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Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut (bloomberg.com)
293 points by tosh on Nov 21, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 241 comments

There have been glaring bugs/issues lasting ages in both MacOS and iOS.

For years apple mail on iOS would always show 1 unread message in "all mail" for gmail.

On my iPhone 11 pro (and the 6S i had before it) the camera app will sometimes only show a black screen and a freaking reboot is needed to get it working again. I've missed out on many moments with my toddler because of that.

Multi-monitor support was so good on MacOS up until maybe 5 years ago. You could easily PIN apps to certain monitors and virtual desktops on specific monitors. If you started an app on a laptop and then connected to external monitors apps would automagically go where they were supposed to. Now it's a complete mess.

MacOS's UI seems more jerky in the last two major releases.

Time machine's performance has slowly gotten worse and worse, leaving me having to cancel backups just so I can go home.

I could go on. The worst part? These have all been ignored open issues that other people have submitted and for years they just sit there...open.

I’ve always chosen Apple because there’s always been very little friction, thus very little frustration. However, the past year or two has been very frustrating.

Taps on my iPhone 11 Pro sometimes don’t register because it’s in the middle of an animation or it’s just unresponsive. Moving apps around has become the biggest pain. Apps are killed in the background after about 5 minutes. Typing has become a huge pain to deal with autocorrect and swiping. Sometimes holding the space bar doesn’t move the cursor and when it does there’s almost a full second until it returns to normal typing mode from “cursor mode”. Sometimes the lock screen is completely unresponsive to touch. Sometimes the screen doesn’t even come on until 30 seconds after hitting the power button leaving me to wonder why I’m staring at a disabled screen. Sometimes the phone will lock and require the pin instead of FaceID for no discernible reason. Some of the stock apps have become the buggiest apps I use.

Finally, I woke up this morning with my phone completely off despite it being on charger and with a full battery, which means my alarms didn’t go off and I was late for work. My guess is it tried to auto update in the middle of the night and wouldn’t turn itself back on. I’m basing that on the fact that I had a notification saying the update failed and I had to start the install again manually once I did finally get to work.

That’s just iOS. macOS is becoming equally frustrating. I’m seriously considering moving to Android, but I don’t know how much better (or worse) that would be considering I haven’t had an Android phone since a couple of years before the iPhone 4 released (had a Windows Phone in between Android and the iPhone 4).

I moved to Android a couple of years ago as I was so frustrated with all the issues I was having (after being an iPhone user since the first iPhone) only to realise Android is the same mess of bugs and issues. It made me come to the conclusion that tech in general has just lost its path now, and the constant push for higher specs and more features has led to devices that suck at their basic use cases (but look at those pixel-level photo comparison!1one!).

I ended up switching back to an iPhone 8 this year, as it’s the last iPhone I found to actually “just work”.

Tech has always been terrible. What was unusual about the iPhone was it just worked.

I think this is the important takeaway for founders and product owners. People will eventually take "just works" for granted. If you make that your value prop (and you should) it is critical to continuously invest in ensuring your product always "just works". It doesn't matter if the alternatives don't. Your users will eventually turn on you.

I think it's an important take away for product owners - if people chose your product because it 'just works', they aren't going to be happy when you change it so it doesn't 'just work' -- i.e. introducing reliability bugs, changing useful features, etc.

They may not leave immediately, but at some point a competitor will come up with a 'just work', and it will be very hard to get them back.

I wish I never broke my iPhone 8. The Xr is terrible.

Interestingly, with a few exceptions (looking at you, Xcode), stuff barely ever crashes anymore in my experience.

Instead the issues are a lot more frustrating: failure states where no indication of failure is provided (other than what you’re trying to accomplish isn’t happening), no reason is given, and no means to try again is available.

It’s become even worse now that most things have some sort of web sync aspect. You’re just left turning things off and on in different combinations, in the vague hope that you can reset some piece of state somewhere.

A hard crash would be preferable to the failure states encountered, mostly because it leads to quicker resolution.

For example, when the camera stops working, the first time I tried opening & closing the app numerous times. (Didn't fix the problem). Then I eventually restarted. It probably took me 10 minutes to figure it out. An immediate crash & reboot would take less time.

If their OKR's state to reduce number of hard crashes, congratulations, they did. Doesn't mean they delivered on product quality, however.

> I've missed out on many moments with my toddler because of that

You just missed taking pictures. You were still there to live them :)

Reminded me of Miyazaki Hayao's request to visitors of his museum[0]:


Which translates fairly literally to:

"Rather than aiming your camera, please see this space with your own eyes and feel it with your body. We hope that you carefully store these memories in your heart and take them home with you."

[0] http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/info/

It’s a beautiful sentiment, but I take more of an approach of moderation.

Your brain can use pictures as triggers later in life to reconnect a lot of those memories that get fuzzier over time.

Taking a video of a whole concert? Obnoxious and rude to the other members.

But I’ll take around 5 photos here and there and later on I’m glad I can go back and see them.

So it’s like, hey, phone/camera doesn’t work? Put it down then. You’ll remember what your toddler looks like because you’ve got other pictures.

I don't remember any of the thousands of such moments I've had with my child (who is now a teen). Photos trigger such wonderful memories though.

Unless you were looking at your phone the whole time trying to take the photo, then you missed out on the live event and the photo

While I appreciate the emotional sentiment here, it doesn't absolve Apple of their duty to ship a reliable product. To care about bugs. For what else are we spending upwards $1,000 on a phone for if the manufacturer can't provide us with a reliable operating system for it?

Because of how it makes you feel?

You don't know this person, you don't know what their experience was. Your comment borders on smarm.

Believe it or not, some people can both push a (virtual) button and look behind the camera at the same time. We preserve stuff for posterity. My own experience tells me that my daughter has a lot more fun looking at pictures and videos from when she was a toddler and hearing the stories behind them, than when I just tell random stories without any "immediate context" (location, other people, toys).

So true. My parents didn’t miss out not having a camera phone and neither did my grandparents. It’s amazing how dependant we’ve become on capturing moments. Sometimes even to the detriment of actually experiencing them.

This is just the 21st century version of old illiterate people whinging about younger, literate people writing things down or keeping reference materials instead of trying to memorize everything.

The human brain is way better at remembering where to find information than remembering information itself.

That’s really not what’s happening here. The only one moaning is the OP. Everyone else is just reminding the OP that their experience with the kids is still valuable even without a camera stuck in front of daddy’s face.

Might be related to the "Terror Management" theory. :)


We probably feel the need to preserve/hoard everything in a subconscious desire for immortality.

Could be, and maybe the motivation varies depending on the subject of the photo.

For example, I can go a whole vacation without taking any pictures. But with my kids I love to take their picture and get videos because they grow up so fast and it's fun now to go back and revisit a time when they were younger. They also love to see themselves when they were an age that they don't remember.

I think it's just a manifestation of FOMO. People fear they will one day regret not having more pictures, so they take more pictures than they might have otherwise "just incase."

It’s interesting that individuals have this desire- the goal should be survival of the species not of an individual

Like insects? No, thanks.

I get this sentiment. But whenever my wife and I swipe through old photos and videos of our kids, I am also overjoyed that I am a parent in the smartphone era.

Yes. The best camera is the one that’s with you. That’s what’s so great about the smartphone era—we have good cameras with us at all times.

> the camera app will sometimes only show a black screen

I'm in the exact same position as you (now 11 Pro, previous 6S) and what I find is that apps that use the camera cause this. Snapchat is the main culprit for me. If that happens again, try closing out of Snapchat/FB/Instagram/anything that uses the camera from the multitasking window. That usually brings my camera back much more quickly than a reboot

Reminds me of Apple Remote Desktop. It used to be an amazing application for managing our fleet of signage machines, an indispensable tool. Then (I think after Sierra was released), we started getting occasional crashes. It wasn't very often, but it was annoying. Then High Sierra rolled around, and it became unusable. You'd be lucky to go 2 minutes without a crash. And there was no consistency to it. We submitted bug reports, and nothing ever happened...until October 7 of this year, when I noticed an update queued in the App Store for ARD.

