[Update: Bloomberg adds additional details including iOS & macOS cross platform apps still on track, new parental features are coming, tvOS and watchOS won’t be affected, and more.]
Axios is reporting that Craig Federighi instructed the software division to put aside some major iOS projects in order to focus on performance and reliability issues for iOS 12. The publication says a refresh of the Home screen and other features have been shelved to dedicate more resources to bug fixing, smaller tweaks and platform finesse.
There will be some new features in iOS 12 including augmented reality improvements, health features and improved parental controls, reports Axios. Bigger changes, including a refresh of the Home screen, have been delayed to next year.
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According to the report, Apple SVP Craig Federighi revised the plan for iOS 12 with employees at a meeting earlier in January.
Axios says that Apple had been working on updates to the Home screen, CarPlay experience, updates to the stock Mail app and enhancements to photo editing and sharing.
These projects have apparently been shelved to free up engineering resources to focus on addressing performance and quality issues, with an aim to make iPhone more responsive and ‘less prone to cause customer support issues’.
9to5Mac received information anonymously about a week ago, corroborating the claims made in the Axios report. Our tipster said that on January 17th, word came down from Apple that every major iOS 12 feature had been frozen (apart from a few features destined for the keynote) and development had pivoted to a ‘Snow Leopard’ strategy of bug fixing and improving UX consistency.
We did not publish the tip at the time as we couldn’t verify its legitimacy. However, it certainly gels with what Axios has reported here.
The community has criticised Apple in recent months over bugs and issues with Apple’s platforms. There is a perception that iOS and macOS are not as robust as they once were, although it’s hard to measure if these feelings are reflected in reality.
Axios says that some team members are not convinced that they will be able to achieve noticeable improvements to overall stability.
Apple will announce iOS 12 in the summer, likely at the WWDC keynote in June. WWDC is also where Apple announces the next versions of all of its platforms; macOS, watchOS and tvOS. The Axios report today only references changes in strategy to the iOS roadmap; it’s not clear if performance and reliability will also be top engineering goals for the other platforms.