The big news out of Apple on September 9 was the introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. On the same day, the company unveiled iOS 8, a significant upgrade and update of its operating system.
To some extent, the introduction got lost in the iPhone headlines. iOS 8, according to Apple, improves the user interface and offers predictive typing for the QuickType keyboard, Family Sharing, a comprehensive health app, access to the iCloud Drive and other features.
Uptake of iOS 8 during the first 24 hours after its launch, which was on September 17, reportedly was sluggish. The numbers have rebounded and Apple’s new operating system is approaching the 50 percent penetration mark, according to reports.
ZDNet reports that on September 21, 46 percent of visitors to the App Store were running the new version of the operating system. Forty-nine percent were running iOS 7 and 5 percent were using older versions. That puts iOS 8 on track to beat iOS 7, which hit the 52 percent mark after a week.
Though his numbers are not up to the minute, Ewan Spence at Forbes makes two good points about the uptake of iOS 8. The bottom line is not to be preoccupied with the speed with which people move to the new OS:
While the lower percentage figures may feel like a failure, the increased user base of Apple devices will have contributed to that lower percentage. Apple’s user base will consist of more regular users, who will not be ready to jump onto a new OS release the second they are alerted to it. It’s probably more important to look at the shape of the adoption curve. In the case of iOS 6, iOS 7, and iOS 8, the peaks, curves, and troughs, are all following a similar pattern, albeit with more smoothing on the iOS 8 curve.
Troy Wolverton at Mercury News offers a positive review of iOS 8. The key, he said, is “Apple’s embrace of openness.” Examples are the ability to change default keyboards and use alternative apps to work on pictures in the Photos app. It isn’t perfect, however:
The new software is still missing some key capabilities offered by Google's Android and even Microsoft's Windows Phone software. One of its newer features has a couple of troublesome flaws. And some of the cool new features of iOS 8 aren't yet available.
Two problems that Wolverton didn’t mention have emerged, fast battery drain and “sluggish” Wi-Fi, as Time’s Laura Stampler covers.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.