We had to abandon ARD so I don't know if they actually fixed it, but the price is still $80, and at no point has Apple ever lowered that price, even when it was unusable.

For years I've described bugs in Apple's iPhone apps and have been told "it's just me" or to expect long delays between actions.

Or that constant updates and logging in are good things.

I'm no fanboy so it's easy to spot flaws. It blows my mind how quick people are to defend poor quality.

> Time machine's performance has slowly gotten worse and worse, leaving me having to cancel backups just so I can go home.

I'm administrating TimeMachine for my employer. It sucks so incredibly hard on a lot of points:

1) it requires the aged AFP protocol instead of Samba

2) No user-/machine-defineable quota, only one across the whole server

3) Extremely poor behavior in higher-than-10ms-latency scenarios

4) no way of scripting the configuration if one wants encryption of the backup image

5) Audits/reporting? Forget about it.

6) All backup images end up in one directory on the server, no way to specify e.g. the user's home directory

7) Restore takes ages

Time Machine (and macOS in general) isn’t really intended for large office setups, it’s a personal backup system.

Time machine hasn’t required AFP for years. SMB is in fact the preferred protocol.

The SMB server does require a few extensions not all servers have adopted, so perhaps that’s what you’re referring to?


I've found it works really well as a personal backup, it's one of the things that keeps me on Macos. I can't rely on Windows backup in the same way, I have to use 3rd party software.

Samba on macos is also buggy itself. I have to relaunch finder manually every day if I don't unmount all volumes from my nas, because if the device sleeps with mounted volumes, they won't be working until you do so.

Versions of macOS 10.7 and up no longer use samba. Apple wrote their own smb client.[1]

[1] https://appleinsider.com/articles/11/03/23/inside_mac_os_x_1...

Which version are you on? I had that problem until High Sierra (10.13), and now I'm a bit reluctant to upgrade to Mojave (10.14) because it's working great.

I'm running catalina.

I switched to borg on all my macs, it’s so easy. I think most of the recent backup software is doing better than timemachine, which is really really slow via WiFi nowadays

You can use (encrypted) sparsebundle images with a given size limit as backup destination on the server.

Do you have a guide on how to do this?

Unfortunately, there is no up-to-date and comprehensive guide out there. I should write one i guess. I takes some tinkering. This is a good first start: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/turn-nas-windows-share-time-ma... If you’re using a USB drive, I recommend to make the first backup while directly attached to save some time. Also if the server is a Mac (and I believe there are ways to do that with other OSs too), you can simulate a time machine capsule. Now whenever I am in my home wifi my MacBook does automatic backups.

I’m a newer Mac user and was impressed with the multi monitor support and how, as you say, apps are “pinned” to specific areas and the os remembers when you plug in the other monitors. I’ve not noticed an issue with this yet, though, and I’ve been on Mojave and Catalina for my whole Mac career.

I stopped using MacOS years ago but there are a few on iOS that really grind my gears.

You have a setting to whitelist a Group from your Contacts from Do Not Disturb mode so that they can always ring through. But there's no way to manage your Groups from iOS. It doesn't exist. You must have a Mac with iTunes, or whatever is used to administer the iFoo stuff these days to do simple CRUD stuff with contact groups. This is total nonsense.

The Bluetooth toggle button in the quick menu on iOS now doesn't switch Bluetooth off, it just switches it off for one day. NO!!! I want it OFF when I want it OFF, and I can be trusted to turn it ON when I want it ON! Make UI design that respects my choices!

Whenever I plug my phone into my car, it starts playing the same song from my library every time. It doesn't care if something else is playing in SoundCloud, or FB2K or some other app. It will stop my music that's playing, so it can go and load up this other song and play it. Why?

My five and two year old daughters always say "awww, the annoying song again??" Even a two year old can see that this is hogwash!

Everyone makes mistakes, but when things like this appear and persist, it's a signal that the brain has separated from the body, long ago...

After the latest 10.14.x update, my macOS mouse cursor now disappears every single time I cmd-tab to another application. Before the update it only did that sporadically. I'm not the only one, eithe: the internet is full of complaints and weird workarounds to the problem. It's honestly a ridiculous bug.

> For years apple mail on iOS would always show 1 unread message in "all mail" for gmail.

Just in case you are still seeing this, I had a similar issue that turned out to be a bug in Gmail and how Google put old Hangouts (or perhaps Google Talk?) conversations in your mailbox. Some very, very old conversations of mine were for some reason marked as unread, and this was showing up on the iOS unread count, but not the one on macOS.

You can fix your time machine problem by changing its priority.


Same with missed calls on an iPhone, the notification never wents away after checking. Only restarts helped me. Weirdly enough this issue seems to happen randomly, not all missed calls are being this persistent.

I get the same black screen on the camera occasionally. If you open another app, then go to the app switcher you can swipe away the camera app. It seems to work for me after that.

> I've missed out on many moments with my toddler because of that.

You were still there. You missed out because you reached for a camera.

There are moments where you keep the camera away and there are moments that you WANT on camera.

> Time machine's performance has slowly gotten worse and worse, leaving me having to cancel backups just so I can go home.

you could try to increase the backup service‘s priority with ‚sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0‘

That makes it suck slightly less, but TM can pretty much never be "fast" the way it works now, with the number of files we all have these days. In the best case, if a folder doesn't change, TM can hardlink to the previous backup of that folder. If even one file has changed, it has to copy the changed files and then hardlink every unchanged file in the folder, so TM chokes on any large folder where even a single file changes often. If you watch with `fs_usage -f pathname backupd`, you can see TM take dozens of minutes backing up the Mail/Messages/Calendars folders, or cache folders with ridiculous numbers of files like Slack's. Any folder with thousands or tens of thousands of files is putting TM into its worst-case performance corner.

Personally, I find TM bordering on unusable for backups these days. Maybe I'd feel differently if I still had a desktop Mac, but with a bunch of files on a laptop that moves around and sleeps, having to tether to a USB disk for several hours to do a backup is ridiculous. And network backups are even slower and frequently self-corrupt, especially over WiFi. The glimmer of hope is that APFS replication has some really cool new features in 10.15. It's clearly still very much a work in progress, and some big parts are missing, but the stuff that's released seems to clearly point toward a future where we can do block-based copies of filesystems or even deltas between snapshots. Which is much better for performance on spinning hard disks than the eternal disk seeking and grinding that file-based backup solutions all do.

Not to mention the numerous times where TM casually asks to wipe your backup history because the integrity test didn't pass without errors. Usually this can be fixed with a few commands copied off a blogpost that must be getting thousands of hits every day.

It seems obvious to me that TM was intended to run on a snapshotting filesystem such as ZFS* and when this didn't materialize the engineers tried their best to make it work using the tools available to them. Unfortunately thsoe were sparsebundles and hardlinks. I would hope that TM will get updated to use APFS snapshots sooner rather than later, assuming the feature is proven and stable. iOS makes use of APFS snapshots for rolling back failed updates, so one would assume it is.

* http://dtrace.org/blogs/ahl/2016/06/15/apple_and_zfs/ and https://arstechnica.com/staff/2006/08/4995/

> a laptop that sleeps

Isn't "Power Nap" (in System Preferences » Energy Saver) supposed to help MacBooks do backup and other maintenance while they're sleeping and on AC?

A minor tweak you can do is to exclude specific folders from the stuff to backup, but it'd be nice if the programs creating the caches would mark them as "no need to backup" automatically (which I think is possible?).

Still, I've got three million files on my computer - that's a lot of stuff to walk through. Looking forward to the APFS based replacement!

Automagic is my new favourite word

You must be new here :)

_PDFs_ are BLURRY, on a Mac!

