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. “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”

    That is the DUMBEST thing I ever heard Apple do . . . on purpose.

    1. Companies do dumb things from time to time. When Macs were first brought in to the company I worked for they were relatively high dollar compared to Windows machines, so they were only given to managers, so they could evaluate their value and lock them in their offices overnight. Of course, in that era, only worker bees touched keyboards, so o work got done on the Macs and the company went all Windows. Sad.

      So, if the software QA guys were not testing on actual hardware, Apple has a bad process that is presenting a learning opportunity. As complex as iPhones are, to believe you can simulate them with an even more complex system and get reliable results is just silly.

  2. IF ONLY Apple could have the superb quality control of Microsoft, Google, Dell, Samsung and many more!

    Jeez, people, get a grip. Microsoft produces as much crap, bugs and scummy behavior in a week as Apple does in a decade.

  3. The pressure and stress of working at Apple must be so intense. Sure glad I’m not working there and that there are others willing to do deal with this kind of stuff to do what they do. It’s the most scrutinized company in the world with thousands of microscopes on the it and it’s also the most secretive. I read the book ‘Inside Apple’ by Adam Lashinsky. After reading that I thought, “Nah, that wouldn’t be a fun place to work…” That book is from several years ago. The stress factor there must be several times that now.

  4. “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…”

    Actually, I think MDNs take is a little off. The quote implies they actually had the phones 2 or 3 days ago when then released the update. Of course, it doesn’t mean they actually tested them on the iphone 6 models, but they should have had them.

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