Comment: Should Apple take a step back with iOS 14?

For the past few years, it’s been clear that Apple has taken a certain stance to balancing its major releases of iOS. Even numbered updates, such as iOS 10 and 12, contained only minor upgrades in terms of features, but buttery-smooth performance, with the occasional bug. Odd numbers, on the other hand, notably iOS 11 and iOS 13, have contained major new features, interface improvements and huge changes to the mobile operating system that many have loved, but those releases have also been the buggiest.

It’s really obvious that Apple wants to brush over the release of iOS 11, which has been called the buggiest version of iOS yet, but what about iOS 13, and this year’s iOS 14?

Mockup of iOS Experimental Features page – Source: Apple TLD

Late last year, it came up that Apple could be changing up the beta testing game with the next release of iOS and iPadOS. Like many Google products, the company is said to be introducing a flag system, where users can enable and disable many experimental features. It will mean that Apple can get away with releasing huge new features, that have the potential of being buggy, and can be left disabled by default.

It’s a great move for Apple – but what does this mean for iOS 14? The update will likely contain some notable new features and changes to the look of the operating systems, but, if the new flagging system is introduced, then some of these could face delays or even be removed.

As such, it’s possible Apple will release a… different… update this year, right? By this, we mean it will contain a number of features and changes to existing apps, but more than a standard even release. Apple can announce as many features to the public as it likes, but release many more during the beta cycle. Alongside this, disabling experimental features by default will allow the general user experience to stay stable with little bugs.

It’s only our view – but it could be what Apple chooses to do with iOS 14. Let us know what you want to see with iOS 14, and if you think this is the route Apple should go down!

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Ben Ward
Senior Editor, discussing everything Apple and supporting other writers and members of Apple TLD's team of volunteers.
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