> I could go on. The worst part? These have all been ignored open issues that other people have submitted and for years they just sit there...open.

When you hire expensive developers, they don't want to work on years old bugs. They only want to work on new features.

I'm an expensive developer. I love fixing bugs.

I also don't think my job is to be entertained, but to provide value for the company and its users.

Heck, I love fixing bugs and it gives me a certain kind of entertainment.

Making good quality software, or improving poor quality software, is something I enjoy for its own sake. The fact that it also benefits users and my employer is an additional reward.

I don't think it's always developers' call.

Well then they leave and you have no developers to fix the old bugs

I'm sure Apple Incorporated, the most profitable tech company in the world, market cap $1 trillion, can manage to hire a few competent developers that want to fix bugs.

Adding developers to a project by just "buying them" is unfortunately not as easy as you make it sound. (Note: I'm not saying Apple couldn't use more engineers. It's just not something they can throw money at and fix by next week.)

I'm one of the most staunch Apple supporters but even I must admit that since WWDC 2019, I have spent more time fighting Apple's bugs than actually using any of the new features...or the old features that used to work flawlessly (like iTunes/Music.)

Not just on the user side, but the developer end as well.

Perfectly valid code which used to work up till Xcode 11.1 throws errors inside the Swift runtime or toolchain on Xcode 11.2 (and 11.2.1). Even the Swift engineers on the official forums don't seem to know what you can or can't do with the new language features.

And after seeing bugs I reported eons ago still not fixed, it feels futile to even bother reporting them anymore.

It's still not quite bad enough to make me want to flee back to Windows or switch to Android, but it does make me depressed, like there's nothing left in the world that "just works", except maybe my Nintendo Switch.

Why be a "staunch <Company X> supporter" at all?

It's one thing to admire the work/output of a company, but once you identify as a "Company X" supporter you are just closing yourself off to being critical of "Company X".

I cringe at every WWDC session when people applaud for minor features (new themes in Xcode!) and long overdue bug fixes.

I am embarrassed whenever someone online talks about a problem they have with Apple hardware or software, and they are met with passive-aggressive replies along the lines of "I've never seen that problem, what are you doing wrong..."

I develop for and use Apple platforms. I really like some things they have done, but I'd never consider myself an "Apple supporter".

I'm the customer, they are the vendor. They are here to support me.

If they don't do a good job at that, I'll try to find another company to take their place.

Also companies change, as do their priorities. There was once a period in when MS were making the best internet browser (really)...

I generally consider "X supporter" as "X routinely does things that I agree with", not "I would support anything that X does".

> Why be a "staunch <Company X> supporter" at all?

Because they consistently make what I want to see. For example SwiftUI, which I had been waiting for my entire life.

Call it the lesser evil, compared to my experience with other companies, if that's more acceptable for you.

Here's a funny observation: I have 20+ upvotes on my previous comment criticizing Apple, but a negative score for the supportive statements on this one.

So you see, some people will staunchly attempt to bury anything remotely positive about something they begrudge, so others feel they have to balance that out. :)

Likely because you can like a company, or portions of their output, without being a "staunch supporter", depending on your interpretation of what that even means. I think most people are interpreting being a staunch supporter with ignoring their shortcomings. You may not mean it that way, and may correctly criticize them for their missteps (it sounds like you do, since you reference criticism), but if people interpret this comment as defense of defending Apple in all circumstances, then they're likely to down vote.

I think this is less a case of people being too for or against a company, and more people interpreting the same statement differently depending on their own context.

> a "staunch supporter", depending on your interpretation of what that even means.

I just figured it was a nicer word to use than fanboy/fangirl.

Yeah, I think it mostly is, but by the same token it might bring some of the baggage of those terms with it, such as support consideration of the facts, or refusal to accept any negative assertion, which is also sometimes associated with fanboy/fangirl. It's more to do with whether you use the term in a positive or negative context, as that will likely control what attributes it brings to mind. If you aren't careful to define that context, you're allowing others to define it themselves (even if it makes little sense in most cases for people to be using it in a way most would consider negative but applied to themselves. Exceptions do exist though...).

Perhaps broaden your horizons then, SwiftUI is a credible alternative to Flutter. Apple don't innovate, they build a better mousetrap. It has ever been thus.

Yes and everybody else has also stolen or borrowed some idea from someone else going all the way back to the first caveman.

Should we hinder people from appreciating Flutter either then, because I'm sure it too, did not really ""innovate.""

Everything is a copy of BASIC anyway, just without the line numbers.

Why be a staunch Apple supporter? Because the company and its products have a visceral and emotional impact. The company has made products that have been influential and meaningful for nearly 40 years. The brand, the leadership, and the customer experience are more favorable than that of any other company. The products are woven into the fabric of life, worn or carried nearly every waking moment, and depended on and trusted for many of life's most important experiences and relationships.

Not to mention that time in 1997 when Steve Jobs came on stage and I stood and cheered with everyone else at Moscone.

> Why be a "staunch <Company X> supporter" at all?

The more people on the ecosystem I like and develop for, the more money I make.

Marketers and society push the brand loyalty scam hard. Never be loyal or dedicated to a brand.

About 10 minutes ago I had XCode 11.2 crash from a line of swift code I wrote without compiling. I had to go into vim and delete the line because XCode would crash each time I tried to reopen. I hope it all gets smoothed out since there are some nice new tools worth looking into. But the constant bugs and crashes make it hard for me to get excited.

FYI, Xcode 11.2.1 is out and fixes several issues.

and introduces some new.

Seriously, why don't they open source it? There are so many so bad security issues in Apple software last years.

Open source piece of crap will smell just the same. If there are serious problems in Xcode open sourcing it will only amplify them since a lot of the stuff will be fix by people without deep knowledge of the codebase and probably introduce some new.

Keep in mind - I am not pro or against open sourcing it - just I don't think it will help currently at all.

What reasoning do you have to say that open sourcing it would amplify problems because it allows it to be fixed by people without deep knowledge of the codebase?

So confused by how enabling someone to see the source code will somehow hurt the code that would still be maintained by apple. It would still be up to them on whether or not to include a fix that was proposed by someone that viewed their code and tried to fix it.

Also, I think that fresh eyes on a problem can be quite beneficial. I believe a tunnel vision can occur when one group of individuals are trying to fix the same problems for years.

What incentive do they have to free it? Morals don't count. There's no incentive, so they won't.

That Apple freely releases anything is tied directly to Stallman resisting Jobs's snow jobs during the '90s, and later Jobs's Flash snuff.

Do you know that Apple releases a lot of open source software and even maintains the open source CUPS print server, which is heavily used in Linux and Unix systems? Furthermore, just about all of their past releases of MacOS, iOS and OS X Server are open sourced as well. There's a great incentive to open source software. It literally invites developers to make your platform better for you, for free. I'm not an Apple fanboy, but you gotta give Apple some credit here where its due.


> just about all of their past releases of MacOS, iOS and OS X Server are open sourced as well

More accurately, specific projects from certain releases of macOS and iOS have had parts of them posted online.

Do you know that Apple releases a lot of open source software

False. Proportionately they release an insignificant amount.

even maintains the open source CUPS print server, which is heavily used in Linux and Unix systems?

This is only because no vendor or developer would use anything compatible with mac OS were it only supporting macOS.

just about all of their past releases of MacOS, iOS and OS X Server are open sourced as well

This is false, and you haven't done due diligence. (XNU being free software (though usually not anything touching ARM) does not mean macOS, iOS and OS X Server are free software.

It literally invites developers to make your platform better for you, for free.

Last I checked Apple doesn't take external commits.

I'm not an Apple fanboy, but you gotta give Apple some credit here where its due.

They are due no credit.

> That Apple freely releases anything is tied directly to Stallman resisting Jobs's snowjobs during the '90s, and later Jobs's Flash snuff.

What does this mean?

