moved to support iPhone 6 in no time at all.
There's been some tension within Tinder's leadership ranks recently, so maybe that explains the slowdown in pushing out new iOS features. Last updated in October with "bug fixes," we might have to wait for Tinder Premium to show up before swiping left truly feels right on an iPhone 6 Plus. IAC hasn't had the same trouble with its other dating app, OKCupid, which is now a 100 percent match for Apple's most recent phones.
Ticketmaster and StubHub
We already feel bad enough about blowing so much money on concert and sports tickets. Can't these companies put at least some of our cash towards app development? StubHub is owned by eBay, so we're not entirely surprised to see sluggishness here. And Ticketmaster is Ticketmaster, so...
Microsoft's been pretty great about bringing new features to its SmartGlass app on iOS and other platforms. It's taking a bit long to get the console companion looking its best on iPhone 6, however. As for Sony, the company has a pretty terrible history of providing timely updates for its other mobile apps, so we're somewhat pessimistic about getting one here. The PlayStation team seems to move a bit faster, but there's still no telling when or if it'll bother to fix PlayStation App for bigger screens.
Oh, SportsCenter. Your sole purpose is showing us sports scores and news stories. Text. Everything is text. And it looks pretty terrible at the moment — especially on iPhone 6 Plus. I'm not even sure how Apple allowed ESPN to create an iOS 8 widget for an app that hasn't been optimized for its flagship phones.
These are just a few examples that continue to test our patience. If you're equally bothered by other remaining holdouts, feel free to make your own list in the comments.