Apple is on the path to finding "Peace," the internal name of iOS 12 due out this fall. Typically Apple goes all out for its annual software upgrades and crams as many new features and upgrades into its mobile operating system as possible, and then tweaks things throughout the year with incremental updates. This time around, however, Apple is taking a different approach that will see its engineers focus less on new features and more on under-the-hood refinements.
That is not to say there will not be any new features for iPhone and iPad users to look forward to. There will be, including a new Digital Health tool to show parents how much time their kids are spending on their mobile device, and of course improvements to Animojis. But Apple is not redesigning the home screen, and there will not be a retooled Photos app, two previously planned upgrades that are now being delayed.
Apple's decision for delaying a handful of new features and shifting its focus to under-the-hood changes is that the fast-paced schedule of adding new come at the expense of performance and buggy software.
"This change is Apple beginning to realize that schedules are not being hit, stuff is being released with bugs—which previously would not have happened," a person familiar with the company told Bloomberg, referring to when Apple was a smaller company with fewer engineers and devices than it has now.
Apple recently came under fire when it was discovered that it was throttling performance on older devices, to which Apple explained was a feature to preserve battery life rather than encourage upgrades. In a future version of iOS, users will be able to toggle the feature on and off. It's not clear if the focus on improving performance generally in iOS 12 is a reaction to the situation.
Of course, Apple likes to make a splash at its press events that see major new versions of iOS released. For iOS 12, the big feature that is coming is the ability for third-party apps to work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. This will also be part of mac OS 10.14, which is internally codenamed "Liberty." So, brace yourself for Peace and Liberty, folks.