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This isn't the first time Apple has had an iOS launch mishap

From accidental NSFW GIFs to 'bricking' devices, Apple launches don't always go smoothly

This isn't the first time Apple has had an iOS launch mishap
16 September 2016

Apple's new iOS 10 is mint. Really great. Altogether brilliant.

You can do more stuff from the locked screen of your iPhone. And add emoji even more easily to messages. And add stickers! Lord, loads of stickers. How have we coped this long without stickers?

But launching new software to tens of millions of users can - and often does - result in some teething issues. Or, in the case of iOS 10, porn. Lots of accidental porn. 

Here, we recap some of Apple's more irksome launches to date, starting with news that the latest iOS has been bringing heaps of NSFW GIFs to unsuspecting users. 

iOS 10 and its big pornography problem

Forget emoji - the future of iMessage communication is GIFs. Loads of GIFs. Silent, moving shorts that encapsulate all your text-based needs. 

Following in the footsteps of Twitter and Facebook, iOS 10 introduced the ability for users to add GIFs directly to iMessages. However, Apple clearly didn't conduct the most thorough of censorship checks when compiling its GIF library: while obviously NSFW terms like "dick" and "boobs" produced no GIF search results, explicit adult content could be discovered when searching for far less harmful terms, such as "huge" and "butt".

Apple swiftly began blocking and amending searches as soon as users began noticing the NSFW content, but at the time of writing (a week into the iOS 10 release), a permanent fix is yet to be established. 

That time Apple Music broke everyone's iTunes libraries

With iTunes 12.2 came the desktop roll out of Apple Music - Apple's bold new take on music streaming. 

Rather than being launched to fanfare and jubilation, many users discovered that, upon downloading the Music service and enabling 'iCloud Music Library', their entire iTunes library was scrambled beyond use. Songs were attributed the wrong title, albums would be interspersed with live and studio records, artwork went walkabout. 

Those who had backed up their accounts were able to drop the iCloud feature and restore their libraries to a semblance of order, but others were left to pick through the chaos of their data and wonder what the hell had happened. Fixes have since arrived in subsequent updates.

When iOS 9.3 killed a load of poor old iPad 2s

iPads don't tend to get replaced anywhere near as frequently as iPhones. This is bad news for Apple on two fronts: foremost, it's hard to make as much money from the iPad family range, and secondly, it means having to cater to a whole bunch of users who might be using pretty old hardware.

The release of iOS 9.3 didn't go down well with many thousands of iPad 2 owners who found their old hardware was left totally befuddled by the update, leaving them "bricked" (as in, as useful as a brick). Apple pulled the update for old hardware to sort the issue before tweaking the update process to better match the older hardware. 

The "Error 56" that slaughtered a load of iPad Pros

It's not just old hardware that can fall foul of new updates: iOS 9.3.2 (you know the one) didn't go down well with owners of the shiny new iPad Pro 9.7 inch model. 

Upon downloading the new software, the superior tablet would 'brick', asking users to plug their device into a computer with iTunes - a process which failed to fix anything. Apple pulled the version of iOS 9.3.2 for Pro user, leaving some in a frustrating state of owning little more than a high tech lap tray. 

When iOS 9 murdered thousands of iPhones for no apparent reason 

Another iOS release, another iOS issue. 

September 2015 saw iOS 9 pushed out to Apple devices - a piece of software that ran perfectly on new devices, but caused many older handsets to freeze during the update, leaving them stuck with the message 'Slide to Upgrade'. The fix was mercifully simple, seeing users plug into a computer with iTunes and force restarting them before carrying out a restoration. 

All the many, many bugs of iOS 8

Good lord how we loved iOS 7. It was clean. It was shiny. It made any iPhone model feel like it was brand spanking new - even if there was a ruddy great crack running through the centre of the screen.

We were a touch loathed to shift toward the new advances of iOS 8 when it arrived in 2014. The mobile operating system was Apple's most adventurous yet, best showcased on the new iPhone 6 handset with its QuickType keyboard, improved notification centre and fancy HealthKit app. The only issue was, it was buggy. Seriously buggy. described it as "Apple's buggiest release to date". There were no major phone-breaking issues, but the culmination of issues (things would upload to Safari, bookmarks went nowhere, the keyboard would often freeze or fail, many apps would crash and sometimes even the entire phone would restart).

In the months following its launch on September 2014, iOS 8 was updated multiple times. We came to love it eventually.

In conclusion

  • Always back up your iPhone/iPad before updating to a new version of iOS 
  • Always wait a couple of days before jumping on a new update - you might discover your gadget has some major issues with it
  • Never, ever search for "butt" GIFs. Trust us...