iOS7: So Far, Not So Good

So iOS 7 happened. Two months into the start of a new school year. Again. And right after we handed out iPads to teachers and students. All that UI training, gone. Poof. The number one question I get now; “Where did the airplay icon go?” Seriously. Maybe it’s a good thing people can’t find it, because teachers are no longer able to airplay for more than a few minutes before the connection drops. Just as we had teachers excited about using Mirroring in their classrooms, iOS 7 happened. The solution? Power down the iPad and restart. Not exactly the user friendly iOS 6 that made tech in the classroom easy.

And Configurator? Well, all I can say is thanks for setting the default behavior to update to the current iOS, cause that’s what they all did. Before we changed it to never. Unfortunately there are some apps that just plain demand iOS 7. I guess they are too good for iOS 6 now. That means we can’t load them onto iPads that we haven’t updated which means teachers can’t use them, which pretty much defeats the purpose of the iPads because they run Apps, it’s what they do. But if we update to iOS 7 to install the Apps teachers want, we might have to un-supervise and re-supervise them all, and that’s not much fun. We’ll also lose our Management profile, which doesn’t like to load via Configurator for some reason. Oh, and we have to go through the Welcome screen again. Sometimes the old wifi settings stick and sometimes they don’t. It’s quite the mess really.

And don’t get me started on VPP and all the promises of over the air app installation and supervision. It’s October. Where are all the things that mattered to us in education? Sure the interface is more Android like, but can I pull an app back from an AppleID yet? No. It’s not nice to tease.

Today I was using Skitch on my iPad mini which has been on iOS 7 since day one and after a few app crashes, the whole iPad totally crashed. It went into a restart during my demo. The only thing missing was a BSOD. Not cool iOS 7, not cool at all.

All in all, this has been the worst iOS update since I’ve been working with iPads in education (like the iPad 1!). Everything that was good and right with the iPad for the classroom is basically broken at the moment. It’s time for a fix Apple. Past time.