Evidence emerges of early development on future iOS 8.X builds
By this point, iOS users everywhere are familiar with the 8.0.1 mishap last week, and the release of iOS 8.0.2 Apple came through with a couple days later as a solution. But now that we’re at 8.0.2, where do we go from here? With iOS 7, we saw several months of minor bugfix releases before 7.1 came around in March, and even then we only saw a couple more bugfix builds that brought us up to 7.1.2. But to look at some of the latest evidence, Apple could be planning something quite different for its iOS 8 cycle, and may already be testing elements of 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3.
Signs of such iOS versions have been popping up in the server logs of both iOS devs and Apple news sites, with 8.2 and 8.3 both only surfacing in the last couple weeks. For the moment, there’s no leak that directly ties any new features to these iOS builds, but the numbering scheme alone is curious.
We’ve heard a few theories for what Apple could be up to with these, but the most sensible ties them each to hardware-related milestones. Those could include things like the coming activation of NFC-based Apple Pay mobile payments, a split-screen mode for iPads, and Apple Watch support early next year.
One of the more out-there ideas suggests Apple could be planning on slowing down its release numbering to a substantial extent, and would continue on this 8.X path through next year, rather than moving to iOS 9 – all in an effort to avoid an upcoming OSX/iOS 10 naming conflict. All we know is that the last time iOS hit an X.3 release was with iOS 4, and if this evidence is indeed legitimate (server logs not being the most reliable sources of intel), we could be in for one very busy year of iOS updates.