Apple’s iPhone, iPad Update iOS 7.1.2 is Badly Broken for Some

With iOS 8 in sight, some Apple, Inc. (AAPL) fans are hoping for sweet relief from bugs that are plaguing iOS 7.1.2.

The third update to iOS 7 rolled out last week, promising three small bug fixes, including one relatively critical one to an encryption bug in the Mail app.  Many users report downloading the update and installing it without trouble and have seen no new odd behavior post-patch.

But others are having a far different experience with iOS 7.1.2.  Some are having trouble even getting the update installed.  According to a number of users [Apple Discussions: 1, 2] both the iPad and iPhone are sometimes having difficulty installing the update.  In some cases the download reportedly won’t even start, in others it starts and freezes, and in others still it completes but then freezes during the install.

All of these cases appear to have a simple fix — the hard reset.  To do this, simply hold down the sleep and home buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears, indicating the device reset itself.

iOS 7.1.2 in working form [Image Source: Gotta Be Mobile]
While getting the update on the device may be a struggle for some, what happens next is even more of a headache.  While some users have experienced no issues, others are reporting a diverse multitude of problems with no clear update in sight.

One of our readers, Reclaimer77 reported this issue to us, writing:
I did the update for my work iPhone, and now it’s completely fr**king broken.

So much for the benefits of a non-fragmented ecosystem. Instead of just some people having problems, EVERYONE is screwed…
I’m also completely unable to send text messages, iMessages or otherwise.


And mind you this was the update that was supposed to “fix” last versions messaging bugs. Awesome job Apple!

Oh and can I revert to the previous, working, version of iOS? Nope!!! Not without jailbreaking the phone. Why? Someone please explain this to me.

This iPhone has been such a g*dd**n burden to me. It’s official; If you actually spend your own money on one, you’re an id**t. Fact.
It turns out while not everyone appears to be affected, a significant percentage of users have been with dozens of threads in Apple Discussions (Apple’s support forum) complaining of a multitude of bugs.

GottaBeMobile has done a nice job rounding up some of these problems.  Issues include:

  • Messaging Bugs:
    • Errors connecting and syncing with Exchange (new)
    • Broken push in Mail app (new) 
    • Errors in iMessage and image apps (new) 
  • Contact Bugs:
    • Contact syncing problems (new)
    • Part of Contacts entry is sometimes truncated (new)
  • General Hardware Problems
    • Ongoing battery life issues (seen in iOS 7, 7.1, and 7.1.1, as well)
    • SIM card failures (new)
  • Camera Problems
    • Problems with the front-facing FaceTime HD camera (new)
    • Problems with the camera application (new)
  • Enterprise Issues
    • Won’t connect to VPN networks (seen in iOS 7.1.1, as well)

It appears that for a significant minority of Apple’s iPad and iPhone customers, life has become very stressful since the buggy patch was rolled out.  Apple saw similar complaints with its previous patch — iOS 7.1.1 —  but there did not appear to be quite the deluge of threads there are with this update.

Nonetheless, these issues get at a bigger problem Apple has faced with iOS 7 (starting with the infamous lockscreen bug).  As it has patched iOS 7 bugs, it has created yet more problems with the patches.  The reason for this is somewhat unclear and it’s rather alarming, given that the patches reportedly created issues in apps that appeared to be relatively unrelated to the patch itself.  The overwhelming theme is that Apple is struggling to fix iOS 7 without creating a fresh set of problems.

Unfortunately for Apple users, the level of effort that will be directed to fixing these issues is likely relatively low.  Right now Apple is primarily focused on finishing iOS 8, which is scheduled for a “Fall” release.
iOS 8
Currently its in its third beta (B3), but remains relatively buggy.  This might be expected given the scope of the additions (adding widgets to the Notification Center, adding a SWYPE-style keyboard, adding new family permissions, adding canned/content aware responses, etc.).  However, one must wonder whether Apple isn’t headed for headaches as it adds on and tries to debug these new features, given that the base code likely has a number of unresolved bugs as well — if iOS 7.1.2 is any indication, at least.

Again, these bugs don’t affect all users, but they have affected a significant minority.