This article was mentioned By John Gruber about iOS. It's Brilliant and Spot on

hasanahmad

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 20, 2009
1,152
846
http://rustyshelf.org/2014/10/01/it-just-works/

My first Apple product was an iPod Mini. I still vividly remember being hooked by the design and functionality of such a tiny, sexy device. My next Apple product was a Powerbook G4. Those two products started a long journey of buying and loving Apple products. iPhoto. iPhone. iPad. iWork. I bought them all, and I loved them all. One phrase always kept me coming back for more: “It just works”. After coming from devices that always felt buggy and half-finished it really did feel just like that. Everything, well, just worked.

Fast forward to today, 2014. Zoom in to me. I’m typing this on a Macbook Pro. In my pocket is the iPhone 6. Three metres away sits a Mac Mini. On the surface, nothing has changed. The problem is, it feels like everything has changed. In short while Apple’s hardware continues to impress me, their software has gone downhill at a rapid pace. iPhoto is an unusable mess with the volume of photos I now have. Aperture has been discontinued and is badly lagging behind in terms of both performance and features. iTunes takes forever to launch, and is bloated mess of way too many features and functions. iCloud is still a mess that I wouldn’t dream of storing my important data in. iOS 7 crashed so often that I became intimately familiar with the Apple logo that appeared every time it did. iOS 8 fixed the crashing, but introduced thousands of little paper cut like bugs. I used to install updates from Apple the second they came out, now I wait a few days to see if they are actually any good.

If you think this is just my experience, let’s take a quick recap of the last few weeks of Apple news:

iOS 8.0.1 was released, with bugs that prevented iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners from connecting to the cell network, and using Touch ID.
Users trying to fix iOS bugs, reset the settings on their devices. This had the fun, unexpected consequence of wiping their iCloud documents, and syncing those deletions to all their other devices.
Apple released HealthKit as part of iOS 8, only to pull it, and any apps that supported it due to bugs.
Apple ‘fixed’ HealthKit as part of iOS 8.0.2, but my Twitter timeline is still full of people complaining about bugs. By all accounts, and going by the iOS 8.1 change log released today, it’s nowhere near ready for prime time.
On the developer front recently:

iTunes Connect is still amazingly buggy, and Apple managed to make it more so while developers were submitting their iOS 8 updates. I saw so many automated rejections, upload errors and bugs fill my timeline.
Xcode still crashes for me, at least once or twice a day.
Apple bought TestFlight, much to our delight, only to reveal that their answer to ‘beta testing’ is to let us distribute to 25 people that have administration rights over our apps. Do you want your beta testers to be able to change your app prices, descriptions, screenshots and to be able to pull apps from the store? Yeah me neither. The alternative is to submit your app for app review, before you’re allowed to distribute it to beta testers. Really Apple? Did I mention that the review queue is currently 9 days long and growing? Thank Thor that HockeyApp still exists.
Size classes, Apple’s answer to ‘how on earth are we going to deal with the new screen sizes’ lack even the most basic functionality required to do that. The iPhone 6 Plus has it’s own size class, in landscape, but in portrait orientation? Every single iPhone ever made is treated the same way. That’s right, you can’t lay out a different UI for the 3.5″ iPhone in portrait than you can for the 5.5″ monstrosity of a 6 Plus. How Apple missed this basic developer requirement is baffling to me.
Swift, the language we were all amazed by in June, has turned out to be a bag of hurt for anyone that jumped into it headfirst. It’s clear that it too wasn’t ready for prime time. I would have happily waited another year or two, especially if Apple built some major apps using it first. As it is we’re beta testing it for them, even after the 1.0 release.
Tim Cook keeps telling us that ‘Only Apple’ could do the amazing things it does. I just wish that Apple would slow down their breakneck pace and spend the time required to build stable software that their hardware so desperately needs. The yearly release cycles of OS X, iOS, iPhone & iPad are resulting in too many things seeing the light of day that aren’t finished yet. Perhaps the world wouldn’t let them, perhaps the expectations are now too high, but I’d kill for Snow iOS 8 and Snow Yosemite next year. I’m fairly confident I’m not alone in that feeling.
 

X-X

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2014
401
9
100% correct.

I think Craig Federighi either has to go, or be a WAY better team manager.

Since he's in charge all Apple software sucks most of the time.
 

antiprotest

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2010
1,446
249
It is descriptive and accurate, but I would not call it brilliant. There is no special insight or original thought.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,950
17,599
But look at how many people have been calling 7.1.2 so solid and 8 a disaster. Yet the article has it the other way around, at least about iOS 7. So, what does that really tell us? Everyone has a different experience and there are plenty that are hair fine while there are almost always some that have issues even in those "golden" days from a decade or so ago.
 

hasanahmad

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 20, 2009
1,152
846
But look at how many people have been calling 7.1.2 so solid and 8 a disaster. Yet the article has it the other way around, at least about iOS 7. So, what does that really tell us? Everyone has a different experience and there are plenty that are hair fine while there are almost always some that have issues even in those "golden" days from a decade or so ago.
He mentions 7 not 7.1.2 where he makes the bigger point that a major release shouldn't have this many bugs in the onset or we can just call it windows
 

wallaby

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2007
399
6
Iowa
6 has been one of the better numbers for Apple. OS X 10.6 is still hailed as the most stable, useable version of the OS, and iOS 6 was the same.

