Be patient with developers, as a one-day warning before the full iOS 14 release is too sho...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
In seconds, Apple CEO Tim Cook disrupted the normal flow of the iOS beta cycle, in announcing that iOS 14 and others would be released on Wednesday after a one-day GM period. Chaos is ensuing in the developer community, and users will need to be patient for a week or two. Here's why.

Tim Cook looks more relaxed about the fast release of iOS 14 than most developers.
Tim Cook looks more relaxed about the fast release of iOS 14 than most developers.


There were probably some coffees spilt during Apple's September 15 event, definitely a lot of lunches skipped, and seemingly a great deal of complaining from developers. For starting later today, users will be able to download the brand new versions of just about every Apple operating system bar macOS Big Sur -- and few developers can possibly be ready.

All developers have had the various beta versions, surely all are well along the path of ensuring compatibility. But final testing, and fixing hopefully final bugs, happens once developers get the Gold Master (GM) of the operating systems as they will ship.

Apple has released this GM version to developers, but it did so after Tim Cook's announcement. From later today, practically all iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV owners can and will be downloading iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 for free.

There are major changes in each of them and any operating system change means apps can break. Having your software work on the newest Apple operating systems is crucial for developers -- and Apple is a developer itself.

Those operating system releases bring needed compatibility for all the "Time Flies"-announced devices. This is obviously an unavoidable requirement for Apple.

But, the reaction from developers was swift, and harsh. And, they're right to be angry.

What the developers are saying

Tumult started quickly. Cook made the announcement about the Wednesday OS full releases, and it was off to the races -- even before developers hit problems.

Aside from the short time, which would be enough by itself, there were immediately errors in Xcode. There were a series of Xcode downloads that either didn't decompress, or weren't running. This was "fixed" in relatively short order -- read hours. But, it still took a few more hours for the correct download to spread across the content distribution network.

Oh boy...that is quite a bit soon than I was expecting...hoping for. pic.twitter.com/4STAa9UL5d

-- David Smith (@_DavidSmith)


Although a short while afterwards, Watchsmith developer David Smith did add that despite the shock of the announcement, he likes the "fast turnaround launch."

"There is no longer a 'Day One'," he said, "we are all launching 'Day 1+Something. Which is a bit more chill."

Others just threw their hands up and said their apps would not be updated to iOS 14 in time this year.

Sorry, my iOS 14 features aren't ready yet.

Since it'll be a while before most of my customers use iOS 14, I spent the summer prioritizing bug fixes and my family's pandemic/school logistics (we're OK, just busy).

Like you all, I'm just doing what I can this year. More soon.

-- Overcast (@OvercastFM)


In Apple's own developer forums, there were complaints as recently as 5:00 A.M. Eastern time from users saying that Xcode was failing to upload apps. Other developers are reporting error messages when they try to submit an app for review.

We get it. Apple tries to hide product features as best as it can with security and removed features in betas, meaning that some roll-outs and testing code need to wait for full OS releases. It's been a challenging year for everybody, and perhaps short windows between the GM and the full release was to be expected.

One day doesn't really serve anybody, other than Apple, though. And it arguably doesn't serve Apple, either. Not when it can claim there are great new iOS and watchOS features, but at best key apps can't use them -- and at worst, they break.

Developers are scrambling for release day availability. Some will make it. Some won't, though. Missing features for iOS 14 is one thing, but some apps will stop working the way they should. This is clearly bad for consumers and users.

If you're a developer, something like this is now burnt into your retina -- it's the main screen of app development software Xcode
If you're a developer, something like this is now burnt into your retina -- it's the main screen of app development software Xcode

This year, more than any other, be patient with developers and iOS 14

We normally suggest caution and some scouting out of the situation before you make the jump to a new, big version of any of Apple's operating systems. This year, more than any other before, making sure that your favorite apps run in iOS properly before upgrading your own devices is essential.

Yes, developers have had all summer to start making this move, and nearly everybody -- including AppleInsider's stalwart developer -- has been on the road to an update. However, as it is with any beta process, the final operating system is a moving target. Practically, this means that with every increment of the beta, what you just changed for the last beta may need to be changed again.

Apple dropped a one-day GM period on developers. It has never done this before. Apple has typically given at least one week, but two weeks isn't unheard of.

Instead, Tim Cook dumped this on all of us yesterday, 23 hours before the full release. It's going to take more than a few hours for developers to set everything right.

Your patience will be rewarded.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    Mike, I appreciate your measured, pragmatic approach to writing about Apple topics. Some of the vitriol being dished out against developers in comment threads to similar articles elsewhere this morning is really tiresome and unnecessary. Apple has created a system where all Apps have to funnel through their process—How is it a developer's fault their app isn't ready when the iOS release, XCode release, and the opening of app submissions, all occurs in the same 24 hour period? It's madness how rude some people can be about things they don't understand. 
    gilly33headfull0winebsnjonrogifan_newFileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Excellent article,  thanks!      
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 35
    For a full release unless I’ve a new device requiring compatibility (and I don’t, yet) I’m going to take a big calming breath and wait for the dust to settle on the release. 

