The Wackiest Reasons Not to Upgrade to iOS 8?

October 10th, 2014

As I write this piece, online stats show that iOS 8 is closing in on an adoption rate of 50%, moving ahead of iOS 7 for the first time. That number sounds impressive, and it would be except for the fact that migration from iOS 6 to iOS 7 was far higher at this point in time. But compared with any other OS platform, the numbers are still startling.

There are legitimate reasons not to update, other than simply not having an iOS device that supports supports it. The oldest iPhone on the list, the 4s, may offer somewhat slower performance after iOS 8 is installed. It’s not a whole lot slower — the timings I’ve seen are in the quarter second to full second range for app launches — but that could be the critical difference between snappy and not so snappy.

As with the first releases of iOS 7, the update has a number of problems. Some report poor Wi-Fi connection speeds, but I haven’t seen that on a network using an Apple AirPort Extreme. Others report problems interfacing Bluetooth with a car’s infotainment system, but I haven’t had that problem either. It may depend on make/model and the version of the Bluetooth implementation in your vehicle.

I haven’t read as many complaints about poor battery life, which is another bugaboo that arrives with an iOS update. It’s also important to realize that most of the worst ills will be fixed before long. There are already published reports that an 8.1 update is coming shortly, maybe alongside Apple’s October 16th media event or the following week. That update will reportedly bring Apple Pay for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, perhaps some extra features for the next generation iPads, plus the usual spate of bug fixes.

But it’s certainly a good time for the usual Apple critics to tell you why they aren’t upgrading to iOS 8, and some of the reasons are legitimate. But others stretch the facts, apparently written just to say something negative about Apple or an Apple product.

So a certain tech site owned by a major entertainment company has an article from a blogger explaining why he’s put the iOS 8 updates on the back burner. But when you read the article, you’ll see serious question marks. Take the claim that he has an iPhone 3G running iOS 7 , but the oldest supported model was the iPhone 4. What’s more, performance on that model wasn’t terribly good until later iOS 7 updates. The situation was not unlike what is happening with the iPhone 4s.

Still you wonder about a blogger who touts his experience as a lecturer, “author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist” imagines he installed iOS 7 on an iPhone on which it cannot be installed.

Just as important, the blogger really doesn’t have a lot of recent Apple hardware. He has a third generation iPad, a first generation iPad mini, and an iPhone 4s. So two of these products present the minimum configurations for iOS 8. Aside from the clear performance issues — which again night be addressed in part in a later update — they represent the hardware that is less apt to benefit from the new OS.

In other words, explaining why he won’t update is hardly worth the bother. Such skepticism is just plain common sense. There’s also a dose of fear mongering. So we know all about the flawed iOS 8.0.1 update, but the problems only impacted an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6s. The blogger in question doesn’t have any Apple gear that new.

Worse, he claims, “Performing the iOS update could take thousands of dollars of working hardware and make it no longer working hardware…” I’ll stop there. This is sheer nonsense. Someone who claims to have such stellar credentials is either fooling us about his resume, or deliberately playing dumb as hit bait.

While I would not necessarily expect one who claims to be a “U.S. policy advisor” to necessarily be tech savvy — though I do wonder what sort of policies he delivers advice about — someone claiming to be a “computer scientist” is either being dishonest with the reader, or perhaps needs to seek another line of work for which he is more qualified.

This isn’t the first time I’ve read such nonsense from the writer in question. There have been other fact-free rants from him as well. I also wonder about the tech site giving such bloggers the freedom to write such rants. Is there no editorial staff — let alone a fact checker or two — to review the content and ask a few questions?

It’s also true that this particular blogger confesses he’s moved to Android largely because he can’t stand normal touch keyboards, and prefers Swype. That’s his choice, and now he can satisfy his preferences with iOS 8. But it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever give it a chance. Besides, if he isn’t buying any new Apple gear, by the time iOS 9 arrives, even his iPad 3 and iPhone 4s will most likely not be compatible.

If he told me the sun was shining, I’d look outside just to be sure.

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