Most tech communities spend the summer working on beta versions of iOS and macOS before the fall release. For something that has been going on for a few years, it feels like the software releases for fall have been a part of our lives for decades. As fun as these updates are for the general public, they can be a major source of stress for IT departments. As you work with these beta updates to check for compatibility, you will plan how you will distribute these updates to your warehouse. If you’re wondering when to install iOS 14, read my test plans here.
About the quality: Every Saturday, Bradley Chambers publishes a new article on Apple in Education. He has handled Apple devices in a training environment since 2009. With his experience distributing and managing hundreds of Macs and 100 iPads, Bradley will shed light on how Apple products work on a scale, the stories of the ditches. of IT management and how Apple could improve its products for students.
So far, the beta versions of iOS 14 (including iPadOS 14) have been very stable in my experience. I still haven’t upgraded any of my Macs to MacOS Big Sur, but I plan to upgrade when Apple releases a public beta. Every year I have a clear set of test steps that I go through before I release updates via my mobile device management system.
On the iOS side, it’s a little easier to test. While we have hundreds of apps in our library, less than ten are mission-critical we have to do every day to work. During the summer, I look at their update logs to make sure they regularly see updates and support forums for beta information. I test these apps with my devices to make sure some critical aspects of them still work.
We trust AirPrint to print from our iPads, so with each beta I will make sure the printing features we use still work. Because AirPrint is unmanned, we have never encountered a problem, but I always test again.
On the device management side, the vendor I use still supports zero-day support for all new updates from Apple, so I’m always sure they’m ready to go. While I’m still convinced that I could release a meaningful new version of iOS on the first day, I usually wait for the first bug fix before shoving it into our iPad storage.
MacOS testing is much more complicated than iOS testing because macOS is a much more complicated system and there is always more to test. The first thing I want to check is how our printers are performing with the latest updates. The latest updates have been very smooth with printers, so hopefully macOS Big Sur is no different. We use Xerox printers and one of their outlets is the fast compatibility with new operating systems.
From there, I test our workflows for mission-critical applications. Although we use many web apps, there may be compatibility issues with the latest version of Safari or with Chrome on the latest version of macOS. I will test the steps we take to treat new students, process tuition fees, etc.
We use several USB hubs and video adapters in the classroom, and while a software update should not affect them, I will still test all the different models. One of the essential steps in my testing is to make sure that our USB to Ethernet adapters work without requiring a driver update, and if they do, I will contact the supplier we use.
After doing all the tests, I feel confident in our compatibility with a new macOS update. As with iOS, I will always prevent it from being installed on the first day. It’s not that I do not trust my tests, but on the contrary, I do not want my users to switch from the more stable version of one version of macOS to the less stable to the next. I will block it for 90 days and hopefully Apple releases the first major bug fixes that we can go straight to during the upgrade.
Summarize when to install iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur
What is your strategy for updating your devices? Am I missing something with my tests? What are you worried about iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur updates for the fall? Let us discuss in the comments.
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