Apple’s mobile platform is now more than a decade old. It was first introduced on the original iPhone back in 2007, and it was a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by awful, overcomplicated smartphone operating systems like Symbian. Apple kept things simple at first and then gradually added new key features each year. Over time, iOS grew from being a platform that was far too simple to being a platform that some people now believe to be overly complex. But more pressing than that is the fact that the most recent versions of iOS have been riddled with bugs and even some serious security holes.
iOS has long been known as a platform that offers a far smoother and more refined user experience than anything else on the market. That includes not just Android, but desktop platforms like Windows and macOS as well. While an occasional hiccup here and there is impossible to avoid, more serious issues have started to become commonplace in iOS. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where one blogger has gone as far as to say iOS has become such a terrible mess that Apple can’t even fix it.
Is iOS really in such bad shape? Spoiler alert: LOL no.
In an article titled “I don’t think Apple can fix the iOS mess it’s created,” ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes took Apple to task over the current state of iOS. He complains that Apple’s mobile platform is in such a state of disrepair that there is likely no conceivable solution at this point. Apple should apparently just pack its things and close up shop.
To support this claim, the author lists four main areas in which iOS is failing: Performance, stability, bugginess, and usability. Walk with me for a moment, won’t you?
“I would go as far as to say that iOS performance is at its worst,” the blog post reads. “The fact that there are frame drops and stuttering present on brand new hardware is a massive FAIL.”
Let’s chat about this “massive FAIL” for a moment. If you’re unaware of the issue here — and it’s quite likely that you are indeed unaware of it — “frame drops” and “stuttering” actually refer to the same issue. Apple’s iPhones and iPads typically play transition animations that are nice and smooth. By transition animations, I’m referring to the little animations that are shown when the user does things like switching apps or opening a folder. On some devices, recent versions of iOS don’t always play these animations cleanly. Instead, there are sometimes little, barely perceptible stutters when these animations are shown.
Have you noticed this on your phone or tablet? Probably not.
We spoke to many, many iPhone users after this issue presented itself a few years ago, and no one knew what we were talking about. What’s more, the few people who claimed that they had noticed the issue didn’t care about it in the slightest. In fact, I’m not sure a more trivial “problem” exists in iOS.
Even if we pretend that this is a “massive FAIL” on Apple’s part that completely compromises the iOS user experience, it’s ridiculous that anyone might say with a straight face that this is a problem so severe, Apple can’t fix it. And now that we’re done playing make-believe, has the author of this post ever even picked up an Android phone? Stutters and frame rate drops have plagued Google’s mobile platform since the first Android phone was released nearly a decade ago, and even the most powerful Android phones in the world today still have this issue.
Stability and Bugginess
These two items obviously go hand in hand even though they’re listed separately. Of stability, the author says “I’ll be honest and say that iOS stability isn’t the worst I’ve seen it, but for a premium product, that’s not really a glowing recommendation.” Umm, cool.
As far as bugginess goes, the only evidence offered by the author is a link to one of his colleague’s blog posts, where he calls iOS a “toxic hellstew,” lists eight iOS bugs, and writes laughable things like “iOS, due to its proprietary code and completely closed development model, is supposed to be resistant to the types of issues that Android, due to its open source and licensable nature, is commonplace among its various OEM implementations.”
Back to the task at hand, the author says that “the number of ways that Apple has dropped the ball on this front in the past few months is just unbelievable.” Again, has this person ever used a smartphone or a computer before? Anything that runs software has bugs. To pretend iOS has more bugs than any other platform is, once again, silly. Don’t believe me? Here, enjoy browsing the publicly available list of thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of Android bugs.
Software has bugs, dude.
Last but not least, the author says Apple gave up and no longer cares about the iOS user experience. “I remember when Apple cared about usability,” he writes. “iOS usability is now garbage.”
To support this preposterous claim, the author offers one single example of an iOS feature that is bad. No, seriously. Why only one? It’s not because he couldn’t think of any other examples. Promise. It’s because “otherwise, well, we could be here for a very long time.”
His example is the iOS Control Center, pictured here:
“OK, here’s the deal. Some of those buttons respond to a Force Touch gesture and open out into a bigger panel with added functionality, while others don’t,” the author complains. “But short of pawing at them randomly, there’s no visual way to tell which buttons conceal hidden features and which don’t.”
He continues, “From a usability and user interface point of view, that’s just awful.”
My man, I could not agree more. The iOS Control Center his horrible from start to finish. Having to reach all the way up into the top-right corner and swipe down to access it on the iPhone X is annoying. Having to go into the Settings app to add, remove, or rearrange Control Center items is silly. Having no indication of which icons support 3D Touch is aggravating.
The Control Center in iOS 11 truly provides an all-around bad experience. And it’s hardly the only area of iOS where this can be said. Since Kingsley-Hughes couldn’t think of any other examples to support his claim that “iOS usability is now garbage,” here are a few he might have mentioned: Notification Center, notifications themselves, 3D Touch (Where does it even work? How is anyone supposed to know?), Apple Music, and the new app switcher.
Once again, there is no such thing as a perfect user experience. There is no way to create software that is all things to all people. Interface decisions must be made. Some people will like some decisions. Other people will dislike them. What is this guy even suggesting here? Are there no areas of the Android, Windows, or macOS user experiences that are confusing and aggravating? Give me a break. And what’s more, is this guy really suggesting that the iOS Control Center is such a mess that it can’t be fixed? Again, give me a break.
This is what happens when you take a few ideas that have been swimming around in your head and blow them out of proportion. You end up with a sensationalized take full of exaggerations and laughable claims. Does iOS have bugs and usability issues? Hell yes, it does. Is the platform in a state of disrepair that is any more severe than any other mobile OS or desktop platform? Nope. Is iOS so far gone that there’s no way Apple will ever be able to fix it? That is easily the stupidest notion I’ve heard in a long time.