One of the excuses Jobs used for not putting Flash on the iPhone was that it was closed-source, and that he believed that web standards should always be "open-source." This was a convenient excuse to snuff Adobe that he only got to use because Webkit was LGPL'd (by KDE's doing, not Apple's), but it did stop critics from complaining as much. Most free software that Apple has released around the web was because of this.

Jobs was notorious for snowing out free software people. If you don't know what that means:


A primary example was when Jobs tried to convince Stallman to allow NeXT to break the GPL, Stallman resisted, and a bit of NeXT got released under a GPL-compatible license.

From a mail exchange between him and the developer of clisp:

I say this based on discussions I had with our lawyer long ago. The issue first arose when NeXT proposed to distribute a modified GCC in two parts and let the user link them. Jobs asked me whether this was lawful. It seemed to me at the time that it was, following reasoning like what you are using; but since the result was very undesirable for free software, I said I would have to ask the lawyer.

What the lawyer said surprised me; he said that judges would consider such schemes to be "subterfuges" and would be very harsh toward them. He said a judge would ask whether it is "really" one program, rather than how it is labeled.

So I went back to Jobs and said we believed his plan was not allowed by the GPL.

The direct result of this is that we now have an Objective C front end. They had wanted to distribute the Objective C parser as a separate proprietary package to link with the GCC back end, but since I didn't agree this was allowed, they made it free.

So I don't think the GPL actually requires a correction for this. But perhaps it would be a good idea to add a note explaining this.

wut? Apple releases BSD code, not GPL. They've never played Stallman's game.

Apple still ships a number of components licensed under the GPL.

Maybe where they haven't replaced them yet. It was a few years ago they pretty much ripped all the GPL out of OSX and replaced it with either their own or a BSD implementation.

Stallman encourages a BSD license in some circumstances.

Hate to break it to you but iTunes never worked flawlessly. It's always been a smoldering tire-fire.

but Music has weird behavior that didn't happen in the last few incarnations of iTunes:

• Randomly failing to download or not allowing me to download purchases or Apple Music songs that I previously added to my library.

• Outright deleting downloads!! without any explanation!

• Duplicating downloads, and creating copies of playlists with differences. [0]

• Being more aggressive with DRM checks: Once, I had logged into my Apple Music account, then a few hours later I had to turn off my WiFi. It demanded me to connect so my computer could be authorized and wouldn't let me play the downloads. Same with Books.

[0] https://i.imgur.com/qNQ9oJI.png

> It's always been a smoldering tire-fire.

That's why it's called iFumes.

It worked fine the last time I used it.... in Tiger.

I’m with you. I’ve been saying more and more that if Apple can’t stay strong I don’t really like the alternatives. OSX and iOS were so nice together a few years back. Now they’re out of step and the design and quality aren’t strong.

I don’t want Windows, Chromebooks or Android. If not Apple...

(Love Linux, use Linux, but it’s not providing what I get from macOS.)

Hey - not related to your comment but wanted to get in touch. You left a note on a previous post of mine about wanting to simplify FTP. I'd love to work on this project and wanted to see if you'd be willing to connect so I can understand the problem better. Feel free to email me at kunal@mightydash.com, and thanks in advance!

Yes, I might begin preparing a Linux machine for the end times.

> Perfectly valid code that used to work up till Xcode 11.1 throws errors in the Swift runtime on Xcode 11.2 (and 11.2.1)

Can you link to some examples? I write Swift full time and haven't noticed anything like this.

Type metadata accessor / failed to demangle superclass from mangled name: https://forums.swift.org/t/xcode-11-2-runtime-error-type-met...

Property Wrapper initializers with #file/#function: https://forums.swift.org/t/compiler-segmentation-fault-when-...

With the disconnect between the Swift team and Apple after Swift going open-source, it's not clear if these goblins are spawned inside of Apple's APIs or the Swift runtime.

Here's an example that I encountered recently:


That version of Xcode has been pulled because of this issue.

To be fair, that's not an issue in the Swift runtime.

I guess you haven't had Joy-Con drift :)

Nintendo has (usually) made good on their mistakes - I don't know of any other company who does direct exchanges and gives checks back for broken hardware like Nintendo.

The Joy-Con drift is embarrassing

What do you think of the Xbox 360 "E 74" issue and how Microsoft handled it?

I am not familiar

Ohhh yes, now you made me even more depressed.

But at least the Switch OS has no oopsies (that I've seen.) :)

My [New] 3DS has also been rock solid for years, hardware and software.

The 3DS did have that issue where the lower half of the device could scratch the upper screen.

But I never minded much, because they kept replacing my 3DS because of the scratches, and back then, your 1-year warranty would reset every time a repair was done. So I just kept sending it in, and kept getting a brand new 3DS every year...

Horizon has a broken exFAT implementation that can corrupt SD cards. Normally it only affects people running homebrew, but it can also be triggered by eShop games (Pokemon Sw/Sh was in the news for this recently).

Some would consider the lack of folders an oopsie but that's probably not what you're referring to.

3DS is indeed a damn solid device, though. Nintendo did really well with it.

Thanks for the heads up about Pokémon. Will start backing up my card more often (though I'm not if you can restore them by just copying the data to another card, didn't work the last time I tried it.)

> And after seeing bugs I reported eons ago still not fixed, it feels futile to even bother reporting them anymore.

I've reported a number of bugs to WebKit over the years and it's the same thing, none have been fixed. You're lucky to even get an answer from someone in the WK team.

The Nintendo Switch only “just works” if you have no USB-C peripherals and no more than four costrollers. Other than that, it’s pretty great!

(Yes, in my book, the official dock counts as a USB-C peripheral that doesn’t “just work”. I’ve used to of them, and one is severely janky.)


The same thing happened when we were working on Leopard under Bertrand. Because the developer toolchain switched to Objective C 2.0 with garbage collection enabled, the OS was unusable for development for months at a time.

Development took twice as long as planned, the release was fairly bloated, and required 2 or 3 updates in the first month or two.

When Craig took over he introduced a sprint model so that there were periodic relatively stable releases. If something wasn't ready and there were still sprints left, you could push it back.

But it sounds like there has been milestone creep causing those sprints to either become more heavy or less missable. And I'm guessing the consequences for missing a sprint are more career limiting than they were when the methodology was still new.

It's like Rich Hickey said, we're smarter than runners, we just fire a new starting pistol every 100 yards and call it a new sprint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPT-DuG0UjU

Snow Leopard was one of the best releases I remember. I'm hoping for a Snow Leopard-ish update for iOS 13 so it has a fair shot at getting the attention and praise it deserves.

Snow Leopard was one of the best after two years of bug fixes.

Yup, this. Funny how quickly everyone forgets the serious data loss bugged that plagued the release of Snow Leopard.

A lot of people switched to macs when Snow Leopard and Lion were current, so they got their first laptops with them preinstalled -- and obviously, they worked swimmingly (fresh installs, on the configurations Apple devs likely targeted during development).

Nowadays, thanks to Apple effectively deserting Macs for long stretches, less and less new people move into the ecosystem, which means the bulk of users are now upgraders -- who are bound to have more issues.

Leopard was severely hamstrung by the fact that Scott Forstall abruptly "stole" all the leads from all of the various OS teams to work on the iPhone. Various projects went unfinished because they no longer had the bandwidth or knowledge to finish them. Likewise, Bertrand was super pissed about the failure in quality and Snow Leopard was the direct result of that.

I haven't seen that video before. Thank you for sharing it. The term "sprint" has always confused me a little bit.

I hate that Rich Hickey quote.

Sprints are just the classic computer science "divide and conquer" strategy applied to development.

The problem with divide and conquer is that the finished product has to be back in one piece that makes sense. Often times the act of `divide` also reduces context for what conquer actually is.

Plus `divide and conquer` is used like a task you need to do with the goal of finishing, but Sprints never quite get to the end of the conquer phase, generally it's divide, and conquer...some tasks, and then divide in some more... and more... and more. You end up losing all sight of what you are actually trying to do or make.

