After the kludgey mess of iOS 8’s buggy updates and the swarm of negative user sentiment they triggered, Apple has reportedly gone all out to make the next version of its mobile operating software rock solid.
According to sources cited by 9to5Mac, Apple engineers made bug fixes a “huge” priority in iOS 9. Instead of throwing all of their effort into new features, they concentrated on nixing the main issues that plagued the previous version—namely bugs, erratic performance and file sizes that choked software updates or forced users to delete data to make room.
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None of those problems should plague iOS 9 (or, at least, so Apple hopes). Because there’s a lot at stake with this update—including its upcoming smartwatch and the fate of Apple’s last 4-inch phone.
You Can’t Build On A Shaky Foundation
Apple software updates come in different shapes and sizes, from mere bug fixes to the bigger introduction of all-new functions—like support for Apple Pay and HealthKit features, both launched among iOS 8’s rapid-fire releases.
Too bad the software updates were often frustrating to install and, once running, frequently glitchy. As device performance tanked, so did Apple’s reputation for simplicity and ease of use.
If the latest report is true, then it’s clearly Apple’s attempt to restore some good faith in its users—which may be key during a year that will launch a new, $350 Apple Watch into the market. No one wants to spend a large chunk of change on an unproven gizmo that hinges on glitchy software.
iOS 9: Bad News For Apple Phablet Haters?
That’s not to say iOS 9 will merely be a glorified patch. The next major update could fill in other gaps in Apple’s software ecosystem, including transit information and indoor maps.
As for improving stability and performance, 9to5Mac notes that the task could be easier if Apple retires its older devices. For instance, if the iPhone 5c, first iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch get the old heave-ho this year, there would be no dusty older gadgets to keep humming. The devices left would be newer ones with advanced processors, allowing iOS 9 engineers to focus on getting the most out of modern 64-bit A7 and A8 processors.
See also: Apple’s 4-Inch iPhone May Be Doomed
That would be great news for owners of later-model iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, as well as the new Apple Watch. But it would also mean there’s only one option remaining for people who don’t want a phablet: the iPhone 5S.
Put another way, iOS 9’s release could mark the beginning of the end for the last 4-inch Apple smartphone. Hopefully the software update will be worth it.
Photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite