It’s here, the next software update for Apple’s mobile world. iOS 8 is now available for iPhone 4S or newer and reports are rolling in. There’s nothing revolutionary in there, mostly just catching up to Android of course: finally users can choose a different keyboard! On an iPhone 5 or higher it seems to be working fine, although there are many reports of crashing apps and funny stuff going on, but that’s to be expected. It’s worse than any update before though, and it’ll only get worse. This is what happened to Apple before and what led to OS9, the abomination. It’s funny how quickly people forget, but maybe it is because there were so few people left in the Fruity camp at that point; fact is that the last OS before the slate was wiped clean was truly awful.
You see, Microsoft might be geeky, not very exciting, but it thinks ahead, it lays the groundwork while thinking of things it can’t even imagine. It builds foundations that hold up, which is why I can STILL run applications from 15 years ago! Apple on the other hand has amazingly little foresight, with a track record of making the wrong decisions: they bet the house on the G4/G5 chip, until they had to admit that Intel was the future, resulting in breaking compatibility for everyone going forward. We can talk about proprietary stuff they Fruit has given the world for hours….
So now we’re at the 8th iteration of iOS and we’re starting to see the jury rigged methods showing up. Look at sharing for instance: in its never-ending quest to control everything its users do, the iPhone never got a proper file system. What one is allowed to do is very strictly managed and because of that for the longest time you couldn’t play an MP3 that someone emailed to you! All the while iPhoners get chanting how easy the system was! Android from the beginning let you see your device for what it is: another drive. You can hook it up through USB and drag and drop. Now Apple has implemented “Extensibility” a new framework to allow the things that Google had given us from the beginning. As I predict we will find out, it will lead to problems as its complexity grows. This is what happens when you Mickey Mouse extra stuff onto an insufficient foundation. Efficiency goes down, and at some point it becomes unfixable.
Which brings us to the iPhone 4S again: in a typical move for Apple, you can actually install iOS 8 on it, and of course once you do you can’t go back to 7. The problem is that it doesn’t work very well, to the point where some find unusable. As a matter of fact, I’ve watched many of my friends’ iPhones lag and stutter like crazy for the last couple of years, while everyone keeps singing their praise, even on iOS 7. If nothing else, this new version is designed for higher resolution screens and instead of just properly scaling will leave 3.5″ users with ridiculous situations. Some would say it’s deliberate on Apple’s end, to gently force people to upgrade. At the same time, look at Windows Phone running on devices with less hardware than the 4S perfectly smoothly! Even Android Kit-Kat can work on phones from that era, and with Google Now voice recogntion and all the other new stuff that Apple leaves off older devices. Efficiency FTW!