iOS 5-point-d'oh: battery bug forces update

iOS 5 does eat battteries
It seems iOS 5 does eat battteries

Tech firms all have the same problem: sooner or later, you have to employ real human beings, and unfortunately, human beings aren't perfect.

They come into work feeling under the weather, or thinking about other things, or so hungover they can barely see. And then they get to work on your gadgets.

No-one, not even Apple, is immune from the cock-up - and this week, the unicorn-powered maker of magical dream machines had to admit that iOS 5 ate batteries like some kind of great big battery-eating thing.

Since upgrading to iOS 5 or buying iPhone 4Ses, Apple fans have found themselves running out of battery power at an alarming rate - and it seems to be Apple's fault.

In a short statement, Apple admits that "customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks."

There may be hardware problems too. iPhone 4S users are encountering an audio bug, which generates distracting echoes during phone conversations. Mark Chacksfield, with tongue firmly in cheek, has the answer. "We're wondering if everyone who is experiencing echo on the iPhone 4S is 'holding it wrong'," he says.

What about that GMail app then?

Apple wasn't the only firm getting a slagging on the internet. Google was too, thanks to the disastrous launch of its GMail iOS app. The reaction went from "hurrah! A Gmail app!" to "Boo! Google sucks!" in a matter of minutes, because the app suffered from one teeny-weeny little problem. It didn't work.

How did it get through Apple's authorisation process? Wags on Twitter suggested that Apple knew the app was broken and authorised it anyway for a laugh. We'd ask Apple if that were true, but they're hardly going to admit it.

Once again, it was corporate sadface time. "Earlier today we launched a new Gmail app for iOS," product manager Matthew Izatt wrote. "Unfortunately, it contained a bug... we're working to bring you a new version soon."

We're dying to ask surname-related questions such as "how soon, Izatt?" "Izatt iOS app fixed yet?", but we're above such simple tomfoolery - although we love the comment by TR reader Cheysull, who wrote: "Gun. Foot. Bang! Ouch."

Great news for Microsoft and Hotmail

We're sure Microsoft's iOS developers were dancing: while Google was withdrawing its Gmail app, Hotmail was celebrating its two millionth iOS connection since the release of iOS 5. Hotmail's success on iOS is stunning: Microsoft is connecting 100,000 new people a day.

As Patrick Goss reports, Microsoft's Chris Jones "Is also hoping the new Android client will prove as successful and, of course, there is the spectre of Windows 8, which along with Windows Phone 7 will be aiming to grab back some of the mobile device market."

There's also the next generation of Windows Phone to think about: Windows Phone Apollo, the next big update, "will arrive by the middle of next year", Chris Smith says.

According to Nokia's Michael Halbherr, Apollo will be "a very different game" to the current Windows Phone 7.5, which many believe means Apollo will be a smartphone-sized version of Windows 8.

More Siri stuff

There's one thing Apollo won't have, though, and that's Siri, Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant. Thanks to Siri, we learned two things this week: it's hopeless with British accents, and so is the mysterious TechRadar writer who seems to think the Glaswegian accent is a mix of Glasgow, Aberdeen, Yorkshire and Canada.

"Aye, weel," nobody in Glasgow said. "We'll see aboot tha', pal." Still, it gave us an excuse to see how Siri coped with Techradar's bevy of international accents. How did it get on? You'll have to watch the video to find out, but here's a clue: Gun. Foot. Bang! Ouch.

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.