Change for change's sake is a mistake.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,950
17,599
He mentions 7 not 7.1.2 where he makes the bigger point that a major release shouldn't have this many bugs in the onset or we can just call it windows
7 includes 7.1.2 especially in the way he progressed from mentioning 7 to talking about 8 addressing issues he had in 7.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,677
273
I would definitely love to see less of a rigid update schedule. I know you can obviously withhold or add in features in a release, but the complete version number change means you're trying to turn heads and obviously will throw a lot of stuff at people.

I've experienced firsthand when people say they want something delivered in x days or x months without first figuring out whether that's feasible. You can't do that. Now Apple is a much better machine than what I was doing, but I wouldn't at all be shocked to see similar stuff going on.

If iOS 9 takes 13.5 months to get right, release it in 13.5 months. Don't release something that isn't ready in 12. Someone once told me that in all projects, you can do two of three things: you can do it fast, you can do it cheap, you can do it with quality. You can only do two. Apple preaches quality and swims in money, so obviously the speed should be the last thing.
 

Jimrod

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,191
651
Rumblin bumblin stumblin... what the **** is this guy talking about? He lost me after "iTunes takes forever to load..." :rolleyes:
Well some of us are on PC's (not the guy writing the article I know), try opening up your film list on it when you connect to your iDevice and you'll be waiting for minutes just to scroll the screen down. It's awful software.
 

Lictor

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2008
383
21
I think Apple is facing two problems...

First, Steve Jobs is gone. I think he provided Apple with vision and with the ability to make people believe the impossible could be done. He also managed to balance opposite strong personalities in Apple. Apple is now sorely missing it and no one is there to balance Jonathan Ive ideas with reality.

But most of all, Apple is a very rich company trying to do a lot of things at once. But money doesn't buy everything. A reality in software industry is that if a project goes too slowly, spending twice as much on it won't make it progress twice as fast - but it might produce twice as many bugs.
Maybe Apple needs to learn that. Maybe Apple needs to learn that a products doesn't come out when marketing says so, it does come out when it's ready enough. That's how you produce quality software...
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,492
6,162
Australia
I never had issues with iOS 4 on an iPod Touch 4 or the family iPod touch 2nd gen. iOS 5 was a little slow but generally worked extremely well on my Touch 4 and iPad 2, iOS 6 actually sped things up on my iPod Touch, 3GS and it ran very well on my iPhone 4. iOS 7.0 was a little buggy till 7.0.4, but I was running an iPhone 4 and iPad 2, the oldest iPad and iPhone to run iOS 7. This year I have a iPad 2 and iPhone 5, and iOS 8 is fair more buggy on my iPhone 5 than any other iOS and device combination I've had.

OSX has become worse as well. Lion for me was slow, but stable. Mountain Lion sped things up a bit and was not overly buggy. Mavericks has been a train wreck of bugginess right from the beginning and still is.

Apple in the past had issues with slower software - EG iOS 5 ran a bit slower on older hardware, as did Lion, but it was not buggy to the extent iOS 8 and Mavericks.

I think that they should have a 1.5 year cycle for iOS and OSX. Or just 1.5 years for OSX and iOS has some of its features spread across several .1,.2 updates to ensure less bugginess.
 

LostSoul80

macrumors 68020
Jan 25, 2009
2,136
7
I disagree with most of the content. I'm pretty happy with iOS 8, and I trust iCloud. iTunes is blazing fast for me, and I have no issues managing my own photos.

The slowness of the trend to adapt apps for the new devices wasn't expected however, and the scaling hasn't revealed to be as outstanding as advertised.

HealthKit will probably make more sense with the Watch, and maybe they shouldn't have rushed it, just like 8.0.1.
It's worth to notice that they almost immediately pulled the faulty update, and released 8.0.2 soon after. You can't always expect perfection from any company, really, and highlighting one company's mistake - such as 8.0.1 - that has been almost immediately fixed does not make much sense.
 

Wormald

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2011
133
123
London
I'm anxious about all of the recent slip-ups.

Apple announced so many new software features at WWDC (continuity, extensions, iCloud drive etc.) that in hindsight, the mess looked inevitable.

Once this palaver gets sorted, I really hope they focus on building their own stack for cloud services, instead of using a patchwork of third-party stuff.

