Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gripe about Search and iOS 8.1.1 - Not Much Faster But More Stable, But Not The Buggiest

You really have to applaud Apple's effort to keep aging devices working with the latest OS even if users of older iPhones and iPads do lose out in terms of functionality, mostly due to hardware upgrades that are required such as TouchID.  With that said, there have been talk around the Internet water-cooler this version of iOS has been one of the buggiest.  Of that, I have to disagree.

Remember back last year with iOS 7 when it would reboot ever so often.  A few times a day for some?  Well, there are certainly quirks with iOS 8 but you have to distinguish between something being more buggy and something more annoying.

My one main gripe about iOS 8 is the search function that seem to have a mind of its own.  There are times when it won't return the search that I want.  For instance, I'll search for an app but no result will show up.  Or if it does show, what I'm looking for is missing but if an e-mail happens to have the keywords I searched for, it'll show up.  And most of my searches are for apps so I don't have to swipe to the screen the app is on.

And while we're on search being annoying in iOS 8, I'm going to complain about search in general.  It blows as far as I'm concerned.  It's hit and miss especially when I'm looking for a particular e-mail or subject matter.  It's quite alright on the Mac but it's horrendous on iCloud and iOS.

This is one area that Apple started off beyond its competitors and has shown marginal improvement over the years.  This is of a particular concern as we rely more and more on the cloud to provide  us access to information.

Furthermore, Siri will be called up with each passing iOS and iPhone update to perform tasks like replying through iMessage or e-mails.  What good is it if you or Siri cannot find the right messages, e-mails, or contacts?

It goes beyond just communicating with others.  Search will be Siri's middle name as time go on.  Whether it's for content or apps on the device or in the cloud, we expect results especially when we know it's there.

It's likely the issue with search being a hit-and-miss exercise has to do with Apple's experience with the cloud, which is pretty dismal compared to Google.  With Google, I almost always find the e-mail or text I'm looking for.  I don't know if Google returns all the results but it does return the ones that I'm looking for.

And I'm not the only one with iCloud search issues.  Just as I'm finishing up with this post, I did a quick search on Duckduckgo and Google.  It appears the issue dated as far back as 2009.  It's been five years and as far as I am aware of, there is no viable answer as to why Apple cannot do search within iCloud on the Web or iPhone right.

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