9to5Mac’s analysis of iOS 15 beta has found that Apple has made internal changes in the update to hide features from engineers to prevent leaks and maintain secrecy. Perhaps that is why very few features were leaked before the WWDC21 event. Sources mentioned very general information of the upcoming features like changes in Safari, iMessage, Health features in the new iOS 15 update without giving details of what kind of changes.
Apple is religiously committed to not only users’ privacy but also its own. The company takes precautionary measures to maintain secrecy on its new products. However, many iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7 features were leaked before the WWDC 2020 event like widgets, App Clips, new incoming calls interface, improved handwriting, sidebar, handwashing detection, and others. Therefore, the Cupertino tech giant has built more protective walls to prevent leaks.
Apple has doubled down on secrecy to prevent iOS 15 leaks
The report explains that Apple has bifurcated internal build to restrict engineers’ access to everything new.
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.
To run an internal version of iOS, each employee must first install a special profile on the device — just as we do for downloading beta versions. However, each profile sent to employees determines which of these features will be enabled for each person working on new versions of iOS and possibly other Apple operating systems as well.
Probably, the success of the new system will encourage Apple to continue with the same policy in the future to prevent or minimize leaks. The report writes that:
Presumably, the company will now use the same system to prevent features related to new hardware from being leaked in the future as well. While this certainly won’t stop leaks, it possibly makes it more difficult for multiple details to be shared with people outside of Apple at once.