From iOS to watchOS: New Apple Software That We Expect This Year

March 5, 2018
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Apple plans to release iOS 11.3 this month but more software releases are expected from the Cupertino giant this year like iOS 12, a major iOS release and watchOS 5.

Apple’s software updates are subject to a lot of speculation and are often leaked online. But since Apple tests all software within boundaries, it’s hard to get hands on the leaks.

Regardless, we still know a decent amount about what’s to come from Apple this year.

March

iOS 11.3

Apple’s spring software release is on the way and includes Apple’s new battery and power management controls.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook announced that iOS 11.3 will give users the option to disable iPhone’s performance throttling at the risk of unexpected shutdowns.

Apple implemented this feature in response to the feedback from customers when the company announced that it had been throttling older iPhones as their batteries degrade over time.

iOS 11.3 will introduce support for medical records in the health app as well. This update will allow users to see medical data from hospitals and other providers directly in the Health app.

In addition, iOS 11.3 might include a set of several new Animoji characters and include ARKit 1.5 as the first major iteration of Apple’s AR platform. The update supports recognition for vertical surfaces, as well as more accurate mapping of non-rectangular surfaces like round tables.

Business Chat, another iOS 11.3 feature, will be built-in to the Messages app and lets users communicate directly with businesses like Hilton and Discover, etc. It’s similar to the chatbot functionality in third-party apps like Facebook Messenger.

iOS 11.3 is currently in beta testing and will be released this month.

Later this year

iOS 12

Following the release of iOS 11.3 this month, all the focus will be on iOS 12. While we don’t know much about iOS 12, initial reports has some interesting details about the major iOS update.

iOS 12  will be released alongside macOS 10.14 which is expected to include support for cross-platform applications. As we previously said, Bloomberg reported this, explaining that it would make it so the developers could maintain one platform across both operating systems.

Developers could therefore be able to build one application for both iOS and macOS. This will be a breath of fresh air for the Mac App Store which it desperately needs.

The report also indicated that Apple is testing a redesigned iBooks application that is focused on curation, much like the Apple Store design introduced in iOS 11.

iOS 12 will likely be introduced in June at WWDC. Expect a public release in September alongside the new iPhones.

tvOS 12


tvOS 11 has introduced relatively minor changes. Here one major lose for Apple TV 4K users at this point in time is the lack of support for Dolby Atmos. While touted as a feature of the device last fall, Apple has only said it’ll add support at a later date.


We should expect Apple to make updates to tvOS to best showcase that content. It’s still unclear how Apple will package and sell that content, but its likely solutions seems via the existing TV app on iOS and tvOS.


tvOS 12 could be release in June at WWDC to developers and public beta users, while a full release could be in fall.


watchOS 5

We aren’t sure what will be included in watchOS 5, but from past updates, it’s easy to speculate that watchOS 5 will include a few new watch faces, giving users the option to expand their customization options.

Sleep tracking feature will likely be introduced to the Apple Watch. Apple acquired the sleep tracking platform, Beddit, last year, and sleep tracking remains one of the most requested features for the Apple Watch.

New Apple Watch applications would also be great. For instance, there’s still no Podcasts app on watchOS, which feels like a major limitation. New fitness features are likely to be included as well. Apple has made adding new tracking and motivational features with each new watchOS update an SOP.

Following the release of iOS 12, watchOS 5 could also be introduced in June at WWDC with a full release in the fall.

Apple’s software plans for this year are clearly high, as are its hardware plans. The new software updates that are expected to be introduced this year include iOS 11.3, iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5 and tvOS 12.

What software features are you excited to see? Let us know in the comments below!

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