Apple’s iOS 9 to have ‘huge’ stability and optimization focus after years of feature additions

“Following the success of OS X Snow Leopard for Macs in 2009, one of iOS 9’s standout ‘features’ will be a directed focus on stabilizing and optimizing the operating system,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5mac.

“While stability is normally an expected component in Apple software rather than a marquee feature, the rapid pace of iOS releases and feature introductions has taken a toll on the operating system’s overall performance, recently leading to numerous complaints from long-time Apple users and regular customers alike,” Gurman reports. “For 2015, iOS 9 is going to include a collection of under-the-hood improvements.”

Gurman reports, “Sources tell us that iOS 9 engineers are putting a ‘huge’ focus on fixing bugs, maintaining stability, and boosting performance for the new operating system, rather than solely focusing on delivering major new feature additions.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Slow down! Getting it right is far more important than getting it out. Frankly, we don’t need a new Mac or iPhone/iPad operating system every year and Apple Inc. doesn’t need it, either. Annual OS releases shouldn’t be mandated. What we all really need, customers and Apple Inc., are operating systems that are rock solid and do what they’re supposed to do when they’re supposed to do it… In other words, take a step back, take a deep breath, and focus on making sure that what you have now just works. Because too much of it doesn’t (Wi-Fi connectivity for one ongoing, glaring, vexing example). Getting it right is far more important than having two “new” free OSes to release each year.MacDailyNews, “Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better” – January 5, 2015

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

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

34 Comments

    1. iOS8 has been pretty stable for me too.

      My biggest gripe is OS 10.10

      It’s mostly stable. But server, mail, iTunes and iPhoto and overall speed need more attention (for me, others probably have different issues.)

    2. My two big gripes are:
      1. Not being able to play podcasts from the Music app where I can keep them on playlists.
      2. Not being able to invite people to Calendar events via a mobile number (as opposed to an email).

    3. But there are major flaws in iOS7 & 8. There are longstanding appearance/usability/intuitiveness things that Apple simply has to fix. For example, when one pushes the shift key on the keyboard, WHY WHY WHY don’t all the keys show the capital letters? Why does bold font require a phone restart? Apple buries so many of these settings and gives them such silly names that they are hard to understand.

      Or how about web forms — why doesn’t Apple by default autofill city/state when the user inputs zip code? Multilingual use remains difficult due to poor Apple settings. A user shouldn’t have to change the language of his phone in order to send a few texts in a row to different people in different languages. By now you’d think Apple would have this stuff figured out.

      But wait, there’s more. There is no good built-in help menu that can be used offline.. Maps remains an unusable mess where a person can’t add waypoints or pan the map during travel. The calendar sucks. white-on-gray is nearly impossible to read in some light conditions. One can’t manage the “other” memory on the phone using iTunes. Syncing is a messy chore especially now that Ives screwed up the iTunes interface. Podcasts needs dramatic improvement.

      The list goes on. My fear is that all Apple plans to do is force more iCloud photos and Beats streaming features — i.e., bloat that I don’t want — instead of fixing iOS to make it user-friendly again.

    1. The last time an OS X released focused mainly on under-the-hood optimizations, the result was Snow Leopard, one of the best releases on the history of OS X.

      I hope iOS 9 is just as successful. (And yes, a similar touch up of Yosemite would be very appreciated.)

      ——RM

  1. And please, please revisit some of the “appearance” changes that were changed just because someone else had designed them!!

    It is rather tough to explain to an older parent or other non-techy user why some of the color and font changes made “readability” more difficult or flat out worse.

    The biggest theme at Apple for decades was the “Human Interface” . They spent years trying different things and as it got better, then it was small tweaks to get it even better.

    Did they even try to do a focus group with iOS 7 compared to iOS 6 on ease of use?
    It took Apple 6 OS versions and countless 0.1 versions to get to what they thought was perfection in iOS 6. So what, did the designers of iOS 7 think that Apple was doing it all wrong in all those preceding versions?

    Someone needs to be bitch slapped at Apple and get back to making an OS that is easy to use. I’l give you one very simple one.
    Notes App. Go into an existing note. Move to the next note before or after it. You can’t. They removed the two arrows that used to be there on that screen.
    So now you have to go Back, then tap the note you want. Stupid stuff like that.

    Hope they get it right in iOS 9. Then they need to do the same with OS 10.11.

