A Word About Apple’s OS Betas

In Short: Don’t Install iOS 13, iPadOS, or macOS Catalina

During the last couple of weeks, quite a few people contacted us about crashes, hangs and other problems with Ulysses on devices running the beta versions of iOS 13, iPadOS and macOS Catalina. We’ve been asked a couple of times if we couldn’t offer a beta version of Ulysses that works fine on the new OSes. Unfortunately, for the time being, we can’t.

From our experience with previous OS updates, we feel safe to say that these betas are extraordinarily unstable and buggy. After all, beta versions of operating systems are still just beta versions – they are buggy, they are crash-prone, and they do lose data. Whereas in recent years, it was pretty safe to install preview versions early on, this year that’s definitely not the case (see for example this report on Cult of Mac).

Most impactful for us, however, is that the (great, great) updates done to iCloud are also leading to severe problems with the service. As iCloud is Apple’s sync service, it’s beyond our power to solve them, of course. Some public beta users reported synchronization outages and data loss that propagated to devices that did not even run the beta but were just connected via iCloud.

On its official list of known issues, Apple states:

Under certain conditions, your iCloud Drive might be missing data after upgrading to iOS 13 beta. (51787170, 51950018)

and

Some documents might not download in iCloud Drive. (52295165)

So, for the moment, we strongly advise against installing the public betas of iOS 13, iPadOS and macOS Catalina. Especially don’t install it on devices that you rely on for your daily work. Those who install it anyway, take the risk of all kinds of constraints, bugs, crashes, and, most importantly, data loss.

For us, we decided to not offer any Ulysses beta for iPadOS, iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, until we can recommend using iCloud on them with good confidence. This is likely going to happen in the next few weeks, as we see more betas coming out. But for the time being, we are holding out.

If a Ulysses beta becomes available, we will announce it over here.

Max Seelemann

Co-founder, lead developer and keeper of focus. Loves to recite very old one-liners. Makes the world's best apple juice.