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UI Performance Decline – OS X Tiger to Yosemite [video] (vimeo.com)
282 points by blkhp19 on Dec 24, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 238 comments

Yosemite has been a major regression in almost every respect, I actually regret upgrading. Aside from the obvious and major performance and stability issues the major features are just plain broken. For example, try answering your phone from your computer. It takes way too long to actually pick up the call from the phone and then when you try to answer it bugs up so that in the end you can never actually answer the call. This is completely unacceptable behavior and a feature like this should have never been released unless it was exceptionally reliable and seamless.

It seems Apple is more concerned with showing off the concepts behind these features than making sure they actually deliver a solid experience when their released. Another case in point is the changes to AirPlay for the AppleTV. The new approach to connecting a device should be a big improvement, instead it's a buggy mess that makes it nearly impossible for us to use it anymore.

One of the most refreshing things about moving from primarily using Windows/Linux to a Mac for me was the sensibility, stability and the fact that things just worked the way you expected them to. Now that seems to be completely lost.

The phone thing was infuriating. After upgrading all of a sudden every device I own would start ringing like crazy: phone, computer, Apple TV STOPS airplay because the iPad streaming to it was also buzzing like mad. I KNOW I KNOW, you can turn it off, but I hate the fact that upgrading my OS has now become "turn off the 10 gimmick features so you can get back to some level of sanity", especially because after I pick up the call I completely forget about it (I'm not going to not take the call and then start going through the prefs on my x devices). So the other day I finally gave in and just hit accept on my computer -- and ... call failed. Great. I felt like I was on candid camera or something, the employees at Apple viewing me through my iSight camera on my monitor laughing at the sucker who finally took the bait.

As far as the Apple TV is concerned, I've completely given up. Its incredible how a product can be ruined through software updates. Forgetting the lack of attention, that thing was good. AirPlay was a good feature. Hardly works anymore. I've more or less completely switched to Amazon Fire TV/Stick. The voice search on that thing is seriously impressive. And even without that, just scrolling through shows doesn't drive you up the wall. Its like someone actually considered how someone would use the device.

All of the features you've just canned, I use regularly, and don't see the huge issue that you're talking about. I receive calls on my laptop daily and I've very rarely had it fail. I find being able to reply to texts and calls insanely useful. Regardless of my anecdote all new technology is prone to bugs. To say "turn off the 10 gimmick features so you can get back to some level of sanity" is ridiculous. The feature you're talking about is Handoff, its 1 checkbox in your device. Airplay not working? I use it regularly again, with Plex and Beamer, its one of the most useful things I have connected. You say its ruined through software updates, but then go on to say that your gripe is the interaction interface? And of all things, scrolling. Wouldn't that be a pre-existing condition?

I feel like your frustration could be solved with just simply setting up your devices in a way that suits your uses, not the common denominator.

If Yosemite, iOS 8 and other recent changes have shown anything, it is that that problems are not consistent across the user base -- some users are plagued by bugs, while others are somehow, inexplicably completely problem-free.

I myself have been hit hard by Yosemite bugs (graphics glitches, slowness, wifi not connecting at all, very slow wifi, Mac not coming out of sleep, AirPlay issues, Airdrop issues, Bluetooth suddenly disappearing etc., all this on a fast, fairly new MBP), but I have never experienced any iOS 8 bugs of note.

The corollary is that when someone complains, we need to take it seriously and not pretend everything is fine. Clearly many people are hit by problems, and the problems are very real.

Similar story here, and I don't even bother complaining anymore. The product is perfect. My fault, that Wifi doesn't finds no APs (fixed now in Yosemite), Bluetooth works occasionally (better in Yosemite, not up to par with competition), camera works once in Skype + next time after reboot (still happens) and audio stutters (still happens, but not as bad as in Mavericks). Oh, and don't get me started on the power brick cable quality [1]... Neither Apple or user forums care, the posts just get deleted. Whatever. My next laptop won't have a fruity logo. I need something that Just Works. Like Macbooks once were.

[1]: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC461LL/A/apple-60w-magsaf...

My next laptop won't have a fruity logo. I need something that Just Works.

I'm right there with you, but the trouble is, I'm not sure anything satisfies that criteria any more. :-(

Not so long ago, I was expecting to go the other way, with our next laptops here having that fruity logo precisely because we expected OS X to Just Work where Windows 8 was just nasty.

However, right now, neither of the major commercial platforms is at all appealing, and anything Linux-based still has the fundamental problem that there aren't enough professional quality applications available to meet our needs yet. Relying on SaaS to break the OS strangleholds is also a questionable business move that we are increasingly glad we haven't made as the stories of broken "upgrades", sharp price increases, and outright cancelled services pile up.

I'm holding out some hope that either MS will come back with the next version of Windows and promote some sort of very-long-term stability and support (which is something they have historically been good at, but it seems unlikely with their new choice of leadership) or the FOSS work will finally start to take over (but this probably requires changes in the law, specifically making clear that patents are not enforceable anywhere that matters on things used for interoperability like data formats, communications protocols, and algorithms necessary to work with them).

>If Yosemite, iOS 8 and other recent changes have shown anything, it is that that problems are not consistent across the user base -- some users are plagued by bugs, while others are somehow, inexplicably completely problem-free.

Not really inexplicably: different graphics and airport cards (in different Mac models), different wi-fi routers, some have installed BS haxies while others have not, some have updated their OS on top of the previous installation for 3-4 OSes, where others start from a clean slate, etc. Regarding Hangout, it's also different iOS device version, proximity to the phone, etc.

It's true that there are plenty of possible explanations, but whether those explanations should still be possible as we head into 2015 is a different question.

Wintel boxes through the 1990s and 2000s coped with a much more diverse range of hardware and related drivers than the Mac ecosystem has ever had, and while certainly there was the occasional glitch, the track record was dramatically better for a very long time than what we see today.

This idea that widespread failures are somehow acceptable and to be expected is a bizarre change in mindset that seems to have taken hold in the 2010s. It is not in any way inevitable. It is just a result of poor specification and standardisation, bad programming, and rushing junk to market for commercial reasons when it isn't up to the standards we used to expect, often with some vague promise that any flaws will be corrected by on-line updates later.

I'm increasingly of the view that the Internet has actually been the worst thing that has ever happened to the software industry. It should be a huge advantage, but in reality it is often used as an excuse to ship bad code early and to impose unwanted updates, rent-an-app pricing models, and other user-hostile strategies.

If anyone still made software that does an important job well and comes with meaningful long-term support, my businesses would be throwing so much money at them right now. Sadly, hardly anyone making core business software actually does. It appears that I am part of a small minority, and so many people are willing to accept and pay for substandard junk that this has become the dominant software business model of this decade.

The most frustrating thing is that, since apparently there aren't enough of us for our money to swing things back in a more quality-driven direction, it's not clear what any of us can do constructively to make things any better now. Maybe when things reach their logical conclusion and people are actually dying because some 13-year-old script kiddie accidentally crashed their car by remote control, the wider public will finally get the message and start demanding acceptable quality again.

>Wintel boxes through the 1990s and 2000s coped with a much more diverse range of hardware and related drivers than the Mac ecosystem has ever had, and while certainly there was the occasional glitch, the track record was dramatically better for a very long time than what we see today.

Perhaps rose colored glasses? I've used those Wintel systems and dealing with new and unexpected issues, with drivers, software, peripherals etc, was a day to day occurence.

It still is now, judging from Wintel friends I have, including my parents and siblings. It's just that in Wintel world there so many vendors and combinations of components, that no PC system has a multi-million units production run that a Mac has. Even for a company that pushes lots of units, like Dell, they offer 40+ different configurations at any point in time...

I honestly don't think it was ever as bad in those days as what we're seeing now, though, with the possible exception of high-end games where poor quality graphics drivers were notorious for causing crashes for a while (and still are, to some extent).

The only other big drop in compatibility that I can remember from recent years was when MS effectively moved to a different model for handling device drivers with Windows 7, which broke backward compatibility with some older devices whose vendors didn't always issue new Windows 7 drivers to replace the broken ones.

Still, considering that this was the first such change for many years and it's hardly reasonable to expect an OS developer to support the drivers for every hardware peripheral ever used on that OS, I don't think that's a bad track record.

> You say its ruined through software updates, but then go on to say that your gripe is the interaction interface?

Yeah, imagine that, multiple complaints: 1. Software updates made Apple TV AirPlay incredibly unreliable for me. And its not just me, lots of people have had this happen. I btw still think Airplay is a stellar feature and if it ever got fixed it would continue to make me stick with Apple TV. 2. The UI sucks:...

> And of all things, scrolling.

Navigating episodes/content/movies/whatever on the Apple TV is a very bad experience. Its hard to explain without first using a good experience. On Apple TV, if I'm on the last episode of a show on Season 1 that I own, getting to episode 1 of Season 2 which I don't yet own is very difficult. I have to go all the way up to "more on iTunes", then choose a season, then get to that episode. On Amazon Fire TV, its just the next episode on the list. Apple TV also strangely sorts episodes you don't own earliest to latest, but episodes you DO own latest to earliest. If I go to purchased Tv shows > all, I have no idea what the sort order is. I think it might be most recent, but then the very first show on the list I bought over a year ago, so that can't be it. And as far as I can tell I can't search the purchased section anyways, so I have to literally scroll down some non-alphabetical list of 220 shows in my case if there's a show I'm pretty sure I bought but I can't quite remember the exact name. I'm not sure how to properly describe this mess, which is why I just said "scrolling", because thats what the experience feels like on the Amazon Fire TV: you just scroll through content and don't find yourself endlessly going in and out of menu "sections". It sounds to me that you don't use the actual Apple TV UI but instead use Plex (on a jailbroken Apple TV?), which is fine, but it says nothing of the Apple TV experience.

