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onlyremainingname

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2018
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Since Lion, Apple has released a new version of macOS annually, but why? Just look at all the dislike on here for Catalina. A lot of people still think it is like a beta software. Is Apple sacrificing on quality control to meet a 1 year timeline for a new OS?
 

Dave Braine

macrumors 68040
Mar 19, 2008
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353
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Because that's the way it is in the modern age. Everything has to be updated. Nothing can be seen to get "stale". Why do cell phone companies bring out new models every year, when all that's all changed is the camera? So they can sell the new models and make more money so they can design a newer model for next year.
 

Cycom

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Mar 27, 2007
587
888
Commiefornia
Because that's the way it is in the modern age. Everything has to be updated. Nothing can be seen to get "stale". Why do cell phone companies bring out new models every year, when all that's all changed is the camera? So they can sell the new models and make more money so they can design a newer model for next year.
I agree. I admittedly enjoy new mobile tech but at the same time appreciate slightly older/used stuff that people hold onto.
 
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MacGizmo

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2003
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This argument/discussion is so old and tiring.

Back when they were releasing OS upgrades every 16-24 months, people complained that Apple should be updating as the features & fixes became available instead of waiting to have enough new features to justify selling (back when the upgrades cost $) the upgrade.

Now they release frequent updates and a yearly upgrade and people complain that they would rather get upgrades less frequently.

Considering nobody is forced to run updates or install the yearly upgrade, I'm not even sure why it has ever been an argument/discussion.
 

macintoshmac

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May 13, 2010
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I suppose we need regular security updates and would appreciate a biennial new release for macOS at least, especially when there are little enhancements year over year.

This can maybe extend to even iOS and the iPhone. Do we really, really need a new phone every year? Apple supports phones with software for 4 years anyway, we could do with a biennial or maybe an 18-month cycle for phones (considering people in some markets generally have 2-year contracts).

We may want the best tech available for hardware that runs macOS, considering that is for making money and some professions might benefit from the fastest hardware year on year or whenever available. Does one really need the latest iPhone hardware every year?

For my use, I am happy with a 2017 MBA and an iPhone 8.


That said, while Apple releases software and hardware annually, they do not make people upgrade either software or hardware annually. All people need to do is battle the voice within that goes 'I want the newest' and the sudden feeling of not having 'the best' anymore since there is newer in the market. There will always be newer in the market, it has been like that and shall be like that.
 
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usagora

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2017
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This argument/discussion is so old and tiring.

Back when they were releasing OS upgrades every 16-24 months, people complained that Apple should be updating as the features & fixes became available instead of waiting to have enough new features to justify selling (back when the upgrades cost $) the upgrade.

You seem to be conflating two things: updates and upgrades. Updates (bug fixes, security patches, etc.) have always been free, and as far as I know, Apple has never and would never withhold those from users until the next OS version.

P.S. It may be "old and tiring" for you, but others are new to the discussion, and I see no issue with it. No one's forced to read these threads, after all. I don't see any need to make the OP feel dumb (or whatever) for asking/posting.
 
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CreatorCode

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2015
159
279
US
Apple releases a new iPhone generation every autumn, and a new iOS release along with it. Mac OS releases track iOS releases:
YearDarwinMac OS iOS iPhone
20191910.15 Catalina1311/11Pro
20181810.14 Mojave12XS/XR
20171710.13 High Sierra11X/8
20161610.12 Sierra107
20151510.11 El Capitan96s
20141410.10 Yosemite86

Prior to this, Mac OS releases trailed iOS releases on the same Darwin release. They came into sync in 2014, as iOS 8 was "held back" on Darwin 14.

YearMacOS DarwinMac OSiOS DarwiniOS
20131310.9 Mavericks147
20121210.8 Mountain Lion136
20111110.7 Lion125
 

LogicalApex

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2015
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This can maybe extend to even iOS and the iPhone. Do we really, really need a new phone every year? Apple supports phones with software for 4 years anyway, we could do with a biennial or maybe an 18-month cycle for phones (considering people in some markets generally have 2-year contracts).

For the same reason car manufacturers update cars every year even though nothing changes for 7-10 years as they do platform updates.

Not everyone is updating at the same time. And realistically few buyers are picking up a new phone or car annually. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t buyers looking for something new who have been sitting on an older revision.
 

macintoshmac

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May 13, 2010
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For the same reason car manufacturers update cars every year even though nothing changes for 7-10 years as they do platform updates.

Not everyone is updating at the same time. And realistically few buyers are picking up a new phone or car annually. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t buyers looking for something new who have been sitting on an older revision.

This is correct. The new hardware is mostly for the ‘new’ buyers or those looking for upgrading. But again, what’s the criteria for something to be considered new?

Suppose we’re in the market for a new Mac, and say, Apple is in a 2-year window for refreshes. We will get a 2019 Mac then, and in one-year it will be refreshed. But, if Apple refreshed annually, we will still feel our hardware as ‘not the greatest anymore’ in a year from now! No?

I suppose all that’s being said here is that an annual release cycle has debauched the quality of both hardware and software and Apple could look at changing the cycle to allow for better quality that customers expect from them.
 
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Mendota

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2019
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I don't mind the hardware updates. The reason I don't care for the yearly software updates it because it seems to be rushed and put out even if the bugs are not ironed out. Then we get these constant incremental updates to fix issues that should have been sorted before release. By the time the current operating system is "fixed" and stable, it is time to start the whole miserable exercise all over again.
 

macintoshmac

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I don't mind the hardware updates. The reason I don't care for the yearly software updates it because it seems to be rushed and put out even if the bugs are not ironed out. Then we get these constant incremental updates to fix issues that should have been sorted before release. By the time the current operating system is "fixed" and stable, it is time to start the whole miserable exercise all over again.

