How do I generate logs for iPhones? What would be acceptable for developers to have?

Ive been mostly doing a lot of Android Testing for most of my career.

Iam trying to understand how to get logs from an iOS Apple phone. On my android, I would just connect my phone to my laptop/computer and run adb bugreport. And the logs would generate.

However, on my iPhone+Mac setup, things do seem too simple and it goes into a rabbit hole due to the age of my macbook pro. But here’s the list of problems I have:

  • Macbook is running on Catalina 10.15.7 and can only run on Xcode 12.4
  • The iPhone runs on 16.3 and developer mode doesnt show up in the phone settings
  • Developer mode wont trigger on the iPhone because Xcode doesnt support the iOS version on the phone. Sideloudly app might help with this but, Iam not keen on putting my apple ID at risk.
  • I also tried to add the disk image folders in the device support folder. But I suspect developer isnt enabled and cant be detected via Xcode because of this

There is an option in Xcode called: Open console. Which live feeds all the process and its possible to filter only the application name. On this basis, is that ok to show to an Apple developer what is triggering a bug in the iphone app?

What have other QA testers done in iOS environments to get hold of bug reports for their app running on iPhones?
I mean, I would always include replication steps, environment software versions, screenshots and videos to help out the developers.

Thanks in advance.


Apart from downloading logs directly from the phone the most helpful option that I enjoyed using is something like TestFairy. (Or an equivalent analytics tool).

The feature where when the app is in “test” or “debug” mode, this tool would capture all logs, including screenshots of every session.

This way you can view logs and interactions in one place. This tool was quite pricey, but was worth the money.

I’m sure there are alternatives to this, given it’s been almost 4+ years since my experience with test fairy.


I noted this quite some time ago, not sure it is still relevant today, but FYI

on Windows, you will want to install iTunes to manage device and extract device app crash logs, etc. Or if just to transfer files/photos (no logs), can install “Apple Mobile Device Support” and “Apple Application Support” (MSI installer files) that are included in iTunes installer file (that can be extracted out as if iTunes installer was a zip file - via MSI/EXE extractor or WinRAR, etc.)

I don’t know if the chromium link and Windows tips is valid anymore with the obsolescence of iTunes. But they might still kind of apply for what is the replacement for iTunes today, hopefully not XCode itself.

I get your pain point. With Apple ecosystem and it’s version/model dependencies, you either stick with older devices/OS in order to use older hardware and XCode and things like that, or you’d have to upgrade in order to work with newer devices/OS. Hopefully in your case you could just upgrade mac OS then upgrade XCode. If that isn’t possible, you would really need a new Mac if no other alternatives.