We’ve already talked about the release of WatchKit on the iOS 8.1.1 update, but now that it’s been a couple days since the official launch, it seems that the WatchKit may be the only new thing you’re getting.
According to Gordon Kelly’s article for Forbes, “ Apple’s iOS 8 Crisis Continues with New Update Controversy,” the latest update for iOS 8 is a disappointing release. He quotes several users’ complaints on forums and help sites, including:
AJ DO commented that “iOS 8.1.1 does absolutely nothing to fix bugs or improve performance” while Bill Johnson remarked that “So far….it didn’t help the WiFi problem. Still need to put it in the freezer to get 10 minutes out of the wifi.” Continuing the theme, fellow Forbes contributor Jim Gorzelany said “Still can’t get my 4S back on wi-fi–this is nonsense.”
These concerns are mirrored elsewhere. The official Apple Support Communities board has a number of newthreads with users pointing out issues after installing iOS 8.1.1 and the famous‘iOS 8 Wi-Fi problems’ thread which has been around since the original launch of iOS 8 is now 82 pages long.
In addition to seemingly not providing he fixes users have been waiting for, many of which Kelly has covered in previous posts, the update seems to have introduced new issues as well:
[R]eader rhonin noted...“Safari seems smoother but now I have a bug with the copy/define not wanting to turn off…Wifi seems better but looks like it pushes the 5 band and dumps the 2 band. Mini 2 runs hot on games that it didn’t before.”
These issues are another installment in what is becoming an anthology of iOS 8 issues, and is a disappointment to those who have been eagerly waiting for fixes. The operating system is much less popular than its predecessor iOS 7; Kelly notes that iOS 7 had 80% of users willingly updating after its release, whereas iOS 8 has yet to convince more than 50% to update.
Christina Bonnington at Wired calls the iOS the “buggiest release to date.” She goes on to describe the method behind conclusion, citing the numerous updates as evidence that the iOS 8 system is just so problematic that patches are required at an alarming rate:
About a month and a half into iOS 8: We’ve had four updates (8.0.1, 8.0.2. 8.1, and 8.1.1), and we’re officially at 23 listed bug fixes through iOS 8.1. But with iOS 8.1.1, which just went live Monday, Apple doesn’t site specific bug fixes, but rather a general “This release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.” It’s not a leap to assume that “bug fixes,” plural, refers to at least two to three fixes, and that stability updates to older iOS devices could bring that number to at least five. That officially makes iOS 8, thus far, the buggiest iOS yet.
So what’s the explanation for these bugs, especially for the OS that currently makes up about half of the smartphone market?
While the iOS might be buggy, it may have never been expected to be flawless. It's easy to just point the finger and blame Apple, to accuse them of laziness. However, it's not uncommon for brand new things to need fixes to get up and running. Often, making something innovative requires a lot of beta testing and patches before it reaches its most complete, whole form, and that may be what’s causing the OS’ issues. Bonnington says that iOS 8 is Apple's "most complex, advanced iteration yet," and, along with the large array of hardware that Apple now boasts, may be the reason for so many updates:
Instead of a singular iPhone on one carrier, Apple now sells four iPhone models and supports six; sells five iPad models and supports eight; and it sells the fifth-generation iPod touch, too. On top of that, the iPhone and iPad are available on hundreds of different carriers worldwide.
Bonnington continues, hypothesizing:
Throwing new hardware and software out at the same time, as Apple does with iOS and iPhone launches, is potentially great for users and sales, but adds more variables to the mix for developers and testers who have to make stuff “just work,” [Matt Johnston, chief strategy officer at app testing and analytics firm Applause] says. Some have posited that if Apple slowed up its yearly production cycle, unbundling the launch of a big new OS with a big new piece of hardware, Apple could do a better job of preventing bugs from sneaking into final builds. But that could impact Apple’s competitiveness in the fast-paced mobile market.
What do you think? Would you rather have less launches if they worked better? Separate launches for devices and updates? We’re interested to hear your thoughts.