Enough is enough. Apple’s iOS 8 mobile operating system came out in mid-September. Since then, the company has delivered seven — count ’em, seven — patch releases, and iOS 8 still doesn’t work that well. Argh!
iOS 8.3 should be out real soon now, we’re told. I’d like to think it will fix all of my iOS 8 troubles, but I know better. I’ve been fooled before, and I don’t want to be fooled again.
But I guess you can call this progress: I don’t expect things to be as bad as they were with iOS 8.0.1. With that “update,” as you may recall, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users lost the ability to connect to their cellular networks. I want you to think about that fiasco for a moment. You can pack all the features you want into a smartphone, but when it loses the ability to make calls, it ceases to be a phone.
My patience has worn thin because I can’t see the reason for this months-long failure. I mean, it’s not as if Apple is in Microsoft’s position, having to make sure that every new operating system release supports decades-old hardware from hundreds of different vendors. All iOS has to do is support Apple’s own iPhones and iPads. And not all of those. Apple doesn’t even support 2009’s iPhone 3GS or 2010’s original iPad anymore.
Apple simply has no excuse for the problems we’ve seen, including the following:
1) Wi-Fi woes: IOS 8.x Wi-Fi is excruciatingly slow, if it works at all. I’ve seen this on every iPhone that supports iOS 8, as well as on my fifth-generation iPod Touch, a third-generation iPad, an iPad Air and every version of the iPad Mini.
I’ve rebooted, I’ve reset, I’ve toggled Wi-Fi and Airplane mode. You name it, I’ve done it. Eventually, one of these things does help — until it doesn’t anymore. Enough with this nonsense, Apple!
2) Battery battering. There are many things that can contribute to a device’s lousy battery life. And there are many ways to fix those problems. One of my colleagues put together a list of 34 ways to improve your iPhone’s battery life. But after using all of them at one time or another, the bottom line remains that battery life is noticeably worse with iOS 8 compared to iOS 7.
3) Tardis time? With iOS 8, the calendar always uses GMT. I call this the “Does anyone know what time it is, does anyone really care?” bug. It was supposed to be fixed in iOS 8.2. And indeed, I don’t see it anymore on my personal devices, but I know other people who still suffer from this problem. The difference between us is that I use Google Calendar, while my friends and colleagues use Microsoft Exchange or other calendaring apps and still must remove their subscribed calendars. Now, when I say that these people are suffering from this problem, I am not exaggerating. You remove subscribed calendars by going to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Accounts > Subscribed Calendars > Delete Account. Then you have to reboot and re-add their subscribed calendars. OK, that is definitely a first-world sort of suffering, but it’s way, way too much trouble. And as I said, I just don’t see a reason for it. Please don’t think that I have exhausted iOS 8’s problems with that brief list. We’ve also got Safari’s performance problems and the continuing battle between local and iCloud settings. And what is it about simply being able to delete mail? Believe me, I could go on and on. But enough already!
Apple, I’m talking about your own operating system on your own hardware, mostly working with your own software. Get them to work together smoothly, and do it now. If you don’t, Samsung and all those Android companies will eventually eat your lunch.
Yes, today people still love their Apple gear, but if you keep fouling up consistently, you’ll lose their affection once and for all.