Speed boosts, enhanced privacy measures and some exciting new features all look to be headed for iPhones – both new and old.
At its developers’ conference this month, Apple revealed what can be expected for the next Operating System upgrade – set to reach users in September – and it focused largely on the technical side.
The most headline grabbing new feature concerns speed improvements. Following on from a recent high-profile PR disaster (in which Apple was found to be throttling speeds on older devices in order to protect battery life), the company has pledged to quicken many of the most common processes. It said that apps would launch twice as fast as they currently do, the camera would load 70% quicker and the keyboard should be usable within half the time. Most interestingly, these speed improvements will be made available to devices as old as the iPhone 5s, which was released back in 2013.
Elsewhere, Apple announced changes aimed at making the lock screen less crowded when app notifications come through. It pledges to do this by grouping these notifications together by app, to prevent numerous messages coming through from individual apps, pushing possibly more important messages further down.
There will also be an intriguing new tool available to show just how much the phone has been used. The so-called Screen Time gives users accurate reports on how long their devices have been in use over the past week – to try and better educate users on smartphone addiction (seeing as many people drastically underestimate the length of time they spend on their devices).
On the security side, Apple has promised stricter rules on third party tracking, thereby curbing the effectiveness of social widgets and certain cookies. The company has also unveiled a feature that puts a one-hour time limit on data transfer via the Lightning Port, to better protect users if their devices are stolen or seized.
All this comes amid a promise that the design will look largely unchanged from the current system – a move that shows that Apple has focused more this time on tweaking the system’s underlying software.