Edit: BTW, your mention of Plex reminded me of another (long overdue) failing of Apple TV. I happen to also use Plex on my Amazon Fire TV. The install process was tapping the voice button on my remote, saying "plex", then selecting install from the app store. The process on Apple TV is either jailbreaking, running an app that pretends to be the the trailers server (which may break on any upgrade of Apple TV) or accessing your plex content somewhere else and airplaying it.

I share the same frustrations, but I guess I've also accepted that I'm not playing by the rules with my setup (especially with Plex). I hope that they do open Apple TV to more development so it isn't as foreign, it has a lot of potential, but seems to not be a focus.

Quick FYI--you can disable this on your phone if you want to globally disable on all devices. It's weirdly in Settings->Facetime, as "iPhone Cellular Calls".

I kind of love this bug. It's the perfect excuse for never talking to anyone.

Mom/Dad/Wife/Girlfriend/Boss: "Hey! Pick up your phone!"

"Can't. No phone calls where I live."

"Oh. Where do you live?"


"Oh. Sorry."

not to mention that until you realize it, your maid can answer calls to your cell phone from the tv

I'm at my wits end with Yosemite. I'm very seriously considering switching to Linux or Windows. Of the numerous problems this OS has, my biggest problem is waking my rMBP from sleep. About 20% of the time, it just doesn't wake up and requires a hard shutdown. I never had that problem with Mountain Lion or Mavericks.

I recommend running Linux (any stable distro) with Xfce. It's worked/looked exactly the same for years[0], and there won't be any sudden/unpleasant changes in the future either.

0: http://xfce.org/about/screenshots

While I'm (we're) critical of the regressions when it comes to UI performance, switching to linux means giving up an entire ecosystem of apps, completely changing workflows, and in some cases depending on the kind of development that one does, making our jobs impossible.

That's why for me Linux is the only sensible choice of platforms. All the other platforms means giving complete control over my tools to a single company.

You're about to give it up to Red Hat, with systemd taking over everything, whether that's your cup of tea or not, that's what's going to happen.

Yeah, soon Vim and Emacs and even GCC will be integrated with systemd!! Resistance is futile.

So much this. I've settled on elementaryOS 0.2 (based off Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) for all my development, staging, and production environments, being netbook, notebook, All-in-One desktop, Mac mini and all my VPS servers. Software package consistency is a invaluable, and you don't even have to give up on the looks:


to me, Ubuntu 14.10 is still very rough. there are so many inconsistency everywhere: shortcuts, software's ui, etc...

take a simple example: usually Ctrl Q (cmd q on os x) means quit. try doing on os x will quit the app 9 out of 10 times. on ubuntu? not really.

Wait... You are not running Elementary on production servers are you???

That's ironic, considering the major wave of OSX adoption was due to linux-oriented developers who found it easier to keep working with their linux ecosystem on OSX than on Windows.

Not major, just vocal in these circles.

On a laptop, the regression in battery life switching to Linux or Windows is just a no-go. Also, it's not like Linux is famous for "just working" when it comes to suspend/resume.

Ubuntu 9.04 onwards no big issues with suspend to ram. Hibernate to disk can be problematic if someone uses 'guided partitioning' as the swap space is sometimes a little small.

Hardware: Thinkpads (T41, X60, X200) and Dell Latitude (E5420), currently Debian Sid.

I've also had no trouble with this, lately, though I have no idea how well that generalizes to others' experiences.

An alternative upgrade path would be (any distro) + Pantheon DE (from Elementary OS). Very Mac-like, it helped me with my imaginary transition pains.

Soon thereafter, I did a tour of the usual window manager suspects and ended up with i3 <3

Arch Linux + Pantheon DE was very buggy the last I checked. I ended up just installing ElementaryOS and regretting/missing having pacman. After a while I just gave up on eOS Luna and switched back to Arch Linux with a very minimally themed Cinnamon DE.

So I agree that any distro + pantheon would be great for those looking for an OSX-like experience in Linux, but it seems the reality is not as straightforward. PantheonDE doesn't seem to be developed like KDE/Gnome/XFCE are -- i.e. with a distro-agnostic approach. Hence you're sort of tied to eOS if you want to keep any level of sanity while getting it to "just work". That was counterproductive in my experience.

I second this, I just switched my MBA to Xubuntu and I'm loving it.

Yosemite was just the push I needed to switch to Linux. I shoved Ubuntu server on my MBP with the i3 windows manager and have never been happier.

Same here. I installed Fedora 21 and dwm as the window manager. I didn't know this computer could be this fast (2010 MacBook Air). The bad thing is the battery duration, which is significantly worse than Mavericks (but approximately the same as Yosemite... I got around 5-6 hours of battery life with Mavericks, 3-4 hours with Yosemite and Linux).

I still remember when people were impressed by the speed and smoothness of the UI with Tiger or Snow Leopard on my first Mac, a white MacBook. Good times. Now we have faster computers, SSDs instead of hard disks, but slower interfaces.

My (March 2011) MBP with an SSD booted Snow Leopard in about 7-8 seconds from the bong sound to the complete desktop... My current (September 2014) MBP takes so much longer (just under Mavericks, haven't gone to Yosemite yet)... I find this disappointing.. not being able to upgrade the ram doubly so.

This will probably be my last mac hardware purchase... I like the screen and the touchpad so much better than any other laptop, but don't really use it that much, and even then I could have gotten something with similar hardware for half the price... I've thought about installing Ubuntu on it, but haven't taken the plunge just yet... I spend almost 2/3 of my time on my laptop in either a windows or linux vm, so it's kind of a wash.

I imagine Powertop is installed and that you have the cpufrequtils installed and set up. What areas does powertop highlight as taking a lot of power/triggering cpu higher states?

I didn't even know about Powertop! I was a GNU/Linux user before switching to the Mac but a lot has changed since then... I'll investigate, thanks!

Yosemite must be bad if you found Ubuntu good. I constantly get "a problem has been detected" messages whenever I boot. Got Manjaro (a user friendly Arch spin off) on my other laptop. Way less problematic and XFCE behaves predictably.

Same with me. Before upgrading I always used to close the lid to make my macbook to sleep. The wake-up experience was good. But after upgrading, after waking up the system becomes too slow to use. I have to restart. So stopped putting my mac book pro to sleep. Now I always have to shut down when not using. Apart from sleep-wakeup problem, in general this has become much slower compared to mavericks

Probably this could be related to hardware config. I have a mac book pro at work with 8GB ram and it works fine. My personal mac book pro has 4GB ram and it has problem.

That's no problem, just upgrade your ram!

Oh wait...

You can upgrade the RAM on the MacBook Pro

Source: using 16GB here

Many recent models are non-upgradeable

None of the rMBPs, nor the minis have upgradeable ram. If I had to put money on it I'd bet a dollar the next-gen iMacs will be in the same boat. Just too hard to pass up that 400% markup.

Yeah, this is ridiculous.

Especially when the default RAM they sell with is usually too small.

Go to "System Preferences - Accessibility" and enable "Differentiate without Color" and "Reduce Transparency". Made a world of a difference to me, and I no longer think about Mountain Lion.

Even "Reduce Transparency" has a nice big graphical glitch:


Yosemite breaks rounded rect corners in UI overlays, like the ones triggered by volume and brightness changes. The masking is broken when the translucent blur shaders aren't applied.

You'd think that'd something they would easily catch in QA before 10.10 shipped, but it's still broken even in 10.10.1.

In OS X 10.10.2 (14C81h), this does not seem to be a problem anymore.

Finally! I was sure they would never fix it. I'm actually considering downloading the beta now. Any other improvements?

Linux is unlikely to be better at power management than OSX, sad as that is.

not only it's unlikely, it's true. I've changed distro many times over the years and always noticed the poor power management

I had this issue too with non-waking up from sleep. Somehow the problem dissapeared after I upgraded the HDD to SSD. Now everything is working fine. Nonetheless, I'm still on Mavericks, no Yosemite upgrade yet. Just a potential solution to your sleep problem.

Please do try Gnome 3.14 - Right now, it is only part of Fedora 21. But I think you will love it. Do give it a shot.

Gnome software has switched to an infuriating naming scheme.

The file manager (gnautilus) is now called "files". The video player (totem) is now called "videos". This is so obviously broken for people who are trying to web-search for answers to problems that they're having.

Whats worse os that the renaming is inconsistent - software will get one name in the menu, another name in the help > about, and another name on the Internet.

Gnome - and I say this as politely as I can - makes me fucking hate using a computer.

Arch Linux too.

it's a desktop environment, it can be part of any distro you want, especially when an upgrade hits the decimals

Sure. But for now only Fedora 21 and ArchLinux actually release this in their official package repository because they're both very upstreamy Linux distros. You won't be able to install this without fiddling with PPAs in Debian or Ubuntu.

