Apple could be making a big change to the way it updates iPhone software

Apple made a big deal out of the latest update to its mobile operating system, iOS 9.3 which, traditionally, would have been a smaller, more low-key affair. This change could, according to MacWorld, signal Apple’s new way of dealing with iPhone software updates.

Apple’s update cycle for the iPhone has stayed relatively consistent over the past few years: New versions of the iPhone come with a new update, usually signified with a new number (such as iOS 9).

After that, updates are delivered with a point — such as 9.1 — and include smaller features and bug fixes.

However, the iOS 9.3 update contains some big features, such as added iPad software aimed at education, a new Night Mode, and updates to the Notes and News apps. All of these new features were summarised in a new website.

“This latest iOS release adds numerous innovations to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” the website reads. “There are improvements to a wide range of apps, along with great new additions to CarPlay.”

Making every update to the iPhone’s software into an event takes the pressure out of the big reveals as new features can be unveiled when they are ready, rather than at a fixed point sometime in September or October, when the new iPhone is released.

The iPad’s new education mode, for example, is a significant feature that Apple has chosen to announce in the middle of January, rather than with an updated iPad or at a big event, such as the one rumoured to be in March.

The Verge noted that 2015 felt like Apple’s “year in beta,” where products were either unfinished or were being worked upon. Changing the update schedule of iOS away from a once-yearly big reveal to multiple reveals over the year could help remove this feeling.

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