With only a day’s notice to get ready for the new release, third-party app developers are scrambling – and complaining.
Apple officially released its iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 on Sept. 16. The update will be available on any device that currently runs iOS 13 or iPadOS 13.
The iPhone is benefitting from most of the important changes, including a redesigned home screen that allows the user to place “widgets” anywhere on the screen. These widgets hold small pieces of information, such as TripIt information about your flights or hotel booking. There’s also a new App Library that will automatically organize the app icons on the home screen and organize them into folders.
Picture-in-picture mode, which has been available on iPad, is also making its debut on the iPhone. PnP is a feature that shrinks down the size of the window a video is playing in and places it on top of the interface while letting users leave the video app.
Both iPad and iPhone are getting a new Messages app, which includes improved group chats with inline replies and mentions. Users also have the ability to pin their favorite conversations.
A new dawn for Apple; a sleepless night for developers
Usually, Apple announces its iPhones, it then releases Xcode and iOS’ “Golden Master” version (the one that will ship to customers), so that developers can tune their apps for when customers get the latest mobile operating system. Last year, iOS 13 rolled out almost 10 days after the iPhone event, allowing developers a decent amount of time to get their apps ready.
But with this release, developers have barely a day to test and push out their updated code. This time the new versoin was made available after the presentation of new iPads. The new iPhones are expected to be announced in October.
People that already have an iPhone with iOS 13 can update to the new version. This meant developers had to scramble to accommodate the new Xcode into their apps, which led to some premature releases and repeated mini-fixes as the day (and night) wore on.
The reason why Apple decided to spring the release as such a surprise is unclear, but some developers have their suspicions. Developer James Thompson, for example, explained in a Tweet that thinks that Apple didn’t want to release the Golden Master version because it might’ve revealed some details about the new products.
To make matters worse, when Apple finally did release the Xcode, there were many anomalies. Developers were not able to build their apps properly and multiple Xcode GM versions released in one night caused a lot of confusion.
As of this writing, Apple has yet to provide a cogent explanation for the rush.