Gnome 3.14 appears to be the default desktop environment in Debian Unstable. Unstable is subject to change and occasionally things stop working for a bit but many people find it acceptable for non-critical use.

Had this happen once, apparently fixed with zapping NVRAM/PRAM. Never happened again...

Did you try a PROM reset? (I think that's how it's called)

Isn't it PRAM? Or is that a different thing?

I tried it on a Mac Mini. It didn't help. Yosemite performance is abysmal. I really regret upgrading.

Why not downgrade to Mountain Lion? Security updates?

My office recently started using Keynote for a lot of our presentations. Keynote presentations created on the version that is compatible with Yosemite (and nothing prior) cannot be opened on earlier versions.

Even if security updates still come for what...usually 20-30 months with Apple...they still don't care about any other kind of backward compatibility and happily break their own file formats at will.

Just to check, do Apple only provide security updates to the newest OS X?

No. Apple provides security updates for several versions. They most recently patched NTP for Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite at the same time.


Apple provides security updates back somewhere between 36 and 44 months for the OS. Unfortunately, you won't know until they announce some exploit and don't patch your OS if you've been left behind or not.

Remember iOS 7?

Same thing.

Who was the joker who kept insisting that iOS 7 was really better and very few complained? I warned about this, post-Jobs Apple design and attention to detail.

>Who was the joker who kept insisting that iOS 7 was really better and very few complained?

The majority of the population?

Obviously any one person's experience is only anecdotal, but I'm still waiting to discover that anyone I know in real life actually likes iOS since v7. However, I seem to know plenty of people who wish they hadn't upgraded, or even who returned a new iPad with a recent iOS because they thought they were getting what they'd seen before (iOS 5/6 generation tablets that friends/family had) and hated the new one so much.

Personally, we're still pre-v7 on our iPad here, after reading way too many reviews about severe performance drops on this device after the "upgrade" and learning that there is no way to go back once you've done it. We literally ignore any updates for the system from Apple and just carry on happily enjoying the product as we bought it, making us almost uniquely satisfied among iPad purchasers we know.

Just like you'll deny that people are complaining about Yosemite

Just some very vocal individuals on a niche website, and some trolls.

My own experience of Yosemite has been the polar opposite of many here; better stability, faster, longer battery life etc. All on a 2011 MacBook Air. I never had any kind of issue with iOS 7 either. The odd reset over the last year on my iPhone 5, but the significant majority of the time (99% at least) it worked and it worked well. Sorry to rock your world view, but have you at least posited that these people vociferously complaining are not representative of the whole? Ditto iOS? I know you will chalk me up as another "fanboy"...

It has nothing to do with Jobs, there were plenty of bugs and other problems during his reign, too. So much that, in fact, it was an axiom for tech minded people not to install any new versions of the OS until at least 10.X.1 version.

Nope. Battery life and stability has been way better for me. And the UI improvements help a bunch. Also, the tight integration with iOS is so great.

Stability is not "completely lost"

Answering calls on my Mac is one of my favorite new features. When it works, it works well. When it doesn't work, it fails upfront. You really have to play with your icloud and FaceTime settings to trick it into working. It's absurd how complicated the whole relationship between iCloud, FaceTime, iMessages, and my devices is. The settings need to be perfect for things to work correctly. I can't even imagine if it was someone who wasn't tech-savvy trying to use these features.

You should see what you have to do to get SMS Continuity working if you have a phone provider that hasn't been "verified" by Apple as supporting iMessage: http://www.theonlinemac.com/windhelp

buy a phone from Motorola. the pc phone integration for that is pretty good. and been there for ages

One major drawback for me is a constant flickering in Intellij Idea and Emacs. I'm not sure who is responsible for this, but user experience is just terrible. I'll definitely downgrade to 10.9 when I'll have enough spare time.

I didn't see much problems besides it. I like new design, animations are smooth enough for me and everything works well enough.

I noticed the same in IntelliJ 12. Tried 14 and still had issues. I noticed the flickering goes away once I've turned off Flux (or, at least it doesn't flicker as often).

Not saying it is Flux's fault but I'm curious if you're running Flux and get the same result when exiting.

No, I don't use Flux.

I noticed the same flickering in PyCharm (Python flavored Intellij Idea). I hadn't realized it started after upgrading to Yosemite but it makes sense now. I had assumed it was caused by upgrading to PyCharm 4.0 from 3.x.

There's an extended ticket for that issue [1]. The gist is to update to the latest Java 1.8.

For PHPStorm JetBrains has also released a version with a bundled JDK 1.8 which fixes the flickering for me [2].

[1] https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-131593 [2] http://blog.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/2014/12/phpstorm-8-0-2-bu...

I could not agree more with your frustrations and observations luciferre, I do hope someone out there from Apple will spot the concerns raised here and take them more seriously than those reported as bugs.

I answer my mobile from my iMac regularly without issues. I don't have the 'continuity' feature due to Apple's choice to block old iMacs (mine is a late-08 model), other than that, it's a bit slower at app-launching but I didn't had any major issues.

>due to Apple's choice to block old iMacs

this wasn't a choice of blocking older Macs. The fact is that continuity requires Bluetooth LE (or you would be complaining about greatly reduced phone battery life) and your old iMac doesn't have BT-LE capable hardware (BT-LE and BT only share the name - aside of that they are quite disimilar)

It's a little less clear than that, unfortunately. Apple chose to not support third-party Bluetooth LE dongles, which might be a reasonable engineering limitation. However, if you upgrade your Mac with a BT-LE capable board used by other Continuity-capable Macs, you still can't use Continuity by default; you need to patch some kexts and disable kernel kext signing[1].

It really does feel like Apple blacklisted older machines from using Continuity; only third-party kext hacking can get things started again.

[1] https://github.com/dokterdok/Continuity-Activation-Tool/

Sorry for the ignorance, Windows user here. Can't you somehow downgrade?

You can, its actually easier than in Windows since theres no licensing issues to handle.

Windows doesnt really have licensing issues. You call a phone number, tell them you want to activate windows, read them a number, and a machine reads you a number. It takes about 6 minutes of your life, and Microsoft always activates when you ask.

For example, if you buy Windows 8.1 you have downgrade rights to every earlier version. All you do is speak with a person, say "I would like to activate windows" and they say ok. Its not a hassle unless you do it daily.

It's a hassle if you have to call the vendor at all. Not all Windows versions have downgrade rights (see Vista, certain editions of 7).

Also pricing is an issue: all recent desktop versions of MacOSX are either free or very inexpensive ($30 or less).

You could likewise say that filing an insurance claim is easy... sure, but for some folks even knowing to make the call is an undue burden - exactly how the vendor wants it.

As a counter argument, Apple fans are always telling me "just go to the genius bar, they'll sort it out". As if that isn't a hassle. I've never had the need to take any of my windows machines in to be serviced.

Old versions of OS X that you've previously downloaded are always available for re-download in the Mac App Store. You can use those downloads to downgrade.

I do regret upgrading. My wireless trackball and mice no longer work smoothly and this is a known problem apparently with RF and bluetooth pointing devices. It's one thing to make things slower or for new features to be buggy, but making the system unusable is unacceptable, IMO. I'm looking at dual booting Linux now and possibly making the switch back. The only reason I haven't yet is because I luckily still have wired versions of the same trackball.

Aside from the obvious and major performance and stability issues Here's another one, which I've been experiencing: https://discussions.apple.com/message/27289663#27289663

I don't know why WindowServer keeps crashing in this fashion.

Mavericks and Yosemite have broken Finders and some major crashing problems. Lion was also pretty horrible. I wish Apple would do another "Snow Leopard" so we can get back to a stable system. Yosemite also has some weird issues with SMB connections to servers.

>One of the most refreshing things about moving from primarily using Windows/Linux to a Mac for me was the sensibility, stability and the fact that things just worked the way you expected them to. Now that seems to be completely lost.

Ha! No one cares about desktop any more.

When you're ready you can try Windows 8, a surprisingly mature and stable OS that runs on a hardware ecosystem several orders of magnitude more complex.

You get used to the fact that it was clearly designed to run on a tablet. The metro start page is actually quite good, even on desktop.

But if you were serious, I'd look for a non-prism-compromised OS.

I've always thought of Apple as a marketing company that happens to sell technology, and not a technology company that sells through marketing.

Also the capitalism of today with all of its lust for profits, sales, budgets, and deadlines its kind of luddite, can have a predatory behaviour for innovation and advancements in technology in general.

I think if tech companies want to survive for more than 10/20 years, they will need to get into the core of the system, of THE machine, and figure it out better ways to survive by really delivering good tech and innovation, and not by just promissing a world with rainbows and unicorns

A marketing company that happens to sell technology would be selling some sort of standard solution. As Apple develops everything from their protocols to chips to operating systems to complete devices in house... I'd say they're a technology company who also takes marketing very seriously.

My point is, Apple is not successful because they have the best technology, they are successful because they have the best marketing (and cult followers)

They design their own CPUs, displays, operating systems, consumer and professional applications, connectors, development tools and languages, desktops, laptops and mobile devices in house.

