Google Copy of Apple Pay Begins Rollout

Android PayGoogle Announced on its blog today, that Android Pay will now be rolling out. Android Pay was announced earlier this summer, and works in the same way as Apple Pay. When you have Android Pay installed, you hold your device near a payment terminal and you will be presented with an option to pay with one of your stored cards. Payments are transmitted using NFC, and your credit card number will not actually be stored on your device. Banks will have to partner with Android Pay in order for you to use your existing debit or credit card with the payment system.

Like Apple Pay, Android Pay will be accepted at any retailer that accepts NFC payments. Android Pay will come installed on new carrier sold phones, and will be available as a download for NFC-enabled Android devices running Android Version 4.4 or higher. In addition to storing payment cards, Android Pay will also allow you to store loyalty cards and gift cards on your device. Later this year, Google promises that Android Pay will also allow in-app purchases.

If you currently have an Android Device running Android 4.4 or newer with Google Wallet installed, Apple Pay will be released as an update to Google Wallet. For new users, Android Pay will be available for download in the Google Play store in the next few days. You will be able to use Android Pay at any existing retailer that accepts Apple Pay. Currently only cards issued by Bank of America, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Region Bank, USAA, and US Bank can be added to Android Pay, but Citi, Wells Fargo, Capital One and others will be coming soon. Just like Apple it appears that each individual bank must sign an agreement with Google to allow use of your card with Android Pay.

I am glad to see that Google is expanding its ability to use Android phones to allow a user to make purchases, I am just disappointed that it appears to be such a direct copy of what Apple already introduced. It will be interesting to watch how each of these products develop over the next year.

Apple, it is Time to Fix iOS 8 – iPhone 6 Plus Still too Buggy

IMG_20150306_125120As we are nearing another Apple product unveiling on Monday, March 9, 2015, it has me thinking a lot about how I feel about the last major product that was unveiled, the iPhone 6 Plus. I have used my iPhone 6 Plus almost exclusively since it was released in September, but in the last two weeks, I have found myself drawn back to an Android Phone. The main reasons have been the instability of my iPhone. Although extensions, widgets, and 3rd party keyboards were made available with the iPhone 6 Plus, none of them work quite the way they should.

What I like about the iPhone 6 Plus.

I will start with the positives of my iPhone 6 Plus. TouchID, the 5.5″ Screen, the battery life, and Apple Pay are wonderful. TouchID works almost every time for me, and sometimes unlocks my phone when I was just checking the time. It is fast, it is reliable, and I wish I had it on every device I use. I have not found any other unlocking feature of a smart device that I like better.

With the 5.5″ screen of the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple finally got things right. They added choice for those that want to be able to use their phone to do more. They ignored the resolution game, and didn’t go with quad HD like many Android devices have. Apple realized that almost no one can tell the difference in pixels once you get past retina display, and that by keeping a lower resolution, they could release a phone that feels faster and has an amazing battery life. Based on the 5.5″ screen, I am barely ever taking out my iPad, and when I do, it is simply because some App Developer has decided that I need to have a different experience on a phone than on a tablet. After using this screen size on my last 3 devices, I have to say that I can never see myself using a smaller screened device again.

Apple PayFinally, Apple Pay has lived up to the promise of simple contact-less payments. Whenever I find a retailer that accepts Apple Pay, it is my first choice. I love that I don’t need to take my credit card out of my wallet, and I like even more that I don’t have to trust merchants with my account information. Apple Pay works the way I would expect it to, and has never failed me. It even works when shopping online through my iPhone. I have used it to make purchases several times using the Staples app and the Target app, and it is just wonderful to not have to go upstairs to grab my wallet to complete a purchase on my phone.

What I don’t like about the iPhone 6 Plus.

On the negative side, I am astonished at how buggy the iPhone 6 Plus is. After several iterations of iOS 8, Apple has simply still not gotten the software to be reliable. I understand that iOS 8 represented a huge opening-up of the platform, but I still feel like I am running beta software. For the first time ever, I am finding that Android is more reliable of an operating system than iOS. Between problems with extensions, third-party keyboards, and Bluetooth functionality, I would have given up my iPhone 6 Plus long ago if it weren’t for TouchID and ApplePay. I no longer can recommend the iPhone to friends and family simply because “it works”.

