How to get ready for the upcoming Apple releases

Jul 3, 2019 | Apple, Hardware, iOS

Get ready for iOS 13

iOS 13 is a big release with updates and new features to enhance the user experience, improve security, and accelerate performance. And, all of these new additions will need to be tested to ensure your enterprise apps work properly on the new operating system. To effectively prepare your dev and test teams, we encourage you to learn about the new updates and features included in iOS 13. The exact release date for iOS 13 remains unknown. However, based upon Apple’s release cadence, the iOS 13 release date is expected sometime in mid-September of 2019. And that will be here before you know it.

iOS 13 is a big update and we’ve listed some of the new features:

  • Faster app updates and app launch
  • Smaller app download sizes
  • Quicker Face ID
  • Heightened control over data sharing with apps
  • iOS 13 CarPlay features a new dashboard, calendar app, and Siri support for third-party navigation and audio
  • Photo app updates — featuring personalized curation and smart organization
  • New video editing functions
  • Apps of any size can be downloaded over LTE
  • Sign In with Apple is a new privacy feature, which allows users to sign into apps and websites in a data-safe way
  • Apple now generates randomized emails. This keeps users from having to give away their personal email when using apps
  • Dark Mode — This function turns mobile apps from bright white and light grey to black and light gray. It’s meant to be used at night and is also rumored to function as a battery-saving feature. Dark Mode can be scheduled to automatically turn on each night.

Additionally, Apple is releasing iPadOS, which is identical to iOS 13 except that it is designed for iPads. iPadOS comes with its own set of new features:

  • Enhancements made to multitasking capabilities that are unique to the tablet user experience.
  • Updates to Split View.
  • Users can now have two windows from the same app open at once.
  • New App Exposé feature displays everything a user has open and allows them to navigate between different windows.
  • Improvements made to Apple Pencil with a shortened lag time.

Keep in mind that iPadOS is a new, separate platform with its own unique cadence of releases. iPadOS will require separate testing and tuning of schedules for iPad apps.


Get ready for macOS Catalina

The upcoming macOS 10.15 has been named macOS Catalina. The new software brings with it standalone apps for Music, TV, and Podcasts as Apple retires iTunes.

  • As expected, Apple unveiled a feature called Sidecar that allows an iPad to be used as a second Mac display in a few different ways.
  • “Find My” is a revamped app that combines Find My Phone and Find My Friends and will now be available on the Mac.
  • A new Accessibility focused feature called Voice Control brings an even more powerful experience with rich navigation to users with verbal controls via on-device processing.
  • Screen Time is also making its way from iOS to macOS to help users be more aware of the time they spend on their notebook or desktop.

Meanwhile, Apple’s UIKit framework is coming to the Mac now officially named Project Catalyst. This lets developers seamlessly port iPad apps to macOS. The exact release date for macOS Catalina remains unknown, but the same assumption as for iOS 13 can be made, so we expect the official release date sometime in mid-September of 2019.

Starting January 2018, only 64-bit apps have been allowed to the App Store. That’s because in the new macOS, you’ll have to say goodbye to 32-bit applications for good. At the WWDC 2018 event, Apple mentioned Mojave would be the last macOS with support for 32-bit architecture. And they kept the promise. So, if you still keep 32-bit software on your Mac, make sure you get rid of it before upgrading to Catalina.

You can scan your Mac for 32-bit applications; Go to the Apple menu > About This Mac and click on System report. In the report, navigate to Software tab and select Applications. You’ll see a complete list of all apps installed on your Mac, along with their characteristics. What you’re looking for is a separate column indicating the app has 64-bit architecture:

Other than that, check out whether the apps you use are ready for an upgrade. In most cases, app developers announce support for the new macOS on their websites and social media.


How development and test teams can prepare for iOS 13/ iPadOS & macOS Catalina?

From a developer and testing perspective, iOS 13,iPadOS & macOS Catalina are entirely new platforms to cover.

To prepare for these releases, we recommend your teams to start testing new and enhanced features as soon as possible. Here are some key features that teams need to start testing:

  • Prepare separate testing schedules for iOS 13 and iPadOS. They each need their own unique schedule, as each has its own separate release vehicle.
  • Test the newly enhanced sign-in methods within iOS 13. This includes the two-factor authentication and randomly generated emails.
  • Provide UX validation for new UI changes on iOS 13.
  • Teams need to expand test automation coverage to support the new UI changes. In addition, they will need to support the new functional changes, such as the new login, the new Dark Mode as well as the new Photos, Maps, and other built-in apps that might be in use by your native apps.
  • The most important validation for macOS Catalina is the 64-bits compatibility.

Additionally, your testing and development teams need to build time into their testing and validation processes to get through any app instability and patches early on.

Both iOS 13, iPadOS & Catalina will most likely be like previous OS versions and start as GA in mid-September. It will then be followed by several patch releases.

Like with any new release, you can expect to encounter UI and stability issues. We encourage you to include these patch releases in the testing plan.