USA Today prints contemptuous trashing of Apple's latest iOS 7 release

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A major U.S. newspaper has compiled a scathing dismissal of iOS 7 as Apple's "most troubled," although it provided no actual metrics of the issues or a comparison of the release's reported problems to those seen in previous versions.



The report by Scott Martin and Alistair Barr, writing for USA Today, described Apple's iOS 7 as "fast becoming its most troubled mobile operating system update," under a headline "Apple loses some of its magic touch with iOS 7."

The report alluded to reports of a "list of bugs and flaws" in the company's support discussion boards, but made no attempt to quantify or qualify the scope and severity any of those issues.

Instead, the story's premise relied almost entirely upon on a quote from Raluca Budiu, a senior researcher at Nielsen Norman Group, who was cited as saying, "it's Apple's most problematic operating system launch so far."

Another fact USA Today did not include: the primary source of the story, Nielsen Norman Group, is a consulting firm that counts Google, Samsung and other Android licensees among its clients, but not Apple. The source would therefore seem to have obligation to support its "problematic" claims with some sort of actual data, rather than just a personal anecdote that Budiu provided about her own experience.

iOS vs the other OS

The only comparisons Budiu offered between iOS 7 and other software launches was what the report described as "Microsoft's legendarily troubled OS upgrades, such as Vista in early 2007," adding that Budiu also said that "Microsoft's more recent Windows 8 launch was also more problematic."The primary source of the story, Nielsen Norman Group, is a consulting firm that counts Google, Samsung and other Android licensees among its clients

Unsurprisingly, Samsung and Google did not pay Nielsen Norman Group to detail the problems in Android, a more obvious comparison to make with iOS.

Nobody has attempted to quantify the "bugs per user" or "flaws per OS release" of mobile operating systems, but overall user satisfaction rankings provide some glimpse at what those figures might look like, were there some desire to report actual facts rather pen a national news article about a hunch regarding a loss of "magic."

"Apple has already released iOS 7 updates to fix some problems, including a bug that allowed people to bypass the Lock screen passcode," the report stated, without noting that, in contrast, Google hasn't even attempted to update the hundreds of millions of Android phones with serious, known security errors.

Even Google's own Android devices, such as the Nexus 7 mini-tablet, suffered for a year before getting a software fix for serious problems that rendered the device essentially unusable for large numbers of buyers.

Dustin Early of the fan site AndroidAndMe complained this summer, "I can't find one person who has been using the Nexus 7 for an extended period of time, and hasn't seen a massive downgrade in performance."

The biggest, fastest OS launch ever

Beyond consulting firms saying what they are paid to say, there's another reason why iOS 7 is making national headlines about scattered reports of bugs while Google is given a pass for rarely or not ever fixing serious, well known problems: Apple actually updates its iOS customers, hundreds of millions of them at once.

It's hard to quantify the precise impact that upgrading to iOS 7 is having for end users because it is now by far the world's largest installed mobile operating system. Additionally, a serious problem for one user might be an isolated issue. Scouring support forums or Twitter or fielding calls from consultants paid by Apple's competitors won't necessarily reflect reality.

USA Today did, in its 18th paragraph of the story on the "troubled" iOS 7, cite Apple's Trudy Miller in providing one data point for its iOS 7 article, "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."

Apple hasn't yet updated its own statistics of iOS versions across the installed base, but according to Mixpanel, iOS 7 has reached 71 percent penetration in just 27 days, compared to last year's iOS 6, which was at 61 percent after its first month.



This summer, Flurry reported a population of 510 million active iOS devices, compared to 564 million active Android users of apps. That suggests that Apple has deployed somewhere over 360 million copies of IOS 7. In contrast, Google's latest Android 4.3 was released months before iOS 7, but the company only reports that 1.5 percent of its app-using customers have it, somewhere around 8.5 million users.

It's not surprising that there's more news about issues with Apple's latest iOS 7 because there are more than 3,000 times as many people who have installed it and are using it compared to the latest release of Android. In fact, it appears that there are already nearly as many people on iOS 7 as there are on any version of Android 4.x, which was first released two years ago.

Back then, Apple was introducing iPhone 4S and had just launched iOS 5. It has since deployed hundreds of millions of copies of two major version updates to iOS, ten minor updates and additional security patches to its customers. Google and its partners have only issued rare updates of Android to buyers of brand new devices.

This summer, Computerworld observed in regard to a major security flaw discovered among nearly all Android devices, "the slow distribution of patches in the Android ecosystem has long been criticized by both security researchers and Android users," adding, "mobile security firm Duo Security estimated last September, based on statistics gathered through its X-Ray Android vulnerability assessment app, that more than half of Android devices are vulnerable to at least one of the known Android security flaws."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 197
    It's articles like the one in USA Today that are responsible for the proliferation of this negative perception. Like many, I like iOS 7. Maybe I'm just not as whiny as some people, but it's working for me. Goodbye USA Today. FYI, your iOS App has had PLENTY of problems.
  • Reply 2 of 197
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,010member
    USA who? Talk about a jumbled mess of a wannabe newspaper. Why does anyone even listen to these writers. I installed it on my iPhone 5 and it's working just fine. Yes, it looks different than iOS6 but OSX looked different than OS9 and every Windows upgrade looks and works totally different from the previous one. What did they say about Microsoft's mess? Probably praised them.
  • Reply 3 of 197
    I am practically an Apple household, with all combinations of iPhones, iPads, Macs etc that we have used for years. And I have used iOS since its first version. It has never been an issue for me.

