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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Rush Limbaugh: How did Apple miss the iOS 8.0.1 bugs? – September 24, 2014
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Apple releases iOS 8.0.1 – September 24, 2014


    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.

  5. Sweating the details is a significant part of what made Apple great under Steve Jobs. Apple does not seem to be sweating the details on SW and services these days.

    In less than a month they expect us to trust them with the clearance of payments- same for the retailers and banks. The tolerance for this will be ZERO. Eff up and Apple Pay starts with a big black eye before anyone can use it.

    1. Yes, because traditional credit card systems have no issues with privacy, no issues with being lost, stolen, hacked, and duplicated.

      Like the time 6 months ago, when I made the mistake of using my credit card at the pump at a gas station, and a little over a month later someone used the stolen credit card they produced with a dummy card that came from the hacked computer installed in the pump to make a bunch of credit cards.. that never happened, huh?

      Or the time when my dad used a credit card at a restaurant in a mall, when the waiter had an accomplice run around the mall and charge up over $2,000 in less than half an hour? That didn’t happen either.

      Nor the time when Target got it’s computers hacked and lost millions of credit cards and personal data.. that didn’t happen either, right?

      Nor SONY having it’s computers hacked losing millions of credit card accounts and person info..

      Of course Apple makes ONE MISTAKE.. and it’s useless.

      Sure, I buy that.

  6. 8.0.1 was annoying but not earth shattering, but if this person is also responsible for the Maps fiasco, I’m sure his job is in great jeopardy. I did QC/QA for 20 years and you don’t let bad products out the door. Ever.

    1. It would never have been possible to ship a perfect Maps program from day 1, it had to be released in some “beta” form. The issue is they did not properly label it a “beta” product and have the Google Maps thing along side it as a short term fix. All they had to do is have Google Maps work for maybe 6 months while they transitioned.

  7. The pressure for product launch at a company like Apple exceeds any one manager’s ability to resist. Who knows what kind of crap got passed to him.

    On the other hand, we know that for a year now Tim Cook has not tasked his engineers to fix an outstanding IMAP email problem that has hosed his enterprise clients since Mavericks introduction.

    Generally, the fish stinks from its head.

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