Why I'm not updating to iOS 13, and why you shouldn't either

iOS & iPadOS

I've seen a few people on AppleVis who are saying things that would imply that they feel no choice but to upgrade their devices to iOS 13, despite them feeling nervous about encountering the bugs that the AppleVis Editorial Team has helpfully compiled into lists for us.

In short, you don't have to update yet.

iOS 13.1, which will be released in a couple of days, still contains many bugs that VoiceOver users will experience, not to mention bugs in the operating system that you might encounter whether or not you use accessibility features.

I think some people might remember the horrors of iOS 8. Just about all of the users who upgraded in the first couple of weeks experienced bugs, not just VoiceOver users.

The reason why there were so many bugs that year was because Apple introduced many new features for that version of iOS.

iOS 13 also has many new features that change numerous aspects of the operating system as a whole.

Like in iOS 8, along with these new features came many new bugs.

There were many features of iOS 8 that excited me, like the new Health app and Braille Screen Input. But nothing excited me about having to contend with bugs—not even the new features.

There were bugs in the early versions of iOS 8 that would have made my phone crash and make VoiceOver hang. I use my iPhone for several hours each day, and I knew that I would get frustrated with these bugs very quickly.

I love tinkering with technology, but I love my sanity more.

So I waited until iOS 9.

That’s right—I updated straight from iOS 7.1.2 to iOS 9.2. It was the first software update my iPhone had experienced in about eighteen months.

In the time I was waiting, I only found one app I wanted to use that wouldn’t run on iOS 7.

I was sad that I had had to wait a whole year to use those features from the WWDC 2014 Keynote which had excited me. But after my iPhone had greeted me with a cheerful “Hello”, “Hola” and “Bonjour”” and I had completed the brief iOS 9 set-up, my iPhone bristled with new energy—an energy with no overheating, silencing, hanging, restarting or crashing.

It felt like I had a new iPhone—something worthy of the $1000 I had spent on it a few years before.

I’m waiting again.

Many of the new iOS 13 features announced at WWDC 2019 made me feel excited. I’d love to start using VoiceOver activities and the new features in Maps, Safari and Siri, but I know I won’t be able to enjoy them just yet.

I love discovering hidden features of software I thought I knew well, but I don’t like finding bugs.

There’s no reason for me to update now and use iOS when it has a bug infestation.

Why should my iPhone, which works so powerfully now, have to be reduced to something uncooperative and slow for several weeks? Why can’t it always be fast and efficient when I want to use it?

I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait. I don’t like having to wait. But I am going to wait until my iPhone will work with no overheating, silencing, hanging, restarting or crashing.

I like using technology that works close to 100% of the time, and I know that I can’t expect that with iOS 13 at the moment.

So I’ll wait for as long as it takes for these bugs to be resolved.

I'll update when I feel ready—maybe before next September, maybe after.

I’ve seen people saying that iOS 12 is no longer secure. That’s not true at all. If anything, iOS 13 is less secure than iOS 12.

Security vulnerabilities have been found before in versions of iOS which introduce significant new features.

But if my iPhone was attacked and I lost all of the data stored on it, I know that my data is still safe in the backups I’ve made to iCloud and iTunes.

And if iCloud was attacked and iTunes became unavailable, I know that I can set up my iPhone from scratch if I need to.

Are there any compelling reasons why I should update to iOS 13 now?

I can’t think of any.

I don’t think I need to update when iOS 13.1 is released, or maybe even for several updates after that.

And I don’t think you need to update yet either.



Submitted by Nikola Jovic on Sunday, September 22, 2019

This release is not even close to how iOS 8 was. I mean, if you look at the list, there are only 3 serious bugs in 13.1. Even with those, one of them is experienced by some people and not by everybody. Definitely, nobody should feel forced to update, but if you do, as long as you are not a heavy braille or keyboard user you probably wont regret it. Compared to iOS 8, this release is not buggy at all. 8 will probably remain the most horrible release I ever tried.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Sunday, September 22, 2019

For me it was Ios. 10. I updated the day it came out. My inner geek won out & I got it. Suffice it to say, I hated it. I experienced a heck of a lot of ppoblems. My ipad didn't start working again normally until a few versions after. Right now, my inner geek is winning the battle once again. I know nothing's perfect, but if I can get it to 99% bug-free I'd be happy. I think unless something earth-shattering comes up before monday, once I get a few questions answered from accessibility team about a few things, then I may pull the trigger. In the meantime, I'm keeping a sharp eye on Applevis until & after monday.

