iOS 13 and beyond

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The future of iPhone and iPad

iOS is no longer the simple, mainstream operating system Steve Jobs first showed off in January of 2007 with the original iPhone. And, it’s also not yet the sophisticated, pro-centric operating system geeks have been lusting for since Steve Jobs first showed it off again in January of 2010 on the original iPad.

There’s a third path, one that lets iOS continue with its mainstream mission but also take it to the next level in a way that brings everyone forward.

Now, big, architectural, potentially transformative new features here. A couple weeks ago, I mentioned other stuff, like Night Vision and Pencil support for iPhone. Over the years I’ve also mentioned AR Maps, Contact-level VIP, Xcode for iPad, turning iCloud Photos into a privacy-first Instagram replacement, and the list goes on and on.

We might see some of this in iOS 13, but that started getting roughed out back when iOS 12 shipped and has long since been tightened down for the WWDC beta in June.

That’s why this isn’t about now. It’s about next. The near-future but the future none-the-less. And getting iOS ready for it.

There will always be more and new accessories and waiting for iOS updates to add support for them just doesn’t scale. Unless and until iOS becomes a service that simply streams update bits all the time, like Chrome. But, if that’s even on the horizon, it’s not on this planet’s horizon. At least not yet.

Instead, something like driver extensions, where vendors could bundle drivers into a safe, secure, privacy-respecting app that could persist and work at the system level, could scale infinitely.

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And not just in a way that serves tech media and its echo chamber of complaints, but in a way that serves artists and craftspeople and scientists and technicians. And, ultimately, serves iPhone and iPad by allowing it to grow even beyond Apple.

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