Apple Yanks Buggy iOS 8 Update - InformationWeek

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9/25/2014
08:37 AM
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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.

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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 An Apple rep acknowledged the issue to the website Re/code, confirmed the company had withdrawn the update, and said Apple engineers were working on a fix.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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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 8:19:57 PM
Re: Lack of Passion
Every new release is buggy. Even the minor releases have bugs that need to be fixed. And looking back, I'm still amazed at how quickly everyone got over antenna-gate. "Hold your phone differently." Seriously?
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 6:53:25 PM
Re: iOS SchmiOS
@Joe Stanganelli>

It would seem that only fools update right away.

I know, but there are such lovely new features, I feel like I just /have/ to update so I can have them now! I think that's the thing about these major updates - they're often so significant in terms of gimmicks^Wfeatures that you feel stupid for NOT getting the new code and enjoying a bounty of new things that can slow your phone down^W^W^W^Woffer new ways to work.

jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 6:51:21 PM
Re: Lack of Passion
@Technocrati>

I don't remember Apple products having these kind of issues during his time at  the helm.

Then you have a very selective memory ;-) The iPhone software has been notorious for bugs in pretty much every major new release. And some more to boot. And that very much includes on Jobs' watch.

jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 6:49:41 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
@jagibbons>

"Marketing and Engineering clearly were not in sync"

Oh, they were absolutely in sync - they just disagreed about the way forward.

 

Marketing: We need to start selling on September 19th
Engineering: It won't be ready.
Marketing: Well, it's going to start selling on September 19th
Engineering: We're doing our best, but there simply isn't enough time to get it right.
Marketing: That's a shame because we've told everyone that we're going to start selling on September 19th
Engineering:You're not getting this, are you?
Marketing: Apparently neither are you. We're going to start selling on September 19th; it's too late to change that. Make sure the OS is ready.
Engineering: <prepares noose>

 

Trust me, I've worked in a marketing-driven company before, and that's pretty much how it worked.

mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 6:13:41 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
@jagibbons

"Investors will forgive the gaffes because sales will continue, despite the issues involved."

I couldn't agree with you more. And when we're talking about sales, we're talking about several hundred million dollars. What investor won't be happy with this outcome?

The investors will forgive and forget.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 1:51:28 AM
Re: Lack of Passion

@Broadway0474     I agree consumers for the most part will continue to buy these products - but there will be a few ( translated millions ) who will get frustrated by Apple's latest efforts and will take this as an opportunity to try something else.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2014 | 1:48:21 AM
Re: Lack of Passion

@MyW0r1d     I think you raise a good point regarding passion, is it still there after Jobs ?    It doesn't look like it to be honest - I don't remember Apple products having these kind of issues during his time at  the helm.

Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 11:10:52 PM
Re: Lack of Passion
For public leaders. the public will always pay, you say. Can't you say that same for private leaders -- heck, Apple's leaders, Facebook's leaders, etc. etc. They know shareholders and consumers will continue to buy shares and buy products because the spell has already been cast  on them --- call it "branding" --- and no matter how passionate these leaders are, that will continue.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2014 | 5:41:51 PM
Lack of Passion
These past few days at Apple are not without comparable events.  Healthcare.gov, Windows 8, JC Penny, and the automobile industry (sorry, too many recalls to select one as exemplary).  I think they all share one thing in common, boards who have placed senior management responsibility in people who lack true passion about the product in deference to MBAs focusing on stock market factors.  My understanding of Jobs was that he was passionate about what he did which also translated to his being a fanatic for detail if not out right overbearing at times.  Unwilling to accept "close enough."  It was evident by his leaving and returning with the business reflecting the ebb and flow of his presence.  This passion, however, is the characteristic of senior leaders which have won the markets by producing outstanding products.  Apple's performance only reflects that change in leadership - it is not enough to dress down for your product presentations to mimic the success of others (Jobs, Zuckerburg,...).  I see a lot of execs that remind me of Hammer from the Ironman movies as he tried to imitate Stark.   

I will admit it is unfair to list Healthcare.gov here.  I haven't met too many Fed Execs who cared about funding (for them, the american public will always pay) or could for that matter read a financial report if asked.  Their focus is entirely different than private sector.  But, if they so desired, they could bring that passion to their work and might be surprised at the effect it could have.  Investors have to start considering this in selecting their senior leadership or they will simply continue to pay in percentages of lost market value.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
9/26/2014 | 12:13:12 AM
iOS SchmiOS
Has there EVER been a new version of iOS that wasn't super-buggy?  There's a headline like this every time there's a new iOS release.

It would seem that only fools update right away.  But then, Apple -- for all of its successes in reaching a broader market -- still has tons of fanbois and fangrrls who fit the bill.
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