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5 reasons why downloading iOS 7 now is a bad idea

by Don Reisinger

September 22 2013

Don Reisinger is a New York-based technology writer who's work has appeared in CNet, eWeek and other publications. His TabTimes column is published every other Sunday.


Apple is awfully excited about iOS 7. In an unprecedent move, the company has trotted out its top executives, Tim Cook, Jony Ive, and Craig Federighi, to give interviews touting Apple’s accomplishments in software and hardware.

Ive and Federighi have specifically focused on iOS 7, saying that it’s a must-have platform for anyone who wants a better experience in mobile.

But there’s one, big issue: iOS 7 is not necessarily delivering a better experience right now. And for a large number of users, adopting the operating system any time soon seems like a bad idea.

Read on to find out why:

1. What’s the rush? iOS 6 works just fine

Although Apple likes the idea of placing pressure on users and getting them to think that time is of the essence and they need to download iOS 7, the truth is, that’s nonsense.

Apple’s iOS 6 was the latest and greatest platform the company offered as of September 17. In just a few days, everything has changed? Please.

Apple’s iOS 6 might not come with the new design or Control Center or the Siri enhancements, but it’s still a solid, stable operating system that has had most of its kinks worked out. And for those who want to stay productive, get work done, and not mess with learning an all-new platform, staying with iOS 6 right now seems like a good idea.

2. Enterprise productivity will slip

The corporate world has always been loath to change. And with iOS 7, that will more than likely rear its ugly head.

When IT decision-makers decide whether employees should deploy a new operating system, they spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing whether it will improve productivity or hurt it. In the case of Windows Vista, that meant hurting it. But when Windows XP and Windows 7 hit store shelves, IT decision-makers were happy to jump on the bandwagon.

The same held true with iOS 5 and iOS 6. But iOS 7 will prove to be another beast altogether. Apple’s operating system looks nothing like its predecessor, and some functions, like closing open applications, require a new gesture. There’s also the issue of training users on the nuances of Control Center and how to get more out of Notification Center.

In the near-term, iOS 7 presents a huge productivity challenge for the enterprise. And smart companies would be well-advised to stay away from the operating system at this point. Once their employees get their hands on iOS 7 on their own products, then it might be time to revisit the conversation.

3. Wait on developers to catch up

Although there are several developers who have already delivered new applications that are optimized for iOS 7, the vast majority of programs have yet to be updated. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your favorite apps won’t work with iOS 7, but it’s safe to say that they won’t deliver the very best experience on the operating system. More importantly, major app updates are coming.

Realizing that, it might be a good idea at this point to wait on downloading iOS 7. Sure, the old apps will work on the platform, but wouldn’t it be better to use programs that are optimized to work on a particular operating system? Once the vast majority of developers start migrating to iOS 7, then it might be time to think again about your downloading plans.

4. The old Windows rule still applies

There’s an old Windows rule: don’t deploy the new operating system until Microsoft has released its first update.

The rationale behind the rule was that there are some oddities always presented in the first run of an operating system, and the first update allows for those issues to be ironed out.

With iOS 7, the same rule might apply. At launch, some users complained of exceedingly long download and update times, while others said that their devices were acting somewhat sluggishly after deploying the new version. Some other forum users have complained of some odd bugs that Apple has yet to address.

Chances are, Apple will launch an update to iOS 7 in the coming weeks. At that time, the company will address the bugs and fix any other quirks users don’t like. As with Windows, it’s a better idea to wait for that update than to live with today’s bugs.

(After I submitted this column, news broke about a security flaw, albeit one that's not easily exploited, with the new Control Center in iOS 7 that could give unauthorized users a way to access some of your apps).

5. High hopes may well exceed reality

Do you believe that by downloading iOS 7, you’re going to be welcomed into an entirely new software world that will answer all of your dreams and address all of your issues?

Think again.

Apple’s iOS 7 is undoubtedly a feature upgrade over iOS 6, but to say that it’ll be on the same plane as Android 4.3 (jelly Bean) or Samsung’s Galaxy TouchWiz skin for Android is pure folly.

Apple’s iOS 7 comes with features that Android users have been enjoying for years. And while AirDrop could come in handy, there’s no near-field communication support. Apple’s iOS also doesn’t support multiple users or allow for the kind of modification so many people like in Google’s platform.

Simply put, iOS 7 is, well, a different-looking iOS 6 with some improvements. Yes, Apple has said that there are hundreds of improvements in iOS 7, but for the old-time Android user, those “updates” look like Apple is playing catch-up.

And unfortunately for iOS 7 users, Apple still hasn’t caught up.

(For iPad-related news, trends, apps, tips and opinions, sign up for the free TabTimes for iPad newsletter)

Don Reisinger is a New York-based technology writer who's work has appeared in CNet, eWeek and other publications. His TabTimes column is published every other Sunday.
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