Apple iOS 10.1 Has A Great Secret Feature
Apple iOS 10.1 is here and the headlines are filled with the arrival of an impressive new portrait camera mode for the iPhone 7 Plus. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover an unannounced change that’s arguably far more important to all iPhone users…
‘Great Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular columns investigating operating system updates for the best features / biggest problems hidden behind the headlines.
What iOS 10.1 quietly does behind the scenes is what iOS 10.0.3 failed to deliver: bring vital cellular performance upgrades to all iPhones across all networks.
This can be seen by a deep drive into iPhone drivers before and after the update. For example, iOS 10.0.3 merely tweaked iPhone 7 modem firmware taking it from version 1.00.03 to 1.00.05, but you’ll get a jump to 1.01.13 with iOS 10.1. In addition to this carrier firmware (untouched in iOS 10.0.3) upgrades from 25.0 to 26.0.
Righting A Wrong
While the numbers may mean little, the end result should be music (clear signal?) to the ears of affected iPhone users around the world who in recent months have been hit by ongoing dropouts of 4G and 3G cellular signal for no apparent reason.
Why Hide It?
Of course with Apple finally making a breakthrough here, the question must be raised: Why would Apple not proudly declare this in the iOS 10.1 release notes?
I suspect the reason is damage control. Having seen T-Mobile US CEO John Legere publicise both the problem and the fix and Apple itself release a second fix for Verizon customers in iOS 10.0.3, it seems unlikely the company would want to be seen issuing a third fix in little over a month. After all making the world’s most popular smartphone and repeatedly seeing it struggle to be a phone isn’t great publicity.
All of which begs the question: If your iPhone was affected by the cellular dropouts since upgrading to iOS 10, has iOS 10.1 finally fixed your issues once and for all? Apple will hope so, given the last thing it will want is to be quietly slipping in a fourth fix into iOS 10.1.1 in a few weeks time…