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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 working on Animoji in FaceTime and tabs for iPad apps, says Bloomberg


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.