In just a month, Apple is going to kick off this year’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. It’s at this all-digital event that the company is going to showcase new versions of its most popular platforms, including iOS.
However, we’ve been getting infrequent reports about what the next version of iOS, called iOS 14 now, will feature long before then, and it turns out that’s because there has been an early version of the mobile operating system floating around in all the wrong spots for months now. Since February, according to a new report from Vice. Many of the leaks we’ve been hearing about more than likely came from this early version of the software.
Motherboard has not been able to independently verify exactly how it leaked, but five sources in the jailbreaking community familiar with the leak told us they think that someone obtained a development iPhone 11 running a version of iOS 14 dated December 2019, which was made to be used only by Apple developers. According to those sources, someone purchased it from vendors in China for thousands of dollars, and then extracted the iOS 14 internal build and distributed it in the iPhone jailbreaking and hacking community.
It’s possible that many of these early reports, including information shared about the upcoming watchOS 7 update, could change by the time Apple gets around to officially announcing anything. However, for now at least, we know at least a few new features Apple is bringing to its mobile OS later this year.
It gives insight into a decrypted copy of the iOS file system months before release so it could be very useful. It’s pre-release, lots could change, but it’s a trove of information,” said Ryan Duff, Director of Cyber Products at SIXGEN, who reviewed the leaked code for Motherboard. “I can’t say this will give an easy jailbreak or anything like that, but it’s way more information about an upcoming iOS than we ever see normally.
What’s more, the fact that an early version of the OS has been out there in the wild for months, making the rounds, is a pretty unique situation. It’s certainly not unheard of to get leaks and hear rumors before Apple unveils anything, but a source in the original report believes this is the first time something of this magnitude has happened this far in advance.
As far as what’s been rumored up to this point? We’ve heard about a new “Clips” feature, which will let iOS 14 users quickly try out an app on their device without completely installing it. We know that Apple is at least considering adding widgets to the Home screen, and that there will be new wallpaper collections. iCloud Keychain will also be getting a major upgrade in iOS 14, according to the rumors. Apple is working on a PencilKit for the Apple Pencil, updates to iMessage, and much more.
But, as I mentioned above, there has been time for Apple to change things up, so who knows what we will see when Apple unveils iOS 14 later this year compared to the leaks.
Go check out the full report at Vice, it’s definitely worth a read.