New Delhi: The Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users are upgrading their devices to iOS 9 at a fairly rapid pace. That is according to the numbers released by Apple on their App Store Distribution page, which suggests that 66% of iOS devices are now running iOS 9 or iOS 9.1, as of 2 November. Read more

This is in stark contrast to Google’s Android OS which continues to struggle with fragmentation and newer versions of the operating system reach user devices after considerable delay, if at all. Comparisons with Google’s Android cannot be avoided. One year after the release of the Lollipop operating system (Android 5.0 and Android 5.1), just 23.5% of Android phones run that software. Read more.

And we are not even talking about the latest Marshmallow (Android 6.0) operating system, because that is only available for Google’s own Nexus branded devices, which don’t even register in market share numbers. One big reason for this is that phone makers such as Samsung and HTC take their own sweet time in rolling out updates, if at all they do bother to—and not all devices get new software or security fixes. And while both operating systems have had bugs and issues initially, Apple has been quicker and more proactive at solving those issues.

The quick adoption rate numbers of the latest iOS version reflect two things—a lot of people are actually buying new Apple iPhones and iPads in particular, and a lot of users feel that iOS 9 is a better operating system than the earlier variants, and are hence upgrading.

The latest numbers show that iOS 9 adoption is steadily gathering pace. The previous set of numbers released by Apple on 21 October pegged the adoption rate at 61%, which itself was an increase over the 57% adoption rate that was reported on 5 October. Apple calculates these numbers based on the stats collected from iOS devices which access the App Store. It is important to remember that following iOS 9’s release on 16 September, the new OS had been installed on 50% devices within four days, which Apple claimed was the fastest iOS rollout ever. And iOS 9’s adoption rate is way ahead of its predecessor, iOS 8, which took almost a month to reach 52% adoption. The comparatively slower numbers in October suggest that a lot of users were still adopting the wait and watch approach to see how the new operating system performs. And yes, there were a couple of bugs initially with iOS 9, such as iMessage activation problems, “slide to upgrade" crashes, alarms getting disabled and screen rotation issues. Subsequent updates—iOS 9.0.1 on 24 September and iOS 9.0.2 on 1 October—got rid most of these issues and brought in performance improvements as well.

With iOS 9.1, Apple has fixed even more bugs, notably CarPlay, Music, Photos and Game Center stability issues, and also improved overall performance and battery life. On the lighter side, Apple also introduced 150 new emojis, including new food items and the infamous middle finger graphic, also known as flipping the bird. Those who use the iPhone’s camera a lot will probably find the updated Live Photos quite relevant—it stops recording motion photos when it detects the iPhone is not pointed towards the subject anymore.

However, Apple is not letting the momentum slow down. The company released a beta testing version of the upcoming iOS 9.2 to developers last week and should be rolling it out for customers in a few weeks.

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