Reportedly, Apple will focus on reviewing the way it tests its iOS software. Bloomberg reports that Apple has recently revealed internal changes whereby the company uses software flags in daily builds of iOS in an effort to stabilize future releases. The flags allow Apple's in-house developers to make changes to the beta versions of iOS 14 that internal testers can then enable, allowing Apple to better isolate any bad code.
It is a process that Google, Microsoft and many others have been using for years to isolate and test changes in Chromium, Windows and other software products. Apple is renewing the way it is testing all its software, including macOS updates, since iOS 13 has been a buggy since its launch in September. Apple has released eight updates for iOS 13 in just two months, addressing various issues such as crashing apps, visual issues, unfinished parts of the dark mode, and even missing features. iOS 13 was in such a poor condition that Apple reportedly considered the 13.1 update to be the "actual public release" that debuted five days after the release of iOS 13.
Bloomberg does not reveal exactly what will be part of iOS 14, but it is clearly working on the underlying stability of Apple's mobile operating system. Hopefully this means that even public beta versions of iOS 14 will be more stable than what many experienced with iOS 13. This is not the first time that Apple has focused on bugs, performance and stability with iOS. The iOS 12 release from the company is aimed at making things work better than adding new features.
Yet Apple has not yet separated its major iOS releases from its new iPhone hardware. Every year there is a new iPhone with a new iOS update, and it often feels like the operating system and functions are rushed to get to these new devices on time. New hardware naturally needs new software, and maybe software flags can help here, but they will not fully address the underlying problem of focusing on an iPhone release date instead of software quality.