Stability of iOS

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by monkey186, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. monkey186 macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Something in the other thread that made me think of it, someone said that hopefully Apple is not going to enter the pissing competition and start creating/updating their products in order to keep up with Android and others, and overlooking functionality and usability in the process. It made me wonder, is iOS considered to be very stable operating system as it is now?

    Just by the way of analogy, coming from the world of linux there are many different distributions and some are more stable and some are less. And the less stable are usually those which try to utilize the newest sotfware versions etc. By contrast those that are more stable tend to get criticized for being 'outdated' because they are using only thoroughly tested, polished sowtware, which is obviously not going to be cutting edge. Being a mere user of linux i always tried to stick to the 'outdated' distributions (currently debian), because they are obviously safer and because i do not lose anything by using slightly older version of sofware etc.

    So my question is, how does iOS rate comparatively to Android for example, would you say that it is more "old" but in return more stable? And if so, do you think Apple is likely to continue to focus on functionality, even if it means losing those customers whose dream is to have a 'cutting edge' phone even if they never going to need it.
  2. dhjapple89 macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Waco, TX
    Out of all the 4 big smartphone OS:

    Blackberry OS 6
    Windows Mobile 7 (not sure if that is the correct name)

    Apple's iOS is the most stable operating system out there. I am not just saying it either, I wil back it up.

    Reason 1: The iOS (formerly iPhone OS) for the iPhone is currently at version 4.2.1 (4.3 is in beta testing), and the OS has been virtually the same since the first iPhone. When I say the same, I mean that the core functions of the operating system have not changed. Apple has only added functionality enhancements with each build. 1.0 was the original software, 2.0 brought on the App Store, 3.0 brought on cut, copy, & paste, and 4.0 brought on multitasking. Yes, there was more than one enhancement for each full point build, but to me those were the biggest offerings for each build.

    Reason 2: Apple released betas of each software build (point builds or full points builds) to the developers with apps in the App Store. Each time Apple released a public beta, it is tested in the developer community anywhere from 4 - 7 weeks. And 95% of the time these betas are extremely stable. I have only had one bad beta (I believe it was 3.0 beta 2) where I couldn't receive emails on my Exchange account. But since Apple releases new betas every 1 - 2 weeks within the 4 - 7 week beta periods, the problem was quickly fixed with the next beta.

    Reason 3: Simplicity for the average joe. The iOS system is by far the simplest and most user intuitive interface anyone could use. To delete an app: just tap and hold and then hit the "x" that appears. The multi-touch gestures are by far the most stable on the iPhone than on the Android or any other smartphone touchscreen interface.

    Since, the iOS platform came out in 2007, I can only think of 2 bugs that were found in public releases of the operating system. (I could have forgotten some).

    1. The daylights savings time issue back in Nov. 2010
    2. The alarm clock issue on New Years' Day Jan. 2011

    To me those are by far the most severe bugs that had gotten through the beta testing and into the public. But honestly, how would you have been able to catch those bugs without purposely setting the date on your phone to the daylights savings time to check for bugs, and without setting your phone to the new year to check for bugs. If a dev reads this post, I know they will understand how those 2 bugs made it to the public.

    Now, you might be asking what about the bug where some hackers were able to get around 100,000 people's names off iPad 3G's back in April/May 2010, yes that was a bug, but that was because the hackers hacked into AT&T systems and got the information that way. That was in no way Apple's fault.

    Now onto Android.
    NOTE: I have never owned an Android device, but I have played with some and I have talked to my friends who do own them.

    The main bug all my friends mention whether they have a Samsung Galaxy android, an HTC android, or any other android on any network is that sometimes you will receive a text message or a phone call and it will say your sister's name, but when you answer the phone or read the text it could actually be your mom or anyone else in your address book. That is the number one bug I have heard about.

    I am not sure, but I don't believe Google releases beta builds to its developers to test with their apps before Google releases software updates.
    It is a lot more unstable from what my friends have said that have owned both the iPhone and an android phone. They all prefer an iPhone and they all are switching back to the next version of the iPhone (or when they can via contract expiration).

    Now to talk about Blackberry and Windows Mobile 7. I have not used either, but my dad uses blackberry and just looking at the interface and whatnot looks confusing. It is not a simple as seeing one app here, one app there. All the apps are in folders which are then in sub folder after sub folder.

    On Windows Mobile 7, just looking at the interface via the commercials is enough me to never want to try one. I have yet to see one even in public.

