Apple is delaying the release of iOS 16’s iCloud Shared Photo Library feature, saying it’s “coming later this year” instead of when the mobile operating system refresh launches on September 12th (via AppleInsider). An archived version of the iOS 16 webpage shows the notice about the delay was added sometime this week.
When it does launch, the feature will let you and up to five other people automatically share a collection of photos, with the option of including all the photos in your personal library, photos from after a specific date, or that include specific people.
It’s not particularly unusual for Apple to withhold features from the initial release — last year, iOS 15 launched without SharePlay, Universal Control, and better Find My support for AirPods. The features then trickled out over the next few months in point releases. iOS 16 doesn’t seem to have as many features that are getting pushed back, although the iPadOS 16 update for Apple’s tablets is delayed and will instead launch as iPadOS 16.1.
It’s possible that Apple putting iPadOS 16 on its own release schedule has something to do with the feature’s delay — it’s easy to imagine people setting it up on their phones, then being confused about why it’s not showing up on their iPad or Mac (macOS Ventura’s release date will be sometime in October, according to Apple’s site). Or, the company could just be exercising some extra caution, given that the feature deals with photos that people wouldn’t want to lose. Apple did not immediately reply to The Verge‘s request for comment on its change in plans for the Shared Photo Library.