Bloomberg shares details on Apple renewed focus on software quality

Apple is reportedly delaying several planned iPhone and iPad features in iOS 12 in order to focus on reliability and performance and now Bloomberg has shared additional details pertaining to the Cupertino tech giant’s renewed focus on software quality.

Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg, wrote Monday that the decision to delay some features gives engineers more time to perfect software reliability, representing “a major cultural shift” for the Cupertino firm which in years past has funneled its energies into quick-turnaround upgrades that are designed to wow users and make rivals seem slow-footed.

According to people familiar with the change, Apple will start focusing on the next two years of updates for iOS. It’ll still update its operating systems on an annual basis, but internally engineers will have more discretion to push back features that aren’t as polished.

From the report:

Software chief Craig Federighi laid out the new strategy to his army of engineers last month, according to a person familiar with the discussion. His team will have more time to work on new features and focus on under-the-hood refinements without being tied to a list of new features annually simply so the company can tout a massive year-over-year leap, people familiar with the situation say.

The renewed focus on quality is designed to make sure the company can fulfill promises made each summer at the annual developers conference and that new features work reliably and as advertised.

Unlike Google which updates its apps separately of Android updates, all new features in iOS and macOS are typically tied to a big release in the fall and a more modest update in the spring. Apple’s individual stock apps for iPhone, iPad and Mac aren’t updated on their own.

This pressures engineers to rush out some features while dropping the others because thousands of engineers are working on the same release schedule.

Still, this year’s iOS and macOS updates will bring features like allowing apps to run across iPhones, iPads and Macs, a brand new Digital Health tool to show parents how much time their children have been staring at their screen and improvements to Animojis.

Other planned features, including a redesigned Home screen for iPhone, iPad and CarPlay, and an overhauled Photos app that can suggest which images to view, have reportedly been delayed into 2019.

iOS 12 is reportedly internally code-named “Peace” while macOS 10.14 is code-named “Liberty.” macOS 10.14 could also bring to the Mac platform additional iPhone apps, including Home.

Apple’s new approach to software development includes the next major version of iOS and, to a lesser degree, macOS, not tvOS and watchOS.

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