Prefacing the release of the latest iPhones, iOS 7 is heralded as a huge leap forward for Apple’s portable device operating system. While many Apple advocates are pleased with the changes this latest update brings to iOS, there seem to be a number of initial issues that need to be resolved for many users. Rather than extol the virtues of iOS 7, which you can find in any number of other reviews, I’m going to take a look at some of the problems that people have experienced with iOS 7 since the release.
The biggest issue that has affected a number of users is a problem with iMessage, the Apple alternative to text messaging. iMessage is supposed to send messages to other iOS (or OS X) devices seamlessly, allowing you to communicate with iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs without needing a text messaging plan or phone number. iOS 7 seems to have a big problem with iMessage, in that many users can’t use it. Messages won’t go through; I’ve seen this happen first hand on my wife’s iPhone 5. While there some potential workarounds, nothing solid has surfaced from Apple. An update to 7.0.2 didn’t remedy the issue so hopefully Apple will fix this quick. I circumvented the problem on my wife’s phone by turning off iMessage and just using text messaging, and others say that resetting the network settings works, but not for everyone. Of course, a reset of network settings will also lose all your saved Wi-Fi passwords, so proceed with caution.
Along with almost every iOS update comes the complaint about battery performance, and iOS 7 is no different. In fact, some of the new features can create some rapid drainage, so be sure to disable functions like Background App Refresh, AirDrop, and as usual, whatever you don’t want in Notification Center. The neat new parallax effect that gives iOS 7 that “3D” effect can also be disabled for additional savings.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues have been reported by some, with symptoms like the functions being greyed out in Settings or being turned off and unable to turn on permanently. For this, a reset of network settings can help, or backing up and restoring the iPhone is always a good idea too. I worked on another phone with a similar issue in that Messages wouldn’t activate; it took a backup and restore before I got it working again.
Another problem I’ve encountered is with the iTunes Store. The app was just blank and wouldn’t show any content, even after closing the app and even rebooting the iPhone. For this issue, I had to logout of the iTunes & App Store in settings and sign in again.
I’ve also heard of people complaining of horrible lag on their devices, but most of those reporting the issue are working on an iPhone 4 or iPad 2, both older iOS devices. While a future update might address some of that, any time iOS pushes an update on the public older device owners need to be wary and upgrade at their own risk. Older devices don’t have the horsepower that can be required by the latest and greatest iOS.
As with any new update, there will always be bugs to work out. What makes iOS 7 even more problematic is that the option to downgrade to iOS 6 is not an option. For users with an iPhone 5, iPad Mini, or slightly older devices, iOS 7 can be a delight. Useful new features and the innovative look and feel are welcome changes, at least for me. For users with an older device, I regret to inform you that it might be time to upgrade your hardware.