    Until iOS 7.

    I have had more crashes & strange behaviors with iOS7 on my iPhone 5 than any other version ever. Applications just don't respond to touch and instead crash (randomly), keystroke entry freezes up or is delayed interminably and then the app crashes - the two main kinds of issues I have experienced.

    So USA Today may be onto something. The only way for Apple, a great product-making company if ever there was one, to be that is for the consumer base to be honest in their observations of their shortcomings when they have them. Too much of fanboy'sm never helps. And constantly comparing iOS7 and Android and making everything relative is a disservice to both, and honestly not very helpful to the user communities.
  • Reply 4 of 197
    Another Dilger hysteria piece... Big surprise.
  • Reply 5 of 197
    Personally, I find USA Today's coverage of most things tech or science to be rather trashy. And then there's inconsistencies, errors, and a sea of grammar errors and typos in other articles. I have a feeling much of the content they produce is not produced from the perspective of someone endowed with accurate or well-researched information.
  • Reply 6 of 197
    Though iOS 7 does seem like one of the buggier iOS revisions. The iMessages bug seems like one which shouldn't have made it through testing (fixed for me by resetting network settings), Siri drops the ball maybe 30% of the time for me and responds slowly in many other cases, battery life does seem to drain quickly (though in relatively recent history keeping Facebook out of the background has helped with that). A degree of this is to be expected, though, with such a major revision. It's not that big a deal, and I'm still relatively happy with the upgrade while I wait for fixes.
  • Reply 7 of 197
    Another Dilger hysteria piece... Big surprise.

    And USAToday isn't?
  • Reply 8 of 197
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    What do you expect from USA today. It's one of the worst papers to read for any insightful, intelligent news reporting.
  • Reply 9 of 197
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skalyana725 View Post



    I am practically an Apple household, with all combinations of iPhones, iPads, Macs etc that we have used for years. And I have used iOS since its first version. It has never been an issue for me.



    Until iOS 7.



    I have had more crashes & strange behaviors with iOS7 on my iPhone 5 than any other version ever. Applications just don't respond to touch and instead crash (randomly), keystroke entry freezes up or is delayed interminably and then the app crashes - the two main kinds of issues I have experienced.



    So USA Today may be onto something. The only way for Apple, a great product-making company if ever there was one, to be that is for the consumer base to be honest in their observations of their shortcomings when they have them. Too much of fanboy'sm never helps. And constantly comparing iOS7 and Android and making everything relative is a disservice to both, and honestly not very helpful to the user communities.

    The OS is possibly corrupted from repeated restores from previous phones? Bad code builds up over time and I've been told the 5 is more sensitive due to it's higher performance...  A way around that is to do a "clean" restore  (not from the possibly corrupted backup copy on your computer) and then sync the phone (which doesn't install an OS just your stuff). Or I expect it might be a particular bad actor app or apps that isn't 7 compatible yet. Have to say my 5 never exhibited that behavior in general, though the Washingtonpost app would occasionally quit for a few days until it was updated. But in general amongst the 127 apps I have there was no issue.

  • Reply 10 of 197
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    I am practically an Apple household, with all combinations of iPhones, iPads, Macs etc that we have used for years. And I have used iOS since its first version. It has never been an issue for me.

    Until iOS 7.

    I have had more crashes & strange behaviors with iOS7 on my iPhone 5 than any other version ever. Applications just don't respond to touch and instead crash (randomly), keystroke entry freezes up or is delayed interminably and then the app crashes - the two main kinds of issues I have experienced.

    So USA Today may be onto something. The only way for Apple, a great product-making company if ever there was one, to be that is for the consumer base to be honest in their observations of their shortcomings when they have them. Too much of fanboy'sm never helps. And constantly comparing iOS7 and Android and making everything relative is a disservice to both, and honestly not very helpful to the user communities.

    The only thing I notice is battery life, but apple typically releases but fixes for it . Other than that, I've had any crashes or any strange behavior and I have iPhone 4 and iPad 4.
  • Reply 11 of 197

    Again, the unpopular and undesirable attack Apple to gain headlines, in the hopes they will be relevant again. 

     

    Sorry, you are as relevant as the ink you print with. 

  • Reply 12 of 197

    Para mi iOS 7 funciona perfecto! sin ningún problema ni con las apps ni con la batería, seguramente es una campaña de desprestigio.

    Creo que es el mejor sistema operativo iOS hasta la fecha. Me encanta!

