Apple's recent software problems are bad, but shouldn't lead to knee-jerk personnel decisi...

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  • Reply 21 of 85
    ecarlseen said:
    Terrible analogies here. 

    Apple's software quality has been noticeably on the decline for many years now. They're well still ahead of their main competition (Google and Microsoft), but this may or may not last. It seems to have gotten worse around the time that they started doing public betas - I'm wondering if in-house testing was scaled down in conjunction with that.
    Agreed. Too many bean counters.
    Not enough good programers and testers. 
    Take a quick look on Glassdoor to see what Apple employees past and present think of what is going on.  Good employee retention isn't on their list of priorities anymore.

    You can argue that people who do complain about the current state of Apple are out of touch, but remember they aren't doing it to cause arguments, they are sounding alarms. 
    They're the ones who made Phil, Craig and Jeff rethink the Mac Pro and change their minds about canceling the Thunderbolt Display. 

    What happened to Apple before when complacency was rampant throughout the company? Don't think it can't happen again. 

  • Reply 22 of 85
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,099member
    I was always a die-hard defender of Apple's practices.  I'll be the first to hold their feet to the fire too.  This is probably the first year ever in Apple ownership that I've really noticed a decline in their OS quality.  I'm a software engineer of almost 30 years.  I also do iOS development too.  MacOS and iOS is still the best-in-class, even at it's current level.  Still... iOS11 on my iP6+ is abysmal.  First time every.  The occasional attempt at a phone call greets me with a system crash.  Response time and performance at times slows to a crawl.  Very unhappy.  AI even posted an questionable article a few weeks back that the degradation is actually just in our imagination which I found insulting to us seasoned veterans, especially software engineers.  I design software that not only must work right, but I do it with the intent that it runs at the exact same performance level, or better.  Apple failed miserably on this.  I'm not sure if they have a staffing problem or the quality of their iOS engineers is suffering.  

    My new 2-month old MacBook Pro with TouchBar (my 4th MBP) has an F4 key that mysteriously stops working when iTunes opens, requiring a log-out/login to reactivate it.  Watching a video on YouTube, Safari, or even clicking a Quicktime video will cause the F4 key to fail.  Minor you think?  Not if your a developer and your tools make extensive use of function keys.  Been working with Apple for months on this and this problem has been an issue since the first Touch Bar models in 2016!  It's the first MBP I've ever owned that makes me wish I had retuned it within the 2-week window.  Now I'm stuck with it.  I do have a workaround, but it's an embarrassment to Apple.  

    That same laptop crashed badly two days after unpacking when Apple pushed a MacOS update and updated my MBP while it was still encrypting the flash drive.  Completely hosed the machine, requiring a clean-install - recommended even by the Apple support tech as well.  Not my imagination.  These are real-world issues.

    I still believe Apple products are the best in class.  Heck, if these problems were on Windows machines, I'd say pretty much I'm SOOL in getting support of any kind.  It does not negate my belief that whatever is going on with Apple in 2017 (or 2016), they are certainly getting sloppy on details.
    hammeroftruthdannybrookcgWerks
  • Reply 23 of 85
    Imagine if Microsoft had to issue a statement after every software breach!

    We would have daily statements.

    Everything Apple is SUPER overblown, thats the price of making good products!

    People expect perfection 100% of the time!
    well yeah, it better be near perfect for the prices they charge lmao
  • Reply 24 of 85
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    People were actually calling for Tim and Craig's heads/jobs? Overreaction much?


    Deadguy2322
  • Reply 25 of 85
    ecarlseen said:
    Terrible analogies here. 

    Apple's software quality has been noticeably on the decline for many years now. They're well still ahead of their main competition (Google and Microsoft), but this may or may not last. It seems to have gotten worse around the time that they started doing public betas - I'm wondering if in-house testing was scaled down in conjunction with that.
    Agreed. Too many bean counters.
    Not enough good programers and testers. [...]

    You can argue that people who do complain about the current state of Apple are out of touch, but remember they aren't doing it to cause arguments, they are sounding alarms. 
    They're the ones who made Phil, Craig and Jeff rethink the Mac Pro and change their minds about canceling the Thunderbolt Display. 
    Please cite how many accountants and programmers & testers Apple has. 

