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Apple could be rethinking its release cycle for iOS and macOS


According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is switching things up for this years major updates. Instead of meeting a tight deadline and ticking all the boxes on the checklist, development teams will be able to push back some features if theyre not polished enough. Axios and Bloomberg previously reported that Apple was focusing on stability with iOS 12. You can still expect iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 this Fall (and probably new versions of watchOS and tvOS), but the WWDC keynote might be a bit shorter than in previous years. Developers can now work on new features over two years. It should help when it comes to quality issues. iOS 11 hasnt been perfect so far. Customers faced some weird bugs, such as autocorrect bugs, messages arriving out of order and the Calculator app not calculating properly. So lets look at some of the rumored features for iOS 12 and 13, macOS 10.14 and 10.15. First, Apple is going to fix some low-hanging fruits with nice-to-have features on iOS. According to Bloomberg, you can expect better parental controls with detailed stats for parents, more granular settings for Do Not Disturb, a new Stocks app and a way to invoke Siri in the iOS search bar. When it comes to flashier additions, you can expect more Animojis for the iPhone X. And if the new iPad Pro gets a Face ID camera, Apple is also probably going to bring Animojis to the new iPad Pro. In other (bigger) news, Apple is currently working on a FaceTime update that will finally let you call multiple people at once. Bloomberg says it might not be ready for iOS 12. You might be able to replace your face with an Animoji during a FaceTime call too. Youll also be able to share your augmented reality view with multiple users. For instance, you could imagine a board game that works with multiple iOS devices. After setting up the augmented reality board, all users could see the same virtual elements at the same place. iPad users will have to wait until 2019 for big new features. There could be a way to run the same app in Split View. For example, you could run the Messages app twice side-by-side to interact with two threads at once. Beyond Split View, developers will be able to integrate tabs much more easily to switch between multiple documents and views. And then, theres the elephant in the room. Bloomberg says third-party developers will be able to release iPhone and iPad apps on macOS. Details on this front are still very thin. Its unclear how its going to work and if users are going to see iOS interfaces on macOS. It seems more likely that developers will be able to use iOS frameworks on macOS, such as UIKit. This way, iOS developers could port iOS apps to the Mac without having to recode big portions of the app. Similarly, this rumor could indicate that Apple plans to merge the iOS and Mac App Stores so that users can buy an app once and run it on an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac. This wouldnt be surprising given that Apple Watch and iMessage apps can also be downloaded from the iOS App Store. If Apple is slowing down its release cycle, it could be a turning point for mobile operating system. iOS and Android have been updated at an incredible pace over the past ten years. It feels like those platforms are now nearly mature. Customers dont expect drastic changes with new major releases. At the same time, customers have become more demanding and now expect to have reliable phones.

Apple’s iOS 12 strategy: Take more time to squash the bugs


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.