The last time we shared the numbers on Apple’s mobile OS adoption in early December 2018, iOS 12 was on an upward trend of 5 percent growth per month and steadily eclipsing its predecessor iOS 11’s performance from the previous year. In November 2018, 70 percent of all devices were using iOS 12, 21 percent of devices were running iOS 11, and 7 percent were running iOS 10 or another previous version of the OS.
December 2018 Distribution Statistics
As of January 1, 2019, iOS 12 was running on 75 percent of all Apple devices — comparatively, at the same time last year, iOS 11 was running on 60 percent of devices, so this latest version of iOS continues to come out on top.
And as we saw last November, iOS 12’s growth month-over-month is constant: The numbers are up 5 percent from the previous update, which has been pretty standard for the latest OS every month. Meanwhile, the number of active devices using iOS 11 dropped to 17 percent in December, and the number of active devices using all previous iOS version actually went up one percent to eight percent distribution.
The Most Important Upgrade in iOS History
While iOS 12’s focus has been on system performance and reliability, recent bugs have been widespread in the news and forced Apple to rush a new and important update to the OS. After a young man in Arizona identified a major security flaw in iOS 12’s Group Facetime feature, Apple released iOS 12.1.4 — an update that has been widely considered as one of the more important upgrades in iOS history.
According to Gordon Kelly, a Senior Contributor at Forbes, “[The recent update] contains crucial fixes to the audio and video snooping flaws in Group FaceTime calls and a serious Live Photos vulnerability which was being exploited by hackers in the real world.”
Of course, as with many fast fixes, the update comes with new bugs of its own. iOS 12.1.4 has reportedly introduced new (though slightly less alarming) glitches and various performance issues, amongst other complaints.
In the News
Of course, that’s not the only reason Apple’s been in the news lately. The tech company has been talked about for various reasons, as of late — some of them good and some of them . . . not-so-good. While early news in the new year highlighted the slowing sales of new iPhone devices, there are reportedly still more than 900 million iPhones in active use. Additionally, spending on premium apps and in-app purchases has gone up 36 percent from 2017 and more than doubled since 2015.
Looking Ahead to iOS 13
As iOS 12 distribution grows steadily, developers (and we’ll be honest, us too) already have their sights set on iOS 13. iOS 13 is already rumored to feature Dark Mode, a redesigned home screen, and cross-platform iOS and Mac apps. The public beta of the next iOS version likely won’t make an appearance until summer (and after that, on the next release of new iPhone devices), so there’s still time for iOS 12’s active user base to grow bigger over these next few months.
Testing on iOS Devices in 2019
For iOS app developers, it’s more important than ever to test apps on all iOS 12-supported devices, which includes everything from the iPhone 5s through the iPhone Xs. And while fewer and fewer devices are actively using iOS 11 (and the OS versions before that), more and more people are holding onto their older iPhone hardware, so these older versions shouldn’t completely be ignored just yet.
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While we’ve yet to see iOS distribution numbers from Apple in 2019, iOS 12 certainly ended last year on a high note. Hopefully, updated statistics will be released from the tech juggernaut soon.