Apple Reportedly Overhauling Its Software Development Process Following Buggy Release of iOS 13

Apple is overhauling the way it develops and tests iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS in hopes that the new approach will improve the quality of each software platform over the long term, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


The report claims the new strategy is already being applied to development of iOS 14 ahead of its release next year. The shift comes after the buggy release of iOS 13, which has already received eight updates with bug fixes and delayed features in the last two months, which is more than usual over that time.

The new process will see Apple implement "flags," allowing the company's software engineers to selectively enable or disable unfinished or buggy features in an isolated way to ensure that overall stability is not jeopardized. Flags are already commonly used by other tech companies like Google and Microsoft.

Apple has also considered delaying some iOS 14 features until 2021, according to the report, as part of its efforts to ensure the update is more stable. Apple is believed to have taken a similar approach with iOS 12, delaying some features until ‌iOS 13‌, which contributed to iOS 12 being a rather stable update.

The changes were reportedly announced at a recent meeting with employees led by Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi.

In the meantime, Apple continues to test iOS 13.3, with a third beta released this week.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

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3 weeks ago
Just stop with the huge yearly updates. Just add features when there ready. Maybe announce a year long roadmap of features, but slowly add them over a year, instead of trying to rush everything for September. Also, put macOS back on a 18 to 30 month upgrade cycle
Rating: 109 Votes
3 weeks ago
Tim Cook’s decision to get rid of Scott Forstall was shortsight and stupid. Better collaboration my ass.
Rating: 53 Votes
3 weeks ago
Didn't they already do that after buggy iOS 11?
How quickly organizations forget.
Rating: 49 Votes
3 weeks ago
This is a good and much needed change. Apple should release new features only when they are ready instead of packing them into larger updates that are full of bugs.
Rating: 44 Votes
3 weeks ago
Can we return Catalina? Embarrassing release.
Rating: 33 Votes
3 weeks ago


Apple is going a massive culture shift in 2019. Listening to customers, fixing the MBP, pricing iPhone 11 right and now hopefully stabler software from next year.


They're just reactionary is all. They didn't make any move until after there was a massive outcry about it. If they start doing these things beforehand and stave off any issues/outcry, then we can call it a culture shift
Rating: 32 Votes
3 weeks ago
But why did it take them this long to see their method was bad ?
Rating: 31 Votes
3 weeks ago
Apple is undergoing a massive culture shift in 2019. Listening to customers, fixing the MBP, pricing iPhone 11 right and now hopefully stabler software from next year.
Rating: 30 Votes
3 weeks ago
I said it ever since 2012(?) that macOS releases cannot be annual because too many “features” are added just for marketing, current bugs don’t get fixed, only bugs in the “new features” are fixed (sometimes) and then the core is slowly rotting away. Now this same problem is happening to iOS.

I can’t believe Apple are only realising this now... it seems like such an obvious issue. This new “build all features at the start and only switch them on when they’re ready” strategy is welcomed, but it’s what other software engineers have been doing for years??
Rating: 28 Votes
3 weeks ago


But why did it take them this long to see their method was bad ?

And why did it take them this long to see their Butterfly keyboard is bad ?
And why did it take them this long to see people want more than 16GB ?
And why did it take them this long to see people need more horsepower and vlid cooling ?

So why does it take them so long to do anything ?
Rating: 22 Votes

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