On iOS 6 bugs and app compatibility (or, please don't be a jerk)

On iOS 6 bugs and app compatibility (or, please don't be a jerk)

With beta software comes beta responsibility

iOS 6 is currently in closed beta, not general release. While Apple provides it to anyone with $99, and there will no doubt be all manner of leaks minor and major, there's something incredibly important to keep in mind -- please don't be a jerk about it.

If you chose to install beta software, that's your choice and your responsibility. iMore is not going to be reporting on bugs because there aren't any public-facing bugs in a closed beta. For any and all mainstream users, they don't exist.

When you installed the beta, you agreed to the developer license. File a radar, talk about it on the developer forums, but don't expect to see anything about it here until iOS 6 goes public.

Likewise, please don't leave reviews in the App Store based on app compatibility with iOS 6. If something doesn't work, if an app crashes, if the whole system re-springs, there's a name for that -- beta.

Developers only just received iOS 6. They haven't had any time to test it, let alone dive deeply into it. Apple hasn't even finished running their WWDC developer sessions, let alone explaining them. And developers won't be allowed to upload iOS 6-specific apps until the Gold Master is released, which is months away. They'll likely be able to do iOS 5 compliant work around for some problems, but maybe not all.

Either way, if you chose to install the private iOS 6, you voluntarily gave up your right to complain about problems on the public App Store. You proclaimed yourself a developer and a geek of the highest order. You strapped on your beta balls.

You're responsible for your iPhone and iPad apps now, not the developer. That's it. That's all. End of line.

At least until iOS 6 launches this fall. Then it's open season...

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

On iOS 6 bugs and app compatibility (or, please don't be a jerk)


Agreed. On the back end Apple should build in a flagging system that would render any reviews placed by a user running beta null and void.

Not really. You don't have to be a developer to install iOS 6 beta 1, nor do you have to agree to anything.
That being said, app reviews, complaints about bugs, and other comments treating the beta like a GM version are a little ridiculous. It is still a beta, and a first version of it to be exact.

Well to have official access to the iOS 6 beta you must sign up with Apple's developer program and pay your $99 yearly fee.
Yes, you can find the .IPSW files on many sites as well as .torrent files that contain the beta, but technically this is against Apple's policy.

I updated to iOS 6 on my iPad this morning. Apple is not checking udid's so anyone can update if they have the ipsw. I am not a dev, I have not agreed to dev terms.

Yes, you did not explicitly agree to dev terms. Kind of like how someone who steals my car does not explicitly agree to not burn out my clutch.

I'm not installing ios 6 but a comment on app store reviews:
Sorry, but if an app doesn't do what it's designed to do, like log on to your website, it crashes, offers nothing but in app purchasing but it's billed as free and fully featured, is designed to access part of a website but actually does not, like the Yahoo finance app that was supposed to access portfolios in your yahoo finance account but never does, well if it can't do what it promises it sucks and does deserve a crappy review. And the only time i've ever given them is when they are fully deserved.

Sorry but that's total rubbish. Apple changes things in major iOS versions. The first time devs get to test their apps against the beta is the first time you install it
These betas are meant for devs to do this testing and NOT you!
Some apps won't work as advertised as they have no idea what Apple will change in a future unreleased iOS version

Ha! Try telling that to all the rooted Android users who run different ROMS lol. In a way it is good because it allows for developers to see what is broken. They free beta testers.

If you find a bug/incompatibility, it's way better to simply email the dev (perhaps sending some logs as well) rather than leaving a 1-Star review. Like Rene said, don't be a jerk.

The issue here is not that u can't speak out, but u can't expect any respond to it at this stage.

Well, also that you're not ALLOWED to speak out by your agreement with Apple, and it's not fair to the developers. Any bug you run into is more likely Apple's than theirs. It's still their problem if iOS 6 goes final with it, but between now and then are many months and many new builds of iOS 6.

So sad that each time a beta comes out people have to be reminded that a beta is a work in progress and bugs are to expected, issues occur and compatibility with current released versions of the operating system and of course apps that we're written to run on the earlier versions need to be tested and compatibility issues repaired ready for when a public release is made.
If people don't want compatibility issues and bugs that cause crashes then they should wait and get a working version when it officially launches.
That's why I will happily wait until launch day!

Well said Rene. Too many people install the beta versions of iOS and expect it to work as perfectly as a public release. Great article!

But what about Siri? Isn't Siri in beta too and was/is used as the MAIN selling feature of the iPhone 4s? It was NEVER marketed as a beta product but in fact IS a beta product but by your reasoning since it is in beta, you can't complain about it.... right?

With Siri I feel that it's a 50:50 beta disclaimer. In the fist half Apple covers their behinds in case of a server failure. The second half is a note to the general user that new functions will be added to Siri with time.

Yeah, that was my first thought too. But despite Apple's track record with Siri, it's not the same.
It's not right to leave reviews for apps that are not even allowed to release iOS 6 versions yet. That's id10tic.
Now, missing functionality in iOS 6, like omitting transit maps and street view, should still be fair game. Same with any feature that works differently than in iOS 5. Those are the kind of things people want to discuss, beta or not.

"If something doesn't work, if an app crashes, if the whole system re-springs, there's a name for that -- beta."
What's it called when it happens in iOS5, frequently, with built in apps...

As a developer, I'd offer a contrarian take. Obviously, I'd like it to be gracious and take into account the fact that my code or dependent code is beta, but I appreciate thoughtful commentary especially during early builds while I still have time to fix stuff. Whether a blog post or app store review is the appropriate venue is debatable, but nothing is more annoying that getting to release date and having a customer say "I assumed you were going to fix that".

Like I said in a previous comment, iOS 6 users should email their crash logs to devs, rather than giving 1-Star reviews with little or no information.

It is for this very reason that nobody should complain about Android. After all, it it apparently in perpetual beta, no matter which release. :)

As a iOS Developer.. THANK YOU! because people truly don't understand the risks and what they are committing to when they are Testing on BETA software.

Beta or no beta, if I see one more bad review because the app "crashes".... oy ve. Crying about an app crashishing is not a review of an app.

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