Today Apple released iOS 13 for hundreds of millions of iPhone owners, and the hope was the company would keep up its exceptional track record of rock-solid updates. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. So be warned.
The rough ride for iOS 13 began earlier this week when the first reviews of the new iPhone 11 / iPhone 11 Pro range dropped. Users praised the phones but were highly critical of iOS 13 itself.
“We’ve run into a lot of significant bugs,” warned The Verge in its typically excellent review. “Apps randomly crash when opening them, cellular signals drop, the Camera app can be slow, pictures have randomly gotten new dates assigned to them, AirDrop has had issues, the text field flips out sometimes in iMessages, and more.”
Similarly, Wired describes it as a “scattershot release” but doesn’t go so far as respected developer Steve Troughton-Smith who described iOS 13 as “a super-messy release, something we haven’t seen this bad since iOS 8 or so” while developer Craig Hockenberry said iCloud syncing during iOS 13’s development has been nothing less than a “clusterfuck”.
“[It] appears that the entire stack is getting rolled back and there won’t be new iCloud features in iOS 13 (at least initially),” he added.
I have also been warned by readers about serious problems with Mail and Reminders, in particular, and AppleVis, an Apple-specific site for the blind and low-vision community, found problems with braille-related input. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Today Inc broke the news that the Department of Defence is strongly encouraging DOD staff and contractors to stay away from iOS 13:
“DOD Mobility strongly encourages you to NOT update [their caps], to avoid known Apple iOS 13 bugs,” said the DOD in an email seen by Inc. “Apple is expected to release iOS 13.1 at the end of September 2019 to address bugs. DMUC users can expect follow-on messaging within the next two weeks with updated guidance.
That’s good advice. Not only is iOS 13 full of bugs, but it also contains a significant security flaw discovered by security researcher Jose Rodriguez which lets you bypass the lockscreen to gain access to contact information. He recorded it:
To Apple’s credit, the company has confirmed to various outlets, including Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, that has accelerated the launch of iOS 13.1 bringing it down from 30 to 24 September. This is the fastest a major point release has ever arrived after a generational upgrade.
So while my regular iOS upgrade guide will arrive soon, it is no spoiler to say I will not be recommending anyone upgrade to iOS 13 and you should wait for iOS 13.1 at the very least. All these problems are going to take a lot more than one update to fix.