The only way to fix sprints in a small to medium size company that exists and is shipping products is to realize that they should be tied to a set series of tasks and that every now and then you really need a stop point where you can take a week or two, define what your goals, needs, and issues are for the next 6 weeks or so, and then start anew with a clean backlog and roadmap with full buy in from the developers of what they are making. Otherwise you just turn developers into ticket pushers for tickets that they themselves do not understand, or have any context to understand why they are doing them. It's depressing and causes burnout and bad products. It's a symptom of the hustle culture bleeding into development and a lack of understanding that having long term end goals and sustainable pace is healthy to good products rather than `move fast and break things`.

The why not use a word that doesn’t imply “go at an unsustainable pace”? There are plenty of good ones to choose from.

>Sprints are just the classic computer science "divide and conquer" strategy applied to development.

The classic computer science "divide and conquer" (quicksort being a canonical example) has no state to carry over from one divided part to the next.

Divided parts should also be interchangeable -- whereas in sprints they aren't -- they're different stages of a release/feature, with different stuff to be done in each.

Finally, sprint is a total misnomer for "divide and conquer" -- as its very definition is about giving it all for a short time from start to end (a small race). It's not about dividing parts of a larger race.

That’s quite the leaky metaphor. If you split a list in half to sort it, the computer doesn’t inherit the backlog of punted features/bugs/stress/frustration/etc from the previous half.

When I first worked at Apple 30 years ago it was widely acknowledged that R&D had a two-tier system for software development. The rockstar engineers got to work on new stuff and the less productive/creative engineers cleaned up their mess. Bringing new features to maturity was a low-prestige activity and was not rewarded as well. The top engineers joined the hot new projects, shipped the first version, and then moved on to the next big thing. That pattern changed somewhat after Steve Jobs returned, but it still seems to be the case that testing and maintenance are not a very high priority.

Sounds like just about every software job I’ve had over the last 7 years. It sounds like a mgmt problem to me. Either they can’t tamp down the devs who move too fast and break things, or they are driving the devs to do so.

It's a lot harder to demonstrate how the value added by improving stability. Like, what's the difference between 99.93% availability and 99.95% availability? How do you show that increasing test coverage by 5% helps users and brings value to the company?

"Hey, so you know how our application is pretty much always working, but will error out once every other blue moon? It does that less now," doesn't sound as flashy as "Look at this thing our app does that it didn't do before!"

A few years ago I heard people talking about Apple over-metric-ing. I think even Tim Cook was touting how few kernel panics and crashes there were in modern macOS. They had been tracking crashes and putting effort to reduce them. However, the the new tallest poppy were bugs without metrics, like unexpected behaviors, performance regressions, etc.

> what's the difference between 99.93% availability and 99.95% availability?

Quite literally a 40% reduction in crashes

As so many people have pointed out in this thread, though, crashes are far from the only thing that can keep a user from being able to take advantage of a given feature.

> 40%

A little over 28% since it is a 0’02 reduction over 0’07 non-availability rate.

It's interesting to me how widely followed the "Snow Leopard" myth is. It was a total disaster of a release. There were egregious issues in libdispatch which led to the entire API being re-written at least once. There were also random hangs due to major kernel scheduler changes for the first several point releases. Snow Leopard also introduced OpenCL, which has basically never worked. The Finder re-write added no features but made it slower. The 64-bit kernel couldn't be turned on by default for years. Many of the perf gains came from dropping PowerPC support by default with only a couple years of warning, which I'm sure today would cause an uproar.

It got marketed as a "no features" release and that's how it seems to be remembered. But in fact it probably was probably the highest-risk Mac OS release ever. It rewrote a huge amount of code for almost no direct user benefit, at time when testing was quite limited.

Snow Leopard was marketed as a stability release, but what they didn't tell us was that the stability would come at the end of the dev cycle, not at launch. :-)

In the end, Snow Leopard did end up very stable. I'm stilling running it today on an old Mac Mini hooked up to some old peripherals I want to keep around. But it definitely did not start that way.

Or what about that Snow Leopard bug where your main user account got deleted whenever you used the Guest account https://www.computerworld.com/article/2528936/snow-leopard-b...

People remember what Snow Leopard became, not what it was at launch. It's also contrasted in memory with the bold, controversial, iOS-influenced reimagining of Lion, leaving behind an inevitable nostalgia for the stable simplicity of the previous release.

In iOS 13, there is an absolutely bizarre bug when typing your passcode into the lock-screen: it will randomly delete one of the characters! You can actually watch it happen, you for example type 4 characters, and then on typing the 5th, it drops down to 3. It's absolutely infuriating, especially if you have failed-unlocking behaviors turned on where you then locked out of your phone after a minute if you fail X times.

The worst part is with all these bugs, you kind of feel that Apple will probably never get to them, given there are just so many (and on top of that Apple may just not care about non Face-ID modes of entry anymore, probably how this bug appeared in the first place). It is especially maddening since it feels like a cruel joke to have both the physical keyboard on the laptop mess up entry AND the virtual one on the phone.

You should feel lucky you can even type to have it delete one of your characters. On both (different) models of iPads I tried, the digit entry for screen time password was stretched out upon wake up so that there was no physical way to hit the “0” digit. You have to change the orientation for it to get back into a good state so you can press “0”. This one has survived all the updates so far! Pretty wild...

Face ID still requires a passcode from time to time so I wouldn’t be so quick to say they won’t look into it. Have you reported it to them? They’re pretty responsive to bug reports if it’s easy enough to prove.

13 was the worst iOS release I can remember. Photos would crash from scrolling too fast. Mail wouldn't check for new messages for a whole day. Safari blank screens. Replying to messages in Mail was a 50/50 proposition. The phone would freeze for 5-10 seconds more than it ever did before. All kinds of visual artifacts like text appearing where it shouldn't, UI elements getting orphaned and just floating around, effects that didn't finish all the way...

Also photo sync launched COMPLETELY broken. Do you have >10k photos in your library you want to sync? Tough luck. So far they've fixed photo sync up to ~20k photos or so but now absolutely zero videos will sync. "include videos" just doesn't work.

It’s been working well for me since the first 13 release, and I have (as of today) 67616 items, about 2k5 videos. I’m glad I don’t have to debug stuff like that :P

I'm still holding off on updating my iPad, even though I really want to use sidecar. Has iOS 13 stabilized now?

I'm on 13.2.3 and a lot of the worst things seem to be fixed. That said, I still find some of the design changes odd and unintuitive (e.g. new editing gestures, new Music/Mail layouts). Mail is still infuriatingly slow at almost everything. I think you could probably call it stable (for my usage).

Note that there were also some... "interesting" iCloud sync design choices. You need to upgrade all devices (including macOS) to be sure of proper syncing in some cases, with odd behaviour ensuing if you don't.

iOS 13 and Catalina have been OK for me, XCode on the other hand is a hot mess.

Catalina 10.15 has been my worst ever. MS Word documents now totally @#$% disappear on saving. Fortunately doing a hard shutdown usually causes them to reappear.... in the Trash, along with three dozen zero-byte recovery folders.

1/10. Would not upgrade again.

I have this bug where until reboot, some albums from Apple Music would destroy media playback. Changing volume would be delayed by about five seconds, the device would become hot in my pocket culminating in a respring in three minutes.

I've been having the same issue, did you find a workaround?

> The new approach calls for Apple's development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags, allowing them to isolate the impact of each individual addition on the system.

Uh, I'm not very confident on this helping; wouldn't this mean fewer people will be using and evaluating beta components?

> Apple privately considered iOS 13.1 the “actual public release” with a quality level matching iOS 12.

It certainly didn't reach that quality level…

> Uh, I'm not very confident on this helping; wouldn't this mean fewer people will be using and evaluating beta components?

Probably. But the benefit gained by doing this is that every issue discovered should be directly attributable.

