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Apple’s Software “Problem” and “Fixing” It (learningbyshipping.com)
13 points by runesoerensen 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments



"In any absolute sense the quality of Mac/iOS + h/w are at quality levels our industry has just not seen before.... On any absolute scale number of bugs — non-working, data losing, hanging mistakes — in iOS/Mac is far far less today than ever before."

iTMS loses track of what songs I own.

iTunes will not sync my music to my iPhone correctly.

iTunes has also deleted entire libraries full of irreplaceable music.

macOS High Sierra shipped with not one but at least two root access bugs.

macOS High Sierra also exposed FileVault passwords in plain text as a password hint.

These problems are inexcusable, and it is simply untrue that Apple's quality is currently higher than average, let alone higher "than ever before."


These are just anecdotes but to pile on: A while back I switched from Android to an iPhone because despite loving the flexibility and freedom I hated the instability I was trading to get it. Now I'm holding out on buying an X or 8 because the buggy experience and daily crashes since I updated to iOS 11.

I'm sure if I do a fresh wipe and don't restore my data I'll be back to normal. And I'm sure an X or 8 is going to work great. But I don't want to _have_ to do that kind of stuff. I want it to just work. I bought into the walled garden because that locked down environment is supposed to be trade off that makes things stable and secure.



I like that the author acknowledges the incredible success Apple has had with their software development, and the debt they owe to NeXT. NeXT came in because of the failure of Apple over many years to develop a new operating system. After the acquisition of NeXT they developed a lot of really successful updates to that OS, and some good products and some bad products. Maybe they have gotten to the place where they were in 1996, where they need a major change to revitalize their thinking. I don't think there is a great example of thirty years great years of continuous software development.


But do you think another NeXT-Situation would be actually possible? As in: We'll scrap our biggest product for something developed more or less from scratch?

I know sunk cost is a fallacy, but in this case, I suspect the sunk costs to be rather substantial. And catching up with OSX development from the beginning sounds like almost an undoable task to me...

Or do you think other parts than the main OS should be the target of the next NeXT incident? If yes, I'd be interested in which ones. User-facing software only?


> The following was shared as a twitter thread. Here’s the medium version.

I'm wondering if this could have been a much more accessible piece of writing if it wasn't 44 tweets copied-and-pasted together.


Indeed; it reads like some kind of bad manifesto.


Maybe Steven is right and the recent dip in perceived quality is an artifact of perceptions aggregated at scale as well as natural blips in process as certain scale markers are hit.

Or, maybe many pieces of Apple s/w required a zealous overbearing quality freak at the helm to prevent their quality performance from regressing to the mean and without that cultural monolith, their other software has started to the way of iTunes.

This is almost a great piece, but it fails to identify WHY Apple was knocking it out of the park, then assumes that because Apple was insanely productive while maintaining quality that they will continue to do so.

Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Either way, I'm glad that the scope and process side of things were fleshed out in this piece.


Yeah, I keep coming back to the anecdote where Jobs called somebody at Google on a Sunday because the shade of yellow in a Google app didn’t look right.

The Apple ecosystem is huge now. I don’t think applying one SJ to all the issues would have prevented them from happening. I am very curious what the pre and post Jobs culture differences are, though.




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