The word on the street — well, coming from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman — is that Apple is planning to delay the release of iPadOS 16 for a month, breaking what has become a pattern of releasing it at the same time as iOS.
According to Gurman, moving the release gives Apple more time to streamline the Stage Manager, which in the betas has been buggy, difficult to use, and is also limited to the newer M1 iPads.
Gurman also points out that pushing the release forward by a month brings it closer to the release of the new hardware, which is expected before the end of the year.
On top of this, Apple has already announced that some iOS and iPadOS features, such as an updated CarPlay experience, won’t be available immediately, and that those will be added in later updates.
Here’s the thing. There’s no reason for Apple to keep iOS and iPadOS releases in lockstep. Sure, it’s good for the release to happen a few months down the line from Apple’s WWDC developer conference, but it does make more sense to release it close to, or even alongside, an iPad hardware refresh.
Also, Apple needs to focus on iOS.
The days of rocky iOS releases that we’ve seen in the past need to end. I can remember some absolutely terrible iOS releases where pretty serious bugs were being dropped into millions of iPhones, and then users having to wait for those bugs to be patches.
And if they were lucky, those updates didn’t themselves bring more bugs.
The scale of an iOS release compared to an iPadOS release is also massive. At the beginning of 2022, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company had 1.8 billion active devices worldwide — this includes iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch — and of that more than a billion of those were iPhones.
No one wants to drop a buggy update onto a billion devices.
It’s hard to say how many iPads are part of that. I’d estimate the figure to be somewhere in the region of 200 to 250 million.
That’s big, but it’s dwarfed by the iPhone.
If the price for a better, smoother iOS release is an iPadOS delay of a few weeks, then that’s a good solution.
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