If everything is broken, it’s very easy to normalise broken behaviours, or to deflect responsibility.

I find it pretty shocking they're not already doing this.

It's been a standard practice in my world for at least a decade.

I think the important bit is that at some point a team has to say “this is ready to not be behind a flag”. At that point you can’t blame a bug on “oh that’s still being worked on” because then you’ll be asked why it’s not behind a flag.

The issue I see with the first part is that you've now got tons of feature toggles. You exponentially increase the number of combinations you need to test.

Maybe it's easy to say but it feels more like a cultural problem than a technical/procedural one.

Why the fuck did they let this happen in the first place?

Where is this mentality that even the backside of a cabinet should be build well?

> Why the fuck did they let this happen in the first place?

Blame the annual expected release of a new iPhone that Apple trained us on and that markets and consumers now expect. For those phones to be ready to ship on the date that Apple promises, they have to be produced and boxed up. The phones require a new version of iOS for hardware support (which makes sense) meaning there's a certain time before the phone release date that a GM of the newest version of iOS has to be released to manufacturing.

Because it's inevitable at a certain scale.

The brand has a momentum, even if things start getting worse for customers there isn't an immediate response on a large scale.

A certain quality is important for the "true" advocates, but we're a small minority. Growth is driven by at scale customers who don't notice these issues because they're buying the products for different reasons.

In this context, improving quality to keep the hardcore fans happy costs money, but doesn't impact the bottom line significantly in the short term.

Growth is the only goal at this scale and that's driven by other strategies and not hardcore fans.

I guess long story short is corporations are cash machines and product quality does not play an important part at this scale.

That's not how it works.

How it works is that your brand suffers, and sales drift downwards.

When you attempt new projects outside of your skill envelope - a Maps application, a self-driving car, VR/AR hardware, a move to ARM - you either don't finish on schedule, don't finish at all and are forced to cancel, or you unleash a shit storm of bugs and negativity that costs far more than any nominal savings you might persuade yourself you've made by not doing QA properly.

It's a cultural problem. Not only is skimping on QA and customer support cheap, it looks and feels cheap. And that's not a good look when you're trying to sell yourself as a premium brand.

To be fair, customer abuse is not unusual among premium brands. Prestige cars are notoriously crap for reliability and build quality.

But Apple is a prestige consumer brand, and the brand experience is the most important asset.

If customers stop believing in the brand, all Apple has left is Dell or HP but with nicer packaging.

>Where is this mentality that even the backside of a cabinet should be build well?

Pride in quality of work? Why does the backside have to be be NOT built well? I hate crappy pressed wood furniture, but the same piece of furniture built by real craftsman using real materials raises the price from ~$250 to over $1200. Admittedly, apples and oranges, but the point is valid.

I think it's possible to interpret the comment as asking "where has the mentality gone" rather than "where is this mentality coming from".

Yep, louwrentius is referencing this Jobs quote - https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/445621-when-you-re-a-carpen...

Apple needs another "Snow Leopard" release - spend an entire year not adding anything - just focus on making everything work better, fix bugs, etc.

People remember fondly of Snow Leopard 10.6.8, but the introduction of Snow Leopard 10.6.0 was very rough, certainly not bug free. Snow Leopard did change a lot of things under the hood (64-bit mostly, maybe Grand Central Dispatch).

At the time I was depending on macports to install a lot of dev dependencies: mono was broken, and a bunch of other libraries were also not compiling anymore. It is to this day the only macOS (then Mac OS X) release that I had to downgrade from. But I'm more cautious now... still running Mojave.

That said on principle I agree: I want an OS that works better and faster, not more features.

Bertrand Serlet used to go through ps output looking for threads so he could berate managers about not using GCD. So we had to uproot a bunch of stuff just to change the threading model used.

It was a strange way to manage tens of thousands of people.

They just did that with iOS 12/macOS Mojave. I guess they need another one?

I think they need to do it to hardware too, they will be selling shitty butterfly keyboards for 1 - 2 more years while they stutter out upgrades. The 13" MBP upgrade is expected to be another 6 - 7 months away which is just incoherent, Minis and the iMacs are all over a year old again albeit they at least don't have the butterfly keyboards.

iOS 12 and Mojave are fine. Just stay there, fix bugs, and add support for new hardware.

iOS 12 is fine for phones maybe, but iOS 13 (or iPadOS if you prefer) is a pretty big change for iPads in terms of power-user features.

USB storage support, network drive support, multiple instances of apps, multiple apps switchable in slide-over, major improvements to Safari.

I've run into some bugs, but I wouldn't switch back to 12.

EDIT - Forgot to mention the contextual menus, which are new to iPads this year as well. I think iPhones with 3D touch hardware had similar actions available in some places, but it's a big addition for iPads and the fact that it's supported across all devices now means that 3rd party devs will bother to implement it.

Storage support is a sensible addition to the OS for sure. It should also be in iOS.

I think the multiple app stuff was a mistake on Apples part. It complicates the OS significantly and starts to make it feel like a computer operating system.

Improvements to Safari make sense, but then I'd consider that an application and not part of the operating system.

Multiple windows is easy to ignore if you don't want it, but especially with the side-by-side multitasking view it's very nice to be able to group app instances together as they relate to things you're working on, and not sweating the fact that there can only be one web browser window.

For instance, if I'm doing research on something, I might have Notes or MindNode running with a copy of Safari paired alongside it. Those research related tabs are kept in their own world, not mixed with my main Safari instance and it's accumulated tabs.

And then let's say I'm writing an email about my travel plans and want to pull up the airline's website to look at my reservation. I can do that in a separate Safari instance instead of taking away the research sidebar from next to my MindNode document.

And the new Mail message can be its own window while I write it. If I need to refer to another message in my inbox, I don't have to close the draft I'm writing to get back to my inbox, and then go fetch it out of the drafts folder when I want to get back to it. Just swipe over to the main Mail window and swipe back when I'm done.

Or take an app like GoodNotes, where I have several notebooks on different subjects. I can open two of them at once instead of having to close notebook A, open notebook B, make a note, close notebook B, reopen notebook A every time I want to jot a quick note down in a different topic.

There's an adjustment period if you want to get in the habit of thinking about the iPad this way. But being able to operate it in terms of different tasks and projects, leaving their workspaces intact and unpolluted to come back to later, is a much more productive setup than having to play "How can I best allocate my single instance of the text editor?"

It's hard to ignore it when the introduction of the features destabilizes the rest of the operating system.

I get how multiple windows is great for productivity, but I'd rather seem Apple push macOS for those use cases and keep the iPad as simple as possible.

I've not seen any OS stability issues, my main issue has been the Mail rewrite not listing messages reliably. Pretty frequently messages show up as a blank white box. But it hasn't been crashing.

13.2 had an issue with apps terminating and having to be relaunched every time you backgrounded them, but that hit the iPhone too so it wasn't an iPad multi-window problem. Speculation I saw was blaming iPhone 11 camera RAM requirements for more aggressive memory management, but who knows.

yup, of the 3 (mbp, iphone, ipad), my ipad pro is the only the only one i've updated with the latest OS, mainly for the improvements to multi-tasking windows and having the "today view" on the home screen. i've had no major (additional) bugs pop up yet.

OS X was fine for a long time before Mojave. I can't remember the last release that added a feature I cared about.

They did that with iOS 12. iOS 12 was great. Actually made a bunch of old devices more usable.

But then for iOS 13 they tried to catch up with 2 years worth of features in 1 year...

They just need to either slow down the pace, or figure out how to scale their developer count better.

iOS 9 as well. But then two versions later we were back to buggy iOS 11. And now the same with iOS 13.

Personally, I think the annual release cycle is the problem. They keep having to release these “clean up” versions because they didn’t have time to perfect the originals.

Of note on the macOS side, everyone’s fondly-remembered Snow Leopard was also the last non-annual release.

