If there’s one good metric showing what proportion of users are running a particular operating system, or which version thereof, then it’s website statistics. Every time someone visits a website, all kinds of data is exchanged and one of the things logged by the server hosting the website is the operating system used, and which version. It’s interesting stuff.
Things get even more interesting when you start seeing unreleased versions of operating systems, especially mobile ones. New versions of Android have been outed by web stats in the past, as have unannounced releases of iOS. Today, it seems that the latter is seeing some heavy testing ahead WWDC 2013, with iOS 7 cropping up left, right and center.
Mobile web firm OnSwipe specializes in creating tablet optimized HTML5 web sites for its customers. It also tracks stats for those customers, according to those stats Apple is putting iOS 7 through its paces, today more than ever.
In fact, there’s been quite a jump in iOS 7 testing, with users in Cupertino and San Francisco apparently running the unannounced mobile operating system on both iPhones and iPads. On May 2nd, for example, 23% of all iOS traffic to OnSwipe’s mobile sites came from iOS 7.
Apple is expected to show at least some version of iOS 7 to the world at its WWDC event next month, which is par for the course. Over recent years the company has shown major new releases of iOS at WWDC, with beta testing to follow before a release to the public some months later. With the uptick in iOS 7 use coming close to WWDC, and with the percentage being so high, the current talk is whether Apple is trying to get the update out the door sooner, rather than later.
The reason for that is simple; iOS 7 is touted to be rather different to the versions that have come before it, especially on the aesthetic front. With former head of all things iOS, Scott Forstall handing the reins over to Jonny Ive, big things are expected from iOS this time around. If Ive is as keen to make sweeping changes as reports have previously suggested, then he may also want to get it into peoples’ hands quicker than Apple’s usual development cycle would allow.
Or it could just be that more people are testing iOS 7 than tested previous versions, and we’re all jumping to conclusions. One thing’s for certain: we’ll know more post WWDC.
Roll on June 10th.