Square Stand and iOS 11 Connectivity Problems
The release of Apple’s iOS 11 caused connection issues between iPads and Square Stand. We’ve confirmed that Apple has resolved these issues in iOS 11.2.
If you have been experiencing issues on iOS 11 or have been waiting to upgrade, we urge you to update your iPads to iOS 11.2.
Update to iOS 11.2 on an iPad
- Plug your device into a power source.
- From the device’s home screen, tap Settings > General > Software Update.
- Tap “Download and Install.”
- Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the update.
For more information on updating your version of iOS, visit Apple’s Support site.
Update the Square App on an iOS Device
Download the latest version or update from the App Store on your mobile device using the following steps:
- Open the App Store > tap Updates in the lower-right corner.
- Tap Update All.
You’ll need your iTunes password in order to upgrade any app. If you forgot it, you can reset your iTunes password.
Note: You may be prompted to connect your device to Wi-Fi to complete the update.
Upon upgrade to iOS 11.0+, some Square Stands began having intermittent connectivity issues to iPads and USB connected peripherals (e.g.: cash drawers, printers). These issues began occurring in the initial iOS 11 betas and persisted until solved with the release of iOS 11.2. We apologize for the disruption this caused to customers’ businesses. Given the impact and unacceptably long duration of this event we want to share a more robust explanation of the issue with all of you.
Each iPad installed in a Square Stand that ran iOS 11.0 through 11.1.2 had the potential to be affected by this issue, though not every device was ultimately impacted. The problem manifested itself intermittently, and was exacerbated by each additional peripheral connected to Stand over USB. Bluetooth connections, including those between Square Readers and Square Stands, were not affected.
We had received access to the iOS 11 beta as part of Apple’s developer program and ran tests through the summer. However, as a result of the intermittent nature, this issue did not present itself in any of our testing during that time. We first became aware of the problem via customer reports once iOS 11 was made available at a broader scale in late September.
Based on our initial investigations we suspected the issue was part of iOS 11 and a regression from iOS 10. We immediately escalated to Apple, and asked Stand customers to avoid updating as a precaution. We also provided troubleshooting support to customers who had already updated. We were able to confirm that the issue was due to this regression in iOS in mid-October.
We are typically able to implement workarounds to lower level issues by making changes to our own software. However, in this case, we were unable to do so due to the nature of the problem - data was not reliably reaching our software. Therefore, we worked closely with Apple, including hosting their engineers onsite in our San Francisco headquarters and sending Square employees to Cupertino to partner on a resolution. The fix for the connectivity issues was released in iOS 11.2.
Through the course of this issue, we should have done better in a few areas. Here’s what we commit to doing in the future:
- Improved Testing: We’ve built and are now using new test tools for Square Stand designed to better identify intermittent issues. We have also shared these tools with Apple’s QA team to incorporate into their testing. We will continue to test every developer release, major and minor, from Apple with increased depth.
- Improved In-App Messaging: We’re adding messaging in the Point of Sale app to communicate connection statuses between Stand and iOS. Once released, this will clearly show when Stand and iPads are not connecting to one another to lessen the surprise of a failed connection.
- More Frequent Communication: As result of conversations with many of you we realized that, despite our daily focus on resolving the problem, we were not communicating our progress on a frequent-enough basis. This led to confusion and concern around how seriously our team was taking the issue. We will do better here.
Running a business is not easy, and we feel honored that you choose to trust your business with Square. In every challenge we learn where we can improve to better serve you, so that you can ultimately best serve your own customers. Though we’re proud of the reliability of our service, connectivity issues like this are unacceptable and we won’t be satisfied until we’re able to fully prevent issues regardless of underlying cause.