why the delay what has apple been doing for the past 5 months ?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Shaun.sheff, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Shaun.sheff macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2010
    I'll probably get flamed but hey i'll ask anyways

    4.2 was announced for the ipad back in april/may ios 4.0 was released for the iphone in june. What has apple been doing in the 5 month period since the new ios for the iphone was released.

    Why has this wifi problem only just now been detected the ios 4.2 was further delayed according to sources on the 2nd november due to a different bug that was found. why are these bugs only now coming to light. Shouldn't this testing process been carried out before. They have had 7 months in which to get this released. Theres been so many false starts with this new ios this hasn't been handled very well at all imo.
  2. sapporobaby, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2010

    sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    Because you would be first in line complaining that Apple is releasing faulty firmware. If it is so easy to develop, call Apple and lend a hand. Surely you have a solution for the wifi problem.
  3. Codythatsme macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2010
    When ios 4 was annoynced they said it would come to the iPad in the fall.
  4. Capt T macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2010
    Coding and testing 4.2

    As to why they are just now finding stuff...that is part of the beta process. You code then you have people help you test it, then code some more, some more testing to see if that fixed the issues and if the fix caused more issues.

    So that is my best guess as to what they have been doing.
  5. MajesticNJ macrumors regular


    Jun 20, 2009
    Central NJ
    Well for one I would say that Antennagate slowed their roll a bit but in the end it is of my opinion that it will get released when it's ready and all I care about is that it's stable and not buggy. Till then I love my iPad just as much if not more than the day I got it. (Waited in line in April. 4th one out of the store with one.)
  6. alan111 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    I've been a member for some months now and rarely comment. I felt the need to comment on this thread.

    I have to agree with the OP's post. Apple is a multi-billion dollar tycoon. Saying that Apple was slowed down by the antennaegate issues is really just dumb. I'm sure they have separate development and support teams for each platform. I seriously doubt that they had to call in all their troops to solve the antennaegate problem.

    I'm not one those guys who claims that Apple owes something us for buying there tablet. I am very happy with the iPad and welcome and OS update, especially with all the new features. How can they just now realize that there are Wi-fi issues? There has been 3 betas and a GM. The only thing I can think of is that while they were correcting and coding some other bugs, they may have inadvertently miscoded something else in the OS. In other words, 2 steps ahead in development, and one step back.

    I do hope that we get the new OS soon.
  7. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Tycoon: "I do not think it means what you think it means."
  8. Jxo177 macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    Sure I was excited to finally have multitasking and folders on my iPad, but I would gladly wait for a functional finished product.
  9. alan111 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    You're right, I misinterpreted my thoughts. Woops.
    But thanks for commenting on my grammar rather than the topic on hand.
  10. Jxo177 macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    At least you didn't call them socialists :)
  11. Shaun.sheff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2010
    Nobody wants apple to release faulty firmware but again why has this only come to light now ? i would assume people were beta testing back when this was first announcecd in april/may. If this problem was as someone suggested because of miscoding or trying to fix one bug which then created another then obviously apples process is flawed.

    Why release the GM to the beta testers only one week before it was to be released to the public. Did they hold back the GM because thats apples policy to only have afew days between GM and final release. If so then on this occasion its meant that new bugs have been found and its now delayed.

    I just think the whole beta process is flawed and apple needs to look into why so many bugs have been found soo close to launch date.
  12. gavh macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    Hmm - quite a lot of incorrect assumptions going around here...

    First off, the beta testing has only been going on for just over 2 months. There were a lot of bugs ironed out in the beta process over that time, and the last beta seemed to work more or less perfectly. This is how apple's beta testing normally progresses - nothing new here.

    However, a new bug was introduced at the GM point which caused wifi issues. It didn't affect everyone, but clearly apple thought they should fix this before releasing the software (a very wise decision, I feel).

    They didn't say they were going to release the software today, it was only rumoured. And they also haven't said how long it will take to fix - I'm assuming not long as the last beta was working so well.

