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September 8, 2019

Apple iOS 13: What Developers and Test Engineers Need to Know

Industry News
Mobile Application Testing

Apple is about to announce the next generation of its iPhones and iPads together with iOS 13 and iPad iOS 13 after several months of iOS 13 in its beta program. 

There are few material changes in the new platform that teams should be aware of and prepare to address accordingly. Perfecto supports both the new operating system platforms and will provide immediate access to the new iPhones and iPads as soon as they’re available in the market. 

Key iOS 13 Features  

In iOS 13, Apple made some important changes across the entire platform — from UI, through performance, security, accessibility, and functionality.

iOS 13 screenshot

Some notable iOS 13 features and changes are the following (to learn more visit Apple’s iOS13 page): 

  • Dark mode support — the ability to change the entire platform look and feel makes the user experience more convenient, readable, and also on-par with the Android supported dark mode. 

  • Consolidated apps sign-in — Apple allows users starting iOS 13 to login to various apps using their Apple ID. This simplifies and unifies the user experience in the entire platform. App developers should explore this new feature and consider adding that to their apps. 

  • Privacy and performance enhancements — Apple made significant changes in the way apps can be packaged to reduce their overall size as well as their speed of launch. Apple promises twice as fast application launch with the new iOS version, and 30% faster face ID unlock. In addition, on the security front, Apple introduces enterprise profiles for data separation for users that uses the BYOD within the enterprise, together with other privacy changes to give users better control on their apps (through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth location privacy changes).

  • New Safari browser — the new browser comes with enhanced UI, new functionalities like tab management and saving open tabs as bookmarks, new start page with Siri suggestions, new website view menu, and more. 

  • Multitasking support — using split view functionality, users can open browsers and apps alongside and interact with them. 

iOS 13 new feature

Test Coverage Considerations for iOS 13 

The new platforms are not only impacting the apps and browser functionality but also redefining the iPhone and iPad market from a test coverage perspective. Today, the overall iOS market is dominated by iOS 12 with 90% share. Toward the end of September, we will see a whole different cut between the OS versions. 

90% of all devices iOS

In iOS 13, Apple is ending its support for the following devices: 

  • iPhone 5S 

  • iPhone 6 

  • iPhone 6 Plus 

  • iPad Mini 

  • iPad Mini 2 

  • iPad Mini 3 

  • Original iPad Air 

Only the following devices will get the update to iOS/iPadOS 13 together with the newly launched devices:

Devices that will support iOS 13


These changes will heavily impact the lab coverage and will require changing the overall platform support considerations. Teams will need to have a focused iOS 12 device matrix together with some legacy platforms like iOS 11 (and even older depending on their client’s device usage and analytics), and of course a relevant lab for iOS and iPadOS 13. 

How to Get Ready for iOS 13 and iPad iOS 13

As described so far in this blog, there are going to be big changes both to the iOS/iPadOS platforms as well as to the device landscape itself. To ensure there is no impact on your business, developers and testers ought to take actions accordingly:  

  • Perform a complete functional (regression) test automation audit across platforms (leveraging the Appium and XCUITest frameworks).

  • iOS 11/iOS 12/iOS 13/iPadOS 13 — new lab configuration is required.

  • It is important to configure the lab with new and legacy devices.

  • Continuously get used to following two separate iOS platforms released for iPhones and iPads.

  • Focus on testing the native, hybrid, and RWD apps with the new UI and Dark Mode and new Safari browser.

  • Review popup and security-related features within the app (new permissions policy).

  • Consider adding the sign-in option to your app to consolidate user logins across the platform.

  • Build an updated performance benchmark to assess your app and website's responsiveness based on the new changes Apple introduced in these releases (packaged apps, faster app launch, etc.).

How to get ready for iOS 13

The Bottom Line

As in previous years, Apple will continue to follow its innovative approach and redefine user experiences with new features and platforms. History shows fast adoption of new iOS platforms, hence, teams ought to be prepared and cover both the new and legacy platforms from day one. The transition to the new platform will be fast and the expectations for smooth functionality and performance of apps on the new platform (and the old ones) are high. 

Perfecto will continue its track record of immediate support for both the iOS/iPadOS platforms as well as the new devices that will be released. Clients can already test their app with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 and be prepared ahead of the releases. 

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