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iOS 13: Apple releases strange new update ahead of operating system launch and iPhone 11

Unusual launch could suggest that features will be missing from new software

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 28 August 2019 09:02 BST
IOS 13: Apple releases strange new update ahead of operating system launch and iPhone 11

Apple has released a strange new iOS update, just weeks ahead of the release of the iPhone 11.

The unusual update could suggest that the operating system for the new phone is not ready, and that it will arrive with a number of key features missing.

iOS 13 is expected to be launched in September, coming with the new phones but also available to Apple customers with older ones too. Usually, Apple works over the summer on the next big release, meaning that it is ready in time for the autumn release of the new handsets.

But Apple pushed out iOS 13.1 to developers, offering them the option to get their apps ready for the new software. But there is something unprecedented about that decision: iOS 13 has not even been finished let alone released to the public.

The release was initially taken to be a mistake, and some suggested that Apple had simply wrongly numbered the latest versions of iOS 13. But it became clear that it was intentional, and that Apple was planning to allow developers to work on iOS 13.1 even before iOS 13 had arrived.

That prompted speculation about why Apple would be moving on from iOS 13 – its biggest software release of the year – already. And many experts are suggesting that iOS 13 may simply not be fully ready for the public, forcing Apple to change its release schedule.

That could mean that Apple will strip some features out of iOS 13, when it arrives in September and on the new phones. Those features could then be added in again at a later stage, when they are finished and iOS 13.1 is made available to users.

Apple would presumably have to admit that those iOS 13 features were not finished and that users will have to wait for later software updates for them to be enabled.

Some beta testers of early versions of iOS 13 had already noted that there appeared to be problems with the software. It has been widely reported to include more bugs and problems than previous releases, and early users have expressed concern that it would not be ready in time.

That would explain why Apple could be forced to simply admit defeat on attempting to get those updates ready in time, and push them back into a later update.

Apple revealed iOS 13 during its Worldwide Developers Conference, its biggest release of the year, in June. It brings a whole new design in the form of a dark mode, as well as a variety of other tweaks and new features that will be added to the software.

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