Well-connected Apple blogger, Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, has shared some interesting details about iOS 7, iOS 8 and the iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor.
Apple will most likely release iOS 7 publicly right around the time the iPhone 5S goes on sale, but the iPad version still seems to be buggy, as developers have noted, since it went into development after the iPhone version. The late start was evident when Apple waited until iOS 7 beta 2 to add support for the iPad:
While iOS 7.0 for iPhone is locked for the iPhone 5S launch in mid-September, there’s chatter inside Apple about the potential of holding back the iPad version for an iOS 7.0.1 release between late September and October; potentially alongside fresh new iPad hardware.
An added benefit of rolling out iOS 7 in phases is that Apple can better prepare users for the radical changes coming to the iPad’s interface, thanks to some familiarity on the iPhone running iOS 7. The company’s investigating significant resources to develop training sessions for iOS 7 for users who might be overwhelmed with the changes.
9to5Mac also says that Apple realises the limited capabilities of the iPhone 4′s three-year old hardware, and is working on ensuring that iOS 7 performs well on the device. Given that iPhone 4 is the oldest device running iOS 7, it’s quite possible that this is the last major software update it receives.
What’s on Apple’s roadmap after pushing iOS 7 to customers? Lots of interesting things, according to 9to5Mac:
Details are currently slim on what functionality iOS 8 will bring, but we’ve heard some chatter about projects in development within Apple’s iOS engineering division. We’ve heard that a Siri API, with restrictions to certain app categories (like weather, information, and news apps), has been considered in the past. Also in the works are advancements to iOS in the Car that could tie in an iPhone’s camera to provide the car improved information about current road conditions. This could help with re-routing vehicles via the iOS Maps app. Unfortunately, neither of these potential iOS additions have been discussed in tandem with the iOS 8 release, so it’s unclear if they have anything to do with the 2014 version of iOS, or if they are just possibilities for even further down the road.
A Siri API has been a feature developers have been looking forward to ever since Siri’s original release two years back, and it seems like the feature’s due to come in the next major release of iOS. It also makes sense that Apple’s doubling down on iOS in the Car given its importance to Apple’s ecosystem.
iPhone 5S with Fingerprint sensor
Also contrary to recent talk, the new Home button’s design will not be noticeably convex. Perhaps the shape has changed, but the tweaked button is nothing distinct enough for the iPhone 5S to be identified as anything but an iPhone 5 by the untrained eye. There’s the possibility, however, that the etching and border of the Home button could become more shiny and look slightly different.
He however notes that Apple doesn’t plan to use fingerprint sensor for payments, at least at the time of the launch, and users will have the capabilities to enable or disable the fingerprint sensor via the Settings app.
Apple is widely expected to unveil iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor at a media event on September 10, with a possible release on September 20. Based on last year’s release schedule, Apple may release iOS 7 on September 18th.