macOS and Xcode Compatibility

Originally published via community forum on 27 September 2017.

In recent years backwards compatibility has been a priority for the teams at Apple with one of them being the Developer Tools team. Together with the macOS team, they appear to have started synchronizing releases allowing the developer community to find, report and help Apple fix issues with new releases of both macOS and Xcode.

This chart on Wikipedia shows that across the last 17 Xcode releases (as of September 2017), an operating system upgrade was required roughly every 6 months (or 165 days) for the latest and greatest Xcode version.

The breaking releases usually happened around March and September. If you look at events on Apple’s yearly release calendar, in September those releases coincide with new major OS releases. The March releases leave some room for interpretation. One version could be that new feature development on Xcode stops at that point in order to button everything up for WWDC in June. Looking at Twitter this seems to line up with the “no more features” theory since the first tweets with #nosleeptildubdub appear around the end of February every year.

Looking out into the future of macOS 10.13 High Sierra and Xcode 9 backwards compatibility, it looks like a major upgrade will be required in March of 2018 or 196 days from now.

Depending on your development and release schedule we would recommend to wait until at least November or even later to integrate the update. This will allow for the Apple community to pick apart every last inch of High Sierra and find all the trivial bugs that turn into weeks of broken builds and endless CI configuration guesses.

macOS and Xcode Compatibility


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