Home iOS Apple’s big iOS 14 leak is just business as usual

Apple’s big iOS 14 leak is just business as usual


The story is that an early developmental build of iOS 14 has somehow escaped into the wild. So why do we know so little about it?

What happened?

To paraphrase the elements of the claims:

  • An unnamed individual purchased and then distributed the iOS 14 software.
  • The software was extracted from a developmental iPhone 11 running an internal build of the iOS 14.
  • The hardware was purchased from a Chinese vendor.
  • The OS was then distributed among hackers and security researchers.
  • Information concerning the software then began to leak, principally from the big Mac rumor sites, with 9to5Mac mentioned in the report.
  • “Leaked Apple code, documentation, and hardware is often traded on Twitter using a hashtag called #AppleInternals.”
  • We don’t know who purchased and shared the code. Was it a competitor? Was it a journalist? Follow the money.

What we know about iOS 14

The strange thing is that despite the operating system apparently being in circulation since February, all we really know about it is this:

  • A new PencilKit UI for iOS.
  • iMessage improvements.
  • A new Home screen with a list view.
  • A Clips feature that lets apps run in a kind of demo mode without requiring the entire app be downloaded.
  • An AR application designed to support socially distanced retail.
  • Improvements in the mouse support on iPads.
  • HomeKit features including face recognition and more.
  • Integration between Apple Watch and Apple TV for workout apps.
  • Blood oxygen level detection for Apple Watch.
  • HomePod/TVos.

All these enhancements will be of interest, but it seems strange that some of the most critical improvements likely to be found in the release around graphics and extended support for the creation of Catalyst apps haven’t surfaced at all yet.

We understand the focus this year is on performance and quality as the company sets the scene for next year’s innovations, particularly around Apple Glass and the Mac.

However, with the code in the wild, it’s surprising we haven’t learned more.

Not long to wait

In a sense, this leak has made very little difference.

Traditionally, we’ve always had some insight into Apple’s future plans, and I don’t sense we know more or less than in previous years this year. It’s not exactly rocket science to predict more improvements in Homekit, iPad user interfaces, health technologies and AR, given these have been high focus areas at the company for several years.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.


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