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unitQ AI Analysis Reveals iOS 17 Update Leads to 29% Spike in App Issues

Study illuminates a persistent challenge for developers in ensuring a smooth transition to new iOS versions.

unitQ, the leader in Quality Automation, has discovered a 29% increase in reported mobile application issues after Apple introduced its latest operating system, iOS 17, according to a unitQ analysis of App Store reviews.

Right after the debut of iOS 17 on September 18, applications spanning a variety of sectors experienced pronounced quality challenges and increased user friction. Notably, every industry, out of the 10 unitQ explored, faced a surge in generic issues, including app crashes and blank screen occurrences. More specialized issues, like missing lyrics in music apps or fund transfer problems in finance apps, also became prevalent following the update.

These destructive quality-of-life or customer-churning issues the unitQ study highlights occurred despite the release of public and developer betas months ahead of the iOS 17 update. unitQ studies reached similar conclusions after the release of iOS 16 and iOS 15.

*For more on the issues associated with the iOS 16 update, read the unitQ study here.
*For more on the issues associated with the iOS 15 update, read the unitQ study here.

The data below shows the percentage increase for selected, major quality issues users complained about in Apple App Store reviews three weeks after the release of iOS 17 compared to the three weeks before the release, by selected industry:

  • Business & Productivity
    • Repeated requests to verify account, 200% increase
    • Can’t update app 184% increase
    • App crashing 49% increase
  • Dating
    • App fails to launch, 93% increase
    • Can’t open chat, 50% increase
    • Can’t delete account, 48% increase
  • Finance
    • Blank screen, 86% increase
    • Can’t trade, 39% increase
    • Transferred funds not received, 19% increase
  • Gaming
    • Account data lost, 180% increase
    • App freezing, 51% increase
    • Difficult to navigate UI, 31% increase
  • Health & Fitness
    • Device not compatible, 185% increase
    • Widget not working, 147% increase
    • Excessive battery drain, 89% increase
  • Music
    • Missing lyrics, 209% increase
    • Album stops playing, 82% increase
    • Poor sound quality, 47% increase
  • Photo-Video
    • Can’t share to Instagram, 207% increase
    • Poor image quality, 205% increase
    • Country or region not supported, 105% increase
  • Shopping
    • Irrelevant search results, 53% increase
    • Slow performance, 21% increase
    • Payment failed, 18% increase
  • Social Networking
    • Notifications not working, 1,027% increase
    • Overheating issues, 145% increase
    • Chats not delivered, 39% increase
  • Travel
    • Confirmation not received, 88% increase
    • Can’t login, 45% increase
    • Payment rejected, 23% increase

Our iOS 17 analysis

unitQ ingested Apple App Store reviews of more than 5,000 top iOS applications. We then parsed those reviews with machine learning and proprietary unitQ algorithms to produce these results.

Our studies are based on unitQ proprietary AI and machine learning models that are at the heart of our Quality Automation platform that provides our customers with AI-powered, actionable insights from user feedback to help them craft high-quality products, services and experiences. unitQ AI has the capability to centralize feedback from all feedback sources and parse it into thousands of granular categories to empower product builders, engineers, support leaders and team members to understand user feedback in real time to build superior products, fix bugs faster and resolve support issues at scale.

Details of iOS 17 study

To further refine the results of this study, we removed all applications from our analysis that did not receive at least 100 pieces of user feedback during the study’s six-week period  — the three weeks before to the three weeks after the release of iOS 17. As a result, that left us with 998 applications in the 10 verticals we selected to investigate.

Altogether, unitQ AI analyzed 1,260,262 pieces of user feedback in the six-week period (587,754 prior to the iOS 17 launch and 672,508 post launch). Our AI automatically removed the user reviews in which no quality issue or user friction was found. In the end, unitQ’s AI systems detected a 29% increase in the number of quality issues in the three-week aftermath of iOS 17 compared to the same time period before the iOS 17 update.

“Our latest findings emphasize an undeniable truth that, in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, real-time monitoring of user feedback isn’t just beneficial — it’s imperative,” said Christian Wiklund, unitQ CEO. “As operating systems evolve, ensuring consistent app quality is a race against time. At unitQ, we’re dedicated to equipping product builders, engineers, support leaders and team members with the actionable insights they need, when they need them, to deliver unparalleled user experiences.”

Industry friction at a glance

In every industry our study examined, quality issues jumped, with the Photo-Video, Health & Fitness and Social Networking verticals seeing at least a 50% increase. Other industries like Dating, Gaming and Shopping saw the smallest increases, 15% or less.

The data below shows the percentage increase in all quality issues that users complained about in Apple App Store reviews three weeks after the release of iOS 17 compared to three weeks before the release, by selected industry:

  • Photo-Video, 58%
  • Health & Fitness, 54%
  • Social Networking, 50%
  • Business & Productivity, 29%
  • Finance, 27%
  • Music, 26%
  • Travel, 20%
  • Shopping, 15%
  • Gaming, 7%
  • Dating, 6%

The takeaway

unitQ’s artificial intelligence highlighted a 29% increase in issues across different application categories post the iOS 17 update. Despite the availability of public and developer betas prior to the iOS 17 release, notable quality-of-life, user friction issues emerged — echoing similar scenarios with the previous iOS 16 and iOS 15 updates. Through utilizing AI and machine learning, unitQ was able to categorize and quantify these quality issues, illuminating the persistent challenge for developers in ensuring a smooth transition to new iOS versions, and emphasizing the critical role of continuous quality monitoring and user feedback analysis in delivering superior app experiences.