According to industry insiders who spoke to fan site 9to5Mac, this year’s update to Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 9, will focus mainly on under-the-hood changes such as stability, performance optimisation and bug fixes.
Will iOS 9 squash the bugs?
The move comes amid constant complaints that iOS 8 is still full of bugs months after release, and features that don’t work properly – it’s been dogged by a series of high profile issues since it was released in September last year. Perhaps that’s why adoption rates for iOS 8 are somewhat lower than they were for iOS 7 at the same time in its lifecycle.
Apple went down a similar path before for the Mac – OS X “Snow Leopard” which was released in 2009, took a similar approach and focused on optimisation – instead of adding dozens or even hundreds of new features, and it’s consequently widely regarded as one of the very best versions of OS X ever.
The problem is that with every new iPhone, Apple feels they need to release a new version of iOS. And they obviously believe each iOS release should be closely tied to new devices – however, many people have called for the link between new iPhones and iOS to be broken – Apple has rolled out a new version of iOS every year since 2007, and it’s beginning to feel a bit like they need to take a step back and sort out the current issues before adding yet more features.
Apple will also reportedly also work to ensure the size of iOS 9 and the updates are manageable, which is especially important for those people with relatively small capacity 16 GB devices. But it’s not yet clear whether this could be done by limiting support to more recent 64-bit devices – the iPhone 5c, iPad Mini 1 and iPod Touch 5th generation use the older 32-bit chips, and dropping support for those devices would slim down the size of the OS, as it means the code could be moved to 64-bit only.
Even though iOS 9 is expected to focus mainly on optimisation, there are likely to be some new tentpole features, such as indoor mapping and improvements to the Maps app.