  • Reply 13 of 197
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SiliconTlaco View Post

     

    Para mi iOS 7 funciona perfecto! sin ningún problema ni con las apps ni con la batería, seguramente es una campaña de desprestigio.

    Creo que es el mejor sistema operativo iOS hasta la fecha. Me encanta!


     

    iOS 7 es terriblemente lento en el iPhone 4, que es por eso que estoy aún más impaitient para mis 5 años en llegar.

     

    [Traductor Google, lo siento si me mete algo hasta | Google translate, sorry if I messes anything up] 

  • Reply 14 of 197
    IOs7 works very well on my iPad2 ;)
  • Reply 15 of 197
    I am practically an Apple household, with all combinations of iPhones, iPads, Macs etc that we have used for years. And I have used iOS since its first version. It has never been an issue for me.

    Until iOS 7.

    I have had more crashes & strange behaviors with iOS7 on my iPhone 5 than any other version ever. Applications just don't respond to touch and instead crash (randomly), keystroke entry freezes up or is delayed interminably and then the app crashes - the two main kinds of issues I have experienced.

    So USA Today may be onto something. The only way for Apple, a great product-making company if ever there was one, to be that is for the consumer base to be honest in their observations of their shortcomings when they have them. Too much of fanboy'sm never helps. And constantly comparing iOS7 and Android and making everything relative is a disservice to both, and honestly not very helpful to the user communities.

    IOS 7 works fine for me on new hardware. Your apps crashing might be because they haven't been updated for iOS 7 compatibility.
  • Reply 16 of 197
    I am practically an Apple household, with all combinations of iPhones, iPads, Macs etc that we have used for years. And I have used iOS since its first version. It has never been an issue for me.

    Until iOS 7.

    I have had more crashes & strange behaviors with iOS7 on my iPhone 5 than any other version ever. Applications just don't respond to touch and instead crash (randomly), keystroke entry freezes up or is delayed interminably and then the app crashes - the two main kinds of issues I have experienced.

    I've experienced the opposite. First, every major version of iOS from back when it was still called "iPhone OS" had issues, some serious, like locking up or burning up the battery. Most where intermittent and resolved with a reboot. It got to the point where I fully expected major releases ending in 0.0 to be not worth installing until several minor versions in. I'm planning to install iOS 7 at some point, depending on how others receive it.

    If you've never had any issues with past iOS releases, then good for you. But my point in sharing my this is that while your experience seems to reinforce what USAToday claims, my experience is that Apple is no different from other OS vendors in that new major versions will have issues and these issues will be resolved. It's not apologizing for Apple; I'm saying that I've never met a perfect OS release, on any platform. Even Apple's. And holding them to that standard is unfair.
  • Reply 17 of 197
    Meanwhile a mediocre U.S. Blogger has compiled a scathing rebuttal claiming android is frought with issues although it provided no actual metrics of the issues..........

    Slow news day.
  • Reply 18 of 197
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skalyana725 View Post



    I am practically an Apple household, with all combinations of iPhones, iPads, Macs etc that we have used for years. And I have used iOS since its first version. It has never been an issue for me.



    Until iOS 7.



    I have had more crashes & strange behaviors with iOS7 on my iPhone 5 than any other version ever. Applications just don't respond to touch and instead crash (randomly), keystroke entry freezes up or is delayed interminably and then the app crashes - the two main kinds of issues I have experienced.



    So USA Today may be onto something. The only way for Apple, a great product-making company if ever there was one, to be that is for the consumer base to be honest in their observations of their shortcomings when they have them. Too much of fanboy'sm never helps. And constantly comparing iOS7 and Android and making everything relative is a disservice to both, and honestly not very helpful to the user communities.

    Did you do a clean fresh install when installing iOS7?  Or did you just update?  Or did you do an update and restore?

     

    About 85% of the problems you are having I would bet are because you just updated and all of your old settings are in your phone from a restore.

    Try this.  Restore your phone to factory in iTunes and then set it up like it is new out of the box.  Don't restore your settings with iTunes.

    If you do I would bet that most of your problems go away.

    My wife's iphone 5 had issues too and after doing what i suggested here almost all of her problems went away.  The only one she has now is that sometimes iMessage does not send her messages, and Apple is working on a fix right now for the next update.

  • Reply 19 of 197
    All Gannett (USAT's parent) reporters and photographers last year were given iPhones or iPads running iOS 6 as part of the company's push into digital content. I'd bet many are experiencing a major smartphone OS upgrade for the first time and will feel disproportionately affected by any glitches, especially with any of the company-blessed video and photo apps.
  • Reply 20 of 197
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post





    The only thing I notice is battery life, but apple typically releases but fixes for it . Other than that, I've had any crashes or any strange behavior and I have iPhone 4 and iPad 4.

    I noticed that things I had long ago turned off had been by default turned back on with iOS 7 on my 5. Things like bluetooth and location services for ALL my apps. So you might check around within settings to see what's been altered.

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