    I suspect that new device is the kicker: the Series 6 running the new iOS requires iOS 14 on its paired watch... so the iPhone 12 delay glitched the timing  and Apple is playing catch-up. 

    Apps stumble all the time with OS upgrade changes, giving them time to get things right makes sense. Especially for my iPhone, too critical to get impatient with. 
    edited September 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 35
    I usually update iOS the second it’s available. This time I’m waiting an hour. Hopefully everything will be fixed by then. Who am I kidding, no guts no glory!
    ArloTimetravelerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 35
    maltzmaltz Posts: 282member
    Oh please.

    iOS 13 released Sept 19th
    iOS 12 released Sept 17th
    iOS 11 released Sept 19th
    iOS 10 released Sept 13th
    iOS 9 released Sept 16th
    iOS 8 released Sept 17th
    iOS 7 released Sept 18th
    iOS 6 released Sept 19th

    Who could have POSSIBLY foreseen a mid-September launch for iOS 14?!?  There have been a lot of curve balls thrown at developers (and everyone else) this year, to be sure, but the release date of iOS 14 is not one of them.
    dysamoriaArloTimetravelermacplusplusJanNLAutigerMarkspinnydrandominternetpersonagilealtitudeBeatsCluntBaby92
  • Reply 6 of 35
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,936member
    This is a good heads-up for everyone who jumps on the iOS 14 release expecting perfection. In truth, in today’s continuous integration, continuous automated testing, and continuous release development model (DevOps) products should always be in a releasable (but not necessarily feature complete) state at all times - in theory. 

    Reality isn’t quite matched up with the theory quite yet, but Apple is probably closer than other development organizations than smaller software vendors to living up to the expectations of the theory. What it pragmatically means for customers is that the software is really never “done” or “complete” even to the point where we’d commit it to install media like floppy disks, CDs, or DVDs in the past. 

    Software’s best attribute, nearly infinite changeability, is also its biggest curse. With today’s emphasis on Continuous Delivery we’re taking it to the next level, the software’s releasability is nearly constant and unbounded by dates and ceremony, but it is never complete. 

    Apple will release iOS 14 today, and they will release iOS 14.01 very soon thereafter, followed by iOS 14.02, 14.03, ... and so on and so forth. The release train never stops, so if you are an app developer you have to run very fast and jump aboard while the train is still moving. It may slow down occasionally to allow more folks to jump onboard, but it’ll never stop. 


    edited September 2020 Fidonet127FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,316administrator
    maltz said:
    Oh please.

    iOS 13 released Sept 19th
    iOS 12 released Sept 17th
    iOS 11 released Sept 19th
    iOS 10 released Sept 13th
    iOS 9 released Sept 16th
    iOS 8 released Sept 17th
    iOS 7 released Sept 18th
    iOS 6 released Sept 19th

    Who could have POSSIBLY foreseen a mid-September launch for iOS 14?!?  There have been a lot of curve balls thrown at developers (and everyone else) this year, to be sure, but the release date of iOS 14 is not one of them.
    And the GMs were on Sept 12, Sept 10, Sept 12, and on. One week with the final iOS before release.

    Instead of 23 hours, like today. It isn't about having iOS 14 in-hand, it's about having the FINAL iOS 14 in hand to test against.
    edited September 2020 kbeehmlongcoJFC_PA80s_Apple_GuyuraharafastasleepFileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 35
    maltzmaltz Posts: 282member
    maltz said:
    Oh please.

    iOS 13 released Sept 19th
    iOS 12 released Sept 17th
    iOS 11 released Sept 19th
    iOS 10 released Sept 13th
    iOS 9 released Sept 16th
    iOS 8 released Sept 17th
    iOS 7 released Sept 18th
    iOS 6 released Sept 19th

    Who could have POSSIBLY foreseen a mid-September launch for iOS 14?!?  There have been a lot of curve balls thrown at developers (and everyone else) this year, to be sure, but the release date of iOS 14 is not one of them.
    And the GMs were on Sept 12, Sept 10, Sept 12, and on. One week with the final iOS before release.

    Instead of 23 hours, like today. It isn't about having iOS 14 in-hand, it's about having the FINAL iOS 14 in hand to test against.

