Since iOS 7 was released on Sept. 18, more than two-thirds of iOS users have upgraded to Apple's new mobile operating system, which introduced a new interface and a slew of new features. And while most users seem happy with the update, there have been a few persistent problems.
Among the issues most widely reported is a Lockscreen security flaw identified by Germany's Chaos Computer Club. Apple fixed that problem within days, but there have also been complaints that iOS 7 drains battery life, the keyboard lags and there's an issue with iMessage.
These glitches don't undermine the fact that the iOS 7 launch has largely been a big success: It has already been adopted by 69.2% of iOS users, according to Mixpanel Trends, leaving 27% with iOS 6 and just 3.74% still using the two-year old iOS 5. That vast and fast deployment is unique in the modern mobile industry.
Moving to squash issues almost as quickly as they show up, Apple has already released two upgrades -- iOS 7.0.1 and 7.0.2 -- and 7.0.3 is already in development. The company also urged affected users to explore its online troubleshooting documents or contact AppleCare for help.
Apple has also been willing to acknowledge problems, confirming to Computerworld, for instance, that iMessages will sometimes not send messages once iOS 7 is installed. An Apple spokesman told Computerworld: "We are aware of an issue that affects a fraction of a percent of our iMessage users, and we will have a fix available in an upcoming software update... We apologize for any inconvenience this causes impacted users."
Although some users have argued that Apple should have delayed release of iOS 7 to avoid such problems, it's not unusual for flaws to show up in a new release, given the complexity of a software upgrade for millions of devices.
"Mobile software is so complex these days, a few bugs at launch is to be expected for any smartphone or tablet vendor," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "The iOS 7 update is a fairly major revision of the operating system and user interface, so it's inevitable a few bugs will slip through the net during the first phase of launch."
Even so, it's important that Apple show it's responding to any identified flaws, Mawston said. "Apple fans are a loyal and forgiving bunch, so Apple has time to fix the bugs in iOS 7. But after the Maps mislaunch last year and a slightly buggy iOS 7 launch this year, Apple must be very careful that it does not tarnish its famous brand and gain a reputation for suboptimal software development."
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