Read about the agonies and ecstasies of Apple under boss Tim Cook, in MT’s latest cover feature.
Apple has been accused in the past of building obsolescence into its products, so that the latest software upgrade causes your older device to function less effectively, not more. News that the very first update to the brand spanking new iOS8 operating system caused a spate of glitches just one week after launch might not, therefore, surprise everyone.
Users complained the originally-named update, iOS8.0.1, caused their Touch ID fingerprint security feature to fail. More importantly, by inexplicably devouring mobile signal, it prevented them from making or receiving calls – still one of the iPhone’s most popular features, despite the rise in free messaging services like Whatsapp (they are still phones after all). Apple fans will surely be hoping that the iWatch will be able to tell the time, when it goes on sale next year.
Apple pulled the update almost immediately after getting wind of its flaws. ‘We apologise for the great inconvenience experienced by users,’ the enormous multinational said, ‘And are working around the clock to prepare iOS8.0.2 with a fix for the issue.’
Phew. Since that may not have been enough to quell the uproar, Apple also said users could reinstall the original iOS8 from the iTunes store.
The trouble with that is the original version of iOS had issues of its own – hence the need for the hastily put-together update. Apps couldn’t access photos, the much anticipated Health Kit didn’t work at all and, according to Bloomberg, the software crashed 67% more than iOS7. It’s a good job none of these came up in the snazzy product launch earlier this month.
Teething troubles are perhaps understandable on a launch of this scale. The new system is significantly more complex than its predecessor, with over 4,000 more features. Besides, unexpected problems will arise when programme goes from being a closely-guarded secret to a system used by millions in just weeks (a record 10 million iPhone 6s running iOS8 were sold last weekend and 46% of Apple devices are now estimated to run it).
Superstitious types might even see the malign influence of unlucky number eight, recalling the disappearing Metro tiles and assorted problems that beset Windows 8.
Whatever the reason, it might have people asking, would this have happened under Steve Jobs?