    So yes - we all have to wait a short while longer - but that's the price you pay for getting software that works as it should.
  13. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2010
    London, UK
    This stuff is just really complicated and difficult to manage. Mistakes do happen. Don't forget that iOS isn't developed by a single developer. I have no idea how big Apple's iOS development team is but I'm sure it's not one person! (Does anyone know how big the core iOS team is, excluding the app level stuff like Contacts, Calendar, Safari, etc?).

    One possibility (and I'm not claiming this is the case, it's just a possibility) is that the WiFi issue is due to a code error that's been in iOS 4.2 since the very beginning but only causes things to fail under very specific timing conditions (the technical term is a "race condition"). That's actually a classic class of problem that can pop up out of nowhere when going from beta to GM because the very final beta sometimes still has extra debug checks in it which are compiled out when going to GM so, even though no functionality is changed, code path lengths and data structure locations and alignments can change such that something that worked perfectly before now starts failing, i.e. some of that debug code was changing a critical piece of timing such that a potential race condition error never happened. That class of bug is also a nightmare to debug because one can't really debug it using many of the normal tools because adding debug code or examining state in other ways can change the timings and mask the very problem that you're trying to find.

    The bottom line is that this stuff at the kernel level is really, really tricky. I'm an ex Unix kernel developer and believe me, there's no safety net for any of this. Just because Apple is a huge corporation doesn't mean that some nasty bug can't pop up and bite them at the last minute.

    - Julian
  14. lozpop macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    Apple said that iOS 4.2 would have been released in the Fall, and then they specified November.

    Where is the delay you're talking about?
    We're in November, and iOS 4.2 will probably be released next tuesday — November 16th.
  15. Shaun.sheff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2010

    before i go on i'm not asking you to answer for apple i'm just playing devils advocate.

    your points actually raise more questions and i assume the points you made are correct so

    why did the beta process only start 2 months ago ?
    This 4.2 update was announced back in may so they could have started this far earlier.

    Wouldn't it be better to have the GM finished more than a week before the public release. Leaving just a week leads to these kind of problems.

    You say apple didn't say the ios 4.2 was to be released today but every website had the same headlines so i suspect there is some validity to this story.

    I think the process that apple has is flawed and your reply just confirms this imo
  16. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Sorry but the above is wrong in almost every way.

    The level of complexity present in any modern OS, even a mobile one, is truly staggering and that's before you include all the in-built applications, the need to ensure that all public libraries work as designed, variations in hardware (yes, even on a platform with only 6 variations) and on and on and on. The beta process is designed to move software from feature complete versions (or, depending on, uh, dependencies within the project at least a framework complete version) through to theoretically bug-free release software. Note: theoretically bug-free. In truth that's almost an impossible goal as even mission-critical software designed for a single hardware configuration that has untold millions thrown at it will almost always have bugs hanging around in the code.

    Now in the case of iOS Apple went into Beta mode on September 15th. This beta is supposed to be a closed beta ONLY for software developers and serves two purposes. First, to allow devs to test their own applications against the new codebase and fix any issues (or take advantage of new features) and second to find and fix bugs. Both of these goals have been achieved in the six or so weeks between the first Beta and golden master being released.

    At some point between the last-but-one beta and the GM a bug seems to have been introduced. This is a common problem and is why there is a nice long gap between the GM and the official release. The GM is no different to any other beta release really, it's just the point that Apple look at the bug list and decide it meets their criteria for release and, by definition, it includes changes from that last-but-one beta. In the case of a new bug being found (and this could be something that's been in the iOS 4.2 code on iPad since day one but has only become a problem because of a relatively minor change) then the GM simply becomes another beta and a new GM is released.

