Apple is making a big change to the way it tests new features for the iPhone after iOS 13's messy release
Crystal Cox/Business Insider
- Apple is changing the way it tests future software updates for the iPhone, iPad, and other products following iOS 13's buggy release, according to Bloomberg.
- As part of the new process, testers will be able to turn off features that aren't working properly by default and re-enable them at will.
- That should make it easier for Apple's testers to use software builds that are in development more frequently so that they can better assess its performance.
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Apple is making internal changes to the way it develops and tests new software for the iPhone after its flagship iOS 13 update launched with several bugs and issues earlier this year, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
The new process is being used to develop iOS 14, the next-generation operating system for the iPhone that Apple is likely to unveil in June, says the report. As part of the new system, employees working on Apple's new software will be able to disable features that aren't working properly by default during the testing phase. They will also be able to enable these buggy features so that they can get a better sense of how these errors are impacting the operating system as a whole.
The new measures will make it so that Apple's testers are able to actually use the software before its launch to better assess its performance, according to Bloomberg. Before this new process was in place for iOS 14's development, teams would add features to software builds before they had been tested, thus making the software difficult to use. Some teams would add features on a daily basis, while others would integrate them on a weekly basis, says the report.
Because the software became cluttered with unfinished features that hadn't been evaluated, testers weren't using the software very often and wouldn't remain current on what worked and what didn't says the report.
Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
The shakeup comes after iOS 13 launched with several bugs earlier this year, with iPhone users complaining of glitches that impacted the on-screen keyboard, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi following the update's launch.
"iOS 13 has felt like a super-messy release, something we haven't seen this bad since iOS 8 or so," developer Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted at the time. "Definitely needs a lengthy period of consolidation and bug fixing."
In the months since iOS 13's release in September, Apple has released a slew of updates to patch bugs and add features that were announced as being part of the initial software launch. Some bugs caused apps to crash, while others impacted how the phone's wireless service works.
Apple's new process for testing software before launch will also apply to other products, like the iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, according to Bloomberg. The company has also reportedly considered delaying some iOS 14 features until 2021 to improve performance.
It wouldn't be the first time Apple has made a big push to emphasize stability and performance when developing new software updates. Following iOS 8.0.1's launch in 2014, which disabled the cellular connection for some iPhone users, Apple began focusing more closely on under-the-hood improvements for iOS 9, which Gurman also reported for 9to5Mac back in 2015.
Apple typically releases its new iOS software in September alongside its new iPhones after previewing the updates at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
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