    That's a very fair criticism.  But testing time wasn't the context of the complaints quoted in the article - they seemed more along the lines of just not being ready.  And again, that is totally understandable this year of all years.  But apart from the short GM testing window, which should only add a few days' delay over previous release schedules, that has nothing to do with Apple.
    macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 35
    I got it, that we need to be patient, as the apps have to be tested against the final builds and go through the process. However I've done every public beta and the only problem apps I've used we Amazon and Wizard's Unite. Amazon's apps work fine now, leaving the Wizard's Unite the only one left. I would think you would have a good feel though all the betas of how the apps will work, not perfect of course. We also need to remember is a hardware and a software company. They have to get the hardware out and that hardware requires new software. Apple has to please customers and investors. The holiday's are coming, which is a big buying time.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 35
    Yes The Series 6 and the new Air are what’s driving this. And the watch is dragging along iPhone’s iOS. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 35
    But is it snappier?
    bikerdudewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 35
    JFC_PA said:

    Apps stumble all the time with OS upgrade changes, giving them time to get things right makes sense. Especially for my iPhone, too critical to get impatient with. 
    Or they could give themselves time, maybe?? Maybe not push products out the door until they are ready, maybe ...maybe???

    Why are we supposed to be all forgiving when Apple stumble all the time with OS upgrades?

    As for the developers and their complaints: Um, how long have there been beta releases available for iOS 14? Since the official announcement of iOS 14?

    Covid-19 aside (because this computer industry bullshit happens constantly, every year, with or without pandemics):

    The degree of special pleading that is constantly used to defend this industry’s perpetual bullshit is grotesque. It’s even more maddening being one of a tiny minority of tech people willing to acknowledge it and call it out...

    ...and not be eager to lick the corporate boot, defending every company & developer, as users are tossed incomplete products (and, no, don’t give me the BS special pleading excuse “users should know not to be early adopters”), being thrown into usability chaos with broken and incomplete features, device slowdowns, app incompatibilities (no, end users shouldn’t have to “know not to accept the update until later”, when it’s literally pushed at them daily by Apple)...

    ... all because Apple are focused only on pushing new devices onto market, at rigidly set dates, to feed the dogdamned stock market pundits their fresh meat...

    ... and when developers are behind on updating for new OS releases & platform changes that have been telegraphed for years - looking at you, 32-bit holdovers (few have excuses, most don’t).

    Everyone is in the wrong here, AFAIC:

    • Apple, for their focus on Wall Street, perpetually shitty release cycles, unwillingness to do proper QA, bugs, & generally incomplete development at release day.

    • Developers, for acting like they were taken by surprise when long-announced changes were finalized, well after betas were made available. 

    • Fanatics, for defending the behavior of one or both of them, and pulling out their “us vs them” tribalism bullshit responses to legitimate criticism of Apple and/or developers.

    No industry is as bad as those based on computer tech and its perpetual abuse of (and scapegoating of) their own customers and endless logical fallacy excuses.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 13 of 35
    xbitxbit Posts: 315member
    I predict that we’re going to see a lot of buggy apps as developers rush to submit before being able to fully test their apps.

    Less than a day’s notice is bad form from Apple.
    dysamoriaBeats
  • Reply 14 of 35
    Keep in mind they did have 8 betas to get their app ready for iOS 14. I ran ever single beta on my personal phone that gets used extensively daily and never had one problem. 

    The GM build seems flawless. 
    macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 35
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,316administrator
    smith54 said:
    Keep in mind they did have 8 betas to get their app ready for iOS 14. I ran ever single beta on my personal phone that gets used extensively daily and never had one problem. 

    The GM build seems flawless. 
    The GM build is nice for users. I agree.

    It also removed at least two APIs that were in the previous beta. This is why 25 or so hours between the GM and the full release is bad for developers.
    edited September 2020 muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 16 of 35
    No updates showing up here on the West Coast yet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 35
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,316administrator
    No updates showing up here on the West Coast yet.
    Nor here. The non-beta Xcode was made available about 15 minutes before this comment, so it should be soon.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 35
    No updates showing up here on the West Coast yet.
    Nor here. The non-beta Xcode was made available about 15 minutes before this comment, so it should be soon.
    Mind you, if there’s something wrong I’d rather they delay it and iron out the details first.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 35
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,316administrator
    No updates showing up here on the West Coast yet.
    Nor here. The non-beta Xcode was made available about 15 minutes before this comment, so it should be soon.
    Mind you, if there’s something wrong I’d rather they delay it and iron out the details first.
    I'd rather they be up front about it and say "okay, another day" or "we're going live between 3:45 and 4:15 depending on your local CDN" than what's presently going on, but I don't get a vote.

    That said, Apple never said 1PM ET for release time. This morning's PR was just clear about "today" in the US, and we've seen "late" releases for X.0 releases before.
    edited September 2020 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 20 of 35
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,936member
    No updates showing up here on the West Coast yet.
    Nor here. The non-beta Xcode was made available about 15 minutes before this comment, so it should be soon.
    I saw the Xcode availability but the ginormous 12+ GB download stalled for me so I decided to put it off until later. 

    This is a good incentive to enable content caching on one of your networked Macs.
    watto_cobra
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