    You don’t honestly think techie website whiners had anything to do with Apple product development, do you? Craig said very plainly that they knew the MP had issues and it took a long time to accept that they’d painted themselves into a thermal corner and the current design couldn’t be salvaged. It had jack to do with the whining. Likewise with the monitor. Apple makes its decisions and doesn’t look for guidance from comment sections. Get real. 
    edited December 2017 radarthekatDeadguy2322
  • Reply 26 of 85
    sflocal said:
    I was always a die-hard defender of Apple's practices.  I'll be the first to hold their feet to the fire too.  This is probably the first year ever in Apple ownership that I've really noticed a decline in their OS quality.  I'm a software engineer of almost 30 years.  I also do iOS development too.  MacOS and iOS is still the best-in-class, even at it's current level.  Still... iOS11 on my iP6+ is abysmal.  First time every.  The occasional attempt at a phone call greets me with a system crash.  Response time and performance at times slows to a crawl.  Very unhappy.  AI even posted an questionable article a few weeks back that the degradation is actually just in our imagination which I found insulting to us seasoned veterans, especially software engineers.  I design software that not only must work right, but I do it with the intent that it runs at the exact same performance level, or better.  Apple failed miserably on this.  I'm not sure if they have a staffing problem or the quality of their iOS engineers is suffering.  
    No, that isn't what the AI article said at all. It said that Apple didn't intentionally slow down older phones as has long been claimed by the ignorant. It was made quite clear by staff member Mike (author of this piece) in the comments that naturally older devices run new operating systems slower than new hardware. 

    As a fellow software developer, I’m surprised you so misunderstood that.

    https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/202204/futuremark-analysis-debunks-rumor-that-apple-slows-older-iphones-down-on-purpose-with-ios/p1

    Guess what. Newer software means heavier software demands. The phones are literally the same speed as the day they were bought and these metrics are the proof. The difference is the load placed on them by the software.

    There is no plot or conspiracy. There is no shadowy cabal demanding that code get bloated to force users to buy a new phone. There is no Cook and Ive plot to turn down the processor and GPU speed. That's insane to even speculate, but yet, here we are. Planned obsolescence as a conspiracy to force hardware sales isn't a thing.

    Do you want your phone to be the same as the day you took it out of the box? Never update your software. Problem solved.


    edited December 2017 tmayradarthekatsmiffy31anton zuykovDeadguy2322
  • Reply 27 of 85
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,422member
    While I'm in total agreement that the corporate reaction to Apple's latest round of software snafus needs to address systemic issues with systems thinking, integrated quality process, and engineering discipline rather than scapegoating and blamestorming - I'm a little uneasy using the loss of USS Thresher as an appropriate or comparative scenario to Apple's cumulative failures over the past few weeks. Yes, the massive negative consequences of systemic failures that led to the Thresher's loss, much like the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger, require significant responses and refocusing at all levels of the organizations to ensure that systemic failures get corrected at their root causes. The root causes certainly involve systems, people, and process and the lessons learned from an understanding of the systemic failure must consider every facet of the root cause failure modes.

    If Apple doesn't react appropriately they are screwed, but they're not screwed on the same level as the crews of the Thresher, Scorpion, or Challenger because Apple does not operate in an environment where even the slightest failure can have cascading effects within the system that can in-turn lead to the catastrophic loss of the entire operational platform and the lives of its entire crew. I'm not saying that what Apple does is not complex or that its failures don't have serious consequences, but some of the reactions that were put in place by Hyman Rickover are wholly inappropriate for the scale and severity of threats that are faced by Apple. Sure, Apple and others can look to the US Navy's nuclear submarine fleet's overall model as a stellar example and derive some lessons and takeaways. But the impetus for change and embarking on a long path of continuous improvement needs to come from Apple's own leaders with an understanding of the environments that they live and operate within. They cannot lean too heavily on extreme cases that, while extremely valuable for getting everyone's attention, may not be seen as being directly translatable to everyday leadership, planning, and execution activities within Apple. It's up to Apple's leaders to apply the appropriate context at the appropriate levels to institute changes within the Apple organization. 

