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.
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.