If you’re an avid Apple or Android enthusiast, you probably look forward to the next developments and updates these platforms bring out each year. Both Apple and Google are rolling out the latest versions of their systems this month (iOS 13 and Android 10) and we, as app developers, can’t wait to see what both of them have in store.
But we may a bit different. Not all people keep up with the latest operating system (OS) developments and they may not even notice when they come out. Despite this, they still expect their favourite apps to run smoothly regardless of the OS version on their phone and especially after they update their phones.
If you’re an app owner, keeping it up-to-date can be a challenge as your app needs to be fully functioning by the time the next OS is released to the public. Apple and Google release their Beta OS to developers just a few months prior to the official launch to iron out the details, fix bugs and learn from testers’ feedback about any additional fixes. This is the time you can start testing your app with the new version to find out how it performs to update it accordingly.
We have the latest Beta versions of iOS 13 and Android 10 installed on our test devices to test apps and add relevant updates to the products we’re currently building. But we can also test external apps that we haven’t developed for those interested in finding out how their products perform to be prepared for when the official versions come out.
We test a lot of our apps manually like a regular user would engage with them, browsing the product to find any bugs or inconsistencies. This way, we get a feel of how the app responds, learn whether all gestures work and how responsive the app is compared to the previous OS.
We test apps on different screen sizes and devices. They all have different speeds and capabilities, so we want to make sure they are all optimised for the new OS. We also need the app source code to do a code review to establish what exactly needs fixing. After these tests, we create any necessary fixes and test again until everything works.
Testing apps against the new OS helps us to proactively reduce the number of bugs and make it ready for customers once the OS rolls out officially. For our clients, at the end of our test, we produce a report which includes screen recordings, screenshots, a summary of bugs and our comments on improvements for the new OS.
What to expect from these updates?
OS updates vary, depending on the platform, but there are always certain technical and design updates to be made each time. We expect apps to always evolve and this is why it’s important to test them in advance. Apple and Google published what will be included in their next versions, so you can find out about all the details here.
These tests show us which areas of the app need to be updated, such as adding new gestures, enhancing the design or adding dark mode. For example, iOS 11 and 12 weren’t that different, compared to iOS 6 and 7 when skeuomorphism was replaced with flat design. The following iOS versions built on that to add further nuances and enhance the experience with gestures, messaging options, new device functionalities and other capabilities. So we expect Apple and Google to continue evolving their platforms in a similar manner. While some things might not be obvious or noticeable to users, it’s important that apps feel that they fit with the latest version of the OS and offer relevant user experience.
It’s important to keep in mind that we’re testing against the Beta version which isn’t the final version of the OS. This means that while we could reduce many bugs in advance, there still may be certain fixes required after the official launch. But we won’t know it until it’s live and it is to be expected. However, they shouldn’t be any major issues.
We highly recommend testing apps as soon as the Beta versions come out to be fully prepared for the official launch and ensure your products respond to any new features and functionalities.
If you’d like to test your app ahead of the next iOS or Android update, get in touch!