While the exact nature of Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference this year remains uncertain, it does seem apparent that the company is preparing to put all of its development efforts behind iOS 14, meaning that we’re not going to see too many more iOS 13 updates.
In fact, according to The Verifier (Google Translate), although Apple is preparing a beta of iOS 13.4.1 as we speak, this is intended to include little more than bug fixes. It’s expected to be released to developers and public beta testers in the next few days.
Of course, it’s to be expected that a minor sub-point release will only include bug fixes, and there may even in fact be more of these to come, but according to the report, it’s otherwise the end of the road for iOS 13 — there won’t be an iOS 13.5.
That said, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise, since Apple has never released a .5 version — in fact only a few ever made it to .4 — however with the rocky road that iOS 13 has taken thus far, there’s an argument to be made that an iOS 13.5 might still be somewhat necessary, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to see one.
Instead, Apple is expected to release a series of bug fixes to clean up whatever issues remain (and new ones that were introduced) in iOS 13.4, and The Verifier suggests that these could go as far as iOS 13.4.4, although it’s not clear where their information is coming from.
Right out of the gate, iOS 13.4.1 is expected to fix the VPN bug that was introduced in iOS 13.3.1 and somehow missed the list of fixes for iOS 13.4. As with most sub-point releases, this will probably have a fairly quick beta cycle as well, with Apple expected to release it to the general public sometime in April.
On the other hand, major point releases usually (but not always) introduce one or two new features, but at this point the iOS 13 roadmap has pretty much been fulfilled. By comparison, back in 2018 it took until late May — a week before WWDC — for Apple to deliver the promised AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud features in iOS 11.4, but it was much common back in the early days of iOS to have many more sub-point releases for bug fixes rather than major point releases. Prior to iOS 11, the only other version to ever have more than three major point releases was iOS 8.4, which was a special case as it paved the way for the debut of Apple Music with a completely redesigned Music app. Before iOS 8, however, most releases never even made it past the point one stage.
So while Apple will continue to maintain iOS 13.4.x into the foreseeable future, this will soon be superseded by iOS 14 for the majority of iOS devices anyway, and although Apple’s plans for WWDC remain vague at this point — we don’t even know when in June it’s going to be held — it’s a safe bet that the company will be unveiling iOS 14 at an online keynote and releasing a developer preview soon after.