iOS 10.1.1 Features: The Good, Bad, And Indifferent

Apple’s beleaguered iOS roll-outs seem to be continuing the same trend with 10.1.1: broken features, strange occurrences, and curious oversights.

To put the release into context, iOS 10.1 went public on October 24 after a month of beta testing, and iOS 10.1.1 came just a week later. According to tech writer Gordon Kelly, the first is considered an “essential upgrade” by users, touting features such as the smart Portrait Camera which, in combination with the iPhone 7 Plus, produces some of the highest quality photos on a phone camera today. Other features include upgrades to messaging, maps, Apple Watch, a major security fix, and a long list of bus fixes and minor improvements to speed and connectivity to the iOS platform.

By contrast, Forbes states that iOS 10.1.1 is not a critical update for the majority of users since it merely fixes what turned out to be an unpredictable issue with iOS 10.1. This revolved around the Apple Health feature, which iOS 10.1 rendered inoperative with the deletion of user data once the update was installed. This data could not easily be restored with common fixes such as factory resets, forcing Apple to quickly roll out iOS 10.1.1. Among other features, Apple Health indirectly tracks things like users’ steps by way of Apple’s motion sensors, data which then syncs up with health apps that track sleep patterns, caloric intake, heart rate, and more. According to Forbes, it is a popular feature for many, creating fears that vulnerable users would simply not upgrade, since iOS 10.1 addresses a security flaw users could be otherwise exposed to.

And yet there’s a second problem this ‘Health issue’ is causing: it risks users delaying the upgrade just as information has broken about an essential security fix in iOS 10.1 that should be obtained as soon as possible…[Any] iPhone, iPad or iPod touch not running iOS 10.1 has a major vulnerability where these devices can be hacked just by viewing a malicious image or PDF. That could be as simple as visiting a website — so there’s almost no way to protect yourself against it.

[Image by Miquel Benitez/Getty Images]

Yet according to Kelly, iOS 10.1.1 has its own problems. Perhaps the most needling issue is battery life, where users report too-brief charges, unpredictable shutdowns, and a strange teetering around the 30 percent mark, problems that some have experienced as early as iOS 10.1. And while Apple’s official website touts its earpods as “defined by the geometry of the ear” with speakers that “maximize sound output and minimize sound loss”, iOS 10.1.1 has seen reports of microphone failures mid-call, with only temporary fixes available. Moreover, it is still impossible to jailbreak iOS 10, creating an incentive for users to not upgrade at all.

Despite all this, iOS 10, in all its iterations, enjoys a very loyal fan base willing to upgrade and dole out cash for anything that is perceived to be a new feature, a boon that other operating systems do not share. According to ITPro, Apple has few issues underlining this at the expense of its competitors.

“Apple tried to embarrass Google at its ‘Hello Again’ event yesterday, by comparing the percentage of iOS users and Android users on the latest versions of the respective operating systems.

“Apple’s pie charts…suggested that 60% of iPhone and iPad owners are on iOS 10, while less than 1% of Android users are on Nougat (Android 7).

“Moreover, it reported that 32% of iOS users are running iOS 9 on their phone, while only 8% are using earlier iOS versions.

“This was compared to 19% of Android users using Android 6, and 80% running even older versions of the operating system.

“Apple meant to highlight how iOS updates are perceived as more reliable by Apple device users, while users with a phone that runs on Android are less eager to update their software.”

Although iOS 10.1.1 was released just weeks ago, iOS 10.2 is in beta, with users hoping not only for bug fixes and new features, but to finally be able to jailbreak Apple’s latest operating system.

[Featured Image by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]

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