iOS 7 is a perfect example of why automatic updates shouldn't always happen

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| October 19, 2013

With the announcement of the iPhone 5s and 5c last month, we also saw the release of the much anticipated (and in many cases, not anticipated) software update for iOS, iOS 7. The update was what I considered a much needed update from Apple, to convince consumers that they didn't intend on going the way of BlackBerry by never changing - at least not before it was too late, anyway. Still, just because Apple made such a huge design overhaul doesn't necessarily mean that everybody wants to be on board with the idea. As such, not everybody was, which is unfortunate for them if they happened to carry a device that was upgradeable to iOS 7. The update is automatically downloaded to the device, even if you never plan to install it.

The thing about iOS 7 is that it's not necessary to keep using the iPhone, so the fact that it was forcibly downloaded on iPhones seemed like an unnecessary move. Having such a large overhaul in design is certainly one of those hit or miss things. Some people will love it, and others will hate it. Generally, it's a good idea to keep both parties happy. While Apple had a lot of people angry at them for staying the same for so long, you also had a lot of people who were defending the way Apple was running the show - they liked keeping things the same. So why not cater to both and let the individual decide whether they want to upgrade to iOS 7 or not? Sure, iOS 7 certainly has its perks over iOS 6, and one could argue that they find all of the extra features worth the upgrade whether they like the new design or not, but that's the point. It's very much an opinion on an individual level.

There's also the issue that iOS 7 takes up a lot of space on a device just to install, about 3.1GB to be exact. Only for the installation, of course, but even after the install has been completed, the update still winds up taking 1GB of storage, and not to mention that 3.1 GB is a lot of stuff that needs to be deleted if you don't have that space available in the first place. When it comes down to it, the resulting 1GB of memory being permanently used up doesn't sound like a lot. It's been a couple of years since iPhones offering as little as 8GB of storage were offered, but since iOS 7 is an update available for the 8GB iPhone 4, you have to consider how much space the update takes up on a phone with very little space to begin with. Even a 16GB iPhone would be losing a decent chunk of space due to the update. And while 32GB and 64GB variants won't be missing much, it's still one less GB that you could be using for something else if you weren't exactly interested in the update in the first place.

I also don't agree with Apple's decision to not allow users to roll back to iOS 6 if it turned out they didn't like iOS 7. I'm the type of person that likes to try before I buy, so if I test something out and I don't like it, I shouldn't be forced to keep it. A lot of people probably would end up keeping iOS 7, but everywhere I look where iOS 7 is the topic of discussion I will see about half the people praising the changes and half the people saying they wish more than anything that they could roll back to what they had before. It goes back to what I was saying about giving users the option to choose whether they wanted the update or not. Users should have the option to get rid of the update if they don't intend on using it. Otherwise it's just sitting there, looming and taking up space on the device. It's invasive, annoying and should be a non-issue.

I do hope that Apple can remedy this by somehow allowing users to rollback their devices if they wanted to. There seems to be enough unhappy people to warrant the allowance of a roll back, and I would like to think as iOS 7 as a good move for Apple overall. Whether the user was content with iOS 6 or below and wanted to stick with it or move on to iOS 7, I feel like iOS users would be much happier having an actual choice in the matter.

Readers, what have your thoughts on iOS 7 been so far? Have you enjoyed the update, or do you wish you could go back to iOS 6? Do you think Apple did the right thing by being so forceful about the presence of iOS 7 on devices? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image via Sport Techie