Since Apple released iOS 6, the one question everyone seems to be asking is: “how can I get Google Maps back?” It’s actually pretty easy—just go to the Web app via Safari and tap “add to home screen,” and voila—you have your Google Maps app back! But that’s not the point of this post.
The point is that the people are angry. The Apple brand has become synonymous with quality, and for the first time since the first iPhone launch, the company has swapped out a highly efficient and widely used feature for a subpar alternative in the hopes that over time, more people will use it and it will get better. They’ve clearly never seen “Field of Dreams.” If you build it, they will come; not the other way around, damn it.
So it’s little wonder that satisfaction levels for iOS 6 are actually lower than that of iOS 5. Mobile research company On Device Research surveyed 16,000 iPhone users and found that on a scale of one to 10, the average iOS 6 user rated his/her satisfaction level at 7.65. By comparison, iOS 5 users rated their satisfaction level at 7.75, and iOS 4 users gave the operating system a score of 6.93. The company has been measuring iOS satisfaction levels for two years and says that as a rule, it has always seen an increase in user satisfaction with each new operating system release.
"We have always seen an increase in device satisfaction as consumer upgrade their mobile operating system from one version to another. Consumers with iOS 5 are more satisfied with their device and the same is true on Android," said CEO of On Device Research Alistair Hill, in a statement. "The decrease is small, however it does highlight that initial reaction to the new operating system is not an overwhelming success, as we have seen with other operating system upgrades.”
Nevertheless, iPhone users still have vastly higher satisfaction levels than those with other smartphones and operating systems. A December 2011 survey from Changewave Research found that fully 75% of iPhone users say they are “very satisfied” with their device, compared with 47% of Android users, 32% of Windows users, and 22% of RIM users. In a comparison of device manufacturers, only 47% of both Samsung and HTC users reported being “very satisfied” with their device.
On Device Research did not get a list of reasons why iOS 6 users are less satisfied, so it may or may not be the Maps flub that has iPhone users in such a tizzy, but that would be my bet.