Apple Yanks Buggy iOS 8 Update - InformationWeek

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9/25/2014
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Apple Yanks Buggy iOS 8 Update

Apple continues a week of miscues with an iOS 8 update that killed cellular service for some users.

IT Dress Code: 10 Cardinal Sins
IT Dress Code: 10 Cardinal Sins
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Apple issued the first update for iOS 8 Wednesday but withdrew the release several hours later, following reports that the update had disabled cellular service for some users.

Released last week, iOS 8 has received mostly positive reviews from critics, especially when the OS is paired with the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Apple sold a record-breaking 10 million iPhones during the new devices' first three days of availability. But despite this success, the iOS 8 update bug is only the latest of several Apple missteps over the past week.

The iOS 8.0.1 update had been intended to fix a bug that prevented new HealthKit fitness apps from launching last week, as originally planned. Apple said the 8.0.1 update would also fix a variety of other problems, such as unstable performance from third-party keyboards and inaccessible photo libraries.

[What is it like having an iPhone 6 Plus? Read Apple iPhone 6 Plus: My First Weekend.]

Unfortunately, the update also killed cell service for some users. Some also reported disabled Touch ID sensors. An Apple rep acknowledged the issue to the website Re/code, confirmed the company had withdrawn the update, and said Apple engineers were working on a fix.

It's unclear how many users have been affected, but the update bug has reportedly impacted users across all carriers. The issue has also affected, not only older iPhones, but also new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units. Some publications reported that their attempts to replicate problems by installing update 8.0.1 were unsuccessful. Earlier this week, Apple said nearly half of iOS users had moved to iOS 8.

Apple's faulty update continues a series of uncharacteristic mistakes and miscalculations. Some commentators felt Apple overestimated U2's current appeal when it licensed the band's new album in order to give it away free to iTunes users. This criticism gained validity when many users complained because Apple caused the album to automatically download to millions of devices.

The U2 issue faded as positive buzz over iOS 8 and the new iPhones took over -- but then new problems reared up. HealthKit apps were delayed. Some users complained that the update required too much storage space. Microsoft cleverly exploited this situation by offering free OneDrive storage so iPhone users wouldn't have to delete apps and pictures to make room for iOS 8.

Other users complained about customary first-week bugs. Problems have been significantly greater for those who've installed the update on older devices. Most recently, some users complained that the iPhone 6 Plus's aluminum frame bends too easily and might be susceptible to damage from somewhat typical use. And all of the preceding doesn't even address lingering privacy questions engendered by alleged hacks of several celebrities' iCloud accounts.

Time will tell if these recent problems morph into a long-term concern. Apple rarely makes so many gaffes in such quick succession, but bugs are typical during any new product's first few weeks of release. Apple has certainly survived past iPhone and iOS launch problems, such as the Maps fiasco and the infamous "Antennagate" affair. Will the company similarly brush off its newest challenges? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

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jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
10/2/2014 | 11:12:49 AM
Re: Disappointing, Really
@Broadway0474>

"I would love to hear some of your stories."

That reminds me; one related tale of a project with a completely immovable launch deadline. The project was being run under a Non-Disclosure Agreement which I was not under, so while I know I had implemented some bits and pieces to prepare for the launch of the service, it was more "make this happen" ... "Why?" ... "Can't tell you". 

Anyway, the point of this is that in the week leading up to the service launch, I was chatting to somebody who /was/ under NDA and casually said "Well, so long as you don't need <x> for this service, it's all good." I had spent the last few months battling with <x> and had just about got it under control, but there was no way we were prepared for any additional load on it. The guy I was talking to turned visibly pale as he stood there. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, clearly searching for what to say. In the end he just said "What would be the problem if it did need <x>?"

10 minutes later we were in a room with the next 3 levels of management explaining the issues of <x>, the usage of which by the new service could neither be confirmed nor denied. Needless to say I spent the next two days and nights killing myself to make all the necessary changes to prepare for something that officially wasn't needed, on the basis that we should have that capacity "just in case".

I think this counts as a double whammy: fixed deadline and no information on what you are supposed to have achieved by that deadline. :-)

jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
10/2/2014 | 11:00:58 AM
Re: Disappointing, Really
@Broadway0474>

"I would love to hear some of your stories."

