iOS 8.4: Worth Upgrading?

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Apple Music songs added to Up Next multiple times

Playing an album will add it to the Up Next list multiple times. This is mainly a cosmetic defect. If you add another album to Up Next, it will play directly after the first album has completed. Don’t bother trying to delete the multiple tracks. It is a UI issue and they are added infinitely. I spent 20 minutes trying to do this, like Sisyphus repeatedly pushing a boulder up a hill.

There is also some confusion over the iCloud Music Library and integration with existing iTunes music and playlists. Make sure to merge your music libraries when your activate iCloud Music Library on your iOS device. Be careful with this feature on PC and Mac-based versions of iTunes. Several users have complained that their entire music library has been botched by Apple Music. The new service will often replace or delete tracks that it “thinks” are better versions. Always remember to back up your music collection. I recommend using Time Machine and also burning a copy onto DVDs, if your Mac still has a SuperDrive.

iBooks Improved in 8.4

iBooks offers new features in the iOS 8.4 release. Most notably, users can now purchase and listen to audio books within iBooks. Books that are designed for iBooks now work on the iPhone.

iOS 8.4 Bug Fixes

iOS 8.4 offers fixes for a few notable defects. A notorious bug causing iOS devices to reboot when receiving specific Unicode characters is fixed. GPS accessories can now provide location data. Deleted Apple Watch apps will no longer automatically re-install.

iOS 8.4 Security Fixes

As with every iOS release, 8.4 introduces several new security fixes. It is surprising that these fixes almost always go under the radar. For the most part, the fixes are for vulnerabilities that are almost impossible to exploit. One of the more serious flaws enabled a malicious PDF document to crash an app or execute code. This has been patched. For more information on iOS 8.4 security fixes, check out Apple’s website.

iOS 8.4: Worth Upgrading?

If you have an older device or have experienced the WiFried bug, I recommend waiting for iOS 8.4.1. This upcoming release is currently in beta and will be released soon. If you have a relatively new iOS device, iOS 8.4 should be relatively stable and usable. Keep in mind, Apple Music is brand new and is still glitchy. Ideally, Apple should have fixed these issues in beta testing.

It appears that Apple Music is really a beta-quality product. I remember when Apple released near-perfect products. Some claim that competition improves products, but there is more nuance to this issue. Competition between mobile operating systems has reduced product quality. Too many features are added, resulting in too many bugs. I can only hope that iOS 9 restores Apple quality to the level that users expect.

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