iOS 8.0.1 withdrawn: what went wrong with Apple update?

Apple apologises for 'great inconvenience' of flawed iOS 8 update, promising to work 'round the clock' to fix the problem

iPhone 6
(Image credit: Lam Yik Fei/Getty)

Apple has been forced to withdraw the latest update of its iOS 8 mobile operating system after users reported serious issues with the system, including a total loss of phone signal and the failure of the company's much-vaunted fingerprint scanner.

The company had rushed through an update for the software powering its latest generation of iPhones and iPads on Wednesday, but early iOS 8 adopters soon found that they were blocked from making phones calls and could no longer sign into their phones using the latest generation of iPhones' finger-scanning Touch ID system.

In a statement, Apple said that it was working "round the clock" to get a fix in place "in the next few days." So what went wrong for the new operating system?

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Updates and tweaks to mobile software are not uncommon, and with iOS 8.0.1 Apple had hoped to correct a handful of bugs, including one that was preventing the company from publishing third-party HealthKit apps on the App Store. Another caused problems with "reachability" features – menus on the side of the screen designed to make it easier for users to navigate the larger devices with just one hand.

The total withdrawal of iOS 8.0.1 is thought to be a first for Apple, The Independent says, and comes after more bad news for the company. Yesterday it emerged that some users are reporting the slim frame of the iPhone 6 is not strong enough to prevent the handset bending in their pockets.

Even before the problems with iOS 8 emerged, Apple's operating system upgrade policy had come under fire from some quarters.

On Monday, The Guardian's Charlie Brooker wrote: "It's curious that we, the users, are supposed to look as if we are eagerly anticipating these operating system updates… you spend the evening backing up your phone, downloading a gigantic file and sitting around while your phone undergoes an intense psychological makeover, at the end of which it may or may not function."

According to Brooker, updating a phone's operating system is just "fiddly, time-consuming admin – it's like having to change the water in a fish tank. I can't be arsed. It's why I don't have an aquarium. I'd rather let the fish die".

Apple iOS 8: five new features you won't want to miss

03 June

Apple boss Tim Cook unveiled iOS 8 at the company's worldwide developers conference in San Francisco this week. The new mobile operating system for iPads, iPhones and iPods, which will be available to the public this autumn, was described as a "giant release". Here are five of the best features announced:

HealthKit appApple revealed a new tool that monitors your health and can even tip off your doctor about potentially concerning data, such as high blood pressure. The HealthKit app works in a similar way to Apple's Passbook app – the iPhone's "virtual pocket" for things such as airline boarding passes and cinema tickets, says Mashable. Healthkit aggregates information about your weight, health, fitness and exercise levels from third-party gadgets, such as Nike, to keep all health-related information in one hub.

Snapchat-style self-destruct messagesOn the new operating system, iPhone users will be able to send self-destructing picture, video and audio iMessages. Similar to Snapchat messages, these will be set to expire after two minutes unless you opt to keep them. Meanwhile, a new notification system means users can respond to text messages while in another app, by swiping down rather than having to close and switch apps. On email, users can also access other inbox messages while composing an email.

Family sharingApple's iOS 8 includes a family sharing app that allows families to share calendars and photos. Users can share purchased iTunes goods with up to six family members. The system will also automatically message parents if their child tries to buy content online, enabling parents to approve or reject purchases, says Tech Radar. "So no need to worry Little Johnny will blow it all on Tiny Zoo."

HomeKit for home appliancesA new HomeKit system will allow users to turn their iPhone into a remote control for their home. The device can be used to open doors, set temperatures and control lights. HomeKit will work in a similar way to HealthKit, acting as a hub for other smart home equipment. These grouped devices can then be controlled via Siri – so telling Siri "ready for bed" would lock your doors, turn off the lights, heating and television and set your alarm all at once.

Sharing between devicesThe iCloud service will be given a visible Dropbox-style file system so it will be easier to share files between your Apple devices, as well as Windows devices via a web service. iOS 8 will also enable you to pick up calls on your iPad or Mac if your phone is in a different room, as long as your phone is on the same Wi-Fi network. Its new 'Continuity' features make it easier to switch between using a Mac and an iPhone. For example, you can start writing an email on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac.

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