Apple allowed Mac app developers to release updates in phases instead of to all users at once. In this way, if an issue is found, the release can be paused before it reaches everyone.
“You can now release an update to your macOS app in stages by enabling Phased Release for Automatic Updates in App Store Connect,” wrote Apple on its Developer website. “Your update will go out to an increasing percentage of users with automatic updates turned on, over a 7-day period.”
This is important for updates that appear in the Mac App Store’s Updates section because if you have turned on the Automatic Updates, the new version will be installed immediately. In case you haven’t done this, the update will only add an alert to the App Store icon informing you that it’s now available.
The new developer feature means that the alert will be seen by different users, or the update will be installed automatically at different times.
Only 1% of users will receive the update on the first day of its release, and 2% percent on the second. After that, it rises to 5, 10, 20, and 50% over the next days until on the seventh day when 100% of users will be offered the update.
Nevertheless, if you know that an update has been released, you don’t have to wait for it.
“All users can still install the update manually from the App Store at any time,” Apple writes.
The company’s main purpose is to help app developers find problems and thereby help users avoiding them.
Being beta tested, the applications are released to potentially millions of users worldwide who may find potential issues. In this way, a developer can pause the release before an issue affects everyone.
“If you find an issue with your update, you can pause the phased release at any time, for a total of up to 30 days, regardless of the number of pauses,” Apple concludes.
The new feature is for Mac App Store developers, however, developers hosting on the iOS App Store have had this opportunity since 2017.