4 reasons NOT to install iOS 6

As a developer, I’ve been using iPhone’s since they first came out. I have to test my apps on every version!

iOS 6 is the first version of iOS “post Steve Jobs”. But it’s terrible – it seems to be a 2nd-rate product rushed out by a small team of startup programmers, working from their garage.

As a developer … I’m dismayed. Consumers are famously slow to change (en masse) – but they are neither stupid nor indifferent. Their tolerance is high, but not infinite. The iOS 6 experience is going to force a lot of people away from iPhones. Looks like we’ll be doing a lot more Android development in 2013 than I was expecting …

1. It will DELETE your photos

Yes, really. You can recover them (from what I’ve seen so far: all of them) if you use backup recovery tools. But seriously: WTF?

Many google hits for this, plenty on Apple’s own support forums, with no response from Apple.

Or … it will randomly delete half your photos (happened to a phone I saw).

Or … it will REDUCE the quality of all your photos until they become tiny pixellated blobs.

AND … photos taken after you upgrade iOS 6? Forget it – they’ll be inaccessible too.

Deleting people’s photos is – commercially – unforgivable. I was amazed the first time I saw this happen.

2. It crashes. A LOT.

Until iOS 6, Apple’s OS was getting better and better with each release. I don’t *try* to crash phones, but it happens accidentally when you use the phone a lot. But iOS 6 is a total disaster.

  • iOS 2: took me 3 days to crash it
  • iOS 3: took me 3 weeks to crash it
  • iOS 4: took me 3 months to crash it
  • iOS 5: …never managed to crash it…
  • iOS 6: took me 3 seconds to crash it

    To be clear: this is through normal usage, nothing special, nothing “developer-y”.

    The iOS 6 crash was 100% reproducible, triggered by simply moving an icon on Springboard to a differnt screen, and then hitting the home button. Wow.

    3. It removes GPS and Maps from your phone

    Apple’s “Maps” app simply Does. Not. Work.

    iOS 6 REMOVES Google Maps, and there is NO WAY to get it back.

    So, now … unless you buy an additional “mapping app” (and there are none that are as good as Google Maps, unless you spend a huge amount of money), then … that GPS chip in your phone, that’s part of the cost of the phone? For most people it’s now a hunk of useless metal.

    In the last 10 years, very little in mobile phones has changed the way people live their lives quite so much as the instant availability of detailed, accurate, maps with GPS no matter where you are on the planet.

    Apple says you can “use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.”. Wow.

    4. You cannot return to iOS 5

    iOS 5 worked. It was stable. It had a GPS! and Maps!

    …but Apple forbids you from running it if you ever install iOS 6.

    As a developer, this has been a recurring nightmare: we had to make sure no-one ever upgraded a phone – even by accident. (as a developer: you test your app on every old version of iOS that you can. Not just on a simulator, but on each physical phone)

    Now consumers get to find out quite how (unnecessarily and unfairly) painful that process is…

2 thoughts on “4 reasons NOT to install iOS 6

  1. Stephen

    Hmm. But …

    Preamble)
    Consumers are not slow to change in this instance. Most data I’ve seen shows iOS 6 was in use by most potential users within a few weeks. ( http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/13/study-europeans-quickest-to-adopt-ios-6-overall-updates-growth-continues/)

    or here

    http://gigaom.com/2012/10/22/1-month-later-ios-6-adoption-hits-61-percent-in-u-s-canada/

    And:

    1) It has not deleted ANY of my photos and I’ve used it since it was available. My device is personal as well as for development and I have loads of photos on it. Sorry to hear about your experience.

    2) No. Mine has NEVER crashed since install, though many apps have. Sorry to hear about your experience.

    3) They are both gone it’s true. There is now a Google maps app as I’m sure you’re aware though it wasn’t available when you wrote your post. Things change.

    As for Does. Not. Work. Sorry, but I disagree. I can use it just fine in my local area, satellite view, roads view, hybrid and I can get directions just fine. In many ways, as a simple map app it’s a lot nicer than the iOS 5 version and it’s a hell of a lot easier to read street names than those Google ones that never zoom bigger when you zoom in to read them!

    It’s clear also that Apple have some serious bugs in the app and that some travel information is missing or wrong. The big loss is street view and no matter how amazing 3D flyover mode is (and it IS) it is of little use when on the ground, especially for 95% of Apple users who don’t live in seriously major cities where flyover is unavailable.

    Does. Not. Work. though? Untrue.

    4) I’d been under the perhaps misguided impression that this was the case with each prior version as well, though it may be the case that some enterprising individuals had managed to revert an iOS 4 > iOS 5 back to iOS 4. But, if you are an Apple developer and given the uptake rates mentioned earlier, why would you as you won’t be writing for the version of iOS on the devices used by the majority of your users.

    As for whether people will be moving away from iPhones to Android as a result, well, … time will tell on that one. Jump now if you want I suppose.

  2. adam Post author

    1) Google is your friend. This was a common problem affecting a large number of users. Don’t take my word for it – but your anecdotal evidence of failing to see a bug isn’t particularly useful.

    2) They appear to have fixed this in the point releases.

    3) I still meet people every week (met 2 yesterday) who have not upgraded because iOS 5 maps is significantly faster and more accurate than BOTH iOS 6 apple maps AND google-maps.

    NB: again, if you don’t believe me, do some googling. It’s awesome that you are the 1 person in the orld (or, possibly, you’re American?) who happens to live in a place where Apple’s map data is correct. But so what? This is a well-documented problem.

    For instance, with Apple-maps, London (population: 6 million or so) was incorrect.

    And feel free to do a side-by-side comparison (if you can find someone with ioS 5 – it’s not difficult). It’s embarassing how slow Google maps is, and it’s embarassing how inaccurate apple-6-maps is.

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