Apple Strikes Out with Troubled iOS7

Apple's iOS 7 launch is fast becoming its most troubled mobile operating system update, increasing concern that the technology giant has lost some of its magic touch since co-founder Steve Jobs passed away two years ago.

Since iOS 7 was released Sept. 18, the list of bugs and flaws has grown.

Draining batteries, dropping Wi-Fi and spotty Bluetooth connections are getting big boos across discussion boards at Apple's own support communities. Some apps are working poorly or slowly, the interface is harder to use for some people, and game players have also found faults.

"Apple really needs to get back to focusing on device testing and hyper attention to detail to maintain customers' trust," says Jefferson Wang, senior partner with IBB Consulting.

Text messaging via iMessage, nearly as indispensable as a phone call, has users fuming over an inability to consistently send text messages from iPhones with the new operating system.

On iMessage, "I'll do the hard restart, and that seems to work, but it's pretty frustrating. It shouldn't happen this way, because everyone uses iMessage," Eric Retzlaff, 33, who works at The Doctors Company in Napa, Calif., said in an interview.

Some users of Apple's new flagship iPhone 5s have even experienced a "blue screen of death," familiar to many who have seen a Windows computer screen freeze and turn blue.

"It did feel more like a Microsoft release," Retzlaff said. "I've never had an issue like this with one of their updates, so it's pretty shocking."

Apple's problems raise questions about its dramatic mobile makeover decisions and the company's elevation of Jony Ive to oversee much of that development.

Apple is familiar with smaller iPhone software problems. Its launch of its own Maps app was taken to task for failed directions and missing landmarks. That led to the firing of Maps chief Rich Williamson and an eventual...

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