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Apple’s most revolutionary new feature won’t even be the best thing about iOS 12

Updated Feb 12th, 2018 11:01AM EST
iOS 12 Features
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

Due this summer in beta form, iOS 12 will bring over a highly anticipated feature that has been rumored for quite a while now, though there will be a big caveat. Running iPhone and iPad apps on Mac is only exciting news for those iPhone and iPad users who also happen to be Mac users.

But that might not even be the most significant feature of iOS 12, a new report explains. Instead, iOS 12 will bring Apple fans something a lot more important, and it’s a “feature” that you might not even notice at first.

Independent reports from a few weeks ago said that Apple’s software division has decided to focus on user experience in its next major software updates, rather than pushing out a ton of new features. Apple has faced plenty of criticism lately due to various software issues or feature delays, prompting many to wonder why the company isn’t deploying the same kind of near-perfect software experiences of the past.

A new report from Bloomberg says that Apple decided to fix its software issue by rethinking its launch schedule. Rather than setting unattainable goals for its software team, Apple will slow down the pace, going for consistency instead of software innovation.

iOS 12 will bring various novel features, including the ability to run iPhone apps on Macs; a new Digital Health tool that shows parents how much time children spend on iOS devices; Animoji support in FaceTime (as well as more Animoji); Face ID support on iPad; multiplayer support for AR games; a redesigned stocks app; upgraded Do Not Disturb mode; a new way to import photos into an iPad; and a new way to integrate Siri into iPhone search.

But several other features that were initially cooked up with iOS 12 in mind have been postponed to iOS 13 or later. The list includes a redesigned home screen for the iPhone, iPad, and CarPlay, and a revamped Photos app that can suggest what images to view. Some iPad-only features have also reportedly been delayed, including a multitasking mode that would let users run several tabs in the same app window, just like on Mac, as well as a feature that would allow users to run two screens of the same app side by side.

As you can see, Apple will continue to update its software annually, but without rushing developers to meet annual deadlines. This should lead to improved software experiences across platforms.

Going forward, Apple will work on the next two years of updates for iPhone and iPad, with engineers having the final say on whether new features are ready to be launched or should be postponed to next year. A person familiar with the matter said that Apple’s primary software guy Craig Federighi outlined the new strategy last month, thus corroborating what previous reports have claimed.

“This change is Apple beginning to realize that schedules are not being hit, stuff is being released with bugs – which previously would not have happened,” a person familiar with the matter said.

Come iOS 12, it may take a while for you to notice its biggest feature, assuming that Apple’s new strategy is successful. That’s because most iOS users spot bugs and inconsistent experience as soon as they happen, but not all of them observe the contrary.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.