    1. I tend to agree. I have got used to the visual iOS chages but for the life of me I just can’t take the OSX changes. So I’m not going to move to Yosemite on my main Mac and likely never will while hoping that something better is introduced later. I have no problem with different, but it has to be better too.

    2. I think it’s time for an Ive-free Mac OS 11. It’s time for a major under-the-hood upgrade. The features added since Snow Leopard have only added complication without fundamentally making Mac OS X a superior operating system. Now with Ive hiding everything and forcing contextual menu inputs, it’s not even faster to use anymore unless you’ve memorized pages of keyboard shortcuts.

      1. I have more bug issues in iOS than I do in OSX, but totally agree on the Ive designs of software. Get him away from it.

        Have been around on Mac since 1988. I think things started to go south first when they tried to go to far with the Tine Machine idea of having backups for every single event on all machines all linked together all the time. I dont think they can handle the 25 tons of spaghetti code necessary to track all that. Law of Unintended Consequences WILL come into play, that law can’t be violated, When I start my OSX up, there are times when I get individual files and apps opening up from months ago. Yes I have done clean installs.

        THEN, add in a great deal more spaghetti code necessary to sync iOS and OSX. No mathematical possibility that there WONT BE things that go wrong there. Lets say that its 1/2 of one percent of all code starts conforming to the Law of Unintended and Unrecognized Consequences. With a half percent problem group, MANY things are going to go bad out there in the wild, and can the the spaghetti code be straightened out? Mathematical probabilities say no way.

        Cut to the chase for me. I am a content creator, can’t play games and hope for the best on “automatic” (translate that to non-transparent) backups. NO way I can have that.

        I am buying a tower Pro, which will have Snow Leopard and Mavericks sectors. That will be my go to back up machine, with all of my backups, which will be manual drag and drop copies of folders that are critical to me, catalogued manually by project, date, etc. They will be on the Snow Leopard sector. Copies of those on another physical drive.

        iOS will be phone only, done with iPad and the touch interface for anything critical, or for content creation. Replace with Macbook Air.

        OSX must remain the master, iOS the slave to use a politically incorrect term. With OSX content creators, you have nothing to put on iOS devices. IF anything, make iOS more like OSX if you must remain obsessed with making them the same. Trucks are different than cars and shall always be so in the real world.

        And for Gods Sake, bring back the Apple Human Interface guidelines and anyone within Apple who disagrees should be escorted out the back door by security the same day.

        End of rant.

      2. I have more bug issues in iOS than I do in OSX, but totally agree on the Ive designs of software. Get him away from it.

        Have been around on Mac since 1988. I think things started to go south first when they tried to go to far with the Time Machine idea of having backups for every single event on all machines all linked together all the time. I dont think they can handle the 25 tons of spaghetti code necessary to track all that. Law of Unintended Consequences WILL come into play, that law can’t be violated, When I start my OSX up, there are times when I get individual files and apps opening up from months ago. Yes I have done clean installs.

        THEN, add in a great deal more spaghetti code necessary to sync iOS and OSX. No mathematical possibility that there WONT BE things that go wrong there. Lets say that its 1/2 of one percent of all code starts conforming to the Law of Unintended and Unrecognized Consequences. With a half percent problem group, MANY things are going to go bad out there in the wild, and can the the spaghetti code be straightened out? Mathematical probabilities say no way.

        Cut to the chase for me. I am a content creator, can’t play games and hope for the best on “automatic” (translate that to non-transparent) backups. NO way I can have that.

        I am buying a tower Pro, which will have Snow Leopard and Mavericks sectors. That will be my go to back up machine, with all of my backups, which will be manual drag and drop copies of folders that are critical to me, catalogued manually by project, date, etc. They will be on the Snow Leopard sector. Copies of those on another physical drive.

        iOS will be phone only, done with iPad and the touch interface for anything critical, or for content creation. Replace with Macbook Air.

        OSX must remain the master, iOS the slave to use a politically incorrect term. With OSX content creators, you have nothing to put on iOS devices. IF anything, make iOS more like OSX if you must remain obsessed with making them the same. Trucks are different than cars and shall always be so in the real world.

        And for Gods Sake, bring back the Apple Human Interface guidelines and anyone within Apple who disagrees should be escorted out the back door by security the same day.

