Don’t expect a ton of new features in iOS 12


The iPhone X running iOS 11.
Image: lili sams/mashable

iPhone fans hoping for some meaty new iOS features might be in for disappointing news later this year when the next version of the mobile software, tentatively called iOS 12, is expected to be released.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, has reportedly ordered the iOS team to focus on performance and stability (translation: under-the-hood changes) instead of flashy new features like a “refresh of the home screen,” according to Axios.

Other features such as a redesigned CarPlay interface and “updates to the picture-taking, photo editing, and sharing experiences” have also reportedly been pushed back to iOS 13 in 2019.

iOS 12 will instead focus on “improvements in augmented reality, digital health and parental controls,” the report says.

The change in development can be likened to that of Snow Leopard for macOS. After years of going full throttle, releasing new feature after feature in each new version of macOS (then called OS X), Apple was cornered into slowing things down and reinforcing the underlying fundamentals in order to bring performance and stability back up to snuff.

Snow Leopard sure as hell wasn’t a sexy operating system release, but it fixed a lot of bugs that could have ruined the Mac’s reputation had Apple not acknowledged the issues.

iOS 11 has been very problematic for iPhone users that many are choosing to not update to it.

iOS 11 launched with a slew of new features, but since its release the OS has been plagued with myriad issues. Like the autocorrect keyboard glitch, or the crashing caused by cold weather, or the chaiOS bug, or the time-related bug. And let’s not forget Apple’s biggest screwup of all: intentionally slowing iPhones because their old batteries have trouble providing enough power to the processor.

Loyal Apple users might look at all of these problems and say the company has grown too big, too fast, and lost its focus — and they’re right. iOS 11 has been so problematic for iPhone users that many are choosing to pass on the update (a bad idea because the newest updates also include security patches that are vital to protecting your data from ever-craftier hacking schemes).

A renewed focus on performance may mean this year’s iOS release and features won’t be as exciting, but like Snow Leopard, the fixes are much needed and will ensure future versions of iOS have a sound foundation to build on top of.

Apple will likely announce iOS 12 (or whatever it’ll be called) at WWDC, its developer conference expected to be held sometime in early June. It’s possible Apple will still have some big surprises in store for iOS, but you might want to reset your expectations or risk being totally disappointed. 

The new report also makes you wonder: What would a home screen redesign look like? Apple hasn’t changed the home screen much since iOS 7 ditched the skeuomorphic design from the Steve Jobs era. In our iPhone 2020 story last year, we mocked up our own vision for a more AI and Siri-driven home screen with apps that change based on location and usage. But what’s Apple cooking up? We may not find out until 2019.

Read more: