iOS 16 Now Available for Testing in the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud

Posted Sep 13th, 2022

Another September, another highly anticipated Apple launch: with iOS 16 released, now is the time to test your mobile app to ensure feature compatibility and deliver a seamless customer experience.

If historical adoption data is any indication, the outlook for iOS 16 is strong: roughly two months after the release of iOS 15 in September 2021, the number of devices running that version had already exceeded those operating iOS 14. Six months later, iOS 15 reached 80% adoption. By May 31, 2022, 82% of all Apple devices were running on iOS 15.

We recommend you start testing on iOS 16 as soon as possible so that you’re ready before adoptions hit the 20% mark. Early adopters will expect immediate app compatibility with iOS 16, so it’s important to cater to this audience and the general public as this version reaches greater stability. 

If you are an existing Sauce Labs customer using public devices, you can start testing on iOS 16 using (“appium:platformVersion”, ”16”). If you use private devices, make a request through your customer success manager to get a head start today!

iOS 16 New Features

We believe the following new features related to accessibility, the lock screen, and notifications will be adopted quickly, make their way into app development, and therefore require testing.

Enhanced accessibility

Accessibility testing helps ensure anyone can access and use your app content at any time, including people with disabilities. Apple is considered an industry pioneer in accessibility. Not only does iOS 16 provide support for an additional 20 languages, but it also offers new real-time live caption features for FaceTime, video, and audio to help those with hearing impairments easily follow conversations. To make their apps even more successful on iPhones, developers and organizations should keep WCAG in mind throughout the software development lifecycle.

Testing accessibility features and scenarios while being compliant to WCAG can be a time-consuming process. You need to test across different combinations of iOS devices and screen resolutions to deliver the best experience for all users. Sauce Labs’ integration with Deque Systems’ axe™ tool suite allows you to easily test how well your app works with Apple accessibility features like VoiceOver, so you can support your customers’ entire journey. We plan to enhance the accessibility capabilities for native mobile apps in the near future, giving you a deeper understanding of your app’s accessibility issues.

Redesigned Lock Screen

We predict that the iOS 16 lock screen redesign will be popular with iPhone and iPad users. The lock screen revamp is highly focused on the Live Activities update, which will allow you to display updates to your users while the device is locked so that they can stay updated on what they care most about “at a glance.” How far along is my grocery delivery order? When will my Uber arrive? Live Activities can answer those questions for your users in real-time.

Make sure these functionalities are well-tested so that your organization can score quick wins for customer retention.  

Important: Live Activities won’t be included in the initial public release, but it will become publicly available in an update later this year. 

Improved notifications

Apple notifications will be undergoing a major change upon the release of iOS 16. Users will receive animated notifications that roll in from the bottom of the screen. There will also be an option for users to customize according to their needs. 

Testing notifications will be critical as they are quick triggers for engaging users with your app and ensuring they don’t miss out on important pushed information. Make sure to test across several iOS device types and screen sizes. You can test notifications on Sauce Labs in the Private Device Cloud.

Other features

Here’s what members of the Sauce team think about other exciting iOS 16 features:

  • Paused videos now display interactive text so that users can do things like copy and paste, lookup, and translate. You can even search text inside a video or picture via Siri and access it within FaceTime calls.” - Dustin Hutton-Alcorn, People Business Partner at Sauce Labs 

  • “Show battery percentage in the top right bar. Nothing more needs to be said” - Yi Min Yang, Senior Solution Engineer at Sauce Labs

  • Stage Manager is a game changer on iPad. If it works as expected, I might get rid of my old MacBook.” - Frank Steiler, Senior Account Executive at Sauce Labs

Which Mobile Devices Are Compatible with iOS 16?

The new iOS 16 is compatible with the following mobile devices, that are all available for you to test in the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud:  

  • iPhone 13 

  • iPhone 13 mini

  • iPhone 13 Pro

  •  iPhone 13 Pro Max

  •  iPhone 12

  •  iPhone 12 mini

  •  iPhone 12 Pro

  •  iPhone 12 Pro Max

  •  iPhone 11

  •  iPhone 11 Pro

  •  iPhone 11 Pro Max

  •  iPhone XS

  •  iPhone XS Max

  •  iPhone XR

  •  iPhone X

  •  iPhone 8

  •  iPhone 8 Plus

  •  iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)

Start Testing Your Mobile App on iOS 16 with Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs strives to provide first-in-the market support for devices and new/beta OS’s so that customers can test on the latest and greatest versions. Get instant access to iOS 16 through our Real Device Cloud. Start testing today with a Sauce Labs free trial


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