> annual release cycle is the problem

Yeah, this is a problem. They announce a bunch of features at WWDC in June, and everyone expects them in September. If their WWDC announcement was just developer API stuff, and they announced the iOS features a few weeks before release, they'd have a better idea of what was actually ready. Then they could release features in point releases spread across the year.

Wait, do you mean the Snow Leopard release that deleted your user account if you logged into the Guest account? That 'perfect' 'fix bugs' release?

They should totally do that to macOS and i(Phone)OS, but personally I can’t wait to see what else they have in mind for iPadOS. Big fan of iPad Pro, could still use a lot more power user features though.

A long time bug that drives me insane: the dock forgets how to hide itself on full screen apps. Here's someone talking about it in March of 2012: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3797657

Same exact issue exists today.

this one drives me nuts. it's frequent enough that I have a shortcut to trigger `killall Dock`

It's almost like Apple iOS/macOS and Microsoft Windows 10 are competing with each other, to see how fast they can push out buggy software upgrades and skimp on quality assurance. The grass is greener on neither side.

Windows and iOS/OSX badly needs LTS branches. Either that, or stop releasing major versions annually. But that would put lots of marketing people out of a job.

PS: I know Win10 LTSB exists, but that's enterprise only.

How about other pastures, like Android or Linux?

Android is crap but if you stay away from “desktop environments” and a lot of the GUI software Linux OSes aren’t bad.

Does anyone have more detailed information as to why the degradation?

Has the balance of push push push for features just passed a tipping point of what developers could mostly keep up with?

Is it a process thing (eg the review process changed or testing practices changed)?

Or a developer skill level thing? Are seasoned coders being replaced by less seasoned ones?

Or is there a finger to be pointed at some piece of technology (for example, I've been pretty pro on swift for the last couple years, but recently have become aware of what a nightmare the marriage of closures and ARC are and how easy it is to make mistakes around them)?

This year's releases had a lot of new things in it, and a number of projects saw significant rewrites. Presumably engineers had a hard time keeping up with bugs?

Idk what other errors are, for me it’s the input system that degraded with years of ios releases down to what it is now. For one, this hn comment entry field is now a minefield that jumps around if you’re not careful enough to drag the cursor beyond the input borders. Moving cursor and selecting text (both in input and in div) became so much difficult. Sometimes I also cannot get rid of selection in url bar to be able to scroll it right to see what /path is. While writing this message I missed spacebar around 10 times. My first iphone was 4 (ios 5). Idk how they did it, but I barely missed a single letter. On ios 7 keyboards changed and typing errors became a thing. I remember every single release that broke some of my basic functions: 7, 9, 10, 12, now 13.

I’m not talking about “complex” things here, it is what worked and then someone broke it step by step. Whoever is responsible for that, please get an early retirement. You did enough to me.

I'm a bit worried about macOS releases since it's never something that really excites me anymore, apart from the new file system. I just need a robust system to work with.

iOS 13 was jam packed with new features, but released too early because of hardware release schedule. I waited it out until 13.2. Still some weird bugs here and there like adding a phone number as a name from new contacts from incoming calls.

Safari, at least on the iPad, is so incredibly buggy in iOS 13 that it’s practically unusable. Not to mention the ridiculous system where it opens new Safari windows, not tabs, and then doesn’t give me any option to close them. And when Safari bugs out, and I have to force close it, it loses every single one of the tabs I have open, and it didn’t do any of this garbage before iOS 13.

Arghh, those floating Safari windows. How do you get rid of them?

When you already have Safari running (or any other app), pull up the dock from the bottom edge of the screen.

Then press the Safari icon (or alternatively, press and hold on the Safari icon and choose "Show All Windows").

Now, all of those floating Safari windows are shown, and you can "toss them away" and close them.

Yes, it's not a very intuitive discovery process :(

I definitely appreciate the need to have multiple windows of the same app on an iPad, but the way Apple went about it is...bizarre, clunky and not exactly intuitive.

Considering Exposé and its default gestures exist on MacOS, you'd think maybe they'd take cues from that?

Why not put a little “x” on them to close the floating windows like tabs?

> Not to mention the ridiculous system where it opens new Safari windows, not tabs, and then doesn’t give me any option to close them. And when Safari bugs out, and I have to force close it, it loses every single one of the tabs I have open

That’s very strange; none of these things should be happening. Actually, there are explicit checks to make sure that it doesn’t happen. Is there anything in particular you’re doing that might be triggering this?

I'm genuinely curious, does anyone here know if there's an underlying framework issue behind so many iOS bugs?

Because in my experience so many bugs seem to have something to do with some kind of underlying data or sync model (not even remote sync, just on the device itself).

E.g. half the time I delete a voice memo, it re-appears 10 seconds later. Or maybe a quarter of the time I send an e-mail from the "Share" button in an app, it shows up as an unsent draft when I switch to my Mail app (despite the fact the e-mail was actually sent). Or sidebar shortcuts to folders I create in the Files app gradually and randomly disappear over the course of days/weeks.

It's like there's some funky async stuff going on behind the scenes, where either a common library has flaws or race conditions that seem to pop up everywhere, or it's so hard to use the library correctly that even the internal teams which program the apps are making mistakes with it.

I can't speak to the specifics, but after working on a significant third-party SDK for iOS I can say that libdispatch isn't hard to use correctly, but it is easy to use incorrectly. Worse still, once you get yourself into a libdispatch mess it is hard to escape without a total rewrite.

Feature flags are not a panacea for software quality. They actually make your test matrix much larger, as on any given system a different set of flags might be enabled.

My iPhone's battery has been discharging like crazy after I updated to iOS 13.2.2. Without any active usage of the phone the entire battery discharges in about 4 - 5 hours, due to apps' background activity. I'm having to charge the phone 2 - 3 times a day.

According to https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/11/19/apple-io..., the battery discharge issue has apparently not been fixed, so I'm not planning to update my phone yet. Hopefully it gets fixed in the next iOS release.

Dear Apple,

1. Return text selection back to 12.x functionality - it is now literally impossible to e.g., select a single word from a link’s anchor text without first selecting some random portion of text (half the page at times), and then walking back the blue knobs for 45 minutes. The ideal UX is to offer to select a word if I click next to it, and if I press down and hold, give me a movable cursor every single time, and never automatically start selecting whole chunks of text just because I hold my finger down. The current iteration of this functionality randomly switches between both of those modes.

2. allow me to use dictation in offline-only mode so that it actually works AND so that I don’t get 400 words into a message and then watch my phone magically backspace the entire thing and then type it out again, incorrectly, in slow-motion

3. Stop putting my cursor in capitalization mode every time I backspace a word when I’m typing

4. After I dictate a block of text, please do not make it look like you have highlighted the entire block of text for me, when in actuality it’s not highlighted at all, and if I tried to do some kind of operation with the assumption that it’s highlighted (like delete), I will be disappointed by instead performing an accidental operation

5. If I start typing a URL into Safari, let me backspace the characters at the same rate that I have typed them (currently, if I open Safari and click into the URL bar and start typing “new” like I’m going to go to “news.ycombinator.com”, but then decide I first want to go to “google.com”, I have typed 3 chars (“new”) so I should be able to hit backspace 3 times and then start typing “google”. Instead, I must first hit backspace one time to get rid of the auto suggestion because hacker news is in my favorites list. Then I can hit backspace three more times, then start typing “google“. This is an idiotic bug.

6. If I am using dictation and then I click somewhere in the text to prepare to fix the inevitable incorrect word that dictation will put in my text, but I click there before I end dictation, and then I end dictation, please do not insert everything that I said twice, once originally where the cursor was, and then a second time where I clicked to make that correction. I don’t think there is much value in having two copies of the same paragraph, one inserted into the middle of the other...

