Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has launched a serious new iOS model every fall and a notable comply with-up replace early in the next yr. For instance, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was up to date to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was up to date to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface enhancements in March 2014. But beginning with the lately launched iOS 8, it seems that Apple has a unique improvement schedule for 2015 and maybe past. According to sources, Apple is already exhausting at work on three main comply with-up variations to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.
We’ve confirmed that these main new variations are in improvement by way of two means. First, a developer of a serious hardware-related iOS software has shared with us their analytics, and this knowledge signifies that each one three variations are in testing by Apple staff in or round Cupertino, California. Second, and far nearer to house, our personal Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com present that iOS customers are visiting our web site by way of iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 units. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com began showing even months earlier than iOS 8.zero launched, however 8.2 and 8.3 visits solely began choosing up following iOS 8’s launch in mid-September.
While Apple works on a number of iOS options and enhancements over the course of a number of years, it sometimes solely begins wholly testing main new releases near the ship dates of the previous launch. Apple engaged on three vital comply with-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the standard improvement cycle, one which might usually point out Apple to be engaged on simply iOS 8.1 in addition to iOS 9.zero. It’s potential that iOS 9 can also be in the works, and naturally Apple is all the time engaged on nominal bug repair (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, however the truth that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous improvement raises some fascinating prospects:
The first risk is that Apple is shifting away from annual iOS releases in the autumn which are tied to hardware. Right now, Apple releases hardware updates to its two most crucial strains in the autumn alongside new iOS variations: the iPhone and the iPad. While connecting the brand new hardware to main annual software program releases is a primary advertising tactic for Apple and ensures that the newest hardware and software program are properly built-in, issues do happen. For instance, whereas the hardware of the previous few iPhone fashions (the iPhone 5, 5s, and 6/6 Plus) has clearly been prepared for launch, the corresponding software program releases have been buggy.
iOS 6’s inclusion of the defective Apple Maps app left a sore in an in any other case profitable iPhone 5 debut, iOS 7’s new design and have-set remained unpolished for almost six months following the launch of the iPhone 5s, and the iPhone 6’s launch was met with a buggy iOS 8 that included a nonfunctional HealthKit app and a botched iOS 8.0.1 update. Perhaps Apple has realized that releasing main new variations in the autumn tied particularly to hardware has extra cons than execs, and maybe Apple is readying these later 8.2 and 8.3 updates as extra minor releases for the 2015 iPhone and iPad fashions. Perhaps one of many updates is even a forked model particular to the upcoming 13-inch iPad.
Another risk is the precise reverse: maybe Apple is just rushing up its iOS improvement course of. Maybe Apple continues to be planning to launch iOS 9.zero round September or October 2015 alongside new hardware, and the corporate additionally plans to launch vital iOS 8 function updates all through the primary three quarters of 2015.
Our sources indicated early this yr that Apple has been planning to include significant Maps improvements with iOS 8, however that the function was pushed back due to bugs and internal conflicts. Apple has additionally been engaged on a brand new iPad split-screen mode for a model of iOS 8. Additionally, Apple is readying an iOS replace to activate the NFC-based Apple Pay service and the corporate might want to launch an iOS replace in early 2015 to make iPhones play nicely with the upcoming Apple Watch. Perhaps these aforementioned upcoming options shall be staggered throughout 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 throughout this fall and subsequent yr.
A ultimate risk is that Apple might be shifting its iOS naming conference to an iOS 8.x system, very similar to the Mac working system is marketed as OS X 10.x. It might be complicated to Apple customers in a few years from now when iOS X/10 and OS X will co-exist. Perhaps the 8 shall be to iOS what the 10 is to the Mac OS, and we’ll be dwelling a number of years into the longer term with iOS 8.x releases. That final piece of hypothesis, nevertheless, appears far much less possible than iOS 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 accounting for vital hardware-tied options coming throughout 2015.
Filed underneath: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, Apple pay, Apple watch, craig federighi, Hardware, iOS, iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, iOS 8.3, iOS 9, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac, maps, NFC, OS X, split-screen, Transit