Developers aren’t happy with Apple’s surprise release of iOS 14

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Turns out developers want more of a heads up before a major OS update is pushed to over one and a half billion users.

Apple’s event yesterday was focused on launching shiny new watches and tablets. The only major announcement for developers was the bombshell that iOS 14 is launching today:

Ok, so granted there’ve been eight public betas of iOS 14. Most developers probably knew a final release was imminent. Shihab was among those who was fortunately as prepared as could be:

However, we say “prepared as could be” because Apple didn’t even issue final tools until yesterday – a fact highlighted by renowned developer Steve Troughton-Smith:

But wait, it gets worse.

Many developers have been left bewildered by Apple’s actions. This isn’t Cupertino’s first rodeo—the company has a process in place which, to coin a phrase from the great Steve Jobs, “just works”.

Here’s how the process typically goes:

  • Apple announces new OS releases during its annual WWDC conference, which gives developers a heads up of the new features they’ll have at their disposal.
  • The company generally releases around 5-7 betas (although this has reached up to 12) where it fixes some things while breaking others.
  • Around a week before the final release, Apple releases a “Golden Master” of the OS and developer tools.
  • Developers use this week to ensure any tweaks during the betas haven’t broken their apps or updates are made for newly-announced devices. The app is then prepared for submission.
  • Apps are submitted as ahead of the full OS release as possible to accommodate for Apple’s notoriously slow approval process.

Developers have been left with just a day to do those last three points. Many approvals won’t happen in time and some apps could be left broken during a period when there’s a lot of hype around the new OS release and people are trying apps:

What a mess.

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Tags: apple, Apps, Developers, development, featured, ios 14, ipad, ipad os, iphone, mobile, os, smartphones, tools, xcode


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