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

Developers aren’t happy with Apple’s surprise release of iOS 14
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it's geeky, I'm probably into it.

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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