Craig Hockenberry: This year’s beta release cycle has been a mess

Craig Hockenberry:

The months since WWDC in June have been a terrible experience for both customers and developers alike and the literal center of the chaos was Apple’s iCloud syncing service.

Lest you respond, instantly, with, “But it’s a beta”, read on.

It all started with customers reporting lost Linea sketches in their iCloud Drive. Initial investigations led to a common factor: all of the people affected had installed the iOS 13 beta release.

And when I say lost, I mean really lost. Entire folders were either gone or corrupted. Apple’s mechanism to recover deleted files was of no help. The customers with weird folder duplicates were the “lucky” ones.

The key is Apple’s traditional beta culture: Use the beta on a device you can afford to be without if things go south.

But this year there’s a new, critical lesson. Make sure that test device is not connected to your main iCloud account. Which limits the testing value of a beta, since it will not be able to test in as many real world scenarios, with real world data stressing all the systems.

Read Craig’s writeup. No need to be a developer to follow along. But if you are a beta tester, public or dev, take the time to read it. It’s an excellent cautionary tale.