Apple fans who waited for the unveiling of an iPhone 12 at the Apple Event today may be a little disappointed. But Apple gave them a reward to hold them back instead: an announcement that iOS 14 will be released tomorrow.
Surprise! Sounds good! Unless you’re an iPhone app developer. You’re pretty pissed off.
I understand how weepy that sounds, but I think that’s the worst thing I’ve felt after an Apple event.
I’m not pushing myself that much, but I’ve done a lot of work preparing for the first day’s release for iOS 14 in hopes of a reward in the form of lists or something similar
– Charlie Chapman (@_chuckyc) September 15, 2020
A major WTF at Apple tomorrow drops iOS 14 without letting the developers know or the final tools to submit their apps
– Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 15, 2020
“I think a lot of developers won’t sleep tonight or they will just give up and choose to release [their app] if they want, instead of next to the new operating system, “said the iOS developer in a message. “Seemingly out of the blue, Apple decided to surprise developers without real warning or care.”
Apple, which randomly drops iOS 14 in a day with no notice, is very on the mark with 2020.
– Shihab (JPEGuin) (@JPEGuin) September 15, 2020
Shihab explained how he was one of the lucky developers. Just in time for the surprise release of iOS 14 tomorrow, he has just finished his app, an iOS product for Twitter.
I am in the fortunate position to have my app prepared for iOS 14 in addition to screenshots earlier this week. But many had expected it to be released next week at the earliest. To have spent countless hours in the past two months trying to make it end like this must be devastating.
– Shihab (JPEGuin) (@JPEGuin) September 15, 2020
Even if the end of the app development process is complete, it doesn’t mean he can put his feet up for the night. The last minute rush is proving to be a problem. Shihab has yet to get his app through Apple’s review process. He is not alone. It seems to be causing problems for other developers who want to send their app to Apple.
“Without such a warning, nothing is finished,” a Steve Troughton-Smith developer told me. “Developers aren’t ready yet, the App Store isn’t ready, and everyone needs to act quickly instead of being able to get their apps done properly.”
Steve went through the normal iOS release process with me. Apple typically gives third-party app developers a notice about a week before a new iOS is officially released. The company releases a “Golden Master” copy of the new iOS and Xcode developer tools before the latest operating system is officially released. This gives iPhone app developers the time they need to make sure that the apps they created for the beta versions of the new iOS will actually work on the final version. Sometimes there are critical errors that are only revealed or can only be fixed at this point.
The extra time can also be used to add new features for any new devices announced at the Apple event. Apple’s approval process for apps is also taking some time, so this week developers need to make sure they submit in time to ensure their work for the iOS version is available in the App Store.
These products all look damn cool, but from a third-party developer relationship perspective, this keynote was one of the worst.
– James Thomson (@jamesthomson) September 15, 2020
“Gone are the hopes of being in the store until users install the new iOS 14 and look for new apps. Gone is the ability to make a few last minute fixes to your existing apps to make sure they don’t stop working immediately when users need to upgrade their operating system, ”said Steve.
“There are some developers who have been working on something new all summer using the latest technology, hoping to be there on day one and partake in the excitement (and press coverage) of the new iOS,” he continued away. “For many of them, if it ends like this instead of starting out triumphantly, it will be incredibly upset, and it can dramatically decrease the amount of coverage or sales they receive.” This time we asked Apple to comment on this process.
Some developers have tried to look on the good side and have a positive impact on things. There will be no rush to get your app out in time for release, an iOS developer said in a post on Twitter.
To be honest, now that the shock has subsided, I like the quick turnaround start. Less of the typical hectic pace.
There is no “day one” anymore … we all start “day 1 + something”. Which is a bit more chill … which I could definitely use this year.
– David Smith (@_DavidSmith) September 15, 2020
But when it comes down to it, there are plenty of developers out there looking to iOS release days. It’s a once-a-year opportunity that has most eyes – users, press, investors – looking on the App Store for new versions and apps that take full advantage of the latest features of iOS.
“Developers have less than 24 hours to finish building their new app, submit it over the newly released Xcode version which could be a slow download, and pray that it will go through the App Store review within a time that is almost impossible, “he told Shihab.
“It’s a difficult position, but I think there is no motivation like last-minute pressure.”