1. Third-party Keyboards should be called a beta feature.

IMG_6375I understand that many issues are those of a power-user, and many of the experiences that I have are unique to the third-party software I use, but this is the same third-party software that I use on my Android devices with no problem. I have switched between using Swype and SwiftKey as my everyday keyboard on my iPhone 6 Plus since each have been released. I would say that on average, the keyboards work only about 50% of the time.

Frustratingly, I often have my keyboard disappear midway through a sentence, and iOS reverts back to the stock keyboard. I am only successful in running a spotlight search about 25% of the time, because the other 75% of the time no keyboard will show. When using text messaging, I find that after sending about two texts, I need to force close the Messages app because I cannot get my keyboard to appear.

I would love to be able to blame Swiftkey or Swype for these problems, but I have used each for about an equal time, and each time I switch between them, I delete the other one from my phone, and they both have the absolute same problems. I have also used both on Android without any problems. Where I would expect these keyboards to improve my efficiency, instead they slow me down by crashing midway through the task that I am doing. They also do not work in any password fields, cannot function properly in number fields, and do not work on the lock screen.

If Apple is going to offer the ability to use a 3rd party keyboard, they have to do it right. The crashing of these keyboards are a reflection on Apple, in addition to ruining the reputation and working relationship of the developer. If this was listed as a beta feature, as Siri was when it was released, I would be much more forgiving of the problems. But at this point, nearly 6 months since it has been on released software, the feature should work. Even more disappointing is that Apple has not made any statement about these problems.

2. Extensions and actions are not yet offering the promised functionality.

I am also frustrated with extensions. There was promise of the great things that you would be able to do without having to leave the app that you were working in. If you needed to edit a photo, you would be able to tap the share button and have an extension appear that would allow you to edit the photo and return directly to your app. You would be able to easily find a website and share it with other applications on your device, and you would never have to actually launch those applications directly.

IMG_6376Unfortunately, in reality the extensions have not worked quite as well. First after 6 months, many developers have still not made actions and extensions available. Some work, and work well, but others crash in the background, and give you no reason why. I am not a developer, but it appears to me that there are issues with memory depending on the amount of data that is being worked with (since actions crash more often when I am using them with large amounts of data). It is also not always easy to know which apps will launch actions, and which links on the share sheet will simply launch you into another app.

This one I will blame some on developers, but overall Apple still takes some of the blame as they are responsible for the user experience (I covet the ability I have on my Android devices of sharing links directly with WordPress, Facebook Pages, or my Twitter App to quickly accomplish tasks like creating a new blog post or updating marketing materials).

3. Inline responses to notifications do not work!

Apple also promised a great ability to respond to notifications inline without having to leave the app that you are in. I looked forward to this as I believed it would be a great way to quickly respond to text messages, email and Facebook alerts. Unfortunately this does not function at all. If you are in the middle of replying to a pop-up notification, and another notification comes in, you lose any text that you already entered and the prior notification disappears. There is no way this should have been released when it is broken in the way it is intended to be used.

IMG_6378Apple should have a way to buffer notifications, and even switch between them in the pop-up alert. These notifications should be handled in the same manner as folders and pages, and there should be dots on the bottom of the notification to show if multiple notifications/alerts are waiting for your attention. Jailbroken SMS apps have been doing this for years, why can’t Apple figure out how to make it work? Notifications are so broken, that I have switched all of mine to Banners instead of alerts.

4. Many apps still haven’t been updated for iPhone 6 Plus resolution.

Even though iPhone 6 Plus has been out since September, several apps still have not been updated for the screen resolution of the iPhone 6 Plus. Again this is easy to blame on the developers instead of Apple, but when even top tier developers like Facebook and Google are just rolling out full-support for iPhone 6’s screen resolution in past couple weeks, Apple deserves the blame too.

Even though this issue normally just results in my keyboard looking like it is blown-up to the point a toddler could use it, it also has caused problems with usability of existing apps for me. I have had several problems where the predictive keyboard suggestions have blocked me from seeing an input field in an app. This inexcusable, and Apple should make sure that new features don’t break functionality of existing apps.

5. Bluetooth functionality is unreliable.

I routinely use a Fitbit One and a Pebble Smartwatch with my iPhone. I also sometimes stream podcast from my phone to my car using Bluetooth, and use Airplay and Bluetooth speakers around my home. I also use AirDrop to share photos, contacts and webpages with friends and family. Ever since iOS 8 was released, none of these features are reliable.