It's just pain and whining on my part mostly. I discussed this with a manager at one company after we had been forced yet again to cut corners to meet a deadline, and he was as frustrated as I at the situation we had been put in. He put his foot down (so to speak) and declared that we will not compromise on quality over time; that if we needed to be a couple of weeks later in order to do something right, then that's what we'll do, and we'll get the deadline moved. I asked how that applied to projects where the deadline can't move (mainly because they were international / multi-company efforts) and he had to acknowledge that he sincerely meant what he said "apart from those projects." The reality was that despite his absolutely correct desires, marketing would set dates without concern, and that was being supported all the way up the corporate tree, so escalating about it would simply mean getting a note from the CEO with words to the effect of "This is when it's happening; don't let us down."  Maybe Marketing had no idea how much power they had, or what it was doing to Engineering. I dunno. I also don't think that Engineering can be permitted to delay indefinitely, or things will never get done. There has to be a line drawn in the sand, but maybe both parties need to hold the stick, and both have to set criteria determining when to brush over the old line and draw a new one a few feet away.

 

Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2014 | 11:59:18 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
Ugh.  Usually I like marketing people way more than I like PR people, but I had a situation the other day wherein I brusquely emailed a company's marketing manager to ask, rhetorically, how many [semi-expletive] times I needed to click unsubscribe before they would finally stop emailing me?

Marketing manager removed me from the list (apparently swearing works), but 1) was unapologetic, 2) began stalking me on LinkedIn with her friends, and 3) Instagrammed the exchange and made light of it.

I went from just ever so slightly annoyed with the company to now viewing that company as an outright foe.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2014 | 11:56:59 PM
Re: iOS SchmiOS
@jgherbert: It's Cialdini's principles of influence/social psychology at work!  Social proof, for starters (because EVERYONE is going to have the new features, and you don't want to be left out).  Also, authority (because Apple, the authority, and tech pundits (other authorities) are telling you that these are the latest and greatest features and you should upgrade if you want the most out of your product) and consistency/commitment (you've already invested in an Apple product, so you're more likely to trust the brand and upgrade -- which, in turn, will make you even MORE likely to upgrade and buy more Apple products).
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 9:47:30 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
jgherbert, I would love to hear some of your stories. Sounds like you've seen a few doosies firsthand. I may have witnessed --- darn, really participated in --- one such albeit minor occurrence. I was, however, the one setting the deadline that couldn't be met (although if tech hadn't dragged their feet for months, we would have had no problem meeting the deadline ...)
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 5:27:19 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really

@jgherbert     Couldn't agree more,  Most marketing people are never wrong or unrealistic.   

jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 4:35:51 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
@Broadway0474>

when engineering fails to meet marketing's demands --- or better yet, when they fail to get product completed sans bugs by marketing's deadlines --- what happens to engineering? Do heads roll?

Of course! Marketing typically accepts no responsibility for the failure, despite having a key role in its occurrence. The blame is firmly directed at engineering who failed to meet a deadline. The fact that the deadline was unreasonable and unworkable is a side issue because it was a marketing date so it must have been correct.

Your mileage may vary, obviously.

 

 

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 2:52:38 PM
Re: Lack of Passion

@jagibbons    I forgot about antenna-gate !    Yeah, that was ridiculous.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 2:48:27 PM
Re: Lack of Passion

@jgherbert     You got me ! : )     But I should have preference my comment by stating I have never owned an iPhone.  For years I was quite satisfied with my flip-top made by whoever.   And in those days I was not a big fan of Apple products in general, as I was brained washed into thinking I need Windows for everything.

Man have I come along way !   I am a Samsung user now - I guess it is just the rebel in me ( or probably the larger screen size ) that caused me to go in this direction.   I simply love my Samsung and had no reason to get an iPhone or even keep up with " the Appleites" .

So my comment probably was unfair - shoddy products were produced under Jobs as well.  Good point. :  ) 

Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 9:42:31 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
@jgherbert. when engineering fails to meet marketing's demands --- or better yet, when they fail to get product completed sans bugs by marketing's deadlines --- what happens to engineering? Do heads roll?
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