Apple’s iOS 9 might not bring any new features to the iPhone, if a new report from 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman turns out to be true.
Rather, Apple’s next major software update for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices may focus on improving performance.
Gurman says he’s heard from sources that Apple’s engineering team is placing a big emphasis on fixing bugs, boosting performance, and maintaining stability with iOS 9.
Don’t expect iOS 9 to be a big aesthetic change like iOS 7 or iOS 8 — iOS 9 will probably bring under-the-hood improvements.
A particular area of focus will be keeping the size of its updates more manageable for consumers. When iOS 8 launched in October, some iPhone owners complained they couldn’t install the update because it required too much free space. Apple says it fixed this requirement with the latest iOS 8.1.3 update.
It sounds like Apple may be fixing some of the problems Daring Fireball’s John Gruber pointed out around the time iOS 8 launched. Adoption of iOS 8 was noticeably slower than that of iOS 7, and Gruber theorizes that iPhone users have lost their trust in Apple’s updates due to bugs and the amount of storage required to install the update.
Apple has had success with this strategy in the past, too. When the company launched its Snow Leopard update for the Mac in 2009, it made technological improvements that made the software run more smoothly on Intel-powered Macs rather than adding new features. It’s possible that iOS 9 could be a repeat of what Apple did with Snow Leopard, if Gurman’s report turns out to be accurate.
We probably won’t learn more about iOS 9 until June, which is when Apple usually unveils its new iPhone software. Apple has historically launched its new versions of iOS alongside its new iPhones in the fall.