Jun 8th, 2021

For years many Android users have bemoaned the issues with fragmentation on the platform. From a certain standpoint, this has been and (to a lesser extent) continues to be one of the largest issues with Android. Not providing a similar set of features across multiple devices can be seen as a frustration while phone makers can pivot this into a selling point for their devices.

During Apple’s WWDC 2021 keynote yesterday, the company announced the latest mobile OS in iOS 15 along with updates to iPadOS, watchOS, and the Mac. After Tim Cook walked off the stage set in front of hundreds of Memoji heads, Apple released the full changelog of what iOS 15 is bringing.

While browsing the list and waiting for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 to be installed, there was one section that caught my attention. Under Software Updates, Apple seems to be welcoming fragmentation for future software releases.

The full description reads as such:

Apple is introducing a “feature” to iOS that has been an actual problem in the Android world for years. While I’m all for Apple giving users more control over what they can or cannot do on their iPhones, this one just feels a bit odd.

Maybe this is just a way to continue supporting older hardware like the iPhone 6s series from 2015, without dealing with another class-action lawsuit for intentionally slowing down phones. It really feels like Apple is just making more work for itself, as now there will need to be multiple sets of software versions to be developed in released. Even if they are just security patches.

In years past, Apple has always discouraged sticking on an older software version. Apple also does not make it easy to downgrade, as the company will stop signing the firmware within a few days of a new version being released. So to give iPhone users this option is just head-scratching. But hey, maybe there’s something bigger in the pipeline and we just don’t know about it. It’s entirely possible that Apple is laying the groundwork for something new. Or it just could be one of those weird things that Apple does.

local_offer    Apple   fragmentation   iPhone   WWDC 2021  

stars Further Reading