Which company would you say has a greater engineering footprint across technologies and business sectors than Apple? There are a few tech companies that actually do one or two things that Apple doesn't, but I can't think of any that do everything that Apple does.

Oh forgive me priest of the Apple church, cause i've committed a sin.. How many ipads i have to buy to be forgiven?


I feel like the entire compositor has a performance regression. This includes dragging windows, and seems to have nothing to do with transparency.

When running OS X virtualized inside VMWare Fusion (which does not have hardware accelerated video drivers for the guest), Mavericks was very usable. Yosemite dropped to 2fps (measured using Quartz Debug tools).

I had to use Quartz Debug (available in the Graphics Debug Tools here [1]) to disable beam sync to make it usable again. In VMWare, this takes me from 2fps to around 50fps for basic operations like dragging a window around and typing.

I've observed noticeable improvements disabling Beam Sync in a native environment as well. Unfortunately, I've found no way to do it without leaving Quartz Debug open. Quartz Debug also has an FPS meter in the menu bar under "Window -> FrameMeter". My framerate when dragging a large window in Yosemite with "Beam Sync: Automatic" is around 40fps. With "Beam Sync: Disable" it's almost a steady 60fps.

A stable test in System Preferences for me is the Dock settings.

[1] https://developer.apple.com/downloads/

I use BeamSyncDropper v2 and have it open on startup. The only downsize is it takes a bit for the terminal window to load and execute the shell script. If you have an SSD this shouldn't be a problem, just be patient for that 2-3 seconds of painstaking peasantry. xD

Download and discussion about BeamSyncDropper can be found here: http://www.tonymacx86.com/customization/92201-beamsyncdroppe...

Also one thing about OS X running in VMWare is make sure you're using the specific CPU to the fullest potential. Graphics are rendered with the use of CPU. If you don't have the processor(s) / cores set properly you could be only at 50% overall performance. For example, I am currently using an i3 330UM. I've noticed a significant jump in performance switching from single processor 2 cores; to 2 processors 4 cores.

Personally, Mavericks outperformed Yosemite on this little machine. I've experienced long window load times, hangs, and even guest crashes since the jump... My main desktop workstation is rocking an i7-930; I WILL NOT upgrade my main VMWare workstation to Yosemite. If I need to I will just clone my current VMWare image and run Mavericks / Yosemite in tandem. I would much prefer Mavericks > Yosemite...

Okay, BeamSyncDropper is awesome.

I put this [1] in `~/Library/LaunchAgents/self.beamsync.dropper.plist` and it starts immediately in the background on login. (Make sure to change the program path).

[1] https://bochs.info/p/8k7aj

I get this awful glitching when switching spaces and I can’t really see much of a speedup. Not sure about the awesomeness, but it is fairly easy to try out.

I have the same problem, switching spaces will get stuck or glitch. Often times skipping the space i was trying to get to. didnt have this problem on mavericks. I wiped my system and reinstalled and its still there. Im not sure what the point of yosemite is, considering all these phone features google supports via chrome plugins why apple has to bake it into the OS perplexes me.

If you have my problem (bad perf running Yosemite on software rendering), it's far better than using Quartz Debug to disable Beam Sync. Pure curiosity: what's your computer?

I think a big part of it is the glass blur effect that they put on everything with yosemite.

I also feel that since iOS 7 that stability and quality has gone down a lot, or they got too ambitious with the glass blur effect.

The glass blur effect is actually disabled in VMware and other unaccelerated graphics devices. You can disable it on intel/AMD/nvidia too, the setting is in the accessibility part of system preferences.

They've just removed the last remnants of pure 2D acceleration support in Yosemite, it's HW-accelerated OpenGL or nothing now. They also changed the timing of screen updates, which locks some drivers at 8FPS. Finally, the rounded corners on windows seem to be broken in the software renderer.

Before you go blaming VMWare etc. for not offering an OpenGL driver: Apple doesn't document those APIs at all, there aren't even headers files. They don't even officially support writing a graphics device driver at all (according to DTS), but they provide enough source code so you can figure out how to do so, albeit not providing 3D acceleration.

At some point I'm going to attempt shimming CoreGraphics or wherever it ends up to fake 3D acceleration by proxying the OpenGL calls to the host without using a real driver.

Have you used iOS 7.1+ on an iPhone 5/5S or better? I haven't noticed any performance issues since iOS 7.0. I think they've optimized the hell out of the blur effect at this point.

Bugs and generally poor software quality, however? Yes.

As a general experience it's 'good enough' on the iphone 5. It would of been cut otherwise. But for example if you compare starting and using any app on iOS 6 vs iOS 7, you'll find out that the exact same executable is far faster on iOS 6 than iOS 7.

They said at wwdc that the blur effect took a lot of 'optimization' work. You don't have a lot of control over how it works and in iOS 7 you had to hack it in by using a UIToolbar vs applying it to a UIView in iOS 8. If you have any view with a significant amount of the blur effect on screen, the animation speed will slow down considerably in the simulator.

They use the effect everywhere in iOS and I bet it does contribute to a decent chunk of performance reduction.

A little bit off-top, but what are you using as your Host Machine? I've been trying to get Yosemite to install on VBox w/ Ubuntu as the host to no avail.

Yosemite is running on VMWare Fusion inside OS X Mavericks.

was heavily involved in the beta testing of 10.10, In my experience Yosemite is by far not only the most buggy, but also slowest release of OSX.

I am saddened to report that only one of the many performance regressions I reported was actually fixed (In that case within Mail.app).

A huge portion of the performance problems seem to be stemming from the graphics subsystem. If you use Yosemite on dual Retina or even WQHD displays you'll know what I'm talking about.

Add graphics glitches, immature theming and wireless problems to the over all poor performance and were talking about major issues in areas that OSX has been known as a leader in.

My biggest issue is that Apple seems to be ignoring most of the core performance issues that are being reported - just look at the number of unresolved posts on the Apple forums.

I do hope that Tim Cook is becoming aware of the drop in reputation that OSX has received since Yosemite and is leading his teams to perform more in depth performance soak testing before releases in the future.

I don't understand why they insist on the fixed yearly release cycle. I'm convinced that's the real source of most of these problems; Yosemite might have been awesome with a few extra months of testing and polishing, it was a major release in many respects and 12 months is very little time for projects of this magnitude.

Is it just because iOS is forced to release in sync with hardware, and hence OSX has to follow suit in order to support new iOS features as fast as possible? What is the point, if the experience is then sub-par?

Its especially bad on the 13" rMBP which has a relatively weak GPU. When using scaled resolutions the UI lag is very noticeable, i also get some redrawing issues of icons. You can improve the situation by disabling transparency effects, but that produces some graphical glitches.

In the end i disabled retina resolution and am running native 1680x1050 now. Definitely not as crisp but i got used to it and system load is considerably less (especially when playing back video and such) now and battery life improved as well.

Current GPUs in the Macbooks are just not ready to handle the massive resolutions used for scaling. Just try to run a 60fps youtube video in a scaled resolution and you will see your system load go up to the point the video might even stutter.

> In the end i disabled retina resolution and am running native 1680x1050 now. Definitely not as crisp but i got used to it and system load is considerably less (especially when playing back video and such) now and battery life improved as well.

I don't think that 1680x1050 is native or even half-native on the 13. IIRC the Air is 1440x900 and the 13 rmbp is less than that (when you count the points).

This is why I keep telling people who want a 13' Mac to get the air, but sadly very few listen…

I used a 11" Macbook Air at uni before getting a rMBP. IT was buttery smooth, nothing could make it stutter on Mavericks. Great experience although the screen size was a tad on the small size. I eventually settled on a rMBP 13" (2014 edition) and couldn't be happier. Sure, i sometimes get stutter swiping through fullscreen apps or using Chrome on heavy pages but the retina and its scaling makes it so much worth it. Seriously, couldn't be happier. Reading text on this is phenomenal.

And it's not buyer's remorse or anything like that, i got it for free through a university programme and could have got the Macbook Air if i wanted to.

Sounds to me like they were pushing the feature so they can run up against hi-res machines from competitors.

Anybody with one of the new 5k imacs want to chime in? Similar graphics issues.

You would think with all the smart, detail oriented, outgoing people at apple, SOMEONE would have pulled the person responsible for shifting to a yearly cycle and tell them: "look, this accelerated release cycle, it's not resulting in quality software. It's hurting our reputation. It's not performing on 2 year old hardware. People are losing faith in our ability to release stable bug-free builds. Users shouldn't have to cross their fingers when upgrading. This is Apple."

But no, that's probably not happening.

I don't even understand who they're competing with by doing yearly updates. It's probably a big scramble to get features released and for what? To beat Windows 8? To beat linux? They don't have any threats when it comes to desktop operating systems, so they should slow down and make some quality updates.

It keeps the size of each update much smaller and less error-prone. Each update contains a few significant changes and lots of minor ones.

It's a good strategy for a variety of reasons:

  - it lets the OS theming feel fresh on a regular basis

  - it lets apple break/disable bad apps that have entered the ecosystem
  - it keeps all the OSS binaries more in sync with the fast-paced OSS world.

  - it lets the actual periodic security updates be used only for critical fixes.  Try loading Windows 8 and you immediately have over 200 critical hotfixes that take nearly a day to download and install on 2 year old hardware.

