According to recent rumors, the upcoming iOS 12 will rather focus on performance and stability improvements than on adding new features. Among the novelties, there is the possibility to activate animoji in FaceTime, deeper integration of Siri with the iPhone, and some new possibilities for the Do Not Disturb mode. The fact that a new iOS lacks smart new features may be explained by two reasons. First, such novelties are likely to come with iPhone update. And the second reason consists in the disturbingly big number of bugs in the current iOS, which makes Apple concentrate their efforts on quality and reliability rather than novelties. The second reason looks especially convincing, as the company has been criticized for both security and quality issues in the previous iOS updates.
Anyway, Apple’s intention to delay the release of features that are not sufficiently polished means that we should not expect from the new update too many new goodies. At least the novelties in the iOS 12 will be considerably fewer than the iOS 11 changes. There is even a list of features that Apple has postponed until the next iOS. The list of features that will NOT appear before 2019 includes the following items:
- The long-expected change of the icon-based home screen.
- Redesign of the CarPlay interface.
- Changes for Mail, updates for picture taking and photo editing.
- Updates to Camera app and Photos.
What’s New Anyway?
But in any case a new iOS simply cannot come without nice novelties; there must be at least a couple of them. That’s right, and even iOS 12 does introduce certain new features, though fewer than was initially planned (and expected).
Reports say the improvements will focus on “augmented reality, digital health, and parental control”. As regards digital health, a few new important features (like increased availability of patients’ medical information) were added to the Health application already with the iOS 11.3. A capability to map vertical surfaces was introduced in the ARKit, together with some minor boons. The iOS 12 is likely to further develop the two above guidelines. As to parental control, recently there has been frequent criticism from important figures and organizations, including some major Apple shareholders, with insufficient elements of such control at iOS level. Public urges the company to make it easier for parents to restrict children’s use of smartphones. As a response, Apple announces its further steps to advance in this direction as well. The company’s intention is to enhance the iOS abilities that enable parents to control their children’s use of smartphones and help parents restrict what their kids consume from their digital devices.
Among other expected changes in the iOS 12 is the possibility for the users to place Animoji faces over themselves while making video calls (really amusing!). Another novelty: Siri will be deeper integrated with the iPhone in the search view, which means more help from the smart assistant during the use of the system-wide search capacity. As regards the Do Not Disturb mode, additional options are expected for automatic rejection of phone calls and silence notifications.
Some of the stability issues the iOS 12 is expected to address are just annoyances, like the auto-correct error on the keyboard. Others bring more serious consequences like shutdown or dangerous vulnerabilities as the December 2 bug or the Spectre and Meltdown phenomena do. An unpleasant surprise for the users was undoubtedly the iPhone crash on receiving a particular iMessage. Overall, Apple seems to undertake a serious strategic shift towards greater reliability and security of its products, which is reflected even in the fact that the upcoming iOS 12 is code-named as Peace. Reportedly, the company’s new guideline is to focus on fewer and smaller new features, while ensuring a stricter safety and stability of its operating systems.
Fewer Smarties, Tougher Sells
It is clear, however, that users are much stronger attracted by bright novelties that can be enjoyed just upon purchase, than by reassurances of improved stability. Therefore, the current shift in Apple’s policy may have mixed consequences in terms of sales volume and probably the company’s profits. But, on the other hand, users also care about security and quality of their purchases and are not solely driven by the desire to try a new goody. Future will show how wise the current policy is.
When Will It Be Released?
The release date is still unknown, but there are no reasons for this year’s timing to be different from usual. So, unless some major stray from the common schedule occurs, the overall sequence of events related to the release of the next iOS will be as follows:
- Release announcement and presentation of major features of the iOS 12 at WWDC (most likely in June).
- Seeding the beta versions for testing (first to developers and then to the public) starts around WWDC date.
- Final release, likely to take place in September, shortly before the release of a new bunch of iPhone models.
How to Get iOS 12?
You can’t buy it before the official release, but in principle, you can try the new iOS earlier. Developers and participants of public beta testing will have access to it shortly after WWDC this summer (first the developers). Developers are welcome to Apple Developer site and those taking part in public testing – to beta.apple.com, as soon as the corresponding testing stages are announced. While it is not as simple to become a developer, a regular user may easily become a regular tester. For this to be done, you download a special profile, which will enable you to join the process.