The marketing guys need to stop dictating release dates, and let the product guys do their thing in their own time.
 

sk1wbw

Suspended
May 28, 2011
3,483
1,007
Williamsburg, Virginia
Well some of us are on PC's (not the guy writing the article I know), try opening up your film list on it when you connect to your iDevice and you'll be waiting for minutes just to scroll the screen down. It's awful software.
I don't really notice it, either on OS X or Windows 7.
 

mabaker

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2008
1,119
294
Funny how people forget all the X.0 releases, including iOS 3 and 4 and 10.5 and 10.6 - ALL of them were a MESS in the beginning.

But then the complaining teenagers here were not even born to remember this.:rolleyes:
 

snorkelman

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
607
42
I would definitely love to see less of a rigid update schedule. I know you can obviously withhold or add in features in a release, but the complete version number change means you're trying to turn heads and obviously will throw a lot of stuff at people.
Depend on the underlying attitudes though; would 18 months or two years be used to finish what they've started or just squandered on even more half finished features?

Folks have said the hardware side has developed an anorexic obsession with thinness, if so then the software side is increasingly showing symptoms of ADHD. Its a Mad Hatters Tea Party of incessant onwards and upwards.

I no longer look forward to updates on basis of "cool maybe they've finally fixed/improved X"

I now go into them on basis that nothing broken or lacking in features will actually have been fleshed out or fixed in any substantive way; instead I'll just have umpteen new half-assed ideas to wrap my head around and get used to.
 

RedRaven571

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2009
1,064
62
Pennsylvania
I've said this before, and maybe I'm off base, but it seems to me that the OS is the backbone for your device, the apps run within the OS and "do" the things you need them to do (like edit photos, movies, etc.).

Where I think Apple (and MS) have gone off the rails is trying to include too many 'features' built into the OS. IMO, A lot of them are fluff and may not be used by people on a day-to-day basis. I think it's adding in all the 'extras' that is making the core system buggy.

Let's have a rock solid OS with a few 'necessary' features (multiple desktops, etc.) and have all the 'extras' in a separate package.
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
14,315
14,250
In the middle of several books.
I've said this before, and maybe I'm off base, but it seems to me that the OS is the backbone for your device, the apps run within the OS and "do" the things you need them to do (like edit photos, movies, etc.).

Where I think Apple (and MS) have gone off the rails is trying to include too many 'features' built into the OS. IMO, A lot of them are fluff and may not be used by people on a day-to-day basis. I think it's adding in all the 'extras' that is making the core system buggy.

Let's have a rock solid OS with a few 'necessary' features (multiple desktops, etc.) and have all the 'extras' in a separate package.
I don't think the masses want a stripped down OS. They want new features that make the OS and the apps based upon even more exciting and useable.

In theory, your post makes sense. From a business / consumer standpoint, such a model would cause Apple to permanently decline in market share and consumer use.

I think the problem is the release schedule. I think the short release schedule is detrimental long term. The release with more and more bugs will drive many consumers away. Lengthen the schedule to two years.
 
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3pp

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2014
60
99
Damned if you do, damned if you don't is the case here.

If Apple release iOS 9 with loads of new features, people would complain it is buggy/bloated/gimmicks etc.

If Apple release iOS 9 as a rock solid 'iOS 8' with all the bugs/glitches etc. patched up and a solid, power efficient core people would complain Apple has 'lost it's way' and is no longer innovative. Cue the 14 year olds: 'iOS 9 doesn't even do anything different omg'
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,782
1,399
Scotland
For me it's just the pace at which Apple are releasing new products. We now have two different iPad screen resolutions across four different models.
For iPhone, we have three different screen resolutions across four different models. Mac is seeing the transition to a new OS version while also stepping up integration with iOS and the suite of supporting software is also evolving.
This is all before you start including support for legacy products e.g. iPhone 4, 4s & 5 - three more models and yet another screen resolution.

Compared to a few years ago, the amount of products and software that needs to be supported has increased massively and the now yearly update cycle just adds to that pressure. Of course, Apple will have increased it's development and support resources but that brings new challenges in making sure all involved are up to speed and that also brings the possibility of a higher degree of turnover.

People used to say that one of the issues with Android was fragmentation, Apple still control both the hardware and software together but currently having to support and develop for 6 iPhone models and 4 screen resolutions as an example is introducing a form of fragmentation that dilutes efforts.
 

urkel

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2008
2,783
864
It is descriptive and accurate, but I would not call it brilliant. There is no special insight or original thought.
Are you talking about the article or the current state of Apple. because your comment applies to both.


Seriously though. I still prefer Apple products as much as I ever did but the "experience" is no longer unique or special. In the past I understood why people felt Apple was a "lifestyle". Their accomplishments were aspiring and admirable. But nowadays rhen if you're patterning your personal achievements after Apple then it would mean you make false promises, come late to parties, oversell your talents and hide your physical flaws underneath designer suits.

(Note: I'm writing this now on the 5.5" iPhone I've spent years been begging for... But while lying down because the rotation bug has it stuck in landscape mode again)
 
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