Published: Fri, November 22, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple to change in-house testing process for iOS 14 development

Apple to change in-house testing process for iOS 14 development

The new process will change how new features are introduced into daily builds of unreleased software. If testers want to toy with the buggy features anyway, they will be able to enable them individually through a new settings menu called Flags, which should sound familiar to Chrome users. Apple released iOS 13.1 less than a week later with an eyebrow-raising 24 bug fixes in the changelog. The initial version of iOS 13 was so buggy that Apple has had to rush out several patches.

Going forward, Apple's head of software development Craig Federighi will require all buggy and unfinished features to be turned off by default in the daily builds, and the testers can then choose to flip the switch at will, resulting in a much more streamlined process, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Bloomberg reports today that Apple is implementing a new way of testing software releases for iOS 14.

As mentioned earlier, this isn't a major update and the sole objective of it is to fix niggling issues rather than introduce new features.

By disabling the new features, testers should be able to better tell what works and what doesn't.

But, in any case, it will still likely become a welcome change for Apple users, who have become increasingly frustrated with the number of bugs in iOS 13 and Apple's other 2019 software releases.

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Bloomberg reports that the test software "got so crammed with changes at different stages of development that the devices often became hard to use".

Bloomberg's report also talks about the problems Apple had with iOS 13.

While the feature isolation is a new tactic that Apple will use to keep bugs at bay, we've seen a similar approach in the past.

By August, realizing that the initial iOS 13.0 set to ship with new iPhones a few weeks later wouldn't hit quality standards, Apple engineers chose to mostly abandon that work and focus on improving iOS 13.1, the first update. New iPhones are so tightly integrated with Apple software that it would have been technically impossible to launch the iPhone 11 with iOS 12, and since 13.1 wasn't ready in time, Apple's only choice was to ship with 13.0 and update everyone to 13.1 as quickly as it could.

Shame Apple didn't communicate to iPhone owners that iOS 13 was not ready for prime time.

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