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5 Tips for Mobile Testers to Prepare for iOS 12

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Apple recently announced the fall release of iOS 12 at WWDC 2018. Here are 5 tips that enterprise mobility professionals should consider when preparing for iOS 12 in their mobile testing labs.

It was an exciting week in enterprise mobility courtesy of Apple’s WWDC 2018 in San Jose. For consumers, many exciting new enhancements and features were announced for iOS 12, including updates to Siri, the ability to FaceTime with up to 32 people, and the ability to create new, custom Memoji, among similar features and plans for macOS, watchOS and tvOS.

For mobile developers and testers, perhaps the most relevant announcement from WWDC 2018 revolved around the fall 2018 release of iOS 12. Any time a new operating system is released, whether for Apple or Android, enterprise mobility teams have to adjust and to plan for how the new release will affect an organization’s new and existing mobile apps and mobile experiences. Apple shared the following two statistics during WWDC 2018:

  • iOS 11 took 7 weeks for 50% of users to have upgraded from iOS 10
  • iOS users adopt new releases at a much faster rate compared to Android users

Clearly, the Apple consumer audience is hungry for new updates and generally take less than two months to embrace the new bells and whistles that come with an iOS release.

But, can an enterprise mobility team afford to wait until the fall of 2018 to get ready for iOS 12?

The above statistics suggest that time is not on your side. If enterprise mobility teams are not prepared, then DevOps functions, continuous testing, and app releases could be delayed. Testing teams’ daily processes could be interrupted and severely hampered without careful planning.

So, the time has come to begin preparing for iOS 12. Here are 5 tips that your testing team should consider as they get ready for this fall launch.

5 Tips for Testers to Prepare for iOS 12

#1: Embrace Change and Innovation

New functionality from iOS 12 opens up a world of possibilities for enterprise mobility. Developers can now add new features to mobile apps that were either impossible or unable to be supported by older iOS versions.

This is the time to be creative, but practical in terms of development. Consider what enhancements existing mobile apps need to continue to satisfy users. Now could be the perfect opportunity to make these important changes.

Also, consider the future plans of your organization in regard to enterprise mobility. What new mobile apps will need to be built? How will iOS 12 help developers and testers keep up with increasing mobile demand?

#2: Add Another Stream of Testing Outside the Normal App Release Cycle

To keep all testing on track and to make sure that all releases are functioning properly, consider adding another testing stream outside of the normal app release cycle.

Adding another stream will increase the overall amount of testing of an app. This is important to ensure that the app is working properly with both standard app updates and with the new iOS 12.

The plan for testing iOS 12 is mostly a regression execution plan that is outside of the testing for new features developed for iOS 12. For regular app releases, the testing plan should continue as normal. It is important not to hold up a release for iOS 12 issues while iOS 12 is still in beta.

#3: Make a Careful Plan for Mobile Testing

Anytime a new OS is released, a lot of testing is required to make sure all mobile apps are compatible and still working properly. But, the increased volume of testing required from a new OS release requires careful planning and resource allocation.

It is important that testing teams are able to absorb the new amount of required testing to get ready for iOS 12. In particular, pay attention to these two areas:

Mobile Devices

Testing teams must make sure that they have the correct devices for testing. Not only is it important to have the right devices, but the right quantity of devices for testing.

Here are some other considerations regarding devices and iOS 12:

  • Only update one or two devices to iOS 12 beta due to bugs
  • iOS 12 will run on the same devices as iOS 11 and will support the new upgrade
  • Know which devices can support iOS 12’s new features (FaceID, TouchID, AR, etc.) and use those for testing
  • Test new iOS 12 features on devices that cannot support the new functionality to ensure the right error messages are presented

Mobile Test Automation

Enterprise mobility teams that are leveraging test automation have several other considerations to address when preparing for iOS 12. Teams who are not quite settled into a test automation strategy yet should also take these factors into consideration as they select an automation tool.

In order to continue running test automation smoothly while preparing for iOS 12, testers should make sure that their vendors support all beta versions of iOS when they are released.

Although vendors receive new releases at the same time as developers, they will need time to make sure their products and tools are certified to not have any issues. Due to this lag time, testers may have to utilize manual testing during the first week of testing a new iOS 12 release.

Enterprise mobility teams should also:

  • Create build plans to run against iOS 12 that are separate from the main build plan
  • Make automation continuous to get immediate results
  • Combine test automation with parallel testing to increase testing time

#4: Don’t Rush, But Don’t Procrastinate

When preparing for iOS 12 make sure to not rush through the process of upgrading devices and testing.

Major iOS releases are usually available for device upgrades in the fall (September or October), along with any new device releases. Remember, apps will need to work with the official release, so do not worry too much if there are bugs due to changes in the release. Essentially, you will have about three months to get things right upon release as bugs are fixed by Apple.

Make sure that you are not rushing at the end to make an app compatible with iOS 12. Early testing results can help developers by giving them enough time to work through any code changes. For the best results, repeat this cycle for each iOS beta release.

While it is certainty important not to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to get ready, keeping a cool head and following a clear, timely plan will yield the best results. In other words, plan now and start early to avoid any stress and panic by waiting until the last minute.

#5: Implement This Plan Year-Round with All New Releases

Why not take this process of getting ready for the release of iOS 12 to establish good habits and best practices in your mobile testing lab? The tips outlined above can be applied to any and all future iOS and Android releases.

Take this time to build a plan that works for your team. When you have success, you can adapt this plan for every beta release for iOS and Android. This level of attention and care should become a year-round process, for all beta and major releases.

So, what are you waiting for? Fall 2018 will be here before you know it.

Looking for more ways to enhance your mobile testing? Check out our white paper for even more tips to set up an efficient and effective mobile testing lab.

Steve Orlando

Steve Orlando is a seasoned development and quality assurance professional with experience testing and developing mobile, Web, mainframe, CRM and desktop applications. In his role as director of product marketing for Mobile Labs, Steve drives the design and implementation of the company’s private mobile device clouds, GigaFox™ and deviceConnect™.

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