    This is a perfectly normal software development life-cycle and people need to start understanding this before being so quick to criticise. Mobile software is developing at a ferocious pace right now and the fact that iOS, Android, WP7, Symbian, webOS and the rest are of such a generally high quality is a testament to just how well the development process works. Where it goes wrong is when people who don't understand that process, who haven't worked as developers or team leaders or project managers and who, frankly, haven't got the first clue as to just how hard this sort of thing is to do get the wrong end of the stick and start complaining and demanding deliverables in time-frames that would require genuine miracles to achieve with any semblance of quality control. Honestly, some of the demands I've seen on Macrumours with regards iOS 4.2 on iPad wouldn't be out of place in a Dilbert cartoon.

    To try and avoid ranting on for pages let me sum this up: A modern OS is a massively complicated piece of software with thousands of interlocking pieces. A change to one of those pieces can, in theory, affect any other piece. The fact that modern mobile OS's can go through two, three or four major revisions in a year and deliver products with few, if any, major bugs is almost beyond belief and speaks volumes of the companies producing them and the talent developing them. This needs to be clearly understood and evaluated before complaining about a delay of a week or two in a major product revision.
  17. lozpop macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    That was iOS 4.2 for iPhone.
    The first iOS 4.2 beta for iPad was released in September.
  18. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Because that's when the software was feature complete and ready to be tested by a wider user base. There's sod all point doing a wide test on software that you then fundamentally change to introduce new features as all your prior testing is invalidated. Oh, and devs (and those idiots who install beta software and expect perfection) get tetchy if you release betas that can brick devices or break something fundamental.

    No, 4.2 was announced in September 2010 not May. You're thinking of 4.0 which was NEVER announced for iPad and which would not have been practical as a unification release given the timescales involved. Frankly I'm still surprised they managed to unify with 4.2, I was half-expecting it to be 5.0.

    See, this is the problem, you're confusing rumour with fact. Apple have said NOVEMBER for public release, GM came out 1st of November. Yes, Apple would have been expecting to move to full release within a week or two but they've got time built in to the schedule in case of problems.

    No, you're just not understanding the process they're using. Apple will have an internal target for software releases and rumour sites report on that, either directly or by inferring from past behavior. That is NOT a set in stone date until Apple actually announce it to the public.
  19. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Wow! You've got some issues discerning between rumor and fact. So if enough people repeat the same rumor (and they all plainly source the same article) that makes it a fact?
  20. unixfool macrumors 6502a

    Jan 21, 2006
    Northern VA
    Why are they finding wifi issues only now? Maybe the issues weren't apparent until the last code release and testing phase.

    Five months isn't a long wait. It's better to wait than to have a premature release.

    People complain way too much about the small **** on these forums.
  21. NJBlackBerry macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2010
    Apple keeps their software under wraps

    Due to their very secretive culture.

    This results is major bugs not being found (OK, it wasn't the antenna, you were holding it wrong) and other bugs - like the apparent WiFi bug in 4.2 - to be found very late in the process.

    I think this is taking quite a while, but another (rumored) week won't matter.
  22. 2002cbr600f4i macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2008
    Oh dear god... REALLY??? Do we REALLY have to have this discussion AGAIN???

    Tell you what, if you think it's so easy, go spend 4 years at a major university in a CS program, THEN another 5 years working in the field writing REAL software, THEN come back and complain about how long it's taking...

    Obviously you have NO idea what's involved in building software....
  23. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Anyone remember how long it took Microsoft, another billion-dollar corporation, to get out Vista? Apple is being lightning quick in comparison.
  24. FubsyGamr macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2010
    I just wanted to say that this argument becomes more and more invalid, especially if you subscribe to any number of RSS feeds for different tech websites. Basically, one of them will run a story that *maybe* it will be released 'x' date, and within 20 minutes, the other 5-7 tech sites post the same story, usually the same pictures, citing the same source.

    So it becomes 1 place starting the rumor, and everywhere else picking up on the same rumor. But without RSS feeds (or something similar), it looks like all of these websites got the same story at the same time, which makes it *look* legitimate, even when it might not be.
  25. tekchic macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    And Vista was such a great operating system to boot. (ha ha, to boot). :p /sarcasm

    It'll be done when it's Done™

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