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.

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 An Apple rep acknowledged the issue to the website Re/code, confirmed the company had withdrawn the update, and said Apple engineers were working on a fix.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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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2014 | 9:25:14 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
Investors will forgive the gaffes because sales will continue, despite the issues involved.
Broadway0474
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0%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2014 | 9:16:51 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
This bears repeating if it hasn't been said here already. Investors were not so forgiving today. Shares plunged nearly 4% and this caused a tumble in all three major US indices of between 1.5 to nearly 2%. But these drops, and the terrible PR generated this, are but blips, aren't they, in a long-term strategy that would only be dented if sales of the next phone, the next iPad, the damn Watch, are significantly less than expected.
jagibbons
100%
0%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2014 | 8:51:16 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
It's really amazing how forgiving Apple fans are given these challenges. If any other manufacturer released a device with these kinds of issues, they would be crucified by the media. Instead, Apple releases a new set of phones touting features that other OSs have had for two generations (NFC, health APIs), a phone is so thin and light (think weak) that it can be bent in half just from someone sitting down with it in their pocket. a new default keyboard that displays a users pin lock code in auto-correct and a built-in browser (Safari) that has crashed on my iPad no less than twice while trying to write this paragraph.

Marketing and Engineering clearly were not in sync. Granted, it is very difficult to make sure all the details of a device are ready for the launch event that was scheduled months in advance. I like my iPad Air, but it's just a device. Maybe this will help others see that Apple isn't as infallible and worship-worthy as many think it is.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2014 | 4:39:23 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
I couldn't agree more. However, this is the marketing problem: They want iOS8 on the iPhone 6, and there is NO WAY ON THIS EARTH that they will launch the iPhone6 late. No way. And if they didn't make iOS8 available on other devices, people would ask why and assume that the iPhone6 was running an early, buggy OS.

So they release it anyway in a "good enough" form in order to meet marketing deadlines. Which sucks.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/25/2014 | 3:30:37 PM
Re: Disappointing, Really
Given the dependencies in OS X Yosemite (eg: Handoff), Apple would have done better to wait for an extra month and release both updates together, with more bugs ironed out, alongside Apple Pay and iCloud Drive.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2014 | 12:59:47 PM
Disappointing, Really
More than anything, the bugs in iOS 8 are kind of disappointing. It's an indication of insufficient testing, probably obsessive focus on the iPhone 6 and little on the impact of iOS 8 on older phones (based on the reports from 4S users). This is the big problem of working to a date that, as it turned out, was maybe a month too early at least. Marketing versus Engineering has always been a thorny issue, and this is the result.

8.0.1 is just compounding the same thing from the looks of it. 8.0.2 will be interesting, and as with iOS7, in all likelihood 8.1 is going to be the version you really wanted.
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