iOS Problems and Apple’s Bad Press: A Timeline

Posted 2nd October 2014
By Matt Watts

iOS 8 Problems

It would be fair to say that the past few months have been some of the more eventful in Apple’s recent history, with much heralded new product releases, the “bendgate” story and iOS problems. We thought we would take a closer look at how all these issues have unfolded from the start, to present a clearer picture of why each has happened and what the response has been.

2nd June 2014: Apple Announces Healthkit

It may seem strange to include an announcement in a post which talks about technical problems with a device, but the fanfare this created contributed to the issues Apple would later experience. The announcement came as part of Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) and was a key part of the iOS 8 launch.

When it works, HealthKit will provide a platform where health related information which is currently held separately from each other can be housed on one platform to share information. So let’s say you have one App which monitors your nutrition, and another that suggests exercise routines. HealthKit will allow these two Apps to communicate with each other to provide you with more unique suggestions. Taking this a step further, this information can then be passed on (pending your permission) to provide you with health advice, and even alter your insurance payments if it proves you live a healthier lifestyle.

In of itself, the announcement wasn’t a mistake, but the fact that it didn’t’ work during the release of iOS 8 or the hastily pulled iOS 8.0.1 could lead to developers being more sceptical of developing Apps to work within HealthKit, at least until it becomes a more stable and known commodity. If nothing else, these Apps must surely be behind schedule due to the launch delays.

7th September 2014: iOS 8 Launches (alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus)

As there are a multitude of issues that surrounded the initial launch of iOS 8, this section has been split up to highlight each of the main issues.

File Size

One of the most noteworthy issues of the iOS 8 release was the amount of storage needed to install the update. Users of older devices, such as the iPhone 5, reported that they didn’t have room to complete the update. That being said, it is relatively straightforward to move some files onto your PC or Mac, complete the update and then put the files back onto your phone. For iCloud users, this process is even simpler.

Healthkit

As mentioned above, HealthKit was meant to be one of the key components of iOS 8, but Apps which worked with HealthKit were removed from the App Store as the rollout was happening, due to an unspecified issue with the service.

The “Reset All Settings” Issue

Many users on Apple’s own community boards, and notable sites such as MacRumours reported that using the “Reset All Settings” option deleted iCloud documents. Apple had previously developed Time Machine to enable the recovery of accidently deleted documents, but turning to this option apparently only provided mixed results.

Third Party Keyboards

One of the more publicised features of iOS 8 (mostly because it is an area where the iPhone series has lagged behind Android devices for quite a while) was the ability to use third party keyboards rather than Apple’s own offering. Unfortunately, this feature didn’t work in the original release, and subsequent releases have so far not fixed the issue. Users reported that whilst they could install third party keyboards, they would often disappear after unlocking the phone.

September 23rd 2014: “Bendgate” Video Published of iPhone 6 Plus Being Bent

You no doubt heard about the bending iPhones. Interestingly, it started as rumour, before the video above was released by Unbox Therapy. Apple have claimed that this affects a very low number of users, which somewhat skirts the issue that it just shouldn’t happen to a device. Granted, the amount of force needed to bend the phone looks like it will only happen in relatively rare circumstances, but this has still been an embarrassing episode for Apple. It’s no surprise that firms like LG (with their deliberately flexible phone the G Flex) have taken the opportunity to promote their own devices using #bendgate on social media and in the press.

September 24th 2014: iOS 8.0.1 released, then withdrawn

Perhaps the most embarrassing element of the iOS 8 saga is that the initial attempts to fix the issues made things worse, a lot worse in fact. iOS 8.0.1 was meant to enable HealthKit Apps to enter the App Store, fix the 3rd party keyboard issue and correct the reachability issue. Unfortunately, after updating, users found they had no signal, that the finger scanner to unlock the phone (as well as authorise purchases) stopped working, and that the issues mentioned above just hadn’t been fixed. Less than 24 hours after its release, iOS 8.0.1 was hastily withdrawn and users were advised to revert back to 8.0.

September 26th 2014: iOS 8.0.2 Released

8.0.2 has now been released, but it too has caused problems judging by the response on Apple’s own Support Communities board. Some are reporting continuing calling problems, BlueTooth connectivity issues and increased freezing of Apps. Expect 8.0.3 to follow quickly as Apple scrambles to fix these ongoing problems.

Ongoing Issue: Broadband Difficulties

If your company offers its staff iPhones, you may have noticed your broadband speed being slower than normal in recent weeks, and the issues above could be the reason why. As each update is released, users will need to download it which takes up a lot of your broadband capacity. We’ve heard reports of people suffering from poor internet speeds as users update simultaneously. Thankfully this should be an isolated problem once Apple fixes the problems above and subsequently slows the frequency of the iOS updates.

Summary

The interesting question about all of the above problems is: does it matter? Will these issues drive away customers to competitors? The fact that Apple have shipped more of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus than any of their previous devices suggests that their popularity remains unaffected. But how long can a company selling an apparently high-end product withstand such problems and bad press?

Will you be sticking with iPhones or have you moved over to an Android device? Let us know in the comment section below.

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