Apple Has Doubled Down on Secrecy by Hiding New iOS 15 Features from Engineers

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 10 Jun 2021

iPhone 12 Pro

Apple has tried to “double down on secrecy of [its] products” since 2012 with limited results. Last year, most of the new features in iOS 14 were detailed months ahead of the release of the OS due to internal builds and screenshots making their way to the internet. This did not happen with iOS 15 this year, and not much was known about the OS before its release.

As 9to5Mac reports, this might be due to an internal policy change from Apple to keep new iOS 15 features hidden from engineers. Apple engineers working on upcoming products and new iOS 15 features have to install a special profile on their device to run an internal iOS build on their device. This profile is similar to what Apple offers to the public as a part of its beta testing program.

This year, Apple made some changes to how this system works. The profile sent to an employee will now determine what new features will be enabled in their internal iOS build. This way, an engineer from a certain department will only have access to new features and changes related to their work and won’t see other changes to the OS.

Within the internal files of iOS 15 beta 1, each major feature introduced this year has a unique identifier (also known as a flag) that is associated with a “disclosure requirement.” In other words, this allows Apple to enable only certain new system features in internal builds so that an engineer or designer in one area doesn’t need to see everything that’s new in others.

Apple may use the same method to prevent future hardware leaks as well. It is unlikely that these changes inside Apple will stop future leaks. It’s just that they will be harder to come by, and they won’t be as detailed as before.

[Via 9to5Mac]