Wednesday, May 27, 2009

iPhone 3.0 OS Testing Tips

All App Store testing and review will occur on iPhone OS 3.0 to prepare for a smooth transition this summer, and incompatible applications won't be approved. Here's an excerpt of what Apple's has emailed to developers:
Beginning today, all submissions to the App Store will be reviewed on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0. If your app submission is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, it will not be approved.

Existing apps in the App Store should already run on iPhone OS 3.0 without modification, but you should test your existing apps with iPhone OS 3.0 to ensure there are no compatibility issues. After iPhone OS 3.0 becomes available to customers, any app that is incompatible with iPhone OS 3.0 may be removed from the App Store.
For many developers this presents a dilemma has to how to test existing iPhone OS 2.x apps to make sure their updates will continue to be accepted before iPhone OS 3.0 is generally available. Most small developers have limited devices to develop and test on, and once you install iPhone OS 3.0, you can't go back. The folks over at The Apple Core, quote this from Apple: "Devices updated to iPhone 3.0 beta can not be restored to earlier versions of iPhone OS . Devices will be able to upgrade to future beta releases and the final iPhone OS 3.0 software."

Here's what we recommend for testing purposes:

  • If your app runs well on the iPhone simulator in the 3.0 SDK, then test your app for 3.0 compatibility on the simulator, leaving your device(s) for 2.x testing. This is the safest route if you are concerned about "permanently" installing 3.0 on your iPhone or iPod touch.

  • If you have two devices, upgrade one to iPhone OS 3.0 and leave the other device installed with 2.x. We have done this for our development and test work. We decided to upgrade our iPod touch to 3.0 for testing our existing 2.x apps before submission to the App Store.
  • If you only have one device, or do not want to take the risk of installing 3.0 on any of your devices, make arrangements to test your iPhone app in Apple's lab. They have all the makes and models of iPhones and iPod touches, including different firmware and OS configurations. One of our clients has chosen to take this path and arranged to have us test their app in Apple's Lab. We were able to test their app on a mix of 2.x and 3.0 configurations.
Update (5/28/2009): Our developers are reporting 3.0 is still rather glitchy and have been experiencing failed installations and failed launches at random. Additionally newly installed apps will often have no icon or will switch icons with previously installed applications.

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