  - Apple's biggest strength is attention to UX details.  Each release contains the byproduct of massive amounts of research/data.
None of this excuses buggy releases, but overall it's significantly less buggy than any similarly ambitious OS out there.

> it lets apple break/disable bad apps that have entered the ecosystem

You can easily do that with patches and blacklists.

> it keeps all the OSS binaries more in sync with the fast-paced OSS world.

That's hilarious, sorry. Nobody who cares for "OSS binaries" uses anything shipped by Apple -- we all use Homebrew and equivalents, because anything shipped by Apple is invariably ancient.

> Try loading Windows 8 and you immediately have over 200 critical hotfixes that take nearly a day to download and install on 2 year old hardware.

That can be easily solved with release-specific service packs, and it's not an excuse to wreck the entire UI.

> Each release contains the byproduct of massive amounts of research/data.

Such "massive" research, if it's anything remotely valuable, doesn't change every 12 months. You don't have breakthroughs in UI design every 12 months.

You know what changes every 12 months? Fashion.

>it lets the OS theming feel fresh on a regular basis

I doubt they will be making significant changes every year. 2014 was the exception

>it keeps all the OSS binaries more in sync with the fast-paced OSS world

Too many key utilities are extremely outdated due to GPL3. Apple also seems to be moving away from free software wherever it can

>Each release contains the byproduct of massive amounts of research/data.

They seem to be letting the consumers do a lot of the testing (with the open beta for instance). Many features seem half baked, conceptually, and in execution.

Away from Free Software™, yes. Away from open-source software? Not at all. The MIT/BSD-licenced parts of OSX get updated all the time.

MIT/BSD is free software too. What they're moving away from is copyleft.

Wait, what?

In terms of market share, OS X is to Windows as Windows Phone is to iOS. Sometime about a year ago, Windows 8 alone already had higher market share than all versions of OS X combined, and has only been increasing the lead since.

Windows 10 is looking to be the spiritual successor to Windows 7, combining the improvements that came in 8 with a UI that's more palatable for many. And, now there are ample PC hardware options that rival or surpass Apple's in many aspects, which is a lot of what sold MacBooks to average consumers in the past.

I would guess that Apple is taking Windows 10 very seriously.

Lets them make new features that go with their new devices. In the device space they compete with firms that make new phones three times per year.

> You would think with all the smart, detail oriented, outgoing people at apple, SOMEONE would have pulled the person responsible for shifting to a yearly cycle and tell them

Let me ask you a question off the topic, have you ever successfully take your boss aside and tell him he's not managing the situation right and the whole project stinks? (Paraphrasing what you're basically saying) A lot of people would be afraid to speak up.

I doubt the Apple managers are encouraging the engineers to speak their minds. Look at the recent reports of how badly the iCloud and Map divisions were managed, not to mention the ways SJ practically pushed his employees over the limits for his own vision and not listening to anything else.

Apple has smart engineers but I doubt they have managers that understand what QA is all about and focusing on quality than numbers.

This particular issue is probably due to process isolation and sandboxing.

In Tiger, all of those pref panes were loaded into the System Preferences app, and each pane could access all the same data as any other. 3rd party pref panes are supported.

In Yosemite, each of those panes is its own process.

That doesn't excuse it, just saying something about what's going on.

I wish SL were still getting updates, it was the best OS release Apple ever made. It went downhill the moment they went to annual release cycles.

I rather wait 2-3 years for a new OS update that is stable, fast, and responsive than dealing with all weird glitches that's turning me off OS X for good. Windows 10 in alpha builds feels better than Lion-Yosemite.

I agree. I stuck with Snow Leopard as long as I could (enough software was no longer compatible). No other mac OS in my experience was as stable (I've been using system macos 7)

I'm always hoping Apple will release the next os with no new features and the requisite performance and stability updates.

My work basically has issued a blanket, don't upgrade to yosemite, but the new app update system seems to always strongly suggest it.

Agreed. SL was released under unique circumstances: most engineers were working on the first version of iOS, and the remaining core OS folks had free reign to improve the architecture without management pressure to add features.

The decline started with Lion. Snow Leopard was the pinnacle of the OS. They were able to offset or mask some of this with SSD drives. But, it has become pretty sloppy for folks that really wanted to tune their systems for performance. Couple that with the questionable changes on the UI over the last couple major releases and I didn't see anything I wanted anymore.

> Snow Leopard was the pinnacle of the OS.

A thousand times this. I stuck it out with 10.6 for the longest time. Eventually, "people" stopped bothering to release for 10.6 (Java 7... :/) and Apple lost me as a customer.

Which was a blessing in disguise - I'm very happy with Ubuntu + i3 and wouldn't go back even if they got their shit together.

Adium still lists 14% of their users on Snow Leopard.


It's painful to support these days but I'm still trying keep my apps compatible with it.

Adium has had a huge decline in users, though, since then, so the percentage isn't as informative.

For example, if you look back to a couple years ago, we had ~180k stats pings for the same week period[1] as we do now at ~20k[2].

I think what you're seeing/reporting here is that users who still use Adium are not entirely upgrading. That's probably true, but has more to do with Messages.app in newer versions supporting iMessage than anything else.

(I was one of the Adium developers for years. I don't even use it anymore because of the prevalence of iMessage and the decline in general IM.)

[1]: https://www.adium.im/sparkle/?year=2012&week=01&graph=bar [2]: https://www.adium.im/sparkle/?year=2014&week=51&graph=bar

That's too bad Adium is in decline. I've always tried to not rely on Apples built in messsaging and hoped a lot of other users still felt the same.

Lion was also the OS where they started cutting out core functionality (e.g. the ACPI controller) from their open source releases.

I hadn't noticed any perceptible performance differences in Yosemite on my 2011 MBP.

After reading this article, I opened up System Preferences on an external WQHD monitor and... yes, indeed. That transition is not very smooth. Informally, it doesn't seem slower ...it's just not as smooth as the old effect.

As another poster noted, in Yosemite those panels now use a cross-dissolve effect instead the simpler slide and fade in earlier versions of OSX.

Thing is, I'm not sure I would have noticed this in a million years.

How much time do you guys spend clicking around in System Preferences every day? This really affects you?

I don't know of any other apps with preference panes that use this effect. I tried two other apps (iTunes and Pages) and neither one uses the cross dissolve.

I understand that this small regression is merely emblematic of the issues some of you are experiencing; none of you are claiming that System Preferences itself has a huge impact on your daily lives. But this is such a ridiculous regression to select as the poster child for Yosemite's perceived woes.

I totally agree the example I posted is ridiculous. Let me explain why I did it.

I was a hackintosh user for years. I got an old lenovo from 2007 with an intel core 2 duo and thought it would be fun to install OS X Tiger on it. Install went smoothly except the intel integrated graphics wasn't supported.

I decided to check out System Preferences to see how much had changed in all these years. I immediately noticed this perfectly smooth animation between panels. I couldn't believe it was so slow - and with no graphics driver! So I tried it on my rMBP and it was incredibly laggy. I just quickly recorded it with my phone and thought I'd show just one small part of OS X that really represents a much bigger picture of UI performance regressions.

Hm, I don't think this is a good example if the point is to talk about general graphics slowness, because the slowness here is not due to generic graphics issues.

This is slow because each pane is running in its own process and it's doing some complicated cross-process graphics stuff to get all the drawing into the same window. This changed in… maybe Lion?

If you ever get the itch, I'd love to see follow-up posts with examples that are more system-wide in nature!

Interesting. The flashing at least seems to be an isolated System Preferences bug, as I don't remember seeing it in any other applications.

Would be better to compare a larger number of UI interactions - Finder, Safari, Exposé/Mission Control, iTunes, etc., to more clearly establish a pattern rather than just claiming it anecdotally. Not saying the pattern isn't there, but proving it would be a breath of fresh in air in an area typically so subjective and dominated by perceptual biases.

It's because the preference pane is being drawn by an XPC service, which is a separate process from System Preferences that's drawing the window chrome. This is for improved security, but synchronizing animations across multiple processes is difficult.

Not only that, it only flashes in certain areas of Sys Prefs.

For me, I see flashes only in General, Security & Privacy and so on. It looks fine in Dock, Mission Control and so on. I think it is just a bug in certain layouts.

Tiger didn't have Mission Control, but I certainly think there are other tests that could be done that really compare all aspects of the OS.

I can tell you that Mission Control is, at times (far too frequently) extremely laggy for me on OS X Yosemite. Couple that with apps leaking memory, leaving me with mere megabytes of free RAM, and my top of the line rMBP slows to a crawl.

Dashboard has become virtually unusable in Yosemite. "Laggy" is an understatement. If I'm activating it after a restart, it can take a full minute for the widgets to become active. The same selection is available instantly in Snow Leopard. Thank goodness I've got a partitioned drive, and can switch back and forth between Y and SL as needed.

The "free RAM" statistic is meaningless. Are any applications in particular using lots of private memory?

Tiger had Exposé, which is close enough.

It doesn't help that the styles updated to be super vibrant.

It highlights that the buttons are disabled then enabled when the animation has finished.

Not sure what everyone is talking about, I loaded Yosemite on my 3 macbooks (2010 11" air, 2011 13" air, and 2014 13" pro) and it works perfectly on all with no glitching whatsoever.

