Stability, thy name is not iOS 8.
According to a report by mobile app performance management firm Crittercism, titled “Mobile Experience Benchmark Report: Apple Edition,” iOS 8 foists more crashes on users than iOS 7.
The company found the new iPhone software has a crash rate of 3.6%, while the older version throws in the towel less often, at just 2%. (Crittercism measures the crash rate as the percentage of app launches that result in a crash.)
There are two ways to look at that: On one hand, the difference between the actual two numbers doesn’t look like much. Then again, you could also say that iOS 8 crashes 78% more frequently than its predecessor, which sounds like an awful lot. The latter, unsurprisingly, tends to be the version fueling this headline as it rampages across the Web.
Either way, the news gets worse the further you drill into the details. iOS 8 crashes apparently haven’t slowed since the update launched last week; they’ve actually grown steadily, says the company, which came to the conclusion after analyzing data from its 1 billion users.
See also: How To Roll Back iOS 8.0.1
iPhone users still clinging to their older, smaller devices seem to have it the worst of all. While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have crash rates of 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively, older iPhones (the 5S and earlier) crash at a rate of 3.6%. Companies tend to optimize their latest software for their newest, most powerful devices, so that’s not exactly shocking. Indeed, owners of the iPhone 4S—the oldest phone capable of running iOS 8—probably have the worst time of all.
Old hardware that can’t handle demanding new software may be only part of the problem. Old, buggy mobile apps that haven’t been optimized for iOS 8 could be another. And iOS 8 could simply still have a lot of bugs in it, one or more of which might be contributing to these crashes.
Those last two factors will likely improve over time. But there’s no cure for old hardware. If you own one of those phones and you don’t want to risk being stuck with a crash-prone setup, the best thing to do might be to downgrade back to iOS 7 (and fast!) or get a new handset.
Lead photo by Mike Licht
Update: As of midnight, September 24, 2014, Crittercism states that the iOS 8 crash rate showed a minor improvement, but still lands at “64.5% higher than the current iOS 7 crash rate (2%).”
The new data in red appears below, with the overall iOS 8 crash rate bolded.
Of course, none of this takes the major failures iOS 8.0.1 just wrought on iPhone users into account. That’s a whole other matter—and frustration.