    Hope this helps.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    They all have bugs and issues. No mobile OS is perfect

    android has some minor headaches. iOS has it's share of headaches, win7 and rim both are very new updates and like any newly updated OS they have their share of bugs. iOS suffers from the same thing. Just look at how quick apple releases their .01 update after a major update
  4. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    As said, every OS has bugs. Regardless if its on a PC, Mac, Unix, phone, etc.

    Which is more stable? Well, you'll have arguments on every side no matter which way you turn.
    One might crash less. Another might have more options. Another might allow more customization, etc.

    Stable? My vote would be iOS. Not because I'm a homer as I'm not. Just that when I compare the iOS, to the many different versions of Android being used as of today...and that all depends on which phone you have and on which network.
    My nephews have phones using android, but for the life of me I cannot understand why they still use their iPod Touches all the time. They only use the android as a phone. And this kills me, its like being able to fly but you'd rather walk.
    But according to them, they just like the Touches better. So who knows.

    .....damn kids.
  5. monkey186 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Thanks for your replies guys, I understand of course that no OS is perfect. Though there is a difference between bugs that almost accidentally slip past the developers (as dhjapple89 mentioned), and bugs that are being asked for - when the developers take risks in order to create a cutting edge phone before the competition, and so don't test the software thoroughly enough etc before releasing it to the public.
  6. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Very stable, I don't remember the last time I had to reset due an OS crash, definitely not since I got my launch day 4.
  7. emuneee macrumors member

    May 20, 2010
    Being a current Android and Windows Phone 7 user I'd have to agree that iOS is the most stable mobile os. Android stability varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Apps in the Android market also don't go through any type of certification process like they do for Apples App Store or Microsoft's Marketplace. With that said, I rarely have issues with my Samsung Captivate, but I also had to hack, root, and flash it to get it that way.
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I've had an iPhone for almost 3 years now and I think iOS has crashed 4 or 5 times while I've owned it.

    I dunno about other phones, but I'd consider these numbers to be pretty near perfect.

    (I've had 3rd party apps crash many times, but those are things that are clearly the apps fault, like, the app gets better after an updated version comes out. That's not an OS bug.)
  9. monkey186 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Thats great to know, hopefully it will continue to be the most stable despite the pressure of competition. People are writing left and right about widgets, live wallpapers etc; these things are all very fun but hopefully if they are going to be introduced in the next iOS release, it won't be rushed, without proper testing to make sure they don't affect or slow down the system.

    When I thought about jailbreaking the phone to add some extra functionality (the lock screen notifications would be great..), what stopped me is the instability of jailbroken releases. It would obviously be different for different people, some require or want the new features so much that they are prepared to pay the price of occasional crashes/lags. Others would opt to suffer with the old, but stable OS :)
  10. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Nail on the head there buddy, while some JB and Android stuff looks visually cool to me, and I may do it if I had an iPod Touch, I want to be positive everything is going to work on my iPhone and that it won't be crashing.
  11. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816


    Nov 8, 2010
    South Carolina
    I came from WM6.5 (and several iterations previous to it). My wife used Android a few years ago. My sister still uses Android because she's on Sprint. I cannot speak for the new WP7 OS.

    iOS. I haven't turned my phone off (rebooted) in over 3 weeks. Still runs as smooth as it did when it was a clean factory fresh device.

    Android. From what my sister says, she has to cycle it every 3 or 4 days because it gets 'laggy/buggy'

    Since you are asking about stability....not bugs (specifically) I'd say iOS is the most stable on the market. Every once in a while, I'll notice some lag in the iPhone when I start a task. This lag will last for a few keystrokes and then it's back up to par (doesn't stay slow). This happens on my iPhone4 about 2 or 3 times per week. The episode will only last a few seconds, but it does happen on my device. Again, it is not significant enough for me to even consider "rebooting" the phone.

    Now, my daughter's 3GS will have apps crash once or twice a DAY! I'm not sure if this is a product of the 3GS being underpowered for the new iOS software or what. The 3GS and the iPhone4 run the same iOS version. The iPhone4 has more internal RAM, so I'm chalking it up to that. The same apps do not behave this way on my iPhone4.

    In terms of Android, I know I'll get flamed for saying this...but in my opinion any open source OS is going to have more instability than not. In my wife's previous experience, and the experience shared by my sister...they both had issues with stability. Is it enough to render the phone useless? NO. However, it is there nonetheless.

    In my career, I meet multiple people with varying tastes in phones. Any time we talk phones, everyone not sporting an iPhone always has a "I wish my phone would do this" moment. I have them too, but not to the extent (in terms of stability) they do.

    Just my $.02

Share This Page