Again, it is hard for me to determine if these issues are with the other devices that I am using, with the iPhone 6 Plus, or with iOS 8, but I know that I do not experience these same problems with my Android devices or iOS 7. My Pebble seems to lose connectivity with my phone on an hourly basis, and sometimes my Fitbit has such a hard time connecting, I have to completely reboot my iPhone. Routinely my AirPlay speakers do not show up when I try to stream music, and AirDrop is just as unreliable as third-party keyboards.

IMG_6379I don’t understand what Apple is doing to cause features that worked fine in the past, to be worthless in the present, but I don’t hear them addressing the issues publicly, and although I install every update available (from both Apple and 3rd parties), the problems fail to go away. AirPlay and AirDrop are Apple features, so there is no excuse to advertise these, but not have them work properly. These are problems that I don’t have with Android devices (even when I am using work-arounds to stream to AirPlay speakers).

6. ApplePay is rolling out too slow!

Apple has indicated that 750 banks have signed up to support Apple Pay with even more requesting to partner with Apple. However, new banks are only added on a monthly basis with about 20 new banks supporting Apple Pay per month, and just over a 100 already supporting it. Why is Apple not rolling out Apple Pay quicker? If you have 750 banks that want it offered, please explain to the consumer why their bank is not yet included. I am sure there is an excuse for the slow roll-out, but for the most valuable company in the world, there is no reason that every bank that wants to offer Apple Pay functionality cannot do it immediately.

There is also problems with not all retailers accepting Apple Pay. I understand that some retailers do not have NFC terminals yet, but I am more concerned about those that have the functionality, but have disabled it so that Apple Pay cannot be used. I cannot tell you have many times I see the NFC symbol on a terminal to only find that I can’t use my iPhone for payment. This includes several Apple Partners like Target and Best Buy. Why doesn’t Apple use its retailing power to tell both of these retailers that if they continue to disable Apple Pay, they will not have the privilege of selling Apple Products? I have been embarrassed by my inability to use Apple Pay enough times now, that I do not even try unless it I know for a fact that a retailer offers it.

Why this scares me.

I am concerned about the problems that I have highlighted because I am afraid that Apple has lost its way. It used to be slow to offer new technologies until they worked. There are stories all over the internet of Steve Jobs scrapping features just days before a release of a product because they didn’t work properly. There have been plenty of hidden features in iOS Betas that were never activated for the public, or that were delayed until better hardware was introduced. I am concerned now that Apple management cares more about deadlines, than they do about quality.

Apple WatchWith the impeding release of Apple Watch, it makes me wonder what types of problems this device will have from the first day of release. The fact that initial reports are that the Apple Watch will only get one day of battery life per charge, causes questioning of how useful it will be as a fitness device. Maybe rather than trying to make this device the next iPhone or iPad, it should have been initially released with as limited features as the first iPhone and iPod, with more features being added in future iterations when hardware and battery technology catches up.

The Blog world has been reporting leaks that indicate iOS 9 will mainly be a bug fix release, but meanwhile iOS 8.2 is rumored to be released next week, and iOS 8.3 is rumored to be released in April with the Apple Watch (with iOS 8.4 already in testing too). My question is how Apple can wait until iOS 9 to fix problems with current functionality? To me this sends a message to consumers that the usability of our current devices does not matter, as Apple is more focused on adding to the already buggy software to release new products rather than fixing old ones. If you cannot do both things well, focus on current products first.

In the meantime, Android is finally catching up on finger-print authentication functionality, with the Samsung Galaxy S6 finger-print reader receiving rave reviews, and promises from Qualcomm of their new Ultrasound Finger-Print reader to be available on devices before the end of the year (which doesn’t even require a button to work). If Apple doesn’t fix the flaws with their current software, users like me that switched back to the iPhone when the larger screen was introduced, may head back to devices that work better when they catch up with Apple exclusive technologies like TouchID and Apple Pay.

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Thoughts on Apple Pay

One of the major benefits of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, beyond the large screen, is Apple Pay. Although I have only used Apple Pay for 2 actual purchases, one of the hidden benefits for me has been Card Notifications. Once I enrolled my American Express Card in Apple Pay, I began to receive notifications on my phone whenever I make a purchase. At least for American Express, these notifications are provided for all transactions, not just those made with Apple Pay. Whenever my American Express is used anywhere, I now get an alert on my phone. I do not have to be logged in to the American Express app for these alerts to appear.

