The software and services that Apple needs to fix

“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,” Glenn Fleishman blogs. “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,” Fleishman writes. “Even while it leaps forward with features in its operating systems, Apple has a huge installed base it drags with it. And even if, for instance, iTunes has been a terrible mishmash for a decade, the fact that it continues to be one with a major new release in 2015 is beyond the pale: Apple should be learning, not starting over and re-inventing when it comes to stability and experience. They can evolve to add Continuity and fix iPhoto, for instance; or ensure that months after release, its flagship Handoff feature works reliably.”

“Part of what makes these sorts of statements reasonable, though, is to enumerate the problems, whether they’re long-running or unique to Yosemite or iOS 8 (or to the last two releases of each system),” Fleishman writes. “Here’s a list of regularly recurring issues or fundamental problems…”

The full list of software and services that Apple needs to fix here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Old Tech” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


    1. Someone’s comment from the article that I liked:

      “Apple’s MO the past few years seems to be to introduce a great-sounding new idea, implement it 70%, then forget about it and move on, leaving its users with a host of these semi-functional buggy features.”

      1. “Apple’s MO the past few years” … also includes hoarding $164 billion in cash while refusing to solve those issues … they just can’t decide what to do with it all … and the Mac community cheers them on?

  1. iTunes Match. Still loses or doesn’t find album art, often grabs the wrong art, and sometimes just breaks down for no reason, requiring a reset. Even after all this time, it still feels half-baked.

    1. I have a massive library and still haven’t done iTunes Match for fear of losing my full-size AIFF files. I did buy a bunch of songs from the iTunes store the first few years so am still stuck with them as 128k protected files.

      1. Apple offered iTunes Plus for a number of years that allowed you to migrate to higher quality tracks without DRM. These days you can do that with iTunes Match.

        Another option is to create a new iTunes Library ID (Apple ID) and upload your files to it.

    1. When released, lots of problems.

      Now? It’s as good or better than Google maps for me in California or Minnesota (and on a long trip up the coast to Washington and east through Idaho to North Dakota, haven’t used it elsewhere recently).

  2. I can’t even visit MDN using Safari on any of my iDevices. Keeps opening the App Store with these Apps I will never use. As for Apple, I haven’t had any issues with iTunes Match. None. My only bother is when a call comes in every single device starts ringing. Even our Apple TV.

  3. Tim Cook will be remembered as the idiot who destroyed Apple by producing gadgets with software that “just doesn’t work!” I stated over two years ago on this forum and others that Apple’s software was tanking. The responses to my post were predictable: “You’re full of crap”; “Apple will do this and that…blah, blah, blah.” As an Apple user since the late 1980s, I’ve seen few CEOs who have hurt Apple by ignoring its faithful users. Colleagues of mine who work in Hong Kong have abandoned their Macs and iPhones because they can no longer tolerate the frustration of trying to use software the constantly causes a myriad of problems. I thought I’d never say this – because I hate these ridiculous and idiot annual OS changes – but Apple needs to throw Yosemite out the window and start over again. It has to be one of the most detested OSs every thrust up the backside of Apple users. I can’t wait to see how popular the Apple Watch will be if the software on it is as atrocious as OS 10 and iOS 8. Time for Apple folk to start writing the Board of Directors to get rid of the Salesman in the front office and to find someone who understands the importance of software. Like many, I use my Mac for productivity and, as such, I want an OS that “just works” not “just works once in a while.”

      1. Good for you, Rob. This is always the standard retort from the few who are lucky. Sadly, many of us aren’t. I can’t even get my Mac mail account to delete junk mail because the rules “just don’t work.”

        1. I guess I’m “lucky,” too. Does that tell you something? Like, maybe some of the whining is due to intermittent problems, exaggeration, or even- gasp!- user error? Got anything better? Windows? Android. Go for it.

        2. No, auramac, you’re being “lucky” doesn’t tell me anything. To borrow an axiom from politics, “It’s the software, Stupid!” Your snide and smug remarks are sadly misplaced. Do you think that the thousands of comments from faithful Apple users on numerous blogs and websites are because of “user error”? Many of the posted comments come from folks like me who have used – and will continue to use – Apple products. Criticism is healthy. Adulation which creates the impression that a company is so perfect that it is beyond reproach is sadly misguided. As a faithful Apple user, I want to see Apple flourish and work, together harmoniously with its products. Apple doesn’t exist in a vacuum: If it’s products are intended for consumer use, then Apple needs to listen to what consumers like, dislike, and what they want. The recent notion at Apple that it is above consumer opinion, suggestion, and recommendation is beginning to come back to haunt them. Rather then be a cheerleader for software that doesn’t work, wake up and realize that there is legitimate criticism intended not to destroy Apple but to help it make it’s products better!

      1. Bizlaw, what do you think think Yosemite is – a rebuild of Mavericks? My comment comes as a response to my frustration and constant bugs in Yosemite. I suppose you would rather have Apple stay the course and continue to work on an OS that definitely is problem ridden, not to mention one of the ugliest interfaces Apple has ever created.

  4. Apple recently restructured R&D to combine iOS and OS/X development under Jonny Ive. The plethora of new “integrated” features was, most likely, a reaction to Samsung’s (and others’) copying of iOS functionality: by adding tight integration between iPhone and Mac Apple seek to create greater differentiation.

    But there are numerous problems with this approach – not the least is that OS/X releases are now tied to iPhone launch dates.

