iOS 9 releases today in India: Apple may finally help us forget the disaster that was iOS 8

He demanded perfection. His thoughts on iOS were in a similar vein. It was supposed to be simple, usable and something that 'just works.'


The day has finally arrived when Apple’s anticipated new OS, iOS 9, will officially release. The new OS will be a free download for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models that can run iOS 8. iOS 9 will be available for download starting today at 10:30PM in India.

 

"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." -Steve Jobs in an interview to Inc. Magazine.

Jobs was no populist demagogue. His first concern was innovation (which worked mostly but not always) – with making something so radically different that it would be remembered for a long time – the money came second as did the acclaim. He cared about design, he cared about usability and changing the way people used devices through Apple products. He also believed that he 'knew' better.

 iOS 9 releases today in India: Apple may finally help us forget the disaster that was iOS 8

Steve Jobs with the iPhone in 2007. Reuters

A famous anecdote that often does the rounds was about the first prototype of the iPod is how Jobs dropped it in a fish tank.

"When engineers working on the very first iPod completed the prototype, they presented their work to Steve Jobs for his approval. Jobs played with the device, scrutinized it, weighed it in his hands, and promptly rejected it. It was too big.

The engineers explained that they had to reinvent inventing to create the iPod, and that it was simply impossible to make it any smaller. Jobs was quiet for a moment. Finally he stood, walked over to an aquarium, and dropped the iPod in the tank. After it touched bottom, bubbles floated to the top.

“Those are air bubbles,” he snapped. “That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”

He demanded perfection. His thoughts on iOS were in a similar vein. It was supposed to be simple, usable and something that 'just works.'

ipod

iPod Classic was vital in turning around Apple's fortunes.

However, iOS 6 had more than its share of problems – Apple Maps was rough around the edges, issues with signal strength and decreased battery life also marred the update.

iOS 7 faced a similar torrent of complaints. iMessage was not consistent, battery drain remained an issue and it really slowed down older devices.

But then came along the disastrous 8.0.1 update which essentially bricked many new iPhones – it had a huge footprint, made older phones obsolete and added many un-needed default features to the system. All of that also gave the battery a huge hit. But most of all, there was also a DNS issue that would prevent devices from connecting to Wi-Fi networks. As an Apple fan club card member, this wasn't easy to digest. Tim Cook and Co tried to quickly rustle up an answer and never quite succeeded. It never reverted to the genius that we were used to. It simply didn't work.

Jobs would not have been pleased and neither was the Apple cult. So when Apple first announced iOS 9 – the fact that they emphasised stability was welcome.

A major complaint with iOS 8 was the 4.58 GB of space it took to install the update (users had to transfer pics, delete apps to make space for the new update), preventing many with 16GB devices from using the operating system. But iOS 9 requires only 1.3 GB of space to install and that is what we call a good beginning.

Coming second on that list of updates is battery life. It will one hour better, three hours if you use power save mode. Given the number of apps and games that iPhone users tend to use, this is as populist a measure as one could have hoped for.

Apps in iOS 9 will also take advantage of Metal, making more efficient use of the CPU and GPU for faster scrolling, smoother animations, and better performance. Email, messages, web pages, and PDFs all render faster. Who can ever say no to the rush of speed!

And then a much needed change comes with a silent rollback to the trusty "mDNSResponder." Apple had decided to scrap it in favour of a new DNS responder called "discoveryd" but that had led to many issues ranging from duplicate computer names, random crashes to pages simply refusing to load. But at WWDC 2015, it was learnt that "discoveryd" had finally been killed and mDNSresponder is back. Hopefully, that sorts out the Wi-Fi issues once and for all.

Intelligent search (even within apps provided you give permission) will be useful as will the simple touches – like the 'Now Playing' screen if you plug in your headphones or even the fact that the native Mail app will now allow one to add file attachments for the first time.

Apple Music and Pay are huge punts as well but for now it seems like they won't have much relevance in India but still with iOS 9, Apple has sent all the right signals. Now, all that's left is to make all those dreams a reality. That as we have seen in the past is easier said than done.


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