Apple may ditch one-year update cycles for iOS after iOS 12 is done and dusted
With iOS 12 still many months away, iOS 11 is still ticking through incremental updates. However, that hasn’t stopped us looking to the future to see what iOS 12 has in store for us.
Details around iOS 12 still remain scant, but it’s believed that once iOS 12 launches in September, it could be a while yet until we see iOS 13. According to a report on Bloomberg, Apple’s software lead Craig Federighi told his team of engineers that, after iOS 12, new updates to Apple’s mobile operating system would take place every two years.
Yes, that means we’ll be waiting for new versions of iOS every two new iPhones that come to market. The idea behind such a move hasn’t been explained, but it’s likely so Apple engineers have more time to implement larger features without having to cram them into earlier updates instead.
It’s slightly baffling that they feel the need to still have big updates to iOS instead of running it as a rolling stream of new features that trickle in with each incremental update. Regardless of what Apple’s plan is, you can read everything we know about iOS 12 so far below.
iOS 12: Everything you need to know
iOS 11 brought us an all-new control centre, a smarter, more natural-sounding Siri and even drag and drop on the iPad. What exactly could iOS 12 bring us?
We’re already starting to think ahead to 2018 and the inevitable release of iOS 12 and the rumour mill is kicking into gear. As the news continues to come in, we’ll round up everything you need to know right here.
iOS 12 release date
We’re pretty certain Apple will release iOS 11 in September in 2018. This pattern has been consistent for years now. Apple will likely offer a preview of iOS 12 at the WWDC in June 2018. Following previous releases, there’s likely going to be a public beta available.
iOS 12: What can we expect?
Besides the general updates that might give core apps and the iOS UI a makeover, we’re not really sure what iOS 12 holds. So far, the only news we’ve heard and the only thing we’re certain of is that iOS 11 will have better music-recognition ability.
While Siri can already identify music, it’s not very intuitive and certainly isn’t well integrated. With Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, we can expect a more streamlined integration into the iOS ecosystem. However, as our sister site Alphr reported on 11 December when the acquisition was announced, we could be seeing an end to Shazam’s global integration with streaming services. Other than that, we’re still pretty much in the dark when it comes to iOS 12’s features as it’s just way too early to predict anything concrete.
There have also been rumours of certain features that never surfaced on iOS 11 that we might see on iOS 12. This includes things such as a dark mode and user profiles on the iPad.
We can make a few general guesses using previous Apple patents, but as we know from past experiences, Apple patenting new technology does not necessarily mean that it will see the light of day in the next iOS release. Still, here are four of our top Apple patents, from cool to weird, that could make its way to an iOS build at some point – if not iOS 12, then maybe one day in a future release.
^ Maps in iOS 11 introduced detailed indoor maps of airports and shopping centres
1. Siri detecting whispers
Originally filed in 2016 but made public on 14 December, this patent describes how Siri can detect when its user is whispering and subsequently whisper back all of its replies.
2. An iPhone panic button
Apple patented this back in July. It would users the ability to operate a panic button simply by performing a sequence of touch gestures on your iPhone, so that if you’re in trouble an assailant will be none the wiser. The panic button will be able to send across your GPS location and call the authorities.
3. Setting alarms based on your sleeping patterns
Patented back in June, Apple will be able to figure out your sleep ritual and adjust your alarms accordingly. By using data such as heart rate, the microphone and motion and light sensors, your iPhone will be able to figure out what you’re doing before bed and what time you fall asleep so that you get the right amount of hours with your eyes closed.
4. Indoor mapping
iOS 11 allows users to view detailed indoor maps of airports and shopping centres around the world. However, in November, Apple was granted an even more sophisticated patent. The patent covers the use of magnetometer to predict what floor you are on in a multilevel shopping centre.