Updating iOS Test Devices

Updating iOS Test Devices

This article will explain:

  1. Why Lab Workstation users should update iOS testing devices with caution because a jailbreak might not yet be available

  2. Why users should keep devices running major iOS versions that are not yet jailbroken on reserve in anticipation of Lab Workstation support for those versions.

To account for all possible scenarios, mobile apps should undergo security testing in a worst-case environment such as on a jailbroken device. For this reason, Lab Workstation tests iOS apps on a jailbroken version of the iOS operating system.

A jailbreak method for a new version of iOS is not immediately available upon Apple’s release of an iOS update. In addition, soon after a jailbreak is available, Apple will release a new version of iOS that patches the jailbreak method.

As soon as a jailbreak method for a newer version of iOS is available to us, our research and development team begins updating Lab Workstation and the agent to support testing of apps on that jailbroken version of iOS. Until that Lab Workstation update is released, however, a device running a non-jailbroken version of iOS will not function with Lab Workstation.

Therefore, we recommend that whenever Apple releases a new major version of iOS (e.g., iOS 8, 9, 10, etc.), Lab Workstation users do the following:

  1. Update another device not currently used for testing to the new major iOS version

  2. Keep that device on reserve

  3. Refrain from performing any further updates on that device

This will ensure that as soon as Lab Workstation supports a new major version of iOS, you have a device on hand you can use to test apps on that jailbroken version of iOS.

Example

  1. Prior to Lab Workstation 3.6, users tested iOS apps on a jailbroken device running iOS 8.4.

  2. When Apple released iOS 9, users continued testing apps on the iOS 8.4 device.

  3. Some users set aside another device and updated it to iOS 9 in anticipation of Lab Workstation eventually supporting it.

  4. With the release of Lab Workstation 3.6, those users that set a device running iOS 9 aside were able to test iOS apps on that reserved device.

  5. Users that did not set aside a device could not test iOS apps on an iOS 9 device

  • If they were to update their iOS 8.4 device, Apple’s update process only allows the update of a device to the most current production version (iOS 9.3.3 in this example).

  • Because 9.3.3 was not jailbroken at the time, the updated test device would not function with Lab Workstation.

Please contact support@nowsecure.com with any questions regarding this issue.