The Software and Services Apple Needs to Fix

A good summary of the hurdles that Apple need to overcome in the near future. Marco Arment’s linked post within (of Instapaper/Tumblr fame) is also worth a read. Any widely used OS is going to have a large amount of issues, but Apple has made some poor and inexcusable technical decisions along the way, and I’m sensing an increasing frustration from users, especially with the problems of Yosemite.

On one side, annoyances and breakages which should not occur, especially when these features were working in previous versions, and with such a large budget to back it up. On the other, the immensely tall wall around Apple’s closed-source garden, which makes leaving the iOS/OSX/iTunes/iMessage/Airplay ecosystem a monumental task for some – this is by design.

I did enjoy using my Macbook Air while I had it, but some of the problems listed I faced and became incredibly annoying, not to mention long-standing bugs in core applications (like Mail) which were left unfixed for reasons unknown. Apple’s insistence on complete closed control also renders community fixes a hit or miss affair. Thus the danger of relying solely on one vendor.

It’s clear that Apple sees OS X eventually merging into iOS, the constant removal of physical ports from Macbooks and adding frivolous eye-candy to OS X alienates the traditional audience who just want to get things done. Companies will always follow the money (in this case iOS), and won’t act until there’s a financial consequence in not doing so.

“Many of us have been grumbling quite publicly since iOS 7 and Mavericks shipped that the fit and finish we expect either on release or shortly afterwards for Mac OS X and iOS has slipped. That we spent a lot of time dealing with bugs or, if we write about Apple, teaching people how to avoid them or work around them. That software and OS problems, once they occur, are rarely fixed in part or full; features we need are removed rather than matured; and new features are added that aren’t fully baked.

To my recollection, Mac OS X 10.6.3 through 10.8 provided stability and new features, and they just mostly worked, as did most of the software released by Apple during that period for OS X. iOS is a different beast, in which people spend a lot of time in third-party apps. But even so, iOS 5 and 6 are, to my memory, more stable and reliable versions than iOS 7 and 8.”

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