     
  • Reply 28 of 85
    Well there is a night and day difference between Mark's and Neil's piece, from a couple of days ago.

    Congrats Mark, for showing that AI can (and will) hold Apple accountable for its mistakes, to the benefit of your readers and their users, which includes yourselves.

    This is the way to (as you are doing naval terms on this one) shot across the bow, get their attention, as well as ours, with no need for the "doom and gloom" prose, which we have come to expect from other tech news sites.

    Kudos, and keep up the good work!
  • Reply 29 of 85
    ecarlseen said:
    Terrible analogies here. 

    Apple's software quality has been noticeably on the decline for many years now. They're well still ahead of their main competition (Google and Microsoft), but this may or may not last. It seems to have gotten worse around the time that they started doing public betas - I'm wondering if in-house testing was scaled down in conjunction with that.
    Agreed. Too many bean counters.
    Not enough good programers and testers. [...]

    You can argue that people who do complain about the current state of Apple are out of touch, but remember they aren't doing it to cause arguments, they are sounding alarms. 
    They're the ones who made Phil, Craig and Jeff rethink the Mac Pro and change their minds about canceling the Thunderbolt Display. 
    Please cite how many accountants and programmers & testers Apple has. 

    You don’t honestly think techie website whiners had anything to do with Apple product development, do you? Craig said very plainly that they knew the MP had issues and it took a long time to accept that they’d painted themselves into a thermal corner and the current design couldn’t be salvaged. It had jack to do with the whining. Likewise with the monitor. Apple makes its decisions and doesn’t look for guidance from comment sections. Get real. 
    Yep, customers are the ones that changed their mind.
    They took a long time to admit the Mac Pro was well, a bad design. Anyone who owned one and had to get it serviced had a high probability of their machine being replaced if they couldn't fix issues with the graphic cards or logic board. The LG monitor that replaced the Thunderbolt Display was an embarrassment. First of all,
    look at it, it is ugly compared to an Apple designed product. Next, how do you like interference on your display?? They didn't shield the cabling properly. 

    Apple does take guidance from feedback. That's why they invite you to contact them at [email protected]
    They have been doing that for years.  You have to be smart though, they won't read someone's email
    who just complains. You have to cite what the problem it, how it impacts you and other customers and how they should fix it. Sometimes they will contact you. 
  • Reply 30 of 85
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,289member
    ecarlseen said:
    Terrible analogies here. 

    Apple's software quality has been noticeably on the decline for many years now. They're well still ahead of their main competition (Google and Microsoft), but this may or may not last. It seems to have gotten worse around the time that they started doing public betas - I'm wondering if in-house testing was scaled down in conjunction with that.
    I don't think the quality is a lot worse now than before. If anything, it is the NOISE that getting LOUDER than before.
    smiffy31kiltedgreenlkruppDeadguy2322
  • Reply 31 of 85
    Welcome to the world of zero-day vulnerabilities... Did you ever think why those are called zero-day or why those zero-days exist?

    The reason is, regardless of the size of your testing staff and the efficiency of your testing procedures or your management skills, you cannot preview and catch all the bugs. Set aside “why” or “how” for the moment and ask for the proof: The proof? Then the proof is the number of spyware and other malware that have been built thanks to those bugs that managed to evade the most rigorous testing procedures, the type of bug called zero day vulnerabilities. Countries build cyberarmies to find and exploit those bugs. Since they attract so much investment, zero-days are an undeniable and disturbing reality we must live with. 

    Then how to live with zero-days since we cannot preview and catch those prior to their occurrences? Well, you may not preview zero-days but you can react to them. Then your solution to live with zero-days is your fast and efficient response to those. Respond with palliative cure to save the day within your weakly designed security architecture and the zero-days will show up again and again until you withdraw yourself from the market. As it was the case for Flash.

