Apple’s iOS 6.1 Causing Looping Issues, Battery Drain

iPhone users who upgraded to Apple Inc.’s iOS 6.1—released Jan. 28—are reporting a host of issues, including battery drain, overheating and 3G connectivity problems. Hundreds of users, in fact, have posted on the Apple Support Community forum, reporting problems with all iPhone models but most significantly trouble with the iPhone 4S.

One user, who began a thread on the forum Jan. 29, offered a possible—yet unproven—solution.

“I went to see the genius (at the Apple store) yesterday. My problem was that my usage was almost identical to my stand by times, which means that something was continuing to run in the background after closing all the apps,” the user wrote. “I was told to turn off location services and then one by one turn each in turn to see which one was causing the drain on the battery. I was impatient so just factory reset the handset which seems to have fixed the problem.”

The problems are extensive enough that British carrier Vodafone sent a text message to all its subscribers warning them of the issues and advising them to avoid updating to the latest iOS version until a fix is in place.

“We’re aware of an issue caused by Apple iPhone 4s handsets that have been upgraded to iOS 6.1 which impacts performance on 3G,” Vodafone wrote to its subscribers. “Some customers may occasionally experience difficulty in connecting to the network to make or receive calls or texts or to connect to the Internet. Apple is working on a solution to their software issue. These connection problems are intermittent.

“While Apple’s investigations continue, we would recommend that anyone who has not yet installed iOS 6.1 on their iPhone 4s should delay doing so until Apple has confirmed that their problem has been fixed.”

French tech blogger Michel de Rooij offered a possible theory to the battery-drain issue Feb. 8. Rooij believes the problem relates to Apple Mail and Microsoft Exchange. He says iOS 6.1 is “throwing up malformed meetings, causing devices to get into a sync loop, which in turn causes excessive transaction log growth on Exchange mailbox servers.” Although there is no proof the two issues are related, it could certainly explain why only some iPhones are experiencing battery drain since not everyone uses Exchange.

The “continuous loop” issue has even led AOL to disable its corporate employees’ ability to manage meetings via iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices using iOS 6.1. AOL CEO Michael Freker told 9to5Mac the firm’s corporate enterprise messaging operations team monitored a rapidly increasing and unusually large volume of traffic across its enterprise mail environment originating form iOS devices running 6.1. The team found that when devices synchronized a recurring calendar meeting invitation, they would continuously loop.

The iOS 6.1 release added LTE capabilities to 36 additional iPhone carriers and 23 iPad carriers worldwide. It is not uncommon for new iOS releases to be riddled with minor issues, generally related to battery life and connectivity. According to Mashable, Apple is already working to resolve the 6.1 issues and has already released iOS 6.1.1 to developers. But according to Apple’s release notes, the bet software for 6.1.1 only includes improvements to Maps for Japan.

Have you had issues with iOS 6.1? Let us know by commenting below!

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Will the New Apple iWatch Boost a Failing Stock?

Software designer and engineer Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini joined Apple Inc. in 1978 and spent 14 years with the company in its early years influencing its user. On Feb. 6 Tognazzini published a blog post described the ways Apple could reinvent the smart watch.

A variety of smart watches are already available on the market, including Cookoo Watch and Pebble, and Google is even rumored to be working on its own smart watch. But one of the main issues with the product is quite simple: People simply don’t wear watches anymore as the timepieces have been replaced by personal electronic devices such as smartphones.

But Tognazzini—a principle with the Nielsen Norman Group—believes an Apple iWatch could vastly impact consumers’ lives. He sees it facilitating and coordinating the activities of all other computers and devices in a users’ life. Although he explained his predictions are not based on any insider information, Tognazzini believes the true value of an iWatch would be vastly underestimated at the product’s launch, similar to other breakthrough Apple products such as the iPhone, but it could certainly go on to have a profound impact on users’ lives and Apple’s fortunes.

“Steve Jobs’ true legacy lies not with his products, but his method, the way he would forge revolutionary products from cold blocks of creativity. I know,” Tognazzini wrote. “I was one of his earliest recruits and watched him develop the method. Steve applied it one project at a time. My hope is that Apple now has teams applying it across many projects, shortening the historic six years beteen breakthrough products.”

According to Tognazzini, the smart watches already on the market are riddled with problems. They are “big and clunky.” Unlike traditional watches, they require charging. They can’t be read in the dark without turning on their lights, and “people over 45” are unable to read them without the assistance of reading glasses. Plus, the extra functions in traditional smart watches are either difficult to find or simply unneeded.

Tognazzini outlines basic ways Apple can improve upon the smart watch. First and foremost, Cupertino could utilize its patent that allows users to charge an object several feet away, wirelessly, eliminating the need to remove the watch in order to charge its battery.

Apple also already holds a patent for a low-cost method of creating curved glass for screens, which could be used to eliminate the large, clunky design of current smart watches.

And as far as complex series of buttons and menu trees? An Apple smart watch wouldn’t need any. Why? Siri. Users could program the watch’s timer, alarm and other functions through voice commands.

“Siri will be accompanied by touch, of course, with touch handling the lighter tasks, Siri the more complex,” Tognazzini wrote. “There will be overlap, so you can use more complex touch maneuvers when you can’t speak to your watch, during a meeting perhaps or when there’s a lot of ambient noise. Many people will never learn the more complex maneuvers, nor will they need to as the iPhone, iPad, and Mac will offer simple alternative interfaces to the more complex tasks.”

The iWatch’s most revolutionary function, however, would be its role as office manager. It could be used to coordinate the functions of all the user’s other iDevices and the Internet through the gathering of data, delivering of messages and storing, forwarding and coordinating of tasks. For example, Tognazzini sees the iWatch serving as a phone call facilitator, vibrating when a call comes into an iPhone, and allowing the user to accept or reject the call from the watch. It would also eliminate the need for multiple passcodes.

“The watch can and should, for most of us, eliminate passcodes altogether on iPhones, and Macs and, if Apple’s smart, PCs: As long as my watch is in range, let me in! That, to me, would be the single-most compelling feature a smartwatch could offer: If the watch did nothing but release me from having to enter my passcode/password 10 to 20 times a day, I would buy it,” Tognazzini wrote. “If the watch would just free me from having to enter pass codes, I would buy it even if it couldn’t tell the right time! I would happily strap it to my opposite wrist! This one is a must.”

What functions would you like to see in an iWatch?

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