Momentum is already turning towards the next Apple iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 and of course something that is likely to be introduced at the same time, iOS 7. Many people are just as avidly anticipating the next mobile OS as are waiting for new phone hardware although recent patterns have seen the new operating systems launched to coincide with the latest iPhone. There are promising signs though for those waiting to hear more about iOS 7 as it appears testing of the next iPhone and OS is already taking place but we feel that Apple needs to break down some barriers and come up with something fresh for its next major updated mobile operating system.
Although the iPhone 5 was only released in September, evidence from app developers appears to tell how devices using IP addresses from Apple’s campus in Cupertino show references for both iOS 7 and an iPhone 6,1 in usage logs. These device identifiers fit with current naming patterns such as the iPhone 5 being the iPhone 5,1 and 5,2 depending on model and do appear to be a good indicator that testing is now ongoing. There has recently been speculation by analysts that the next iPhone, and therefore iOS 7, are to be unveiled at Apple’s WWDC, usually held in June, with a launch shortly afterwards, returning to the traditional summer release schedule. However prominent analyst Gene Munster still recently felt that a fall timeframe was more likely.
Although the situation is still not clear regarding a release date for iOS 7 it does look as though users of the upcoming iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 at the Apple campus are already testing out some of the most popular applications for compatibility, as reported by The Next Web. We would also imagine this means that the features for iOS 7 are close to being settled. In previous years we have seen upcoming major OS updates seeded to developers ahead of WWDC. For example, one month ahead of WWDC in June 2012, there were already references to iOS 6 software being spotted and this was released to the public just before the iPhone 5 was launched running it in September. Maybe seeing references to iOS 7 this early might then suggest that summer release time after all?
There has been talk that Apple’s iOS platform is becoming a little stale and we have discussed this previously so perhaps work is underway to come up with something truly groundbreaking after some of the disappointments of iOS 6, one prominent example being Apple Maps. As Forbes points out there are plenty of wish lists already containing plenty of suggestions for iOS 7 and among the most useful changes as far as many iOS users go, could be improved app management with enhanced icons, improved ways of hiding apps and customized default apps for everyday functions. Interestingly IBTimes also discusses ways of making iOS 7 more user-friendly by removing irritants and adding some much-wanted changes and has come up with a list of 11 features that would be good to see on iOS 7, many of which are app-related so this does seem to be a common theme.
Although at one time more people were interested in new hardware rather than software, the new iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad could bring hundreds of changes, some of which could be more relevant than improved specs on the hardware. Therefore we really feel, along with many others, that Apple needs to break down some barriers with iOS 7 and give it a completely fresh appeal. Earlier today we discussed jailbreaking and how many people would like to see a far more open iOS than present so this is another factor to consider.
What are your thoughts on iOS 7? Do you think that as devices have already been found to be testing it, it could release to the public earlier than expected this year? Maybe you feel that iOS is becoming stale and needs a complete revamp and overhaul in order to appeal to more users? What do you think of the chances of a more open iOS from Apple? Let us know by sending us your comments.