Submitted by Lukas on Sunday, September 22, 2019

Looking at the bug list may seem intimidating, but I've been running iOS 13 since the very first public beta, and am now on 13.1. To me, 13.1 is as stable as 12.4.1 was. I mean, there were a couple of annoyances even in 12.4.1, some of which have been around since I ever got my iPhone 4S back in 2012, such as focus occasionally randomly jumping around the screen with seemingly no predictable logic in that behavior, so no news there, and I haven't encountered anything serious in 13.1 that would slow me down or make my workflow feel less efficient. Some of the bugs in the Applevis list obviously only occur with certain languages, voices, keyboards or settings, whereas others that occur in my environment (Czech language, keyboard and VO voice) haven't been listed at all and obviously never will be. It has always been the same and always will, no matter what some list says. I certainly don't mean to put down the incredible amounts of work that Applevis has been doing, not at all, but no matter what happens, how many updates and new iterations of the system are released, it's still software. Software is bound to have bugs and imperfections and it's unfortunately never possible to fix all of them at some point to have a perfectly rock solid and stable environment. It will never happen as long as it's still humans writing the code rather than AI's. To me, getting my XS Max display broken a few weeks ago is a far worse occurrence to get used to than any amount of software bugs possibly could. It fell out of my hand as I was walking down the street because a random passer-by knocked into me, and unfortunately I was stupid enough as not to use any case or screen protector. Since I was holding it up to my ear at that moment and it fell down face first, the screen actually has noticeable cracks in it, and about two thirds of the surface are effectively dead to the touch now. There is either no response at all, or slow, laggy and misleading behavior that interprets every touch as a completely different gesture than intended. This leaves me with just about a third of the display surface running, and even that is littered with cracks, so I have to swipe around them if I want the gesture to be interpreted correctly. And, worst of all, I have no idea when I'll be able to earn the kind of money I need to get the screen replaced. So there you have it. This definitely taught me a lesson very quickly and in a very hard way - to care about the things that are important and shrug over the ones that are not. I can definitely tell you there are no show stoppers on 13.1 for me at the moment, but yeah, I don't use a Braille display with my iPhone. Keyboard usage reliability has certainly gone up a great deal compared to 12.4.1, though. General performance and responsiveness also seems to have increased quite noticeably. And I don't know about 13's insecurity - haven't read any articles pointing out any new vulnerabilities that haven't been patched so far yet.
Just my two cents.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Sunday, September 22, 2019

While the kid in me is clammering for the "new toy!" side of updating ASAP, the part of me that wants to be able to remain productive and not revisit the bad old days of iOS 8 is staying in control and urging me to put off updating to iOS 13 until the worst of its bugs have been squashed. If I'm being honest, there really wasn't much about iOS 13 that appealed, so I'm perfectly OK to stick with iOS 12.4.1 for as long as necessary. I may even do what the author of this article did and skip iOS 13 altogether, hoping for better/more worthwhile things in iOS 14 next year. I will be watching Applevis closely for any and all iOS 13 related news, but as disappointed as it makes my inner tech-child, I can't think of a single compelling reason to update at this time.

Submitted by Clare Page on Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hi! As I currently own an iPhone 6, which is too old for IOS 13, updating to the new IOS version is not possible for me at this time. But my 6 is beginning to show its age, especially the battery, so it may not be long before I take the plunge and get a newer iPhone, probably an iPhone 11. As for worrying about IOS 13 staying so full of bugs that it should be avoided, I can understand that point of view, but no software is perfect, and the bugs which have been reported don't occur on every iPhone anyway. When I got my iPhone 6, IOS 8 had been out for several weeks, so I missed the worst problems with it and started my iPhone 6's long life using IOS 8.0.2. So buying an iPhone later this year on which I will use IOS 13.1 isn't a scary prospect for me, especially as the early days of IOS 13 didn't include some of the worst problems with the first version of IOS 8. Each to their own choice as to when they update their IOS, of course!

Submitted by Dominique Stansberry on Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hi. Why didn’t you actually write this in a blog instead? Its nice though!