Apple Makes Moves To Make The Next Version Of iOS Far Less Buggy Than iOS 13

I’ve been saying for a very long time that Apple has a problem with its software quality. And iOS 13 is proof positive of that as I have also argued that it is the buggiest version of iOS ever. Though I will admit that they are throwing out fixes as fast as possible as evidenced by this:

For the record, iOS 13.2.3 came out on November 18th.

As you can see, Apple has been releasing fixes at a very rapid rate. That’s good because at least they are trying to address all the bugs that it shipped when it rushed iOS 13 out the door. But from a software development standpoint, that’s not even close to being normal. And based this report from Bloomberg, they are going to do something about it:

Apple Inc. is overhauling how it tests software after a swarm of bugs marred the latest iPhone and iPad operating systems, according to people familiar with the shift.

Software chief Craig Federighi and lieutenants including Stacey Lysik announced the changes at a recent internal “kickoff” meeting with the company’s software developers. The new approach calls for Apple’s development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags, allowing them to isolate the impact of each individual addition on the system.

So in short, Apple developers will be able to selectively enable or disable unfinished or buggy features in an isolated way to ensure that overall stability is not jeopardized. This isn’t a new idea as Google and Microsoft do something similar. But this is a new idea for Apple. This new methodology will apply to all OSes that Apple has, such as macOS, watchOS, and tvOS which is good as they all inter-operate to some degree or another.

The other big news from this report is this:

Apple has also considered delaying some iOS 14 features until 2021 — in an update called “Azul +1” internally that will likely become known as iOS 15 externally — to give the company more time to focus on performance. Still, iOS 14 is expected to rival iOS 13 in the breadth of its new capabilities, the people familiar with Apple’s plans said.

Apple does need some sort of stability release to calm the waters as iOS 13 has been a train wreck next to a dumpster fire. They have done this previously with iOS (specifically iOS 12) and macOS (specifically macOS 10.7 aka “Mountain Lion”) and I for one hopes that this part of the report is accurate. Because things truly cannot get any worse for iOS users right now.

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