Could be a retina thing. I see it on my MBPr 15 2013.

Same here with the MBPr 15" 2012.

I recommend a clean install of Yosemite. After upgrading from the beta versions to the final release, I still had UI elements misplaced (e.g. the address bar in Safari was 1/3 the width and stuck on the left edge).

A clean install fixed the UI alignment and some other minor quirks. I still notice occasional black squares in Safari which cover a portion of the screen; a page refresh seems to resolve the issue. But Firefox developer edition, on the other hand, is snappy and responsive.

my MBP is a MBPr

While loitering in the local Apple store, I got on a new 5k iMac and started launching a bunch of applications with multiple windows, alt-tabbing and clicking around really fast, etc. Normal dev workflow stuff..

Discovering the glitchy flash in the system preferences pane was really unsettling. Almost a uncanny valley type situation.

I'm still on Mavericks. I've been waiting for bug fixes from Apple and application support for non-Apple apps before upgrading to Yosemite. But after seeing the glitchy-ness on the 5k and reading these comments..

Both recent upgrades are pretty disappointing. When I first got an iPhone 4, I was astonished by how there were practically zero bugs, especially compared to my previous no-name OS, bug-infested phones.

Are there actually more bugs in Yosemite/iOS8? And if so, can we identify potential factors?

Technical challenges shifting to Swift? Regular product life cycle growing pains? Decreased focus on OSs from Apple Increased product-lines/technologies? Pivot from price-skimming to market-capture business strategy?

>Are there actually more bugs in Yosemite/iOS8? And if so, can we identify potential factors?

No. There are some bugs and some glitches, like in every release.

Nothing to write home about, except from a small percentage of the population with a Mac from a faulty production run (but that's hardware, not the OS), or with some software that's hogging the cpu (but that's the software, not the OS).

I have this flashing in System Prefs -- it's a small annoyance, but nothing especially interesting or getting in the way. There are 2-3 more bugs. And some things introduced

I was there from OS X 10.2. People have complained for every single OS X release...

Haha 10.2, yeah in 10.2 you were lucky if you could get something working after 30 minutes in bash.

Honestly, I think it's simply because they tried to do way too much for this release. And everyone said that after WWDC. I remember thinking, "Wow. They just announced a TON of stuff, way more than any previous year. I wonder how they'll be able to execute on this."

Turns out, they can't.

Discovering the glitchy flash in the system preferences pane was really unsettling. Almost a uncanny valley type situation.

I need to see a video of this moment.

Earlier this year, around 3 months ago, when i bought my brand new Macbook Pro 15" Iris Pro (the one without discrete graphics card). I was i disappointed in the performance of the UI, and i uploaded 3 videos to showcase the problems.

A 2000$ dollar machine stuttering when i drag windows around.




That's also what I experienced. Yosemite UI Performance is super slow compared to Mavericks. Maybe by rewriting the UI Code they also got rid of speed optimizations from the Bertrand Serlet era :/

Turning off transparency in the Accessibility preferences fixed it for me.

And now you get the funny black corners in the hud when changing the volume... Polish is needed.

Funny you mention that. I interned at Upthere last summer and got to know Bertrand a bit. We had some good conversations about the NeXT days. I wish I was still there now so I could talk to him about this. I'm sure he has some interesting input since he knows the software inside and out.

I recently updated from Mavericks to Yosemite on my 2012 rMBP. Even with no transparency on my battery life was down from 6+ hours to less than 3.5 hours! And everything is so annoyingly slow. After 3 days with Yosemite I had to use my wife's 2009 Air for something, it's running Mavericks, and wow, the speed! That day I restored from a backup and now I am back to running 10.9. My battery is back to 6+ hours, and my laptop is flying.

I also updated my iPad 3 from iOS 6 to iOS 8. Now it's unusable! So, so, so slow. And that I can't even downgrade. If you are going to screw things up, Apple, can you at least give me an option to downgrade.

I think the main problem is the monolithic aspect of the OSX and iOS. Why is the Mail or Face Time app part of the OS?

You need at least 8GB to avoid pageouts while running Yosemite. Well, you can get away with running Safari all by itself in 4GB without getting too many pageouts, but that's about it.

Verified by observing vm_stat values on my 4GB 'Air and my wife's 8GB 'Air.

>I recently updated from Mavericks to Yosemite on my 2012 rMBP. Even with no transparency on my battery life was down from 6+ hours to less than 3.5 hours! And everything is so annoyingly slow.

Actually your memory usage should go down with Yosemite -- they have new technologies just for that. Same for battery file, it should go up.

Since this is HN, do people do basic investigation, or assume that anything that doesn't seem to work is a lost cause and just switch OSs, re-install, or complain?

Your experience for example seems more like some rogue app with extensive CPU/memory usage driving the battery down. Have you checked Activity Monitor to try to spot if that was the case?

>Since this is HN, do people do basic investigation, or assume that anything that doesn't seem to work is a lost cause and just switch OSs, re-install, or complain? >Your experience for example seems more like some rogue app with extensive CPU/memory usage driving the battery down. Have you checked Activity Monitor to try to spot if that was the case?

Yes, I did perform basic investigation. I switched from Chrome to Safari, because Chrome was eating battery like crazy. I shut down anything that I wasn't using. Browsing the internet on Safari I was getting 3.5 hours on a charge. I even timed it! And I am not the only one, read the Apple forums complaining about this. I even reset the PRAM, as Apple recommends. It didn't help. Now I am running a lot more apps, using Chrome, compiling stuff in the background, and still getting my usual 5.5-6.5 hours of battery life (depending on the load). So, yes, I did spent over 20 hours of my life trying to make Yosemite work, and then gave up and switched back to Mavericks. I had a CC backup, so it only took 20 minutes.

>Actually your memory usage should go down with Yosemite -- they have new technologies just for that. Same for battery file, it should go up.

Also, I didn't not mention anything about memory usage, but you are right, the memory footprint was lower. About 1.6gb on average, vs 2.6gb with Mavericks. But I don't care about that, I have 16gb, so I have RAM to spare. On the other hand, I can use all the battery life I can get.

Apple does some amazing things, and some really bad things. It's important to give them due credit for the mazing things, and call them out on the crap that they put out as well. Yosemite is very slick looking and a very pretty operating system. But it is very buggy, and what Apple put out as a GM release is beta quality at best.

The UI performance decline is more drastic in "System Preferences" than in the rest of the system. It's because some of the pref panes (General, Security & Privacy, etc..) are actually remote views and involve launching processes for security (address space separation) reasons.

Yosemite uses a variation of a cross-dissolve transition when changing/showing content after a mouse click, whereas older versions do not. Give it a try and pay close attention to the window.

I've also had lots of problems with Yosemite, but I don't think this comparison is useful at all. The Hackintosh looks like a fresh install with nothing else running, whereas the rMBP has other apps running. When I don't have 100+ Safari tabs open, Yosemite runs a lot better.

The graphical glitches that he notes however, happen even on a powerful, plugged-in 15" retina model. I just tried it myself. Some parts of each screen, including the blue (or grey) themed UI elements for tabs or dropdowns, take longer to move to a selected state. It's unclear whether the delay is due to the time it takes to load the preferences for the screen -- that it can't do so before you click -- or if the graphics themselves take that long to draw but already know what state they should be in. It's funny, I knew something had changed, but I couldn't pin-point it until this video. Until the side-by-side, I figured the glitches were a side-effect from it being "too fast" since there's no transition animation. But it's obvious the animated version simply felt smoother and more integrated as a UI.

My late 2014 rMBP 15" performs just like the video, and with nothing else running. It's the only thing that's disappointed me with my purchase - their flagship laptop (well, 2nd from the top, I have the 2.2GHz) should run the OS silky smooth. Like my 2010 MBP did when I bought it in 2010.

It's sad really. I continually have incredibly high expectations for OS X and it's new releases. However, they keep proving me wrong time and time again.

I used to be incredibly "gung ho" about upgrading to Apple beta's. Then, with iOS 7, that all changed. I had to do something I've never had to. I took the beta off my phone and put back on iOS 6. Same with iOS 8 -> iOS 7, despite the nagging feeling at the back of my head that I shouldn't upgrade.

I think the real issue is, that ideals like Facebook's "move fast and break things"[0] (important to note they've stopped using that technique) has become the moral of big companies to fight the decreasing return on investment each new developer brings. To compare, the impressive thing to me about Google is that they ship so fast, with so few issues.

Despite Tim Cooks solid leadership, I think Apple is really in a grey area right now. Yeah, their profits are at an all time high, but the reason the profits exist is because they have the best hardware and software combination. As soon as one side of that edge goes away, then it might be prime time for a dedicated Microsoft to step back in.

[0] https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-engineering/reflecti...

