iOS 6.1 Update Released – Issues and Confusion

ios-6.11As with any OS update, confusion and issues are popping up with Apple’s release of iOS 6.1

As a member of Apple’s iOS Developer Program I was made aware of their rare weekend beta 5 release of iOS 6.1. The release, among other things was supposed to help resolve issues with Apple Maps as well as a few other issues. The update officially addressed the following:
LTE support for more carriers
Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)
iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud
New button to reset the Advertising identifier
The full release notes can be found here. Where the API updates for Apple Maps, originally made available to developers on 28-Jan-13, one of the original components thought to be a part of this update are, no one knows. As you can see above, the official release notes make no mention of it. Though honestly, that’s a developer feature and not something that many consumers might understand the value in.

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Apple recently had said that “many updates” to Maps have already been “released.”  The reason why you haven’t heard anything about them is because the “updates” weren’t programmatic. They were data related.

So, you “got” the most recent Maps “update” when you downloaded the map data as you were navigating from A to B or searching for “X marks the spot”.  Apple doesn’t normally tout data updates like this, so you never would have known, if Apple Maps and its data wasn’t such a freakin’ train wreck to begin with…

iOS 6 also introduced the Advertising Identifier. This non-permanent, non-personal hardware identifier is used by advertisers to track users. iOS 6 gives you the ability to control this with an On/Off button at Settings-General-About-Advertising. iOS6 introduced the switch. iOS 6.1 introduced a way to reset the identifier. Its effectively the same thing as clearing out your browser history and cookies on your Mac or PC. It’s really as simple as that.

It seems as though iPod Touch users are also experiencing issues related to iOS 6.1 The latest report from Apple Insider indicates that “iTouch” users are having problems downloading the update. When they try to pull the update down, many are receiving an error message stating that their “iTouch” isn’t connected to the internet and the update “failed verification,” even though they appear to have a strongly connected device. According to Apple Insider, this issue was encountered during Saturday’s beta 5 release as well.

From what TeamBYTE sees out of this update, some of us aren’t entirely certain the update warrants a full point upgrade. There’s something going on over at Apple related to software development. They wanted to take a longer time with iOS 6.1, and they did. Beta 1 was released in November 2012. However, as a seasoned and experienced software development and testing professional, its clear to me that Apple needs to do more in this area; or at the very least needs to market the update a bit better.

The “need” for this update was the sucky release of Apple Maps. If Apple’s iOS 6.1 update didn’t resolve this, they need to say something about how and when they will address it. Appearing more proactive than they are here can only help them. Ignoring the issue – mashing it down into a hard, cold little ball in the pit of your stomach isn’t going to make you forget that the app sucks or that there’s a huge disconnect between what I’m searching for, and how I want my iPhone to take me there.

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