(CNNMoney) — Apple users who were quick to download its latest iOS 10 software on Tuesday were subject to a major bug that left devices temporarily useless.
Not long after the company rolled out its new mobile operating system, some users complained it “bricked” their iPhones and iPads. Bricking refers to an issue that blocks access to your phone with a black screen.
Users who experienced a failed update were required to plug devices into computers and connect to iTunes to restore the system.
While the iOS issues are, of course, unexpected, it’s always smart to hold off updating new mobile software until Apple works out first iteration kinks. Early adopters tend to find out about software bugs the hard way.
The restoration process should reinstate the device’s most recent backup. If you haven’t updated to iOS 10 and want to do so, be sure to back it up first to prevent data loss. To backup a device via iTunes, connect it via a USB cable to iTunes, tap on the device name and click “Back Up Now.”
“We experienced a brief issue with the software update process, affecting a small number of users during the first hour of availability,” an Apple spokesperson told CNNMoney in an emailed statement. “The problem was quickly resolved and we apologize to those customers. Anyone who was affected should connect to iTunes to complete the update or contact AppleCare for help.”
The company’s Twitter account is also fielding hundreds of complaints addressing the bricking issue.
Although you may want to wait to install iOS 10 for now, the new software has a lot to offer: There’s a greater emphasis on photos and messaging, an improved Maps interface, and it finally allows you to remove default apps like Stocks or Find My Friends.
The big picture
The best improvements on iOS 10 aren’t to specific apps but little overall tweaks. For example, lift your phone and it automatically wakes up. Meanwhile, the lock screen is actually useful now, thanks to tiny previews of Apple and third-party apps. You can now see headlines, your calendar, the weather and pending Amazon orders without unlocking your phone.
One of the iOS’ fundamental actions — swipe to unlock your screen — is dead in iOS 10. Now, you’ll need to press the Home button to unlock. That is, on existing iPhone models (Apple removed the Home Button on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus).
But you can finally “remove” any default Apple apps from the home screen just like you would a third-party app. While they won’t be completely deleted behind the scenes for technical reasons, you won’t have to see Stocks or Find My Friends ever again or hide them in a miscellaneous app folder.
Apple is also loosening the grip on Siri by allowing third-party developers access to the voice assistant. Early partners include Fandango (you can ask Siri to order you movie tickets) and Lyft (it can hail you a car/taxi). Although we’ll have to wait to see how useful these features are, they’re a step toward making the virtual voice assistant smarter.
In addition, the control center — the shortcuts that appear when you swipe up — has expanded to multiple screens.
Messages get busy
Messaging apps are hot right now. Companies such as Facebook and Microsoft are throwing money and energy into trying to replicate the success of hits like Snapchat. With iOS 10, Apple is joining the fray with everything but bots. (Unfortunately, only other iOS 10 users can see texts using the new drawing, animation and sticker settings, so it might be lonely at first.)
While you could previously send a friend a photo of your cat — with the help of cat emoji and a witty comment — now you’ll be able to give Maurice the production he deserves. You can cover a photo in doodles and send it with “invisible ink” so the recipient must swipe to see it.
Stickers, image markup, doodles, bouncing text bubbles and GIFS are just some of the new fun meant to make messages more expressive. The interface is a bit clunky and segregated — especially for Digital Touch, an odd drawing tool that doesn’t deserve as much real estate as it gets.
But there are some better Messages upgrades that are actually useful and make it so you don’t have to leave a chat to get stuff done. For example, you can preview links right inside a message, such as getting a sneak peek of playing a YouTube video or song in Apple Music. Third-party apps add the ability to do tasks inside a chat like send money to friends, make reservations, and play games with others.
Photos are smarter, but not as smart as Google
Apple’s overhauled Photos app tries to solve a problem the iPhone helped create. We take thousands of photos on smartphones and rarely delete any of them.
With iOS 10, Apple adds features that automatically sort through the clutter. Face and object recognition let you search images for subjects like a sunset, dog, or gadget. It filters images by faces, date and location. There’s also a Memories tab that continually creates editable albums and movies of adventures from your photo library you might have forgotten.