Current rumor suggests that Apple will roll out its new iPhones on September 9 or thereabouts. That doesn’t seem an outlandish prediction, considering the company introduced the iPhone 6 on the same date last year. The updated device will certainly sell tens of millions of units—but how will it affect the ways in which developers and tech pros work?
Although Apple has shared precious few details of the next iPhone’s hardware and software, the answer seems to be: “Not much.” If the company stays true to form, the next device will feature only minor hardware upgrades from its predecessor, along with a new operating system (iOS 9) that developers have already been picking over for months.
The new-and-shiny iOS 9 features App Thinning, which will allow consumers to download apps specifically optimized for their device, saving onboard memory and processing power. With HomeKit, HealthKit, MapKit, and CloudKit, Apple will give developers more tools for storing health information, displaying locations, and interacting with Internet of Things (IoT) hardware. Those who develop for the iPad will also find a robust multitasking feature.
On the hardware front, Apple will follow tradition and boost the phone’s processor and internal specs; scuttlebutt suggests the camera will receive a major upgrade. If Apple follows its naming and design conventions from previous years, the next iPhone will have the moniker, “iPhone 6S,” and feature relatively few alterations to its look. Screen sizes for both models will probably remain the same.
What does all that mean for tech pros? If you develop camera apps for iOS, you might have more powerful hardware to play with in the near future. If you develop other kinds of apps, it’s clear that Apple wants to make iOS the center of a radically interconnected world—if you’ve ever wanted to build software that allows you to control your house from your iPhone, or monitor the health of thousands of people, you’re going to have more options to do so this fall.
For most other people whose working lives touch the iPhone in some way, though, the iPhone 6S will almost certainly offer business as usual. This isn’t a radical upgrade.