Precisely.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2003
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You seem to be conflating two things: updates and upgrades. Updates (bug fixes, security patches, etc.) have always been free, and as far as I know, Apple has never and would never withhold those from users until the next OS version.

P.S. It may be "old and tiring" for you, but others are new to the discussion, and I see no issue with it. No one's forced to read these threads, after all. I don't see any need to make the OP feel dumb (or whatever) for asking/posting.

No, I clearly said they used to charge for upGRADES, not upDATES.

My "old and tiring" comment wasn't meant to refer to this forum thread, but the discussion in general. It's kind of like the old PC vs. Mac discussion. In the end, nobody is forced to do any updates or upgrades, just as they can freely use Windows or Mac to accomplish the same tasks. It's a matter of personal choice, and of course, some people see the value of yearly upgrades and others do not. So with that being understood, there really is no debate or discussion to be had, other than for the sake of making sure our keyboards are still functioning. ;)

When I think back to the Mac OS 7-9 days, I distinctly remember obscenely buggy, laggy, and almost unusable versions (System 7 comes to mind). It wasn't until the mid-cycle upgrades (7.5 for example) were released that the computer wouldn't experience a hard-crash every hour, depending on what software you were running. And this was pretty much universal for everyone.

Flash forward to modern macOS, I don't deny that a LOT of people are having issues with this, that or the other with the last few OS upgrades. But the vast majority have no issues at all. You don't hear about them, because they have better things to do than share the fact that they have no problems.

The fact that people can install Microsoft Office and have nothing but problems with it under Catalina and I have over 20 Macs that also have it installed and experience no problems at all on any of them tells me that the problem is not the computer, not the OS, not the MS software, but a combination of all of those things being administered by someone who thinks they're smarter than they are or simply aren't tech-savvy enough to know that it could simply be a corrupt font bringing the entire system to its knees.

As LogicalApex stated above, everyone is on a different upgrade cycle, just like driving a car. Just because they release a new Chevy Camaro every year with only a few new doo-dads doesn't mean you have to buy it when you're having no problems with last year's model.
 
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usagora

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2017
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No, I clearly said they used to charge for upGRADES, not upDATES.

Exactly, but you also mentioned "updating" and "fixes," which are part of updates, not upgrades. That's why I mentioned it. You seemed to be rolling them all together.

Back when they were releasing OS upgrades every 16-24 months, people complained that Apple should be updating as the features & fixes became available instead of waiting to have enough new features to justify selling (back when the upgrades cost $) the upgrade.

Besides the old Apple IIGS we had in the late 80s up until about 1996, my Mac experience is limited to OS X, and I don't remember any talk about Apple making people pay for an upgrade in order to also get bug fixes. If they did that pre-OS X, then I guess you would know better than I.
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,701
One thing Apple does that is different from everybody else, including Google and Microsoft, is bundle everything into the OS update. Google and Microsoft decouple higher-level software, say the Mail and Photos app in Windows 10, so that those upgrades and fixes don't get held up by the OS updates.

Apple's theory is that it minimizes testing. Google and Microsoft use automated test instead to test all the iterations instead.

Android takes it a step further by automatically updating application-level APIs independent of the OS, via Google Play Services.
 

dukebound85

macrumors Core
Jul 17, 2005
19,132
4,110
5045 feet above sea level
This argument/discussion is so old and tiring.

Back when they were releasing OS upgrades every 16-24 months, people complained that Apple should be updating as the features & fixes became available instead of waiting to have enough new features to justify selling (back when the upgrades cost $) the upgrade.

Now they release frequent updates and a yearly upgrade and people complain that they would rather get upgrades less frequently.

Considering nobody is forced to run updates or install the yearly upgrade, I'm not even sure why it has ever been an argument/discussion.
The issue is that these upgrades are used as cutoff points to drop hw support. App devs also start dropping support

I remember with 10.4 tiger, it was the os for a long time.
 

||\||

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Nov 21, 2019
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Apple releases a new OS every year for marketing purposes. It creates artificial scarcity in it’s supply chain to dive up prices. Because, capitalism.
 
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MacGizmo

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2003
3,093
2,413
Arizona
The issue is that these upgrades are used as cutoff points to drop hw support. App devs also start dropping support

I remember with 10.4 tiger, it was the os for a long time.
Yeah, I believe Tiger was the longest-running OS version in the "X" era at well over 2 years. Unfortunately, if I recall correctly, it was also a fairly buggy release that required more updates than any other OS X release (12 updates). High-Sierra comes in with 12 updates as well – however, 3 of those updates were to fix specific things out of Apple's control or bring support for brand new computers, and Mojave with 11.

History of macOS/Mac OS X:
16 Upgrades and 135 Updates since 2000
.
So on average, we've seen some sort of update every 53.3 days.

RELEASES BY VERSION NUMBER:
releases_by_version_10155su1.jpg


*All data was stolen from Rob Griffiths' website. Everyone interested in macOS should check it out, it's an interesting read.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 604
Mar 10, 2011
7,815
3,504
Apple releases a new OS every year for marketing purposes. It creates artificial scarcity in it’s supply chain to dive up prices. Because, capitalism.

People have been peddling this sort of diatribe for years. Doesn't hold any water though.
 

redheeler

macrumors G3
Oct 17, 2014
8,423
8,845
Colorado, USA
Because that's the way it is in the modern age. Everything has to be updated. Nothing can be seen to get "stale". Why do cell phone companies bring out new models every year, when all that's all changed is the camera? So they can sell the new models and make more money so they can design a newer model for next year.
Pretty much. And it's also a tactic to obsolete older models faster.
 
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