    But that bug so stupid and so meaningless like a root authenticated with blank password?!! OMG save my mind!!!!...” Well, a good bug is the one that can evade every meaning every reasoning every logic. The most inconceivable, unlikely, bizarre situations are candidate areas for bugs. Show your precious software product to an average user first time: he will make such a stupid move that he will crash instantly your jewel worth of several months of heavy work. So, curb your amateur journalistic enthusiasm to find a “reason” behind that blank password case and to come to conclusions about last several years’ software quality with that. That case doesn’t need such a brilliant mind. It just needs a debugger.
    edited December 2017 smiffy31
  • Reply 32 of 85
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    kruegdude said:
    Glad someone (other than forum members in comments) is addressing the rote responses of those that say, no matter what the subject, that  “Tim, etal, must be fired” whenever a newsworthy article is published. I wonder sometimes if they’re using a keyboard shortcut for this. 

    As for “The X=X+1 version number increment is more of a marketing tool than anything else.” I’d have to disagree. Release management and source code maintenance is tightly tied to version numbering. Modern day development would be lost without it. 
    I have no evidence that the new OS versions are or are not marketing tools more than anything else. My sense however is that Apple is rewriting working code in Swift and other technologies. The root bug seemed to be just that; something functioning and seemingly quite simple failed; this smacks of a rewrite and incomplete testing or even testing code that had never been exercised. 
  • Reply 33 of 85
    ecarlseen said:
    Terrible analogies here. 

    Apple's software quality has been noticeably on the decline for many years now. They're well still ahead of their main competition (Google and Microsoft), but this may or may not last. It seems to have gotten worse around the time that they started doing public betas - I'm wondering if in-house testing was scaled down in conjunction with that.
    What an incorrect statement. The problem did not get WORSE around the time of the Public Betas but it got NOTICED more around the time of the betas. There’s a difference. Think about it. If Apple went back to closed doors then what happens? Windows happens. The fact that there are thousands if not millions more eyes on macOS and iOS knocking about trying to break things the greater and more stable the end product is. macOS and  iOS cannot be beaten in terms of security and stability and that comes as a direct result of more people seeing it naked. You can’t get that cancerous mole checked out if no one can see it because you’re clothed and it’s the same with macOS and iOS. Imagine if no one mentioned these bugs to Apple, how much of a risk would it open us up to?

    How substantial are these issues in reality? Sweet sod all. I mean even the Root account issue is a non-issue simply because it still needs physical access to the device to invoke. Unlike pretty much all of the viruses and malware for Windows that are out now because Microsoft doesn’t truly fix the problems as that would require a completely new way of doing things which will break the existing things which are incedentally broken anyway.

    Frankly I don’t care how buggy they are so long as Apple fixes it and hey guess what? Apple fixed the latest bug just over a day once it was made public knowledge. Windows still has bugs from the Windows NT3.51 days which means it still has 30 year old bugs that can’t be fixed or won’t be fixed despite Windows supposedly having a ground up rebuild. If that was a house it would be condemned by now.
    edited December 2017 smiffy31Deadguy2322
  • Reply 34 of 85
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,609member
    I disagree. People need to be fired.  Of course, my main complaint is stupid "improvements" like eliminating the FTP and telnet clients. WTF!  While the protocols may be stupid, they are still in high use for certain things... eliminating them is meaningless and stupid.  They also struggle to make SMB work... after nearly a decade of using their own version of the client. 

    The root fiasco just just shows that they aren't properly testing things and don't really care about security. I already knew that...
    robbyx
  • Reply 35 of 85
    I brought my torch and pitchfork to this party and now you’re calling for calm, rational thought? (Shakes angry pitchfork) “Off with their heads!”
  • Reply 36 of 85
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    On ATP podcast, they talked about it from a developer's perspective, which I found interesting... i.e.: how mistakes like this can happen, and how it is handled impacts the company culture. So, I'd agree with the article in general. No heads should necessarily roll (unless they found it to be purposeful or grossly negligent), but hopefully it's a wake-up-call that some things need to change. And, yea, getting rid of Federighi won't help unless they can get Forstall back.

    wizard69 said:
    Frankly it is long past time for heads to roll at Apple but i dont think it is the software groups that have a problem.    Rather marketing needs to go. 
    Or, at least be taken out of the captain's post.