The advantage of these constant alerts is that I am able to now actively monitor my account for fraud. I no longer have to login to the American Express app or website to check my transaction history. I instantly get an alert and transaction history within the Passbook app by clicking the info button. Since I wear a Pebble SmartWatch, these alerts also show on my wrist. If there is suspicious activity, I know immediately.

Since I currently only have an American Express card enrolled with Apple Pay, I am not sure whether other card providers also provide you with notifications for all purchases, but I hope so. I feel much more secure knowing that my phone alerts me for any purchase I make, and I wish that my primary bank account was available in Apple Pay. I am hoping that as more of my credit cards become eligible, these same alerts are provided.

If you have started using Apple Pay, I would be interested in your experiences. Please let me know if you are receiving notifications for all purchases and whether you have had any difficulty. More banks started offering Apple Pay as an option this week, and several more are supposed to be added throughout the rest of the year. If none of your cards were initially eligible, you may want to check again to see if that has changed.

Caution: iOS 8.1 is available for Download

iOS-8.1-Update

Apple released iOS 8.1 today (Monday October 20, 2014). The download is available over-the-air for eligible phones and tablets, or you can use iTunes to download and install the update. iOS 8.1 can be installed on iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. It can also be installed on iPad 2, iPad with Retina (3rd and 4th generation), iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Air and iPad Air 2. In addition to standard bug fixes, the newest release enables Apple Pay on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, iCloud Photo Library Beta, and support for using your iPad to send SMS messages through your iPhone.

As always, make sure you have a backup of your device before installing any new update. I still recommend backing up with iTunes even if you have an iCloud Backup already. I would recommend waiting at least a day or two to install this update, as iOS 8.0.1 caused major problems (including disabling all cellular functionality on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus).

If any major problems are discovered, I will update iPlug Delaware. Please let us know your experience with the update.

iOS 8.1 iPhone 6 Plus Change Log:

iOS-8.1-Change-Log

A few weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus… How big is bigger than big?

iPhone-6-Plus

After a few weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, I thought that it was time to update my thoughts on it. First, it is a big phone. I was previously using an LG G3, which also has a 5.5 inch screen, but thanks to the G3’s much smaller bezel, the LG is much easier to handle and carry than the iPhone 6 Plus. I have noticed several times in the weeks that I have had the iPhone 6 that it will stab me in the pelvis when I sit down with it in my pocket. (And if the pocket is not quite as deep, it will also protrude out). Despite the large size, I have found that the iPhone has easily replaced my Android phone.

2014-10-08-16.34.39

Although the iPhone 6 Plus is larger than most large screened Android competitors, it just seems to work much better with my work flow. TouchID is definitely something that I missed when I last switched to Android. Since the iPhone 5s, TouchID has gotten even better. About 95% of the time, my phone instantly unlocks by just using my thumb. It works so well, that I have often found that my phone unlocks when I was just pressing the home button to check the time or a lock screen notification. I am not sure if the refinements of TouchID are unique to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, or if the 5s has also received the performance boost, but I can tell you that in iOS 7, my iPhone 5s never was as responsive as the iPhone 6 Plus has been.

Beyond TouchID, battery life is just incredible on my iPhone 6 Plus. Despite loading it with 350 apps, many of which have background processes running constantly, I leave work at the end of most days and still have an 80% charge on my phone. The only time I have gone below 20% of a charge was last Sunday when I actually had the screen powered on for over 7 hours of the day. I just have not had this great of battery life on a cell phone since I was using a Motorola flip phone 15 years ago.

I have found that since having the iPhone 6 Plus, I reach for my iPad much less. I used to use my iPad Mini multiple times per day to catch up on news stories, edit webpages, or doing anything screen intensive. Even when I was using my last Android phone, there were things like reading RSS feeds and setting video recordings that I simply could do faster on my iPad than on my G3. What I have found with the iPhone 6 Plus, is that I get almost everything I loved about the iPad Mini, with a device that is much easier to use with one hand (yes the majority of the time I am still using even the huge iPhone 6 Plus with just one hand).

Speaking of one-handed use, I can say that I very rarely use a second hand with this device. Now I will warn that with the aluminum back, both the new models of iPhones are very slippery. Initially I noticed that when I was using my phone to read, it would easily slip down my hand. I solved this problem by purchasing a very slim plastic case that provides much more friction when holding my iPhone 6 Plus in one hand. As soon as I added the case, all problems with one-handed use ended for me. The only time I find my self using two hands now, is when I am walking with the phone over concrete or asphalt (still can’t be too cautious!). I do not even use the reachability mode that was introduced, but if you have difficulty reaching all parts of the screen with your hand, this mode is a life-saver (double-touching the home button, without pressing, pulls the screen down so it can be reached easier with one hand).

