Apple is pretty coy about its technical failings, leaving highly ambiguous terms in the update documentation. While it is not the only company that does this, you have to wonder why. Wouldn't it be helpful if companies just told users why they needed an update?
That issue aside, if you've been having issues with iOS 7, this new update could solve them. While the software engineers are squashing those bugs, the hardware design teams are preparing for next year's models.
FaceTime, Other Issues
Apple's latest iOS 7 update has just gone live, weighing in at a rather light 15Mb. The headline fix should resolve problems some users had with failing FaceTime calls. The update also provides an unspecified number of other bug fixes and improvements. The move to iOS 7.0.4 should be a painless one for most users and seems rather innocuous compared to 7.0.3's huge feature list of fixes and improvements.
Even after that recent update, some users were still reporting problems with iMessage and Siri. Others had problems getting some apps to close from the new multitasking menu and reported others were crashing — an increasingly common complaint since the move from iOS 6.
With the move to Apple's A7 64-bit processor in the new iPhones and iPads, even the new retina Mini, expect a steady stream of iOS updates in preparation for an all-64 bit world. Don't expect any new features until iOS 7.1, which Apple has been working on for some time.
While Apple and its rivals patch away at their ever more complex operating systems, the race continues for innovation on the hardware front. With Apple expecting nothing but greater competition from its rivals in the coming year, we're already hearing rumors of larger screens and perhaps curved models, too.
The Hardware Front
Samsung, which pretty much dominates the smartphone market, is supposed to be developing a phone based around wraparound screen technology. Nokia is talking about 3D touch sensitivity, which is able to detect when a user moves his digits above the phone's surface (as some Samsung models already do). It's one way to avoid smudging the screen.
Certainly the smartphone market isn't standing still. While we're some way off from those sci-fi transparent models, it looks like 2014 should be a good year for those interested in design innovation more than making phone calls.
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