In a move underscoring its commitment to software excellence, Apple’s head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, recently put a temporary halt on the development of the company’s next major software updates, including iOS 18, as per Bloomberg reporting. This rare decision was driven by the need to address quality issues in the initial versions of the software.
iOS 18 is particularly significant for Apple as it strives to match Google and OpenAI in terms of generative AI. With no major advancements expected to the iPhone 16’s hardware, Apple is relying on its software to attract new users.
Strategic development break
This careful approach led to the pause in development work on iOS 18, as well as other operating systems such as iPadOS 18 and macOS 15. Engineers were given a week solely dedicated to debugging and enhancing performance, a strategy not employed since 2019 when Apple revamped its development processes due to bugs and feature delays in new iPhone launches.
Last month, Apple completed the first internal versions of iOS 18 and macOS 15, a critical stage in their development. This stage, known as M1, typically precedes the shift to the next development milestone, M2. The debugging break delayed the commencement of M2 development but gained an extra week for resolving bugs.
Impact on release schedule
The one-week pause is unlikely to significantly delay the final release of the software. At most, it might reduce the time for eliminating end-stage glitches. However, it demonstrates Apple’s dedication to upholding high-quality standards as set by Federighi’s policy, The Pact, which emphasizes immediate resolution of any regression caused by new features.
Apple’s 2024 software updates are shaping up to be more ambitious, with senior management touting them as “ambitious and compelling.” These updates will likely bring significant new features and designs, alongside improvements in security and performance.
Ensuring reliability and performance
For Apple, the true appreciation of these innovative features will hinge on their flawless functionality. This pause reflects Apple’s focus on ensuring that its software is as robust and reliable as the new capabilities introduced.