In the next new few days, Apple will be releasing the new iOS11 version to the market with a set of new iPhones that will be sure to disrupt the digital landscape even more.
From previous iOS10 and iOS9 releases, here is what we can expect:
- Very fast adoption trends (~50% adoption of new iOS release in less than a month)
- Fragmented growth – few devices are left behind
- Instability issues are imminent and patch release/s are to be expected
- Great innovation opportunities
As seen in visual above by MixPanel, adoption of newer iOS versions is extremely high. This leaves little time for iOS app developers to respond to regressions, issues and poor customer experiences. Therefore, it’s recommended to leverage the iOS11 beta program and assess your app quality in advance.
With new releases, come new devices. Apple is expected to introduce two new iPhones and potentially a new iPad. They plan to eliminate three devices that will be blocked on iOS10.x for good; iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPad 4th generation. These will be added to the few devices still popular on a global scale, but stuck on iOS9.3.5 (iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad Mini).
What does this mean from a testing and development perspective? It means that your entire lab, support, continuous integration and automation resources need be adjusted to compensate for these soon to be discontinued devices of iOS. That is, until a strategic decision is made by your app product team whether or not to discontinue support. Running your tests in parallel as part of CI on all devices should be an ongoing process starting in September. The recommendation is to have the Dev and Test environments already setup and in place ready for these devices.
What issues can we predict? In previous years, the first release usually reveals defects such as stability and connectivity issues. In the past, this has forced Apple to prematurely release one or two patch releases. What that means in terms of SDLC scheduling, is that we need to allow buffers for regression testing immediately upon release.
Last year, iOS 10 and iOS 10.0.1 were released the same day. Two weeks later, iOS 10.0.2 was released followed by 10.0.3 within a month. These are documented in the image below; which reference bug fix releases that can cause additional regression cycle requirements and validations.
On the plus side, iOS app developers have many innovative opportunities ahead of them. With large sets features and capabilities, they can leverage new and existing apps to give them a competitive edge and increase their end-user experiences.
There will be plenty of new API’s such as Siri and voice services, audio, maps, UI, augmented reality (AR), machine learning (ML) and many more. App developers are encouraged to exploit new and sophisticated chatbots to extend their apps to work with file browser providers like DropBox and Google Drive.
With iOS11 around the corner, you need to prepare for the changes and challenges associated with this release as outlined in this article. You need to start running the proper tests ASAP, but also flow with the innovative wave and enrich your app capabilities to drive better user engagements.