It may feel like iOS 11 was just released, but Apple is already hard at work on the next version of its software. According to a report from Axios, the next major iOS update will focus on improving reliability and performance — areas that Apple could certainly stand to work on — instead of flashy new features.
The shift in priority apparently comes from Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, who reportedly announced the new plan to employees earlier this month. According to Axios, a redesigned home screen, updates to bundled apps like Mail, and an improved picture-taking process have all been shifted to next year’s update. There will still be some new AR and health features in 2018, though. And Bloomberg reports that plans to integrate Mac and iOS apps together into a unified, cross-platform apps is still on track for this year’s update, too.
Apple taking a year off to refine software isn’t a new trend, at least on the Mac side of things. Releases like Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion, and High Sierra were all less feature-filled updates that generally served to refine and improve on the stability of Leopard, Lion, and Sierra, respectively. A similar approach to iOS that focuses on fixing some of the bugs and software issues that have plagued the latest version of iOS and give a more stable foundation for future releases is a good idea, albeit one that may result in a less interesting keynote presentation.
If past patterns hold, the next version of iOS will likely be called iOS 12, with a first preview likely come at WWDC 2018 sometime in June.
Update, January 30th, 11:20am: Added additional details from Bloomberg regarding Apple’s iOS 12 plans.