The negative things that I have found with the iPhone 6 Plus have mostly been related more to the buggy iOS software release than to the phone. I have still been encountering numerous problems with iOS 8, even after the recent iOS 8.0.2 update. Most notably, my WiFi will simply stop working sometimes until I reboot my phone, and third-party keyboards still will randomly just not appear (and leave me with a blank screen when trying to perform a spotlight search). These are not issues with the iPhone 6, though, and seem to simply be bugs that Apple still needs to fix with iOS 8.

So the big question is whether the iPhone 6 Plus has brought me back to the iPhone world. After less than a month, my immediate answer is yes. The iPhone 6 Plus still is somewhat limited in some of the things that I could do with my Android phone, but overall the simplicity is just great. I love that my iPhone just works with all my docks, and that even in my car I can simply use a dock connector to charge my phone and listen to music at the same time. I use “Hey Siri” constantly in my car. This allows me to send text messages, check notifications, and start my GPS without ever touching my phone (to use “Hey Siri” your device must be charging, and if it is, you simply speak “Hey Siri” followed by any command that Siri recognizes).

The areas that are still lacking with the iPhone 6 Plus (and iOS in general) is the ability to assign default apps (use Chrome as my default browser for example), use text messaging on my Windows PC with my phone, and having a good full-featured smartwatch (which hopefully will be fixed when the Apple Watch is finally released next year). I loved that with my Android phone I could use an app called Mighty Text to relay text messages to my phone from my work computer, and I really miss my LG G Watch. I use a Pebble with my iPhone, but with the G watch I was able to interact with the watch using my voice and touch. Unfortunately Pebble does not have a microphone and despite numerous apps, it is still best at just displaying alerts.

If you are currently using an older iPhone, you do not care about your phone being large in your pocket, you crave a large screen, and battery life is important to you, I give the iPhone 6 Plus the must-buy stamp of approval. Bend-gate and the way-to-large bezel aside, I cannot complain about the design of this device in any way. The iPhone 6 Plus is the iPhone that I have been waiting for since the iPhone 5 was released. Even though it has the same screen size as my LG G3 had, it just feels like I can view more on the screen. If battery life has not been as big of a concern for you with past iPhones, and you just want a nice new phone, the iPhone 6 is also a worthy upgrade over any of the past iPhones.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus should continue to improve with future releases of iOS 8. iOS 8.1 is expected by October 16th, and hopefully the already announced continuity features and Apple Pay accompany that release. Apple Pay will allow you to use either new device to make purchases, and continuity will allow SMS texting using your iPad and Mac (but not PC). I will update my thoughts on the iPhone 6 Plus as new features arrive.

iOS 8 Not Ready for Prime Time?

2014-09-22 14.46.13

On September 17, 2014, Apple released iOS 8 for existing iPhones and iPads. This software was in beta from June 2014 until its’ release. Although from a user interface perspective, this was a small update, from an architecture perspective, iOS 8 added many new features under the hood. Unfortunately, after using the the release version of the software for nearly a week, it looks like Apple may have released the software before it was actually ready. Overall I am happy with some of the new features, but I cannot help but think that iOS 8 needed at least 2-4 weeks of additional refinement before being released.

The biggest problem that I see was that developers were not able to release versions of their software that took advantage of new iOS 8 features, until iOS 8 was released to the general public. This meant that although a beta of iOS 8 had been available to other developers since June, features like Health Kit integration, notification center widgets, iCloud Drive, and extensions could not be enabled for apps released to the App store until iOS was released on September 17, 2014. Although developers had a method to enlist beta users to test their apps, limited beta test cannot reveal problems as much as a public beta can. The result was that even major developers like DropBox did not have a functioning app available initially, and they had to release multiple fixes within several days of the release of iOS 8.

From my perspective, it appears that Apple knew that it wanted to release new iPhones on a certain day (September 19, 2014), and although the software was not quite ready, it was decided that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus was too important, so unfinished software was released to the general public.

Within hours of iOS 8 being released, Apple disabled all Health Kit functionality. App developers that had prepared new versions of their software taking advantage of Health Kit were forced to remove their apps, and return to prior functionality. Apple Pay cannot yet be used to make purchases with the new phones, and there has been no mention of Home kit by Apple or any of the partners that were supposed to be able to offer better home automation integration using iOS 8 devices.

