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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