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Apple's shift in iOS development pace about evolving scale, not coping with bugs, says former Windows chief

Apple's "cultural shift" towards spacing out new features in iOS is more a natural function of development scale, and not really the revolution some people might perceive it to be, according to a noted former Microsoft Windows president.

iOS

iOS "dark mode" concept via Max Angelakis.


"What happens to a growing project over time is that processes and approaches need to re-thought," Steven Sinofsky said on Twitter. "It just means that how things once scaled —tools like deciding features, priorities, est. schedules, integration test, etc —are no longer scaling as well."

The shift may feel "dramatic" for people inside of Apple because it's the first time they've witnessed that sort of change, and outside because people are looking for a cause and effect, he elaborated.

"In my view the 'moment' is being manufactured a bit right now because of the perception that the Apple products have become less stable or...'buggy'," he said, while commenting that in his own view, Apple's hardware and software are at "quality levels our industry has just not seen before."

On Monday, a report indicated that Apple's iOS development is switching from loading features into major annual releases into scattering them out over time. That may put less pressure on teams, since they can concentrate on a smaller number of features at any one point.

The change may take effect in earnest with this fall's "iOS 12," which should be previewed during June's Worldwide Developers Conference. Some improvements could include deeper integration of Siri into Spotlight search, and a better "Do Not Disturb" mode.