iOS 6.1 Fixes Security Flaws, but Lacks Essential App Upgrades

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2013-01-28 Print this article Print

You’d think that after CES someone at Apple would have noticed that there’s actually a bridge there. Oh, wait. Apple wasn’t at CES.

My next test was to plot a trip from my office in Clifton, Virginia to Washington Dulles International Airport. This is about 12 miles, and there’s a freeway that leads directly to the terminal. While I realize that to Apple executives Dulles may not be as important as say, San Jose International, it’s still the international airport serving the nation’s capital.

But as in the past, Apple Maps routed me to the south perimeter fence at the airport, and told me to walk to the nearest runway. While this would give me a spectacular view of airport operations, I suspect that the representatives of the Transportation Security Administration would not have been amused.

Now, I realize that debating whether the iOS security updates were sufficiently important to call this a major upgrade is something of a quibble. After all, what difference does it make what Apple calls the new release of iOS as long as it delivers the goods? And that’s a good question, because it is after all, Apple’s product and they can call it whatever they wish.

But it does bring home the troubling trend I’ve been seeing at Apple lately. And that’s the failure to deliver the improvements that count. Just as I mentioned last week about Apple’s troubles with investors, the company isn’t instilling confidence by releasing a minor upgrade and calling it a major release. While the Apple loyalists will certainly tout the overall wonderfulness of such a release, to the rest of the world it looks like puffery.

Still, there is one area that is refreshing, and that’s the fact that Apple did delineate exactly what security upgrades it made. If you’ll remember, there was a time when Apple maintained that its products had no security problems and that it was impossible to create malware that would run on Apple products. This position has now changed. Apple does in fact perform security updates. It works to prevent malware and now it lets its customers know what’s going on.

So while I’m not sure why Apple is positioning iOS 6.1 as a major upgrade, it’s a relief to see that Apple is continuing the process of making its software more secure. If calling it a major upgrade is what it takes for Apple to make these changes, then I guess it’ll do.


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