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Apple is delaying certain planned features for its 2018 operating systems to focus on performance and quality improvements, according to a pair of new reports.
Reportedly, Apple software chief Craig Federighi announced the revised plan to employees at a closed meeting earlier this month, according to Axios, which had learned of the meeting and some of its details.
Apple typically releases new software updates once a year. This year, it’s likely to release iOS 12, a successor to macOS High Sierra, and updates to watchOS and tvOS. But a handful of features originally planned for iOS 12, which is expected in the fall, have been delayed until 2019.
While Axios first reported the pushed back software features, Bloomberg corroborated the rumors with its own report released later in the day, citing sources within Apple. The latter outlet added that the delays will affect this year’s macOS release, but not the expected Apple Watch or Apple TV updates.
For iOS 12, some of the planned-but-delayed features include:
- A refresh of the Home screen app grid.
- A refresh of Apple’s CarPlay interface.
- A multiplayer mode for ARKit-enabled augmented reality games
- Improvements to core apps like Mail.
- Updates to capturing, editing and sharing pictures in Photos.
On the other hand, Bloomberg noted that certain planned features, like the rumored addition of cross-platform support for third-party apps on macOS and iOS, are still on track for a 2018 release.
Along with that feature, Apple is also expected to introduce a handful of other improvements across a variety of first-party apps for iOS. That might include tweaks to Health, the ARKit toolset, and parental controls meant to curb teenage smartphone screen time, Axios reported.
The delay of key features should allow Apple to focus on stability improvements and bug fixes ahead of its iOS and macOS releases. In other words, that might mean a much more stable and less buggy software release in the fall — which could be a sharp departure from the bug-laden releases last year.