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First iOS 9 details emerge, focus likely to be on stability

Following the mammoth redesign in iOS 7 back in 2013, and then the wealth of new features and enhancements iOS 8 saw last year, it’s no surprise Apple is sitting back and taking stock.

Reports are coming in that iOS 9 – due later this year – will focus on under-the-hood enhancements.

A report on 9to5Mac suggests that Apple engineers are being told to put a “huge” focus on fixing bugs, maintaining stability, and boosting performance of the new operating system.

The focus may help users of older devices as Apple’s product line stretches out between those with the latest models, and those that don’t wish to upgrade so frequently. However, Apple may take another approach – as the article above points out, if they retire the iPhone 5c, original iPad mini, and 5th-gen iPod touch, then all devices within Apple’s active product line will be using 64-bit A7, A8, and A9 processors. This will streamline development for all, and the operating system would be running on advanced hardware, reducing many of the performance issues.

Apple will also aim to reduce the space needed on a user’s iPhone to upgrade to a new operating system. This intention was first noted in the release notes of iOS 8.1.3 and it’s thought the amount of GB needed to upgrade to iOS 8 caused users to upgrade slower than expected. Of course, if Apple had killed of its 16GB model instead of its 32GB model when it launched the iPhone 6, this wouldn’t have been so much of a problem.

Innovative qualities

Stepping back and focusing on performance is no surprise really – Apple’s full-steam ahead approach in 2014 seemed to come off the back of suggestions that current CEO Tim Cook was lacking the innovative qualities that his predecessor Steve Jobs possessed, which led to the launch of a number of revolutionary products.

But, after one of the most successful iPhone releases in recent years in the form of the screen-expanded iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, alongside a hugely impressive Apple Watch announcement, Apple is looking to take stock.

A good idea all round – for a company who’s ethos used to revolve around products that “just work”, issues with iOS and OS X communication via Airdrop on the Mac, alongside a few serious errors in the early iterations of iOS 8 had some worried. The latter actually resulted in Apple having to allow some users to revert to an older iteration of iOS and left some wondering if the mantra was becoming somewhat ironic.

iOS 9 will likely be announced and showcased at Apple’s Wordwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in summer 2015.