For those who haven't read the video description:

Here's a very quick, unscientific comparison of one tiny aspect of UI performance in OS X Yosemite vs. OS X Tiger. Although this is just one example, I personally see these kinds of hiccups throughout OS X constantly. The machine running OS X Tiger is actually an Intel Core 2 Duo PC (hackintosh) from 2007 with no hardware accelerated graphics support in OS X (it's an unsupported intel integrated graphics chipset that was never used in a real mac, hence the unsupported graphics). Therefore, the Tiger demo is running without QE and CI. The machine running OS X Yosemite is a late 2013 15 inch retina MBP. Automatic graphics switching is disabled for the demo, forcing the machine to use the much more powerful Nvidia graphics card. I also have the power adapter plugged in so that the system isn't in a low power state. I've been using OS X for 8 years now. From 2007 to 2013, I used hackintoshes (custom built with compatible hardware). Those machines ran Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks. I got my rMBP in 2013 and it's now my primary machine. It first ran Mavericks, then I upgraded it to Yosemite this year. It's been my experience that the performance of all of my machines has noticeably declined since the release of Lion. In terms of UI performance, my rMBP running Mavericks/Yosemite is nowhere near as responsive as any of my Snow Leopard machines were. Fingers crossed that WWDC 2014 focusses on major speed and stability improvements for OS X and iOS. New features are great, but not at the cost of performance.

I am currently working on an OpenGL based UI toolkit and recently purchased a 4K monitor and a EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti to drive the display for testing purposes. As you might expect, it appears taxing to push 4X the content over the bus or have the card render content at a high resolution.

This may not be the effect seen here, but it is the first thing that came to mind. I am not sure how well system hardware has kept up with display technology.

Not strictly resolution dependant. The same problem is present on current model macbook airs and non-retina imacs.

I noticed a lot of UI speed degradation as well, especially when using a dual monitor setup and changing focus from one screen to the other. This was the most visible when OSX tries to refresh the menubar icons. I did a fresh install (instead of upgrade to the beta) and things seem to be a little better but I guess this just has to do with the fresh install clearing my mac of all the bloat that it acquired in the past years.

I do agree that Yosemite has had some performance regressions, but people seem to remember the older operating systems with rose colored glasses. I used 10.3 to 10.5 on the 2005 PowerBook G4 (1.67 GHz) and it was incredibly slow. Spotlight was nearly useless. The fans would frequently spin up. And let's not talk about Finder locking up when a network mount disappeared. Right now I use 10.10 on the original 2012 Retina MBP, and even though Yosemite is a bit slower than Mavericks it is still leagues faster than (Mountain) Lion on the same machine (which is what it shipped with). The biggest performance regressions I've seen have been in Safari, but Chrome doesn't seem to have the same problems.

I think they are paying attention, since 10.10 performance has improved considerably since the first DP, but they need to do more. I wish they would stop fucking with it on a yearly cycle and just release a stable, fast operating system with no new features. The graphics system needs more optimization and they need to kill HFS+ (but that's a whole different can of worms).

(Edits: wording)

It's probably too much to hope for a stability and performance focus for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, but damn if I don't try.

My first Apple Computer was a black MacBook 13" bought in 2007. The OS installed was Leopard and I was extremely happy with it.

The experience contained quality, responsiveness, stability as well as productivity enhancements. Hadn't missed Windows and Linux at all.

The experience remained perfect as the OS was gradually getting updates up to 10.6.8, the latest Snow Leopard version and the hard disk drive was changed to a solid state drive.

At that time I bought a MacBook Pro 13" with an i5 processor, and was introduced to Lion.

Believe it or not, I used my older MacBook more. It "felt" much more solid and responsive. Well at some point I gave it away, and was stuck with the Pro model.

As the OS updates where coming along, things were expected to get only better, just like I had previously experienced. But no! I'm currently using the latest Yosemite, and hate it when I notice tiny buggy things happening.. [ for example, try to disable the transparency in accessibility features, and get clunky black corner edges around the volume box as you adjust the volume up/down ]

As I became a more experienced programmer, I realized that good software is perfect software. Thus anything I notice that's not right (and doesn't get fixed when it's a known issue) is a hint for a lot more bugs that I might never get to experience. So essentially I feel like I've lost the stability and security feelings that used to keep me close to the Mac OS.

I really miss Snow Leopard, and hate the path Apple is following. I could bitch about their phones too but that would be more derailing.

PS: I wish there was an image out there of Mac OS 10.6.8 I haven't got a spare Apple machine to boot 10.6.7, update it to 10.6.8 and create a bootable disk for my MacBook Pro

Does anyone know if such an image exist, or perhaps can create it?

Even with "Reduce Transparency" enabled (blur disabled) I've had times when Mission Control operates at 2 frames per second on my 13" 2013 rMBP. This never happened using Mavericks.

If you try full screen zoom on Yosemite with an external display attached, it's similarly unusable.

Yeah, regardless of transparency settings, WindowServer seems to get really slow after it's been running for awhile (days? hours? it depends.) Restarting the login session or doing a full reboot seems to fix it ... for a little while.

Performance goes downhill faster for me with an external display connected.

This. I love the full screen zoom but had to turn it off for my thunderbolt display. Also I had a hot corner for Mission Control that was similarly laggy, had to turn that off too :(

the zoom with a thunderbolt display attached is unbearable! I really hope they fix the jankiness

It's good to see this get some attention. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to make full screen zoom usable with an external display.

I found if you enable the "Increase Contrast" accessibility feature, performance is improved, but it does negatively affect aesthetics.

I answered my own question about this on Apple StackExchange here:


This is one of the clear areas where performance is nowhere near previous versions. One solution is to switch to the "Picture-in-picture" zoom style under the Accessibility preferences.

I'm hoping that 10.11 will perhaps be the release that refines things quite a bit, concentrating on stability and generally cleaning up messes like this.

Let's remember that they did a fairly major overhaul of everything with Yosemite. This is just how software works sometimes. But you're right, there was a certain amount of UI stability during the Tiger through Snow Leopard era that I wish that Apple would get back to.

Try switching between the tabs in the "About this Mac" dialog. The framerate is truly shameful. Astonishing that it got approved at all. I had to try it on a couple different Macs at the Apple Store to believe that it wasn't some random problem I was seeing.

This isn't the first time that things have gone wrong with a new version of OS X. The shift from 10.6.8 to 10.7 was an absolute catastrophe from both a performance and a stability basis. 10.8/ML was slightly better, and, I've stayed on 10.8.5 waiting for 10.9/Mavericks to stabilize.

From colleagues who use it, and the various KEXTs that I also have, it looks like Mavericks, and KEXT support for it, actually hit a pretty good stability plateau around June/July of this year - so I"m looking forward to upgrading to it sometime early in the next year.

There is zero chance that I'm going to be considering 10.10/Yosemite as my production platform (if at all) any earlier than 2016. I'm always slightly bemused at how quickly people feel the need to rush into the next operating system. Was the older one really all that bad? About the only thing I'm missing right now is Omnifocus doesn't support 10.8 (10.9 or newer). Other than that, I can live with the various warts on 10.8.5 (particularly now that FTDI drivers don't kernel panic my system every time I pull out the USB cable) - Kernel Panics are now a biweekly (instead of every couple days)event, and my only real need to reboot the system is when my USB devices aren't recognized (usually after a sleep) - but a 3 minute reboot and everything is fine again.

Still - I think it's good to call Apple on their crap - 10.6 was actually a pretty decent release, and I don't think they've managed to get one that good out since then.

> I'm always slightly bemused at how quickly people feel the need to rush into the next operating system.

The difference with this release is that it's a pretty big UI overhaul and some developer features such as storyboards for Mac aren't available on older versions. People who develop for the Mac or iOS have little choice but to upgrade.

I've been running Yosemite since DP 1, and haven't had any major problems yet. There are minor annoyances, but on the whole, Yosemite's feels like a step up over Mavericks(after using it for a little while). Although I should mention that I have a pretty beefy computer with 12Gigs of RAM and a decent graphics card.

One of the side effects of the lackluster speed bump the rMBP got for Mid 2014 is that you can get a cheaper, nearly identical Late 2013 model without Yosemite.

It's that fucking applegraphicspowermanagement.kext !! I'm not even kidding with that kext name. If you delete the kext, repair caches and reboot you'll see 10x better and smoother animations.

More about kext itself; it contains the list of supported graphics cards (poor one) and power states for them. Some states are badly done even with supported graphics cards. I had a lot fun with this kext back in the ole' days after Intel switch.

Can you provide a source / more information on this solution? Surely there are drawbacks. And you mention using this solution back in the day - are you sure it's still applicable?

This is coming from Hackintosh scene, but I've had enourmous improvements on real Macs as well, which includes Macbook Pro, Air and Mac Pro (not latest gens).

Easiest way is to make backup of applegraphicspowermanagement.kext or just rename it to applegraphicspowermanagement.kext.bak and then rebuild you cache with app like Kext Utility.

Only drawback I see is that graphics card will now use native power management and not Mac OS one. One thing I've noticed, applegraphicspowermanagement.kext has list of graphics cards, so if your card is not identified it appears that generic power / sleep states are being used thus producing glitches.

A bit more about power / sleep states. You've probably noticed that when you have certain animation first time in OS X, it is choppy, but second and third time it's animated perfectly. That's where applegraphicspowermanagement.kext is messing up the states. You can try it on Launchpad or Mission Control animations.

Here's more info on the issue, it's for nvidias but it applies to every graphics cards although ATI is generally more supported on OS X.



I read so many reports of Yosemite being faster that I was beginning to think I was the only one who was disappointed.

