The iPhone 6s is a great phone. Mine arrived on Friday and I’ll be reviewing it in the next couple of days or so. It has some very welcome improvements over my previous Apple phone - the iPhone 5s - and 3D Touch has the potential to be a real game changer.
However, my enjoyment of the new phone has been tainted thanks to an incredibly annoying bug that makes the iPhone 6s next to useless when out and about. In fact, when I went out for the day yesterday, I was forced to leave the shiny new iPhone 6s at home and take my aging Android phone with me instead.
The bug I’m referring to affects the Mobile Data settings. The iPhone lets you choose which apps can use your cellular connection. A handy feature which stops unnecessary data consumption and helps keep costs down. Except the bug in iOS 9 prevents certain apps from using mobile data - at all, ever. I toggle the switch next to a bunch of apps in Settings, but the moment I leave Settings everything reverts to how it was.
Not a major deal you might think, but actually that limits what I can do when not connected to a wireless network. I can’t use Facebook (no more checking in, or posting updates as to where I am), I can’t get directions from Google Maps (or Apple Maps for that matter) when I most need to. Nor can I check on the latest news headlines, or the weather.
Because of how the bug works, not every app is blocked. So I can still get my mail and access the web, but I’m so conditioned to using apps that when they don’t work as intended it proves incredibly frustrating.
The bug rears its ugly head when you upgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 9, as I did with my iPhone 5s. Apps that were set to use mobile data before the upgrade, can continue to use mobile data in iOS 9. Apps that weren’t enabled, can’t. I did notice the issue on my 5s a few days after the "upgrade" (I tried and failed to use Google Maps on a journey), but I didn’t pay too much attention at the time. I figured it was a temporary glitch.
I set up my iPhone 6s using a new backup from the iPhone 5s - so all the apps and settings were copied over... but unfortunately the iOS 9 bug came too.
So what can I do about the problem? I have a couple of options. According to Apple and Apple Support Communities I can restore my phone from an old pre-iOS 9 backup, but unfortunately I don't have one. And even if I did, I really don’t want to do that. This is an iPhone 6s - it comes with iOS 9 preinstalled!
Or I could wipe my phone and set it up as a brand new device. The latter option should work, although if I do go down that route I’ll need to spend hours reinstalling all of my apps again, and my existing settings will be wiped.
Both choices are highly unsatisfactory. Or I could wait for Apple to fix the problem. It might be addressed in iOS 9.0.2, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case.
This isn't even the only major bug in iOS 9. A lot of users report they can’t use mobile data at all on their devices, and a Slide to Upgrade bug succeeded in killing some iPhones.
So what now? I might roll back my iPhone 5s to iOS 8.4.1 and see if that that fixes the problem. If it does, I will enable all of the apps for mobile access, then try the iOS 9 upgrade again. If that works - and I won’t be holding my breath - I will try backing up the device and then wiping the iPhone 6s and restoring it from the new backup.
Or I might just carry around two phones (6s and Android) until Apple finally gets its act together and fixes this crippling bug.