Apple Owns Up to iOS 7 Home Screen Crashes, Still Ignores Serious Safari Flaws
January 23, 2014 3:31 PM
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Apple says that a fix for the home screen crashes is coming
Apple is finally owning up to a rather serious problem with its mobile operating system,
. IOS 7 has come under flak by a lot of users for its significantly overhauled and “flat” UI, however, it’s been the steady stream of bugs in the operating system that have really riled up users.
One of the most nagging bugs causes the phone to freeze, then “respring” back to the lock screen. While many have characterized this behavior as a reboot, it’s actually just restarting the
that manages the iOS home screen. A full system reboot takes a bit longer than a respring.
The home screen/respring issue first showed up in beta releases of iOS 7 way back in June
But however you characterize the bug, it still has been causing havoc for many iOS users. Any unsaved data that you are currently working on when the bug occurs is lost, and this is happening multiple times per day to some unlucky iOS users.
But according to
, Apple is finally on the case — even though the bug has been around [officially] since iOS 7 was released in September 2013. In typical Apple fashion, the company gave minimal details, only stating, “We have a fix in an upcoming software update for a bug that can occasionally cause a home screen crash.”
But while Apple has acknowledged its respring bug, it is still being tightlipped about the even more widely reported problems with Safari on 64-bit iOS 7 devices: namely the
iPad Air, and Retina iPad Mini
(although the latter two seem to be affected most by these issue). Slews of users have reported that Safari simply crashes back to the home screen for no reason multiple times per day. IOS flags the crashes as being related to “low memory.”
Safari Low Memory errors in iOS 7 on an iPad Air
Anand Shimpi of
briefly touched on the memory issues in his
iPad Air review
In general you’re looking at a 20 - 30% increase in memory footprint when dealing with an all 64-bit environment. At worst, the device’s total memory usage never exceeded 60% of what ships with the platform but these are admittedly fairly light use cases. With more apps open, including some doing work in the background, I do see relatively aggressive eviction of apps from memory. The most visible case is when Safari tabs have to be reloaded upon switching to them. Applications being evicted from memory don’t tend to be a huge problem since the A7 can reload them quickly.
The tricky part is you don’t really need all that much more memory. Unfortunately as with any dual-channel memory architecture, you’re fairly limited in how you can increase memory capacity and still get peak performance. Apple’s only move here would be to go to 2GB, which understandably comes with both power and financial costs. The former is a bigger concern for the iPhone 5s, but on the iPad Air I would’ve expected a transition sooner rather than later.
Similarly, many users report that Safari tabs will refresh often when switching from tab to tab, even when Safari is the only app open.
There is a discussion thread over at the Apple Support Communities that is
83 pages long regarding the above Safari issues
. Hopefully, Apple won’t take months to address these issues.
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Wonder what hardware this happens on?
1/24/2014 11:45:28 AM
I haven't seen any any of these shell crashes.
The #1 thing I don't like about iOS 7 is that it forces you to use the terrible "Podasts app" istead of podcasts working through the normal audio player. It's hooooooooooooorrible for syncing, and clunky for playback too. It's so bad it has me using my iPod sometimes instead of my iPhone, and questioning why I HAVE an iPhone rather than a 1/3 price Windows phone.
Regarding Safari, that sounds like pretty normal behavior to me, not necessarily a bug. These things are RAM starved, and a single complex page or two is sometimes enough to force it to ditch another page. I've only seen this tied to very complex pages though, and it clearly seems to be the more complex the page, the more likely it'll boot other pages from RAM.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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