Development on iOS 18 and macOS 15 has paused to fix some major bugs

The complete iPhone 15 lineup at Apple's Regent Street store in London, U.K.
(Image credit: Apple)

Due to some significant bugs, Apple has hit pause on developing its next major software updates. This includes iOS 18, macOS 15, watchOS 11, as well as visionOS for the upcoming Vision Pro headset.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the delay was announced to employees working on the updates at the start of November. The article goes into detail about how the decision was made to switch to fixing bugs. “When looking at new operating systems due for release next year, the software engineering management team found too many ‘escapes’ — an industry term for bugs missed during internal testing,” says Gurman. “ So the division took the unusual step of halting all new feature development for one week to work on fixing the bugs.“

The article also mentions how all of the major updates, such as iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, codenamed ‘Crystal’, and macOS 15, codenamed ‘Glow’, had reached their first major milestone last month, called M1, not to be confused with the M1 Apple silicon chip.

Codenames for upcoming releases are nothing new. iOS has long been given names related to ski resorts. iOS 17 was codenamed ‘Dawn’, after the Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre Ski Resort in California. When it comes to macOS, they’re named after apples, with macOS Sonoma codenamed Sunburst.

With these codenames having been related to both ski resorts and apples for some years now, it’s a wasted opportunity to tell what these codenames may mean for iOS 18 and macOS 15. However, ‘Glow’ pertains to the ‘Autumn Glow’ apple, so it may be a reference to macOS updates arriving next fall.

Apple is expected to lift this slight pause later this week, and this isn’t expected to impact the release of these updates anyway, allegedly scheduled to debut next year. Gurman also made sure to mention that iOS 18 and the rest won’t just be a bugfix update, but that new features will be coming too.

Regardless of what may be on the horizon, delays like these are normal in developing new products and services, so don’t expect to still be using iOS 17 on the next iPhone.

Don’t panic, pauses happen - iMore’s take

Talking to developers over the past few years has made me learn one thing – that development is never smooth sailing. From hardware such as AirPower to apps like Aether that launched in February this year, there are always bumps in the road.

There can be instances where new features are made on top of existing ones, and issues could arise. Take widgets from iOS 14 that were replaced with interactive widgets in iOS 17, for example. It's unlikely that this change didn't result in bugs and crashes during its development. Programming is hard. It takes a lot of patience and logic to understand a coded language.

So when you’ve got an operating system like iOS and macOS, it’s inevitable that there will be issues along the way. We are likely seven months away from seeing what these new updates are so they are in a very early state. Things will break – it’s part of development.

It’s part and parcel of how new versions are built on top of old ones, and it’s much better for things to break now, instead of seeing them do something similar once they launch to millions of customers. Keep in mind that watchOS 10.1.1 came out on November 7 to resolve a battery issue, for instance, a significant issue just weeks after the main watchOS 10 launch landed.

So, don’t panic, iOS 18 and the rest are likely on track, and they’ll be ready to use once iPhone 16 launches.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use every day to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a monthly newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64, and Daily Star.