Apple has thrown a minor curveball today by pushing a beta build of
iOS 13.1 to those enrolled on its iOS beta program. It’s notable since it’s only a week after the last round of iOS 13 betas, and the 13.1 label suggests testing on the previous builds is over.
It also raises questions as to whether the
upcoming new iPhones will ship with iOS 13 or 13.1. It could be that iOS 13 is now stable and ready for release with the new-gen iPhones, and 13.1 is now out to developers to cover quick bug fixes and the like.
9to5Mac points out that features like Shortcuts Automations and Share ETA are present in the 13.1 build but were not in the last 13 build, so Apple is working to reintroduce them down the line.
Apple’s usual routine is to announce its new crop of iPhones at a September event before shipping them a couple of weeks later. Around that time older compatible iOS devices receive a free over-the-air update to the new version.
We expect this to continue, with iOS 13 being pushed out in September. But it’s unusual for Apple to push a .1 build to developers before the full public release, and so soon after a previous build.
It’s already apparent that iOS 13 will, like iOS 12, fail to be the huge software overhaul that we’ve been expecting from Apple for a while. That will fall to the visual changes made to
iPadOS as part of iOS 13, the tablet specific operating system that Apple has siloed away from what it pushes to iPhones.