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.
Although Apple reportedly scaled back its upcoming release of iOS 12 to focus on squashing bugs and improving stability, a new Bloomberg story spotlights several key features the company expects to add to the iOS and Mac platforms. Apple is currently working on an iOS update codenamed Peace and a macOS update called Liberty, expected to be released as iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, respectively. According to the report, Apples person-to-person video and audio calling app FaceTime is set to receive two major upgrades. The more interesting addition is group chat, a feature Apple introduced years ago with the Mac video calling app iChat, but removed — and never restored — when it introduced FaceTime for iOS devices. This feature may or may not make it into iOS 12, depending on the state of Apples progress when the companys Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) rolls around in June. Apple also expects to integrate iOS 11s cartoony Animojis into FaceTime, enabling participants with TrueDepth cameras to appear as various animated animals during calls. While TrueDepth and Animojis are currently exclusive to the iPhone X, the report indicates that a new iPad model will include the necessary hardware to support the feature. This feature appears likely to appear in iOS 12. The report suggests that Apple is also working on a redesigned Stocks app for iOS 12, improved Do Not Disturb feature with more granular settings, deeper integration of Siri into the iPhones search view, multi-person augmented reality game support, and an improved photo import interface for iPad. Features likely to be held back for iOS 13 include tab support for iPad apps, split-screen support for two instances of the same app, new Apple Pencil features, and email thread-specific notification muting. On the Mac front, the report claims that macOS 10.14 will continue to have the previously reported Marzipan feature, designed to let Macs run iPad and iPhone apps. Apple also reportedly plans to bring its Home app to macOS from iOS, enabling Mac computers to control HomeKit accessories, and likely serve as HomeKit hubs. iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 are expected to be debuted at Apples WWDC in June.