As an outcome of receiving various bug reports, Apple is now reportedly pushing back some major new iOS projects and is sharpening its focus towards performance and reliability. Thus, iOS 12, which can be expected to be announced at WWDC 2018 and arrive by about September, is said to be a feature-light update. The Cupertino company recently addressed the criticism around slowing down the performance of its older iPhone models by announcing a battery health feature and power management tools in iOS 11.3 - currently in developer beta. The feature will be available for iPhone 6 and later models.
Axios reports that Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi instructed his division to put aside some of the major features planned for iOS 12 in order to prioritise the development of making iPhones more performance-efficient. The list of features that the iPhone giant has delayed to 2019 - and possibly iOS 13 - includes a refreshed home screen and CarPlay user interface as well as improvements to preloaded apps such as the Mail and Camera apps. However, Axios mentions that this year's iOS 12 release will still come with some new augmented reality improvements, health features, and improved parental controls. Federighi reportedly defined the latest plan at an internal meeting earlier this month.
Bloomberg separately reports, citing people familiar with the development, that the shift in the software strategy will also affect the next big macOS update, though the planned upgrades to watchOS and tvOS will remain unaffected. A similar approach was said to be designed in 2015 with the release of iOS 9 and for some recent macOS updates. Moreover, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman points out that despite the shift, Apple is still on track to bring a combined apps platform to merge third-party apps running on iPhone and Mac models. It was originally rumoured to debut sometime in late 2018.
We can expect the release of iOS 12 at Apple's WWDC keynote in June. In the meantime, some point releases related to the current iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS versions are likely to be out to set the ground for the next major update.