    Mike Wuerthele said:
    There have been show-stopping bugs in every version of System, MacOS, OS, MacOS X, and macOS, I've iterated most of them in another forum post.
    Hmm... while it sure doesn't seem that way, you're right that there have always been issues. But, I think the overall software quality (problems, QC, features, UI, etc.) has degraded. So, then when you add show-stopper bugs in too, it's the straw and camel's back thing.

    k2kw said:
    I wonder if the macOS group should be split off 
    separate from iOS, tvOS, and watchOS.   IOS is the future.   MacOS is legacy past.

    Its been a big year for updates to iOS (iPad Pro and iPhone X changes), watchOS for LTE, and tvOS updates.   The homePod will need/have its own variation of iOS for the operating system (siriOS).   It's time to limit work on the mac .

    Other than that Cook needs to make sure there are enough developers.
    Tim, is that you???

    hammeroftruth said:
    You can argue that people who do complain about the current state of Apple are out of touch, but remember they aren't doing it to cause arguments, they are sounding alarms. 
    They're the ones who made Phil, Craig and Jeff rethink the Mac Pro and change their minds about canceling the Thunderbolt Display. 
    No doubt. While I've never been an Apple fanboy, I was generally pretty darn positive about them from the mid-80s until 4 or 5 years ago.

    sflocal said:
    I was always a die-hard defender of Apple's practices.  I'll be the first to hold their feet to the fire too.  This is probably the first year ever in Apple ownership that I've really noticed a decline in their OS quality.
    Well said (whole thing). I've said similar (sans the software dev part). I've worked with and on Apple systems for most of my IT career. In the last 4 to 5 years, I've spent far more time messing with Apple problem in our home than I ever did in the past... but orders of magnitude. And, yes, there were certainly many past problems (serious ones, even) like data loss (which may or may not be worse, depending)... but overall, I've had more issues.

    I think part of that, though, has been the integration of iOS to the platform, along with having to depend on Apple's cloud stuff. While we (Mac users) have gained from iOS, it has also hurt us (degradation of the UI and feature-parity issues being at the forefront). And, in the past, I was usually smart enough to just stay away from MobileMe and stuff like that, as I knew it was bad but wasn't as integrated or necessary.

    I'm sure everyone's experience is different depending on what they do and how they use Apple products. But, I absolutely don't buy the the "it's always been like this" story and that this is just my imagination or due to more users so more screaming.

    StrangeDays said:
    Guess what. Newer software means heavier software demands. The phones are literally the same speed as the day they were bought and these metrics are the proof. The difference is the load placed on them by the software.

    There is no plot or conspiracy. There is no shadowy cabal demanding that code get bloated to force users to buy a new phone. There is no Cook and Ive plot to turn down the processor and GPU speed. That's insane to even speculate, but yet, here we are. Planned obsolescence as a conspiracy to force hardware sales isn't a thing.
    Umm, I doubt that is what is being referred to. And, I don't think there is any conspiracy, except that Apple thinks the future is iOS. The rest all falls in line.

    lowededwookie said:
    How substantial are these issues in reality? Sweet sod all. I mean even the Root account issue is a non-issue simply because it still needs physical access to the device to invoke.
    Oh my, I have to disagree here. Maybe for the home user, but what about office buildings?
  • Reply 37 of 85
    sflocal said:
    I was always a die-hard defender of Apple's practices.  I'll be the first to hold their feet to the fire too.  This is probably the first year ever in Apple ownership that I've really noticed a decline in their OS quality.  I'm a software engineer of almost 30 years.  I also do iOS development too.  MacOS and iOS is still the best-in-class, even at it's current level.  Still... iOS11 on my iP6+ is abysmal.  First time every.  The occasional attempt at a phone call greets me with a system crash.  Response time and performance at times slows to a crawl.  Very unhappy.  AI even posted an questionable article a few weeks back that the degradation is actually just in our imagination which I found insulting to us seasoned veterans, especially software engineers.  I design software that not only must work right, but I do it with the intent that it runs at the exact same performance level, or better.  Apple failed miserably on this.  I'm not sure if they have a staffing problem or the quality of their iOS engineers is suffering.  
    No, that isn't what the AI article said at all. It said that Apple didn't intentionally slow down older phones as has long been claimed by the ignorant. It was made quite clear by staff member Mike (author of this piece) in the comments that naturally older devices run new operating systems slower than new hardware. 