        End of rant.

  2. …NEW STRATEGY

    Bill Gates once famously said there was no money to be made in fixing bugs, so Microsoft focused on new features and the software industry has followed this tune for years.

    In my opinion, Apple should follow a tick-tock strategy where on one year “tick” they add new features and cool stuff to OS X and iOS and on the alternative “tock” years they optimise, bug fix, bed-down and enhance … like Leopard and Snow Leopard.

    1. I really like that idea. And it does not preclude adding a feature or two in a dot update, should Apple deem that necessary.

      If Apple adopts this strategy, it will be interesting to see how Wall Street attempts to spin it (e.g., Apple is “slowing down” in terms of innovation, etc.).

      1. Well, that’s another major problem with Apple under Cook. Steve Jobs didn’t pander to Wall Street. He didn’t need their loans. Cook is trying every trick in the book to please Wall Street, and still they undervalue AAPL. The sooner Cook stops wasting his time feeding them the sooner he can turn his attention to fixing Apple’s software problems.

    2. I suppose that’s true about no money to be made in fixing bugs. However MS never had the relatively few HW platforms to support with only 2 OSes nor the massive funds Apple currently has to enable them to maintain Apple products’ ‘premium’ image. Good idea for alternating years of new features and bug fixes. Copping out on quality is much harder when the same company controls both the HW and SW in their products.

  3. And the same for Yosemite, please, please. The freaking wi-fi is still broken after 10.10.2 in setups where Mavericks was working perfectly. Fix the freaking wi-fi!

  4. In many cases, the “feature additions” are the problems. It is much more than just performance and stability. Apple is regressing. It is morphing into another Microsoft.

    1. And Apple doesn’t even have the excuse that Microsoft had. MS had to code for a staggering number of hardware combinations… different CPUs, graphics cards, sound cards, memory, hard drives, motherboards, wifi cards, attached peripherals, ports, etc. Sure, there were standards that were eventually agreed upon, and 3rd parties were partly responsible for writing their own drivers if they “enhanced” beyond the generic specs, but that’s still a tall order having everything work out of the box.

      But Apple only has maybe 2-3 dozen supported MacOSX and iOS hardware configurations (excluding differences in memory), and almost all of the latest models (pretty much everything except Mac Pro and high-end iMac) are even hardwired at purchase now and can’t be upgraded later with 3rd party RAM or drives.

      You’d think that a very limited, controlled (by Apple) hardware variation would make writing a stable OS easier, but somehow Apple isn’t living up to that theory with problems like wifi which have gone on for months now.

      1. Your point is well taken. But there may be more variation within Apple’s ecosystem than you have identified. At the component level, for instance, Apple sources parts from multiple vendors. In addition, Microsoft had the advantage that many of its solutions were adopted as de facto “standards” at the enterprise level.

        Overall, I think that Apple has a much tougher job in terms of software development than many people seem to believe. Apple’s expansion into cloud services, payment services, healthcare, and wearables increases the difficulty.

        1. No excuses. Cook has how many thousand times more resources to work with than Jobs did?

          Jobs refined iOS into a solid platform that just worked. Snow Leopard was rock solid. Both platforms have degraded enormously in quality because Cook is bloating each platform to support services instead of supporting basic user needs.

        2. Not a good excuse since they control both HW and SW.. No suppliers were forced on them. If they find a particular component is really not working for their lineup they should own up to remedying it for users that purchased their product.

        3. While true, Dell probably did the source-from-multiple-vendors thing for their components long before Apple did, or had the sales volume that required it. The point was, though, that most Macs these days and all iOS devices are “black boxes” where users have no access to the internals to install 3rd party hardware.

          I know the inclusion of cloud and other services means there’s even more unknowns and uncontrollable variables than in the old days, but that’s why I ended by specifying only hardware and issues specific to OS/hardware interface like wifi. There’s speculation about the wifi issues being caused in combination with Bluetooth to make Continuity/Hand-off work, but that’s also a tough sell because Apple again is the “final assembler” for the hardware involved (except maybe it’s not an Airport router).

          1. Blaming a 3rd party for Apple products not working well with other company’s networking hardware is a call for Apple to step up and identify the HW that currently is reported to have problems. Be proactive, not silent Apple. Next thing you know Apple products may be reported to only work well with cloud services from Apple… 😛

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