Apple’s so-called ‘quality assurance’ manager responsible for iOS 8.0.1, was also responsible for Apple Maps

“Apple Inc.’s release of a software update that cut off people’s ability to make calls from their iPhones is linked to another snafu that’s still fresh in people’s minds: the 2012 introduction of a new maps program,” Adam Satariano and Tim Higgins report for Bloomberg. “The similarities don’t end with the apologies Apple offered to disgruntled customers. The same person at Apple was in charge of catching problems before both products were released. Josh Williams, the mid-level manager overseeing quality assurance for Apple’s iOS mobile-software group, was also in charge of quality control for maps, according to people familiar with Apple’s management structure. Williams was removed from the maps team after the software gave users unreliable directions and mislabeled landmarks, though he remained in charge of testing for iOS, said one person, who asked not to be identified since the information isn’t public.”

“Scores of customers have taken to social media to complain about losing the ability to make phone calls after installing the iOS 8.0.1 update, which Apple pulled back within hours. The software glitches have undermined Apple’s mantra that its products ‘just work’ and, at least temporarily, marred what Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook called the ‘best launch ever’ for Apple’s newest iPhone models released last week,” Satariano and Higgins report. “Williams has a team of more than 100 people around the world who are responsible for putting new software through its paces before it reaches customers and uncovering glitches that may eventually impact customers, according to one person.”

“To prioritize what software flaws need to be fixed, Apple has a committee called the Bug Review Board, known internally as BRB. The panel is overseen by Kim Vorrath, a vice president in charge of product management for iOS and Mac software,” Satariano and Higgins report. “Another challenge is that the engineers who test the newest software versions often don’t get their hands on the latest iPhones until the same time that they arrive with customers, resulting in updates that may not have gone through tests that are are rigorous as those for the latest handsets. Cook has clamped down on the use of unreleased iPhones and only senior managers are allowed access to the products without special permission, two people said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, it looks like we were right once again as we wrote this morning at 6:19 am PDT:

Did Apple even give their iOS 8.0.1 testers actual iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on which to test iOS 8.0.1? Those were the devices affected by iOS 8.0.1. bugs. (We ask because many Apple employees are still stuck with rather old – in tech time – non-Retina MacBook Pros, so we’re wondering if that practice of lagging on hardware for employees extends to new iOS devices, too.)

We continued:

Apologies are nice, but they only go so far. Fix the problem(s), Apple.

Here’s a time where Cook actually should ignore Steve Jobs’ advice and ask himself, “What would Steve do?” And then do it.

Time to end the clown show, Tim.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

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43 Comments

    1. Quite so…which makes the naming, shaming, judge, jury and verdict by Bloomberg AND MDN of one individual who cannot defend himself…serious douchbag reporting.
      Not MDN’s finest hour.

      1. MDN has the right idea – clean up the show – but this is not necessarily going to be accomplished by targeting mid or even upper level management (although that too might be needed).

        Read the article. It makes plain where the problem lies:

        “[Josh] Williams has a team of more than 100 people around the world who are responsible for putting new software through its paces and uncovering glitches that may eventually impact customers, according to one person. Apple relies more on people finding bugs than using automation-testing technology, according to former employees.”

        Over one hundred people. All over the world. That’s a recipe for mistakes under the best of circumstances (i.e. no other problem but keeping an eye on too many people’s work at too many points all over the world). Under the worst – where you have entities that are doing their level best to undermine Apple’s ‘privacy-first’ oriented products and services – it’s over one hundred potential weak points that can be targeted, co-opted, compromised, etc …

        Whatever other processes/people Apple may suspect of not being up to snuff, until they change the above they will continue to have these problems. They need to bring this program under one roof, in Cupertino, and scrutinize ‘The 100’ – whether the same, or new hires – very carefully. The task is too important to do otherwise.

        If they don’t change this, Vorath & Williams may be the new Richard Williamson & Scott Forstall (alter sacrifices), but that won’t prevent future product compromises.

      1. “Apple has a committee called the Bug Review Board, known internally as BRB. The panel is overseen by Kim Vorrath”

        May be referring to Kim.. Who would have approved the update.

  1. Some sites are already removing his name.
    Josh Williams
    Josh Williams
    Josh Williams
    Josh Williams
    Josh Williams
    Josh Williams

    Get rid of Josh Williams at Apple, if he truly is the asshat responsible for both Maps and iOS 8.0.1 “quality control.”

  2. She’s been with apple long in the Steve jobs days so this is very odd…

    Maybe it was a deliberate act if incompetence? Or she wants to be sacked? Maybe she wants to be given the door by Tim cooked and sacked with a golden handshake?

    Who knows…

    Also did Tim Cook sack the wrong guy? (Scott Forstall)

  3. Blaming one person for all release problems is ridiculous. As far as maps go there were plenty of testers including execs. Appears 8.01 might be mostly her call, but “off with her head” is just a plain stupid response.

    1. 1. I agree that it is wrong to blame one person. QA goes up and down the entire design team as well as QA. –> as well as execs.

      2. if there’s one thing above all to test on phones, its the ability to make a call.

      3. Whatever this BRB is, is it a confab and CYA — or does stuff actually get done ? (not a rhetorical question)

  4. Maps is still hosed to this date.
    Go to the intersection of route 419 and route 501 in Pennsylvania in Maps.
    Then, look at the correct layout in Google Maps.

    I’ve reported the problem. It’s no use.

    Maps is too unreliable to use.

    1. This brings up a side note. Multiple times, I have seen people here saying that Apple, with all their $billions, could easily build their own processors to compete with Intel desktop processors. With all their $billions, Apple can’t even get an accurate map! Apple has all those $billions because they don’t know what to do with them.

    2. Google Maps has its own issues. It has a several year lead on Apple Maps, so it’s likely that it has some advantages still, but that is unlikely to remain given a few more years’ time, assuming Apple is still actively developing Maps.

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