I have an older machine (2010 Mac Pro tower), but it's been upgraded to 16GB RAM and an SSD over the years. I experienced an initial degradation in UI performance with Mavericks, but after the first OS update it was as fast as ever. Yosemite comes out, and now it takes over second to switch between Safari tabs on an otherwise idle machine. I had hoped that like Mavericks, this would be resolved in the first OS update, but no such luck. I enabled the "reduce transparency" option (this was recommended to speed up the UI) but it didn't help.

My mid-2012 MBr doesn't seem to suffer from this. I wonder if Apple just didn't consider video cards in older hardware. Not an unreasonable thing to do, but I'd have preferred a "sorry, this machine can't run the latest OS" message instead.

I have a mid 2009 13" mbp, and for me, it has been very slow since mavericks, probably bceause it only has 2GB of RAM and no SSD, since recent version of mac os have been optimized to use SSDs. The superdrive is busted, and there's no USB boot possible with this version. Linux or windows-bootcamp are not good options since they both seem to make the laptop ventilate like crazy.

I intent to buy a 80 euros 8GB RAM upgrade, but still, it's quite sad to see such solid hardware with such crappy OS. No official way to downgrade. The processor has 3MB of L2 cache and honestly I'm sure a C++ IDE would run better on a linux-running, 300 euros, celeron laptop.

I feel like I fell for the apple hype.

I really feel apple is now worse than microsoft regarding screwing users. Now you can run windows 7 without a product key, and it won't really bother you too much.

Don't worry, in a few years when iOS gets a major 3D-look visual upgrade it will trickle down to the desktop and things will be back to normal. In the meantime I've switched my macbook to dualboot Linux and only boot up MacOS when I have to use one of the programs not available for Linux.

Animation in general is just plain broken in Yosemite (and iOS 8). I'm not up to date with the latest frameworks, but I believe there's been a fundamental API change, because its basically possible to break any animation by just causing an event to happen before its finished. This happens all the time in iOS, you can get it to break mid-rotation and end up in a half and half state: https://twitter.com/tolmasky/status/532578692804124672

On OS X, its the same thing. Here's me easily repro-ing in Safari: http://tolmasky.com/letmeshowyou/Yosemite/Safari%20Animation...

I don't know what it is exactly, these things are very subjective, but the UI does seem to have lost some feeling of smoothness. Transitions are starker than they used to be, strange blinks as you see in this video, and more.

I am not sure what to think of our current era of Apple products. The software seems to be more slapdash now, as if they are trying to do too many things at once.

On the other hand, this was the first time I upgraded the OS and all my development tools worked without my wasting time on silly problems. They do seem to be more developer-friendly now, but I mean that purely in a technical sense. In terms of developer relations they are perhaps worse than ever.

Just checked on my 2007 MBP--I'm also getting flashes. (Translucency is turned off.)

Not really sure what causes this, but I learned that Apple changed the layouting algorithm to Cassowary a few years ago [1]. Because languages have different word length (eg. German words tend to be much longer than English words) and UIs should be readable in every language. Apple now uses constraints to layout the UI and the algorithm tries to find a good solution through iteration and has to reiterate for every size change. Visual effect might also trigger this.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassowary_%28software%29

As someone who has used it extensively, Auto Layout is not a cause for performance UI regressions. Not by a long shot.

Mmm, that could be one of the causes. Definitely something changed after Lion.

Interesting that this was the UI aspect that was chosen for a video. In my experience, Yosemite performed very poorly when clicking on a folder from the dock (very low framerate). My problems were worse than bad UI though, I was losing data. Yosemite frequently (every other day) crashed hard-core and the only option was to power cycle. Though I save frequently, sometimes I just hadn't hit Cmd+S yet, and in some running processes, it corrupted data. (On a Late 2013 MBP.)

Reverting to Mavericks made everything silky smooth again. Not a single crash or performance hiccup. I think I'll stay here for a while.

Since we all have anecdotal evidence about the merits and perils of any OS update, I find this video of another anecdote extremely counter productive to the discussion.

Two systems, with different specs, different resolution and different apps running yielding different UI performance is really useless.

If anyone have a spare mac and a few hours doing nothing, please re-do this experiment using fresh OSX installs on same hardware and then we actually have SOMETHING to talk about.

Yeah. Just look at this menu bar when switching focus from internal Retina display to external non-Retina ATD. http://cl.ly/2W172H0l3s0z This bugs the hell out of me.

Not so long ago I grabbed myself a G4 MDD with 768M of RAM — it was much more responsible in terms of UI. 3-4 browser tabs slowed it down though, while my current rMBP13" from 2012 works ok with a lot more.

I see this ALL THE TIME. Makes me think that Apple did no testing with dual displays. I've noticed times where it's taken 2-3 seconds to settle down.

Have been holding off on upgrading to Yosemite until the dust settles. I find it funny that I'm not even getting nagged at all to upgrade (unlike on iOS where I was getting nagged constantly to upgrade to iOS 8). It's almost like Apple themselves aren't even confident enough in Yosemite to be usable right now.

I don't know anything of desktop/native applications, but web. My question to the people on the other side of the isle: why aren't all the view panes preloaded, and pre-rendered? In this day and age, where 64mb of RAM is easy to come by, I don't see (as a web developer) why this approach isn't taken.

You're only counting the application you're looking at though. Multiply that by all the applications running, and pretty soon 512MB of VRAM is looking kinda skimpy.

And one of those applications is a browser, which is liable to have a huge amount of prerendered stuff it wants to blit.

It's also worth noting that drawing UI elements is relatively inexpensive.

System preferences doesn't do this for security reasons.

Ah, yes, the flicker and delayed drawing. I noticed that also a few years ago with Windows applications. They used to be written with the Win32 API or MFC or even VCL, but when WinForms became popular it introduced a lot of ugly flickering, especially when resizing windows with many controls on them.

Might help to disable all those animations/transitions they keep adding. I have entered these defaults settings on all my Macs and they have sped up my experience a lot:


Also, this is part of the final build?


Really, this bug was reported in the original beta, 6 months ago!

I think that only happens when UI transparency is disabled. I don't have the same issue[0]. I find Yosemite to be fine with a few exceptions, Safari is not as fast as I'd like it to be, and I've had issues when attempting to answer the phone on my laptop. I think Apple needs a Snow Yosemite, where they focus on fixes and performance with minimal new features.

[0]: http://imgur.com/KIIbsfr

Yes, it only appears in "reduced transparency" mode, but that's no excuse. Again, this is a well reported bug that many people have noticed 6 months ago and it would take an Apple intern 20 minutes (maybe an hour if they were very inapt) to locate and fix the issue. It's just not a priority to them. I really wish that they would switch to a 2 year OS release cycle, and work harder on stability of the core OS. They can pull Messenger, Mail, Facetime, and all the other apps out of the OS package, and add features to those all they want, but I want the core OS to be stable.

Looks like this bug is fixed in 10.10.2 for me.

I did have many of the issues commented here but recent beta releases fixed many of them for me. Wifi seems stable, I can answer phone calls if the phone is nearby, it certainly become faster over time.

I'm on a previous generation rMBP 13".

After Mavericks I swore I would wait to upgrade until the second patch of the next os. So I'm sitting here on Mavericks waiting for 10.10.2 to drop.

If you slightly shift your upgrade schedule you're only 3 or 4 months behind. No big deal.

2012 MBP retina with 8gb ram here.. Major performance issues with Chrome -- when videos are playing in tabs, 10+ tabs open, etc. Systems Preferences are the least of the problems I've came across.

My biggest OS X problem of 10 years – switching keyboard language – got worse in 10.10, because now it doesn't work at all in the "Share" dialog.

The only application holding me back from using Linux on all my machines is xcode.. only if there was a wine for mac apps that could run xcode.

Also, compare this with the "about this mac" dialog, the transitions are slow as hell. This would never, ever have shipped under Jobs.

This is simply sad. I downgraded to Mavericks after a week of pain with Yosemite, I won't upgrade again, I don't trust it anymore.

This video is pretty useless. Randomly clicking on settings icons on one computer with Tiger and then another with Yosemite is a poor method for comparing UI performance. Does the two computers even have the same hardware and configuration?

Many people don't like the look of the new Yosemite UI. That's fine. It's a radical change. But don't make ungrounded statements about the perfomance until you have done some proper testing.

I wonder if this was done on the latest apple hardware. Apple always appears to regress older hardware without fail.

Yes, generally people want OSs to do more, not operate faster.

Therefore most of the time the performance benefits are eaten by additional software.

It's most apparent on older hardware that was already running close to max capacity.

Performance has degraded with Yosemite. Stability is not an issue. I use it on both older and newer machines.

Wow, the day I finally upgrade to Yosemite this story and its comments arrive. Hours too late. :-(

For me the installation bombed. Just locked up forever in 1 min remaining.

This has happened to me during every OS X upgrade/reinstallation I can remember. The first time, I also assumed that it just wasn't working. I've since learned that the 99% is deceiving in terms of the expectations it might give you. You just have to be patient and it'll eventually work.

It would have finished eventually. This only happens if you have a lot of stuff in /usr/local (e.g. Homebrew).


The performance is ok for me (Air 2011).A bit slower but stable so far.

jobs died in the middle of his plan of covering osx and ios and forever owning apple consumers. now crook is executing it without the reality distortion powers that jobs had.

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