I’ll try not to get all emotional here, but … WTF?
Every day, several times a day, I check my phone to see if there’s an update available. When there isn’t, I plug it into the laptop, sync via the Zune PC software, and then check there as well. Nothing. “Your phone is up to date.” No. No, it isn’t.
I’ve been doing this since Microsoft announced on February 21 that a surprise “pre-update” was available that would enable the first “real” update, codenamed No Donuts.
Then I stopped checking for a few days, after Microsoft belatedly admitted on February 23 that it had pulled the pre-update for Samsung users (of which I am) because of a bug. I was told that it would reappear “as soon as possible.” I eventually started checking daily again because, you know, Microsoft doesn’t exactly communicate what it’s doing. For all I knew, the pre-update was already shipping again.
As it turns out, “as soon as possible” was one full week. On March 2, exactly seven days later, Microsoft announced that it was resuming the distribution of the pre-update to Samsung users.
That was one week ago today. I just checked again. No update. “Your phone is up to date.”
To recap, we’re not talking about a major update here. We’re talking about an update to the updating mechanism that will allow my phone to receive updates. (Good luck following that sentence.) And after two and a half weeks of, well, nothing, I don’t mind telling you, I’m a bit fed up.
I’ve already written about how frequently Apple updated its original iPhone during the same time frame under which Microsoft and its partner ecosystem are now ignoring the needs of their own Windows Phone customers. (And, please, don’t be idiotic. These really are needs: Windows Phone shipped in an incomplete and buggy state that has never once been updated. This isn’t just “wrong” morally: Shipping a known-buggy product to consumers is arguably wrong legally as well.)
But how about just since Windows Phone was launched in late August? By this point in time, the iPhone was already a mature product, having been improved and enhanced over three and a half years in the market. Surely, the pace of innovation in iOS (iPhone’s OS) has slowed since the beginning.
Well, here’s an inconvenient truth for you: When Microsoft launched Windows Phone in October/November 2010, the then-current version of iOS was 4.1, released back in September of that year. And since then, Apple has released:
iOS 4.2. Added a free version of Find My Phone, multitasking tray improvements, new voice memo icons, FaceTime improvements, new text tone alerts, new sound controls for the volume buttons, and other changes and bug fixes. (Most 4.2 features were for iPad and aren’t listed here.)
iOS 4.2.1. Bug fixes.
iOS 4.2.5. Added CDMA support.
iOS 4.2.6. Added AirPlay video support, new Ping parental controls, and many other updates, and bug fixes.
iOS 4.3. As soon as today, Apple will release iOS 4.3, a fairly major release with AirPlay enhancements, better Safari performance, iTunes Home Sharing, and more.
I’d also point out that Apple, known for its insularity and lack of openness, has been very transparent about its plans for iOS, announcing not just features for the next version on a regular basis, but also the version after that. And then they deliver on their promises. What a concept.
OK, I sound like a broken record, I get it. But why is no one else outraged at this?