Apple's latest iPhone 5s handsets are suffering "Blue Screen of Death" crashes that force folks to reboot their expensive gear.
And we're told application software, when launched by the user, crashes twice as often on the new mobile than freshly run code on the iPhone 5c and 5.
That's all according to data provided by app-performance tracker Crittercism: it claims about two per cent of the "hundreds of millions of app launches" it has tracked on the iPhone 5s result in crashes, compared to one per cent for the iPhone 5c and 5.
"Anytime there is new hardware or software release, we see issues," Crittercism boss Andrew Levy told AllThingD. "Inevitably, over time, those issues get resolved."
Levy is of the opinion – which we share – that it's no surprise that the 64-bit A7-equipped iPhone 5s apparently has a higher app-crash rate than its 32-bit A6-equipped brethren. After all, developers have had over a year to tune their apps for the A6, which was introduced in September 2012 in the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 5c is essentially an iPhone 5 in an "unapologetically plastic" case.
The A7 and the iPhone 5s' M7 sensor-managing coprocessor have been available for devs to conquer only since September 20 of this year. There were undoubtedly some lucky folks who got their hands on prerelease versions for optimizing and testing their apps, but the unwashed masses of iOS app developers had to wait in line like the rest of the fanboi flock.
New hardware. New operating system. Nothing to see here. Move along – but keep your ear to the ground to learn whether Apple and its developer community can improve that 2X crash rate in a reasonable amount of time.
Of perhaps more interest is the fact that some iPhone 5s users are experiencing a nostalgic Windows-like Blue Screen of Death, especially when exiting the apps in Apple's iWorks productivity suite: Numbers, Pages, and Keynote.
The BSOD-then-reboot problem has been reported in Apple's discussion groups, MacRumors forums, and a YouTube video, among other places. Although the complaints center mostly on iWork apps, other users claim to have had the same problem with Chrome and Safari, and while using FaceTime.
Interestingly, iOS (like any system worth its salt) supposedly sandboxes apps, so you'd think that a misbehaving program couldn't take down the entire device – but perhaps Apple bent its own sandboxing rules for its iWork apps, and is now paying the price.
Some users have suggested that the BSOD issue can be fixed by disabling the iWork apps' iCloud syncing – which seems reasonable, knowing Apple's less than stellar history of cloudy offerings. To do so, launch Settings, tap iCloud, then toggle off Numbers, Pages, and Keynote in the app list that appears.
This time around, well, who the Tophet knows? We're dealing with Apple, after all, and our role as consumers is to simply sit back and wait until Cupertino's iOS engineering team releases an update. ®