• November 28, 2022

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With what is likely to be the last release of Apple’s iOS 15 iPhone software, iOS 15.5 now live, Apple’s attention, and ours, will turn to the next big thing: iOS 16.

We know the timetable: unveiling at WWDC, first developer release days or even hours later, public beta a few weeks after that and general release in September.

Well, we know the date of the unveil is Monday, June 6, so that’s where we start from.

But Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has tweeted that this year, the first public beta will be late. That’s not good news for those Apple fans who aren’t developers but still want to try the new software as soon as possible.

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Gurman says the usual process is that the public beta lands alongside the second dev beta. But that this year it’s scheduled to appear alongside the third dev beta instead, which will likely be in July.

So, on the face of it, only two or three weeks later than normal, perhaps.

But it matters because it suggests there are too many bugs in the software to make an earlier public beta possible. And if there are bugs now, that has a knock-on effect for later parts of the beta journey.

Does this mean the final software could be too late to arrive with the iPhone 14, expected in September? Absolutely not, but it could mean that some of the features which Apple will trumpet on June 6 won’t be ready for iOS 16, and be held instead for iOS 16.1, 16.2 or whatever.

There’s some room for hope, however. Gurman says “Things are still fluid and could shift”. You can bet that Apple will be doing everything right now to get things back on track as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, I believe it would rather be a week or two late in the early stages than risk a buggy release later on.

Gurman has also said that there will be fresh Apple apps and new ways of interacting with the system. In which case, getting the wrinkles out sooner rather than later will be even more important.

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