The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of iOS 9 - The UpStream

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of iOS 9

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2015 by Scott Ertz

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of iOS 9

This week, the newest update to Apple's mobile operating system was released to the public, bringing iOS 9 to existing devices (iPhone 4S and higher). The update, which Apple says is mostly centered around stability and bug fixes, does have a number of enhancements that make it a good install, but it has not been all roses for Apple and its users. Let's cover the different aspects so you can make an informed decision.

The Good

One of the main complaints we hear about iPhones, regardless of the generation, is the battery life. With the new battery management software built into iOS 9, Apple promises to add an additional hour of life to the same device versus iOS 8. This could be a big benefit for heavy users who have to carry additional batteries on a daily basis. Apple also claims that the crash rate is lower on the new platform versus older versions.

Because of the way Siri is implemented into iOS, adding new features requires profound work, and updates on the server as well as the client. This update brings new features to Siri, including new questions that can be asked and new capabilities. Apple has implemented one of Cortana's best features: location-based notifications. All of this and it takes up less space on your device than iOS 8. It seems like it could be a no-brainer to upgrade.

The Bad

While Apple claims lower app crashes, users seem to be reporting a different experience. Users are reporting on social media issues ranging from single apps not launching to all apps failing after the upgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 9. This is not a new occurrence, as aspects of an operating system are subject to change in updates, and apps taking advantage of those features can see app crashes.

Under normal circumstances, however, professional developers will have tested their apps on a new platform before it launches to the public. This is why Microsoft, Apple and Google release developer builds well ahead of their public launch. The fact that these issues still exist can indicate one of a few things: lazy developers, a slow app release process from Apple or new bugs added after the developer preview. Hopefully these issues will be resolved quickly, no matter whose fault they are.

The Ugly

The of the things Apple customers were most excited about were the security enhancements. One security patch in particular has been around for a while and was expected to be solved in iOS 9. The problem surrounds a feature of AirDrop which allows enterprise customers to remotely install applications onto iPhones and iPads in their control. As it turns out, the feature was poorly implemented, allowing anyone with access to a publisher certificate to easily push malware to phones.

In iOS 9, Apple didn't exactly fix the problem so much as patch around it. Now, instead of AirDrop running at the system level, it runs sandboxed. This prevents anything AirDrop-related from access system-related data. Now, these surprise apps cannot steal data on their own. However, if they mimic other apps, or you open them for other reasons, they will still have access to your contacts, locations, etc.

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