I love having Swiftkey and Swype keyboards installed on my iPhone and iPad, but I have found that both keyboards frequently stop functioning. Although there is no mention of a need for a cellular connection or WiFi to use the third-party keyboards, there seems to be an issue when there is not a reliable connection. Even when there is a reliable connection, I frequently find that both Swiftkey and Swype keyboards disappear and I am switched back to the native iOS keyboard without the ability to even manually switch back to Swiftkey or Swype. I also have had multiple occasions when I should have a keyboard available, like when doing a spotlight search or drafting a text message, where I have no keyboard available at all (I simply have a blank screen staring back at me).

With extensions, again my experience has been hit or miss. For example, PDF Converter adds a handy extension to convert photos, webpages, or certain documents to a PDF, but it works some times and other times does absolutely nothing. There also is no way to know exactly which App is an extension and which one is simply an “Open In” option when you are looking at the “Open In” dialog box. Since extensions do something on top of your current app without necessarily making you leave the app you are in, and Open In sends your current document to another app and leaves the app you are using, this is an important area that needs improvement.

Apple’s introduction of iCloud Drive also made no sense. Although users are prompted to update to iCloud Drive when installing iOS 8, it breaks compatibility with iOS 7 devices and applications, and is not compatible with Mac OS X currently. If you don’t update to iCloud Drive, you are unable to use some of Apple’s apps (like Pages and Keynote), and if you do update, some of your third party applications may or may not function properly. Once you update, there is no going back, so if you find an application that currently doesn’t work, you are just out of luck. Although this was promised as a centralized file system all your apps have access to, developers must enable the support, and even after they do, my experience has been that not all apps are seeing all documents saved to iCloud drive.

For some reason, Apple also decided that the Camera roll no longer should be used, and completely changed the Photos App. In the Photos App, you used to have an option in albums called “Camera Roll”. In iOS 8, you no longer have Camera Roll, but instead have something called “Recently Added”. However there is nothing to let you know what “Recently Added” means. From what I can tell, it only includes photos that have been taken within the last 30 days. To see older photos, you have switch over the “Photos” button within the Photos app. The problem with the “Photos” section is that it only allows you to view your photos in “Moments” view. This means that you do not have the option just to see the grid of all your photos any longer. If you are going to change this, why not include “All Photos” in the “Album” section?

Additionally, I have found many quirks that simply make no sense. The Camera app on my iPhone 6 Plus has simply froze on several occasions without allowing me to take a picture. To fix this problem, I have had to force close my Camera app. Actionable notifications are not well thought out. If you have your notifications setup as pop-ups (as I always have done in the past for text messages, phone calls, and voice mail messages so that I don’t miss the notification), if you are in the middle of replying to a text message (using the actionable notification feature), and another notification comes in, your text message reply is lost and you must manually enter the Messages app and restart your reply.

Even as I was preparing this article, I had Dropbox crash on my iPad twice, and my keyboard stop working once. Now my guess is that some of these problems are related to the third party apps as opposed to Apple, other things like Health Kit, Home Kit, iCloud Drive, Photos and the text message reply issue are definitely problems with Apple’s software.

For me, I am a software user that likes to live on the edge, so these problems have not caused me to stop using iOS 8, but I am also the same person that has been using iOS 8 since beta 1. For the every day lawyer using this software in practice, these could be major issues.

To be generous to Apple, the initial release of iOS 8 can only be described as a mess. At best this software in its current form should only be considered a late beta, and not even a release candidate. This is a major blunder for Apple, and I am surprised that it has not resulted in more user complaints. This shows me that Apple has to restructure its beta releases better, and should have actually allowed developers to begin to release apps with iOS 8 functionality before it came out of beta. This would have allowed both the developers and Apple to have fixed problems before the software was made available to all users. Apple should have also released the current version of iOS 8 as a public beta, and allowed anyone willing to freely test the software before releasing the finished version.

My recommendation right now is that the legal community stay away from iOS 8 for the time being. It appears that several of iOS 8’s current issues will be resolved once Apple releases the next version of Mac OS X, which is expected next month. Problems with iCloud Drive and third party apps should also improve with App updates in the intervening period. If you are a new purchaser of an iPhone, you have no choice but to use iOS 8. In that situation, please report your problems to both Apple and developers so that fixes can be issued. I see a lot of potential in iOS 8, and I cannot wait until a stable version is finally available.