7. If I try to share a photo while in the Camera app by selecting Share > Messages, and then I turn my phone vertical while I’m typing the message (to make typing easier), please don’t make it so that I can no longer see the keyboard, the text input field, or the photo that I’m sending, and I have no way of getting out of the situation besides losing the message, by closing the app and starting over

8. If I click in the Camera app to start recording a video, start recording immediately instead of waiting a variable amount of time between half of one second and two whole seconds, causing me to A) miss whatever I was trying to record or B) click a second time, resulting in me stopping recording... and missing whatever I was trying to record

9. If I open the Camera app, I am, at that moment, more interested in seeing the Camera app open then I am seeing a black screen with no functionality. Can we make the default such that the Camera app is what I see instead of a black screen that doesn’t go away until I restart my phone? I like that camera feature better than the black screen.

... please add to this list in replies

Anyone else have it where the keyboard animates up in super slowmo?

I occasionally have it happen when pulling down to do a search and aside from it bring completely uncanny valley creepy it never quite finishes it’s animation so I can’t use the keyboard to type anything

Unfortunately I’ve not found any rhyme or reason to it to report the bug aside from what I’ve typed above “sometimes iOS is weird” would probably not get a response

I’ve experienced every single one of these bugs, and some of them have existed for multiple releases, which means they are extremely unlikely to ever be fixed. [0]

0: https://tidbits.com/2019/10/21/six-reasons-why-ios-13-and-ca...

It's not so much how you screw up - the sheer complexity of all this makes errors practically inevitable -, it's how you live up to it and act the day after. So let's see; these are good indications, but let's see how they deliver next.

The most infuriating bug for me is on OS X where I'm randomly asked to enter my iCloud password continuously. This bug has existed for years. Absolutely bewildering when it happens and there's nothing you can do to suppress the system pop-up.

My biggest gripe with Apple is they keep pushing out “features“ that I don’t want, and I end up with a net negative because of all the new bugs.

I never had crashes on my iPhone, ever, period, until the recent iOS 13 update. Photos crashes on me. The text messaging app crashes on me. Safari crashes just about every other day. Apple Maps, which had gotten so much better over the years, is now crashing too. Screw the new iPhones. Apple, you crapped on my relationship with you by screwing up what I’ve already paid you for. How do you expect me to trust you and give you even more of my money?

I am wondering it this is because of Swift.

And after 5 years I am also wondering if Swift was the wrong bet.

Especially on the Mac, no one buy a new machine every year, and hence the Mac as a platform are more for new comers and replacement cycle. So as long as the hardware were kept up to date, they will come. Why not just stop making new features on macOS and start fixing bugs and paying down those technical debt, all the way down from the Kernel to application layers.

I cant even name 5 features that were must have in the last few macOS release.

> I am wondering it this is because of Swift.

It is not.

I'm just glad my phone is still on iOS 12. I'll hope for the best and wait for iOS 14 to ship. And not updating at all is still an option.

It has been this way with macOS for several years now, and iOS has gotten just as bad: You cannot, under any circumstances, update a device that you depend upon to the newest OS version available. It will take at least 6 months to iron out the worst bugs, and sometimes you need to skip the whole release and hope that the next one will be bearable.

I really like the “we finally fixed text editing” thing.

Try editing something in a text area with more text than fits in it without scrolling to see how “fixed” it is.

It is unfathomable to me how the iOS ecosystem has so many features that don't work well eve after years of being in the wild and being available on millions of devices. Things like handoff, continuity, personal hotspot, etc. still do not "just work". I honestly wish they would remove the features if they have no intention or ability to make it work 100% of the time.

I believe it is a rumor that there are many new features. Just check the the documentation - not much moved 8-/

Feature flags can’t work for everything; a more complete testing methodology is required, and I hope there is more planned than we see here.

One issue with feature flags is identifying what a “feature” even is. A single flag is insufficient to enable target features in systems of interconnected frameworks. There will be an entire graph of dependencies! Testers will need to understand the series of flags that need to be enabled for a target feature to work.

And of course, there is a risk that this will make disabled features seem like bugs themselves! I am imagining Apple colleagues having to waste time reminding their testers how to enable a feature, after receiving a “bug” report about something not working.

I wonder if some day they will come up with another Snow Leopard. Or if the size of teams and the complexity of the product line is an inescapable doom pit.

Apple parrots their OS update metrics as a leading indicator of customer engagement / satisfaction with the platform & how sympathetic they are to the difficulty for developers of putting out software for new hardware every year. I'm interested to know the rationale for them putting out weekly releases vs. fortnightly or monthly. It seems like they could burn a lot of goodwill with casual users.

> I'm interested to know the rationale for them putting out weekly releases vs. fortnightly or monthly.

Apple doesn't push out weekly releases to the public. Are you suggesting that they should?

iOS 13 was released exactly 9 weeks ago. There have been 8 public releases so far (13.0, 13.1, 13.1.1, 13.1.2, 13.1.3, 13.2, 13.2.2, and 13.2.3), not counting the 13.2.1 update that stopped 13.2 from bricking HomePods.

In the last 11 days we have had two public releases of iOS.

That’s MORE than one per week.

That's due to necessity, not due to choice.

My entire point is: what determines that it's necessity?

None of the updates included fixes to critical bugs or security flaws AFAIK; they were incremental improvements in stability.

Who is determining that patch 1 needs to go out rather than being rolled into patch 2? On what basis?

I think they were critical fixes.

I don't use iOS much as I only have it on an iPad Pro, but Safari has this annoying thing where you tap a button or a link and nothing happens. The CSS changes so you know the tap event has occurred, but nothing happens. You have to tap again to navigate or submit a form.

Of course this happens on all iOS browsers since all are running on Safari web views.

> Safari has this annoying thing where you tap a button or a link and nothing happens

This might be the new heuristics to make desktop-class browsing work.

it’s most likely ‘onHover’ behavior since ipad now identifies as a mac, so probably most css/js is assuming you have a mouse most likely...

it was like this in the early ios days before css media queries

> The new approach calls for Apple's development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags

That’s nice and all, but I don’t really understand how that helps.

Ah, from the article:

> some “testers would go days without a livable build, so they wouldn’t really have a handle on what’s working and not working,” the person said. This defeated the main goal of the testing process as Apple engineers struggled to check how the operating system was reacting to many of the new features, leading to some of iOS 13’s problems.

I think the idea is that you can't put anything with a known regression in the daily builds any more. But that gives a problem of how do you even get feedback on an in-development feature while you're trying to get it to a zero-regression state? The answer appears to be feature flags, I guess.

So one of the issues is that Apple lives on their own tools, so when critical system components are broken nobody can get work done. But ideally they'd actually fix the bugs and try to keep the daily builds livable rather than trying to sweep the issues under the rug…

The problem seems to be there are so many bugs it becomes impossible to tell what caused what. Also, mixing unfinished features with known bugs in there might be a waste of time.

This reads like "our entire development process is borked. We should just hire 1000 cats because we can't control ourselves any better."

So they're just now discovering feature flags? I would have assumed that any team working on a large code base has been using those for years. The concept has been around since forever.

It depends on what you consider "feature flags" to be. Apple already uses macros quite heavily to selectively include code and new features in certain builds. Presumably the new flags allow for enabling features at runtime or to certain groups, which is something that they don't seem to have done much in the past.

Feature flags can be selectively enabled at run time. Source code macros wouldn't generally be considered as feature flags.

I remember the GOOD OLD DAYS(TM) where I had to pay to upgrade Mac OSX, iOS, and paid monthly for MobileMe. You know what? That just worked.

Now it is all free and 99% Jankytown. Apple, take my damned money and give me my productivity and happiness back!

The rollout of iOS 12 was amazing, it made my iPads faster... do that again, every time! :)

Can they do this with Catalina. I get a kernel panic twice a day and forced to reboot.

I was at the all-hands I think this is referring to, and I'm not familiar with the flags. There are profiles, but most new features we're creating are going in the build.

im sorry but its hilarious to me that feature flagging is "new" to their development process

Been using iOS 13 since early betas. Working great for me

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