New Animoji and other features to come in the fall release, but others must wait. Apple has new features planned for its big, new iOS update—but not as many as you may expect. According to a Bloomberg report, the next sweeping iOS update, codenamed "Peace" and likely to be called iOS 12, will include a number of app redesigns, the expansion of Animoji into FaceTime, and other changes but not some of the biggest rumored changes such as redesigned home screens for iPhone and iPad. Instead of filling iOS 12 with a bevy of new features, Apple is reportedly changing strategies to allow developers more time to perfect the new features to ensure reliability. Animojis will find another home in FaceTime when iOS 12 is released. Apple is reportedly working on increasing the number of AR characters available and allowing users to don them during live FaceTime video chats. A new iPad is reportedly in the works that has Apple's FaceID camera, which would allow it to support Animojis as well (Animojis are only currently available on the iPhone X, which has the new FaceID camera). Also planned for the new software update are a revamped stock-trading app and Do Not Disturb feature, an updated search view that leans more heavily on Siri, a new interface for importing photos onto an iPad, and multiplayer augmented reality gameplay. But with all the features slated to hit iPhones and iPads this fall, even more are being held back. Apple is reportedly working on big changes to the interfaces of iPhone, iPad, and CarPlay; a redesigned Photos app; and an iPad feature that would allow apps to run with several windows at once so users can tap between them like tabs in a browser. Rather than stuff a bunch of new features into a big annual software release—like Apple has done consistently over the years—the company is reportedly focusing on perfecting new tools to reduce bugs and increase overall quality. The new strategy is designed to help both customers and Apple engineers. Users have noticed many bugs in recent iOS software updates, and a number of features like Apple Pay Cash weren't ready for Apple's big software update last fall. While introducing a lot of flashy new features on a predictable schedule has likely kept users updating the software on their Apple mobile devices consistently, it has also caused enough problems for users to notice that many software updates are arriving with bugs. For Apple engineers, more time to work on features that fundamentally change how users interact with Apple devices will hopefully reduce bugs and glitches and produce more reliable features in each update.
Last month we learned that Apple is reportedly focusing on reliability and performance in iOS 12 over new features, and now were starting to hear about more of those features that will arrive in iOS at some point in the future. Bloomberg reports that Apple will bring its Animoji characters to the iPad, thanks to a new model of the tablet that has a Face ID camera. Apple is also planning to bring Animoji to FaceTime, so iOS users can put virtual emoji over their faces like the filters found in Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. The new software features are part of a new iOS release codenamed Peace, says Bloomberg. The release will also reportedly include universal apps that work across iPhones, iPads, and Macs. These apps sound similar to Microsofts own work with Windows Universal Apps that run across pcs, tablets, phones, and even devices like the HoloLens headset. iOS 12 is also said to include improvements to the Do Not Disturb feature, and a redesigned built-in stocks app. While Apple is planning some software updates this year, it sounds like the bigger iOS features wont arrive in time for iOS 12. Bloomberg reports that redesigned home screens for the iPhone, iPad, and CarPlay wont arrive in 2018, and that iPad owners will have to wait until 2019 for significant software updates. The iPad will reportedly get tabs within apps so you can run several windows inside a single app, and the ability to run windows from the same app side-by-side. Tabs have typically been used in browsers, but macOS was updated with this feature a couple of years ago and Microsoft is also planning to bring tabs to every Windows 10 app over the course of the next year. Apple is also reportedly holding out on new Apple Pencil features, and a simple toggle in the email app to mute threads. The delays are part of what is being described as an internal culture shift at Apple, allowing engineers to work on new features without having to cram them into a single annual update. Apple Pay Cash and iCloud message sync both missed the iOS 11 update schedule, and Apple has been battling a number of software and security bugs in macOS and iOS 11 recently. If Apple can spread out its feature updates into steady point releases for iOS then this should hopefully allow for more test time and less bugs and crashes.