What's Behind Apple's iOS 8 Update Disaster
What's Behind Apple's iOS 8 Update Disaster
by Don Reisinger
Apple Promised Bigger and Better Things
Apple's iOS 8.0.1 update promised a wide range of improvements to the operating system, including fixes that would allow HealthKit apps to work and be added to the App Store, better handling of Family Sharing for in-app purchases, and improved reliability of the Reachability feature in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to aid users in accessing content with their thumbs. Unfortunately, it also broke the operating system.
Early Adopters Were Again in Trouble
It's not uncommon to hear about early adopters running into issues simply because they try something out before all the bugs are worked out. That happened again in the case of iOS 8.0.1. The update was briefly available before Apple pulled it, leaving only those who are quick to download new updates wishing they hadn't done so.
Apple Quickly Pulled the Update
It didn't take long for Apple to realize something was wrong with iOS 8.0.1. The company pulled the update after an hour, leaving those who had heard about it wondering why they couldn't access it from the Software Update page within the device. To its credit, Apple's response was swift, but those affected wish the company could have researched the update more before it was released.
Where Did My Touch ID Go?
In an odd turn of events, the iOS 8.0.1 update killed Touch ID for many iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. In fact, many folks took to Apple forums to complain that the feature was disabled with the update. Apple acknowledged this as true and said a fix would be coming.
Uh, No Cellular Service, Either?
Perhaps the biggest issue with Apple's update was that it also killed cellular service. Users who updated to the new distribution found that they were unable to place calls. It's believed the bug was caused by an update in the new distribution that tried to limit data usage over cellular networks when sending SMS or MMS messages. It worked so well that cellular service was killed altogether.
Health Was Working, but Don't Expect Much
Although some features broke in the fix, Apple was able to fix the bug in HealthKit that made the Health app less useful at launch than the company had hoped. In fact, if HealthKit-enabled apps were available in the App Store right now, those with iOS 8.0.1 would be able to take full advantage of them. But those who haven't updated and are still working with the regular iOS 8 will find no integration with third-party apps just yet.
Apple Has Already Released iOS 8.0.2
On its own support pages after pulling iOS 8.0.1, Apple said that users should expect an update to iOS 8 soon in the form of iOS 8.0.2. And Apple delivered on Sept. 25 with iOS 8.0.2. Given the issues with 8.0.1, however, it might be a good idea to wait a bit before taking the plunge and updating.
The Workaround Is Simple: Go Back in Time
Apple has posted on its support pages what some are calling a workaround for anyone who downloaded its botched update. The workaround is really more of a restoration that requires users to connect their iPhones to iTunes, back up their devices, download a file that corresponds to their respective products and update with that software. The update puts iOS 8 back onto the device but kills the Health app—something Apple says will be fixed in iOS 8.0.2.
The Most Negatively Affected Seem to Have Been iPhone 6 Owners
Although some iPhone 5S owners who updated to iOS 8.0.1 complained of issues with Touch ID, the most negatively affected users appear to be iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners. It makes sense. Not only are all of those buyers running iOS 8, but they are early adopters, so perhaps they are the ones most likely to want to download the latest software. Apple's iOS 8 adoption is growing on older devices, but until it hits a higher level, look for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners to be most affected by any updates to the operating system.
It Won't Change Demand, Analysts Say
Although Apple has been negatively affected from a public relations perspective by the iOS 8.0.1 issue, analysts don't expect it to impact sales. In fact, Barclays says that Apple will still sell its anticipated 61 million iPhone units in the fourth quarter, regardless of the issues surrounding the iOS update. While some people might say that they'll hold off on getting a new iPhone because of this issue, it's unlikely that many will actually do so. Good news for Apple.