iOS 18 'VendorUI' builds released to factories for internal quality control testing: Report


iOS 18 is expected to be released in the second half of this year and Apple is expected to release its next iPhone operating system update in the coming months at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024. The iPhone maker is reportedly releasing an early version of the iOS 18 update to factories and other partners for quality control testing. It is said to be a limited version of Apple's iOS operating system, in which irrelevant applications and features have been removed from the user interface (UI) before it is distributed by the company.

According to a report by MacRumors, including one with private “factories and relevant vendors.” This version includes some elements of iOS that the company is expected to unveil at WWDC 2024 in the coming months.

According to the report, Apple develops five different versions of iOS every year. Two of these – LLDiags (a low-level diagnostics version) and NonUI (a version for hardware engineers and calibration machines) are designed without the iOS user interface. Meanwhile, VendorUI (used in factories for testing) and InternalUI (used by Apple's engineers) contain pre-production versions of iOS. Apple's “release” version is the one that is finally introduced to users with all iOS visual elements, apps, and features.

Since most of the apps and features belonging to factories and relevant vendors are not included in the VendorUI image, we can expect to know more about parts of the iOS 18 UI before WWDC 2024 in the future. Previous reports suggest that Apple is working on overhauling the mobile OS interface with the upcoming iOS 18 update, including some visual elements of VisionOS, Apple's operating system for the Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

As per previous reports, Apple is expected to focus on bringing several new AI features and functionality to eligible iPhone models with the iOS 18 update. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously said the company hopes the AI-infused iOS 18 update — expected to arrive later this year — will convince more customers to upgrade to the iPhone 16 series smartphones. Based on the company's launch schedule in recent years, the next-generation iPhone lineup and the iOS 18 software update could be released in the third quarter of 2024.

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