    As a fellow software developer, I’m surprised you so misunderstood that.

    https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/202204/futuremark-analysis-debunks-rumor-that-apple-slows-older-iphones-down-on-purpose-with-ios/p1

    Guess what. Newer software means heavier software demands. The phones are literally the same speed as the day they were bought and these metrics are the proof. The difference is the load placed on them by the software.

    There is no plot or conspiracy. There is no shadowy cabal demanding that code get bloated to force users to buy a new phone. There is no Cook and Ive plot to turn down the processor and GPU speed. That's insane to even speculate, but yet, here we are. Planned obsolescence as a conspiracy to force hardware sales isn't a thing.

    Do you want your phone to be the same as the day you took it out of the box? Never update your software. Problem solved.


    The problem is that newer iOS versions makes basic task worse. Why does a 2 year old iPhone/iPad stutters everywhere in the GUI with the latest iOS? Why is it slower to type text, mark text and many more basic task? People wouldn’t complain if basic task like scrolling, type text and take picture stayed the same. 

    My kids get angry at me when I upgrade their phones, why? Ask a iPhone 4s user with a 9x release and they will yell at you, I can tell you it is a disaster. Nowadays I don’t upgrade them.

    It was a time when you upgraded your OS software it actually got smother. I miss those days.

    If Apple can’t make new software that retains the speed of basic task they should’t let users upgrade or at least let them revert back for a longer period than what it is today.






    cgWerks
  • Reply 38 of 85
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member


    Frankly I don’t care how buggy they are so long as Apple fixes it and hey guess what? Apple fixed the latest bug just over a day once it was made public knowledge. Windows still has bugs from the Windows NT3.51 days which means it still has 30 year old bugs that can’t be fixed or won’t be fixed despite Windows supposedly having a ground up rebuild. If that was a house it would be condemned by now.
    Wrong.  It was made public on the Apple developers forum on November 13th. (See https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/79235 )  It took more than 2 week before it was fixed. 
  • Reply 39 of 85
    cropr said:


    Frankly I don’t care how buggy they are so long as Apple fixes it and hey guess what? Apple fixed the latest bug just over a day once it was made public knowledge. Windows still has bugs from the Windows NT3.51 days which means it still has 30 year old bugs that can’t be fixed or won’t be fixed despite Windows supposedly having a ground up rebuild. If that was a house it would be condemned by now.
    Wrong.  It was made public on the Apple developers forum on November 13th. (See https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/79235 )  It took more than 2 week before it was fixed. 
    Going public in a High noise forum is not signalling a bug. There is so much, I stood on one leg and deleted the app, style comments on the forum that there is no chance of spotting this kind of problem in a forum. Thats what the radar system is for.
    macplusplus
  • Reply 40 of 85
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,116member
    For what it's worth, I'd prefer fewer new features in exchange for fewer problems.  

    One systemic problem we all deal with today is the rush to release things, even when they're not ready (for prime time) and this holds for software, hardware, items in the news, etc., etc.  We all want that great new thing and then get upset/frustrated when there are bugs.  You can't have both speed and perfection.

    A friend of mine was working for Oracle around 20 years ago and one day while he was working on the next release of some software, he saw it for sale in the catalog.  He immediately called his supervisor to see if he should stop working on it if it was done.  He was told that he should keep working, that the company policy was (is?) to advertise things as being ready before they really were.  Any number of tricks could be used to delay delivery until it really was ready.  This friend told me about people ordering software and receiving blank CDs (remember those?).  The time it took for the person to receive his or her order, realize the CDs were blank and contact the company was enough to get the product finished, without stating a later release date.  Today's version of this is releasing buggy products that can be fixed later.  
    cgWerks
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