Apple is now giving Mac App Store developers the option to rollout updates over a week-long period of time instead of all at once. This will allow developers to pause the update in case issues with the update are discovered, before it reaches all users. The new Mac App Store feature has been available to iOS devs since 2017.
You can now release an update to your macOS app in stages by enabling Phased Release for Automatic Updates in App Store Connect. Your update will go out to an increasing percentage of users with automatic updates turned on, over a 7-day period.
The automatic update will be available each day during the phased release period to the percentage of users shown below. This information will also display in your app’s information page in App Store Connect.
The new setting affects when an update will appear for users on the Updates tab of the Mac App Store. If a user has automatic updates turned on, the new version will be installed immediately. Users with automatic updates turned off will see a red badge alerting them to an available update. The new feature means different users will have the update installed or see the badge at differing times.
One percent of users will see the update the first day, rising to 5, 10, 20, and 50 percent until 100 percent of users see the update on the seventh day. If a user gains knowledge of an update, they can still manually update the app.
“All users can still install the update manually from the App Store at any time,” says Apple’s article.
The purpose of the update change is to allow developers find problems after an update and avoid widespread issues that may be involved with a user-wide rollout of an app. The developer can then pause an update before the 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,” says Apple.