Apple announces bug fixes with iOS 14 development strategy

Apple is working to adjust the way the operating system is developed internally, creating new builds for iOS, iPadOS, etc. to address bugs and issues that affect software updates available to the public.

Apple’s iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 releases and subsequent updates were somewhat problematic, and after each release it was reported that Apple needed to quickly create new updates to patch bugs. It’s not happening on iOS 14 as Apple has to reconsider its development strategy as it repeatedly encounters possible flaws in the software.

Code slip-ups in iOS 13 include the iOS 13 release itself, which warns users to wait for iOS 13.1 and more recently resolved issues with mail and background issues in iOS 13.2.3 and iPadOS 13.2.3 . Beta versions of iOS 13.3 and iPadOS 13.3 fixed a multitasking bug that caused the operating system to terminate background processes prematurely, resulting in loss of user activity.

In an internal “kickoff” meeting, Craig Federighi, SVP of Software Engineering, recently advised on a new development approach, people familiar with the meeting told Bloomberg. The changes deal with the daily generation of internal builds and the bad habits of the engineering team.

Previously, some engineers added features to daily builds that were not fully tested, while other teams were able to provide changes weekly. One person explained, “Many recipes add ingredients.” As more changes were made to daily builds at different development points, it became too difficult to use test builds, which forced some testers to “spend a few days without live builds” and not get a real idea of what worked.

In the new regime, the incomplete and buggy features must be disabled by default so that testers can selectively activate each feature through a new internal setup menu called Flag. Theoretically, the build will be stable for a longer period of time, allowing testers to try individual additions.

Apple is said to apply the new technology to iOS 14. The code name is “Azul” and the title is changed to “Azul +1”, which delays some of the features that go to iOS 14 by 2021 to focus more on performance. Engineers are expected to use this strategy on iPadOS, watchOS, macOS and tvOS as well as iOS.

For Apple developers and public beta program participants, there will probably be no change in builds to try, except for a higher level of stability.