Tail wagging the dog in iOS development

The latest round of Apple OS testing has been a unique challenge for me. For the past couple of years I would happily put the beta versions of OS X and iOS on to a device and stumble through all my apps that would break or not work properly. So when iOS 8 came out I started down the same path, but then I found too many of my must have apps weren’t working. Ditto with the first couple rounds of Yosemite. So this time I decided to sit back and wait for the final release just like everyone else.

Except everyone else seems to be running the iOS 8 and Yosemite betas like they’re ready for prime time. I saw people complaining in forums, Twitter, and in my personal life about all the problems trying to run the betas on their day to day machines. This reached a crescendo when Omnigroup released a recent patch for OmniFocus for iPhone:


Omnigroup releases a patch for OmniFocus for iPhone that will break the app for the majority of its users so a minority of its users can use beta software. While I understand the need to test features as iOS 8 comes out, releasing a patch to what is deemed an iOS 7 app, for a release of iOS that is clearly labeled beta, seems backwards.

The problem is that Omnigroup’s flub with OmniFocus for iPhone was just the most egregious example of handling an iOS 7 app against iOS 8 beta users. I’ve had several other apps either disable features or note that something was broken in the app because of making amends to please iOS 8 users. The best place to look at the position this has put developers is in the feedback they get in MAS or iTunes app store.

1 star - App crashes on iOS 8, please fix!!!

We are now seeing the tail wagging the dog in iOS app development. Sadly though, Apple is the one walking the dog and not paying attention.

Update: 2014-09-15

Omnigroup's Ken Case sent this tweet with an update on the OmniFocus for iPhone patch.

Our apologies! OmniFocus for iPhone version 2.3.1 not meant for iOS 7; fix coming in v2.3.1: http://t.co/14xXPvhVAF

— Ken Case (@kcase) September 15, 2014