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Crashing Apple's iOS 8 party

Crashing Apple's iOS 8 party

Mobile apps performance management company Crittercism finds iOS 8 is outcrashing iOS 7 on iPhones and iPads in a big way so far.

Crash rates for iOS 8

Crash rates for iOS 8

The many iPhone and iPad users that have held off downloading iOS 8 since it was released on September17, despite the promised benefits of Apple's new software, might be glad they did. Word is that crash rates are relatively high.

Crittercism, a mobile apps performance management company that boasts Pinterest and Netflix among its customers and claims its technology has 1 billion active monthly users, says the iOS 8 crash rate is 78 per cent higher than that of iOS 7.1 (3.56 per cent vs. 2 per cent). What's more, the crash rate has been on the climb since iOS 8 appeared in advance of Friday's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch.

One possible reason for the high crash rate is that Apple is moving so fast on the software front, says Crittercism CEO Andrew Levy. With 4000 APIs introduced in iOS 8, Apple more than doubled the number of APIs that debuted in iOS 7. "Apple seems to be moving even faster than a lot of developers," he said. Levy adds that with its new Swift programming language, Apple has enticed lots of new developers to iOS, but with any new language there will be higher failure rates.

Interestingly, the crash rate has been higher on older devices than on the new smartphones (not that Apple is looking to have you trade in the old ones or anything).

Levy points out that iOS 8 includes optimizations for those new hardware platforms: "In particular, Apple introduced new APIs to deal with varying screen sizes and to optimize the GPU, both of which are targeted at new devices."

One reason more people haven't experienced iOS 8 crashes is because they haven't dared download it: It's a space hog and has required many users to free up 5 gigs of storage on their devices to handle it.

But the benefits of upgrading to iOS 8  are many, including access to iCloud Drive, new photo management and Siri capabilities, and support for third-party keyboards.

Crittercism encourages consumers to go ahead and move to iOS 8. But it advises enterprises -- especially those that depend on lots of legacy apps and devices -- to wait a month or so, allowing for Apple to issue any significant patches. Apple does tend to get fixes out fast: it pushed out two for iOS 7 within a month of its release.

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