Traditionally, Apple provides a preview of the next version of macOS at WWDC in June, then releases it late September. This year, there’s a case to be made to postpone macOS 10.16 into 2021.
Reason #1. Users. We’re all struggling to stay safe and secure in macOS 10.15 Catalina or even 10.14 Mojave. And since new apps are being pressed into service for working at home, the last thing we need is a new version of macOS with its traditional teething pains—especially in post WWDC betas. We don’t need any rugs pulled out from under our collaboration apps. Let’s focus on stability and security until the pandemic has completely dissipated.
Reason #2. Apple software engineers. I’m guessing that with many macOS engineers working from home, there just isn’t a traditional high level of collaboration like there is in the Apple offices. Corners might be cut.
Plus, working from home, it would be harder to alpha test on the complete suite of (test) Macs that are to be supported, and things will inevitably fall through the cracks. This is no time to cut corners when macOS is being pressed into service as a (home) mission critical life-line.
Reason #3. Apple developers. Our developer heroes have been complaining for years that they just can’t keep up with the fast-evolving structural and security changes in macOS every 12 months. A six month delay in 10.16 would provide critical time to iron out the kinks in their apps due to changes in Catalina. Not to mention relaxing stress on the developers due to concern for their family’s health.
Reason #4. Internet loads. A new version of macOS runs about 5 GB. Having millions of users and developers downloading beta and final versions throughout the summer when internet bandwidth is crucial for those who may still be working from home seems unwise.
Of course, the pandemic may be mostly over at some point in the summer. I don’t want to hazard a guess when; that’s for the medical pros. But now is the time, as Apple plans its WWDC curriculum, to make a worst case estimate and plan accordingly. (But keep those security updates coming.)
I know we all could use some macOS breathing room and stress relief.