May 24, 2024

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Here’s why iOS 16 might have fewer bugs than past iPhone updates

By the time you download a new iOS update, it has already been extensively tested by Apple software engineers, app developers, and the general public. That’s why the software is often relatively stable when you get your hands on it. But the occasional issues do slip through the cracks. That’s why Apple is making it easier to report bugs in iOS 16.

Reporting iPhone bugs in iOS 16

On Monday, Apple announced the latest software updates for all of its biggest product lines. We got our first looks at iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9.

You won’t be able to download any of those updates until this fall, but in the meantime, the first developer betas have started to roll out. This gives the developers a chance to test their apps so that they’re ready when the update launches for everyone.

In the process of testing beta software, developers can use Apple’s Feedback app to submit bug reports. If something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, they can use the app to tell Apple about it. The problem, as MacRumors explains, is that the Feedback app isn’t especially intuitive. Apple also doesn’t do much to push beta testers to provide details about the bugs they encounter. That’s seemingly going to change in iOS 16.

‘Your iPhone was restarted because of a problem’

According to MacRumors, if an iPhone or iPad crashes, reboots, or experiences a calamitous issue while on iOS 16 beta 1 or iPadOS 16 beta 1, a prompt automatically appears on-screen. The prompt asks the user to help resolve the issue by sharing feedback and diagnostic files with Apple. They can then hit “Share” to start filing a bug report.

iOS 16 beta bug report pop-up.
iOS 16 beta bug report pop-up. Image source: MacRumors

Plenty of users are going to hit “Cancel” instead because they simply can’t be bothered. But if even the smallest fraction of beta testers click through, it will be worth it. Apple will receive far more data about iOS bugs and problems than it ever did before.

As a result, the public releases of its software should be even more stable.

In order to give developers even more guidance, Apple recently published a new page on its developer site about filing bug reports. Here’s a snippet:

When writing up your problem, describe each step thoroughly — it’s often helpful to pretend that whoever reads your report has never encountered the app or system you’re writing about. For example, a statement like, “When I create an event in Calendar, it disappears in a moment” omits many of the details necessary to reproduce the issue. Are you creating a Calendar event through the Quick Event button, through Siri, or are you dragging to add a new event? How long is a moment? Did the event disappear after multitasking, or did you remain in the app?

These same tips will be useful for public beta testers when the iOS 16 public beta arrives. If you have an Apple Developer account and want to start testing iOS 16 right now, here’s how you can download and install the new beta software right now.

More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.