Apple will reveal its next major platform update for mobile devices, iOS 12, in the summer this year before eventually releasing it in the fall. In comparison, Google Inc.'s latest operating system, Android Oreo, which was released in August, is only on 1.1 percent of devices, while the older versions such as Nougat (28.5 percent), Marshmallow (28.1 percent) and Lollipop (24.6 percent) still make up the bulk of the devices. On the one hand, spreading feature updates over a longer period could hurt Apple's competitiveness in the fiercely contested smartphone market.
READ NEXT:Amazon quietly bought security cam startup Blink for $90m In a meeting last month, Apple software SVP Craig Federighi told the company's engineers that they'll now have more time to develop features. 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. The change is said to have been introduced in response to a perceived drop in quality over Apple's recent software releases.
As Sinofsky points out, we tend to talk about development as if its three goals - the so-called "iron triangle" of quality of release, pace of change, and the adding of new features - exist in a zero-sum game. Their more agile model enables features to be cut from release as and when required, before being reintroduced at a later date.
Will iOS 12 Be the iPhone's Snow Leopard?
The rethink sees the company bowing to critics who claim iOS 11 is rife with bugs and design inconsistencies. Only 65% of iOS users have updated to iOS 11, as compared to last year's percentage of iOS 10 which was 79%, according to Apple's developer website.
Bloomberg describes the shift as "an admission of what many customers have already come to notice: Some Apple software has become prone to bugs and underdeveloped features". The iPhone X launch, while financially successful for the company, has still gathered its share of software complaints. Apple is now 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. Remember, MacOS was updated with a similar feature a couple of years ago. Exciting stuff, right? Apple clearly wants to push out its bigger software updates after iOS 12, which will likely debut alongside the next iPhones this autumn. That doesn't mean iOS 12 will be devoid of new features. This wouldn't be surprising given that Apple Watch and iMessage apps can also be downloaded from the iOS App Store.
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