Rant: iOS 4 is BETA!

How do I downgrade?

  • iOS4
    iOS4

OK - so my apologies for the rant but iOS4 seems like the worst thing I've ever installed on my iPhone in the year or two that I've had it.  It's not just frustrating but has actually lost me hours of work.

iPod

So we'll start with the iPod - the one thing Apple should be good at.  Two problems have appeared with iOS4; first is a little thing but the iPod now skips a beat when you lock/unlock your phone or enter/leave the iPod app.  The second, even more annoying, is that it simply fades to a stop of its own accord - as if the phone was about to ring - but then it doesn't.  Either they've shagged the "Phone" app aswell and I'm not getting calls or there's something wrong with the iPod.

Mulitasking

Next is multitasking.  Plenty of apps are not multitasking ready, which would seem like nobodies fault, except I have to include some of the core Apple apps in that list.

  • Notes
    We'll come to this in a moment...
     
  • Safari ( +Quicktime )
    When watching a QuickTime movie in Safari ( read: Question Time on iPlayer ) all is well.  However if you leave Safari and re-enter at a later date QuickTime fails.  Usually audio but no video.  You have to actively destroy Safari and start it again to get the video back.

So the question is: why is it mandatory?  I can understand the principal of state-saving to make task switching more smooth but why do they force the behaviour?  I don't want an app I've opened for ten seconds to stay in state and the fact they all do just makes the whole thing pointless because you can never find your common apps from the task list because there's a calculator and weather and 10 other things you don't really care about in the way. 

Why, oh why, isn't this optional?  I have already learned which apps don't hold state or have multitasking bugs ( hipstamatic, tweetdeck )... and which apps I occasionally use but don't want to keep in state ( calculator, phone!? ) why can't you switch the behaviour off for some apps?

Folders

Ok - this is a tiny thing but folders get in the way more than they save space.  The icons are too small and there's no option to pick an icon to represent the group.  On a 3GS screen you have to Eskimo kiss your phone to see which folder you want.  Then, having exited the app you're using the folder's there.. staring at you... all open and completely in your way.  Surely the 80:20 rule dictates you're unlikely to be back in the same folder?  Go away.

To open a foldered app is therefore:  search for the folder ( +a few swipes, +3 seconds ), open the folder ( +1 Click, +0.5 seconds ), re-assess what you were doing ( +1 second, +1 head-scratch ), click the icon ( +1 Click, +seconds )... and then, to rub it in, you can add ( +1second of confusion, +1 more click ) to the end of your task to close it again.

Clock? Surely not?

I also set the clock to French time on landing only to be woken up an hour late the following day to almost miss my flight home. I am convinced I didn't do anything silly but somehow I just can't bring myself to think that a phone could foul up a setting like that.  

Can you believe that after all this I'm questioning my own sanity before believing there could be a bug so simple in the clock..

Genuine Bugs: Notes

Finally there's the fun I had with notes.  On Friday, on a flight to see a client, I wrote some really quite inspirational ( no - really ) notes about a fabulous new and exciting project we're working on here at DBS.  An hour and a half of considered opinion on a project that's going to change our lives and yours.

When I got back onto the flight home where were my notes?  Where oh where?  Could they be under the multitasking toolbar? No.  Could they be behind one of my handy folders? No.  

Surely - saving your work, properly, is one of the most important criteria for the app?  Good grief I'm cross.

In conclusion.  iOS4 is Beta

OK - so people who build glass websites shouldn't throw bloggy stones - I realise that. Nobody's perfect.  But I find it extremely frustrating that Apple, a large and supposedly reputable company, would release something which is effectively beta onto an unsuspecting public who has paid a great deal for a product ( my iPhone 3GS ) which is now full of bugs.  Had they labelled it as a beta, clearly, I might have thought twice about it or might have used a pen to make notes - if I can remember how to write...

I won't go into the fact that it looks like the hardware to go with iOS4 was just about as beta!

PS

During the course of scribbling this rant my iPod has iPhaded the music out and iPhaded back in four times.  (*6 times including corrections) I've checked with my wife and she's not trying to phone me so it must be a bug in the iPod!