    I suspect that the myriad networking features were developed piecemeal, in silos, and conflict with each other and that the pressure to release Yosemite for iPhone 6 meant these conflicts were never resolved.

    Apple will need to pull their collective heads in now and work on stability before adding new features. And they will need to take a very close look at their development team structure and fix the broken communications between the various teams.

    Now that the threat from Samsung has more or less disappeared there will be less pressure to add new features to OS/X with every iPhone release.

    They have to do something. My Mac Pro has become an unreliable beast and, to do any real work, I now have to use Microsoft’s OneDrive and Office apps because Apple’s solutions just don’t cut it. And that irks me no end…

    1. Could not agree more!
      The worst spell checker… Why should it add misspeled words to the dictionary without asking me first? Simple solution just ask me with a prompt if i want the word added.
      I have to frequently reset my dictionery to get rid of all the garbage misspelled words!
      2nd.. Why should i have to resort to safari and google to verify some spellings… Why shouldnt the apple dictionary be as inteligent as google or MS ?
      I just dont get it !
      Have u even noticed how screwed up the spell checker and predictive typing function works in safari and forums like mdn ? Suggestions and options for higlight words flash on for a split second and disapear forcing me retry and try until sudenly it stops acting erratic !
      Predective text shows correct spelling of higlighted words sometimes .. But if u tap on suggestions rather than replace the highlighted word it erases it .. And so on!,
      No one at apple is aware of this very very fundimental problem?
      spell checkers 20 years ago behaved better !

      My friends write to apple! Take an active role !

  5. Glad to see the press is picking up on problems I’ve seen over the past couple of years.

    Apple is reminding me of a hiker who climbs one great mountain after another, but leaves litter everywhere. They’re inventing the future, which is great, but I’d like them to fix the past, too.

    You are acing it in hardware ! BUT Apple is not just about awesome, slick, top notch hardware!
    Apple products are Tools. Not decorative estatic objects!
    Software is in a abysmal state and with poor software the tool is useless!
    U urgently ( like yesterday ) need a STEVE caliber obsessed , and meticulous individual at the top to put things back in line in the software department.
    Intuitivness, consitancy, reaiabily, powerful functionality ! ROCK SOLID !
    Whats going on? Why are u failing here? Why do u take good things and make them bad and then worse in some cases ?
    Too much complacency in light of success,? Too much Ego that prevents listening ? Whats up Apple?
    From a concerned Fan !

  7. Y’all boys have nailed a lot of the same issues I’ve been seeing. I’ll add the hardware department – minimalism can be good, kill floppies, kill CD-ROM drives, etc., but dagnabbit, cain’t even add RAM to me new MacBook pro?!? Canno’ change hard drive in new retina iMac?!? Nor me MacBook pro? I like me MacBook pro retina display, but I have to say, I do wish I could add a larger internal drive later. Once you buy it, it’s done, over, except for software updates.

  8. Apple is facing several major issues that will determine the future of Apple.

    Quality Control:

    The Problem – Creating software is a lot like writing a book. A good proof reader and editor is required.

    Since the death of Steve Jobs, Apple has been relying on the software creators to do their own proof reading and editing.


    Apple needs to hire people to extensively test and use all of the software to make sure it is easy and reliable.


    The Problem – Apple is in a way copying Microsoft. How? Microsoft tried forcing desktop software onto a tablet. Apple instead is eliminating features from Mac software so the feature set is the similar on both iPads and Macs.

    Both yield the same result. Software that is not optimal for either device. Case in Point – iWorks. Mac users now have a very expensive iPad.

    Upgradeability – Soldering in the RAM where it is not necessary is already ticking off customers. They will even be less happy with Apple in a year or two.

    Price – Apple is plain out overcharging for RAM and SSDs. Take a look at Amazon or NewEgg. They don’t buy in bulk like Apple does, but their prices are much lower.

    The high prices cause new users to skimp on RAM and pass on an SSD. Then performance is subpar compared to Windows machines with plenty of RAM and an SSD. Not a way to win repeat business!

    I know several people who might switch back because they paid $300-$500 extra to be locked in a machine with soldered RAM and a slow hard disk. They are not happy now that they have discovered they cannot upgrade!

    1. Soldered RAM is contributing to environmental destruction.

      Instead of being able to upgrade their Mac, many users will be forced into discarding their machine prematurely.

      This practice results in many systems winding up in the dump earlier than necessary, simply because they cannot be upgraded.

      Apple prides itself on being environmentally sensitive. How is soldered ram and non upgradeable machines friendly to the environment?

  9. The iPhone 6 is a great phone. But the combination of the iPhone 6 with iTunes 12 and iOS 8 is a disaster. I have never had so many problems synchronizing before. No wonder that 1 out of 3 people I know have moved from an iPhone to an Android phone! Apple: You gotta fix this!

  10. I’d be happy if they just upgraded the Finder back to where it was 5 years ago. I remember making a movie of my screen (for my Windows friends) with a video camera, showing Quicktime Player playing 10 movies at once while downloading from 100 peers and having 5 other apps open and running. Not one frame dropped. Now, just 1 movie stutters when scrolling a list in a Finder window or downloading from just a couple of sources on usenet. Another example – try downloading 3 streams at once and then try to scroll the window that’s receiving these downloads. You can’t. Trying to select something is like playing wack-a-mole.

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