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Apple Delays Work On Next Year’s Software Updates

Apple has hit the pause button on next year’s software updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, amongst others, in an attempt to remove glitches from the code.

The delay was announced internally last week, and is in an effort to maintain quality control following bugs in early versions. Instead of adding new features, the company’s engineers are now focusing on fixing flaws, and improving performance.

The software of Apple devices is one of the biggest selling points on the products. But the company needs to focus on a balance between adding new features, and running smooth operating systems.

In recent years, Apple has been eyeing quality, and has pushed back multiple unreleased iPhone features until the next year over concerns the software contained many bugs.

An overhaul commenced in 2019, on the way the company develops software. This was done as an attempt to prevent issues. The approach saw each feature needing to be enabled manually, in a process called “feature flags.” Employee testers were able to isolate the impact on the overall system prior to addition.

The same year, Apple adopted “The Pact,” which is an agreement that ensure employees never knowingly allow “regressions,” with software that once worked, and now is not, and must quickly fix mistakes. This has resulted in less bugs in software and fewer feature delays in recent years.

This latest round of development hasn’t been as smooth, and when eyeing new operating systems for next year, the software engineering management team found many “escapes.” This is an industry term for bugs missed during internal testing. All feature development was halted for one week to fix the issues.

“It’s a problem of 10,000 people typing code and completely breaking the operating system,” said one source.

Apple completed the first version of its next iPhone, iPad, and Mac operating systems last month, known as M1. The iPhone and iPad software will be iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, whereas the Mac software will be macOS 15.

Work on the second milestone release, M2, has been delayed, and was also applied to the next Apple Watch operating system, watchOS 11. Also halted was an update to the current iOS 17, iOS 17.4. That software is expected to be released around March.

Future versions of visionOS have also been affected, which is the software for the Vision Pro headset. Currently, it’s reported development delays are unlikely to postpone consumer releases. The pause is set to be lifted this week.

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