At Apple, it seems as if no one’s minding the store

“I woke up to an inbox full of e-mails from customers reporting that my apps wouldn’t launch,” Michael Tsai blogs. “This included new customers who had just purchased from the Mac App Store as well as people who had purchased long ago, hadn’t made any changes, and expected that things would just keep working.”

“On my own Mac, 1Password and Dash wouldn’t launch until I entered the Apple ID password for my App Store account. For some customers, the fix is more complicated: restarting the Mac or deleting and redownloading the app. I was in the middle of using ReadKit, when it suddenly quit, then wouldn’t launch, with the OS reporting that it was damaged. However, redownloading the app didn’t work; I had to restart the Mac to get it running,” Tsai blogs. “Then I got the password dialog for Tweetbot. In some cases, there seems to be no way to get the App Store version working, so I’ve pointed customers to the direct sale versions of the apps and issued them temporary serial numbers. Fortunately, my apps don’t require iCloud, Map Kit, or other system services that are withheld from non–App Store apps.”

“The Mac App Store is supposed to make things easier, but it’s also a single point of failure,” Tsai blogs. “Not only is it neglected, but sometimes even the existing functionality stops working. Mac OS X 10.9 introduced a code signing bug that prevented me from submitting updates for several months. In June 2015, there was a month-long iTunes Connect bug that prevented my uploaded build from entering the review queue. And I currently have a bug fix update that Apple has been reviewing for 33 days (with 8 days of waiting before that). When I inquired about the status, Apple told me that everything was normal and that I should just keep waiting. In short, the system is broken on multiple levels, and there is no evidence to suggest that things will get better.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The growing pains at Apple Inc. are plainly evident.

Mr. Timothy D. Cook has quite the job on his hands. It must feel like herding cats because, lately, it certainly looks like it.

As we wrote last Saturday:
Apple has grown very quickly in recent years. There are now far more post-Jobs newbies than Apple employees who really understand the Apple mindset that made it insanely great. How well is Apple University working, really? We referenced Apple’s faltering attention to detail back in January with: Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better.

Hopefully, Apple management can get a handle on things sooner than later.

SEE ALSO:
Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app – November 13, 2015
Apple’s joyless iPad Pro launch: WTF are the Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards? (4-5 weeks away) – November 12, 2015
Apple’s best days are behind it or something – November 7, 2015
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015
Apple Watch has arrived for just 22 percent of preorder customers – April 28, 2015
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
With obtuse iPad 2 launch, Apple fails to delight 49,000 customers per day – March 21, 2011

33 Comments

  1. Clearly Tim Cook is in waaay over his head. Either that or he simply does not view Apple’s core values as a priority anymore.

    Apple USED to be about elegance, simplicity, and things WORKING.

    No one can make a serious claim that Apple works towards these goals anymore.

    1. It’s just simply time for Cook and Apple to part ways.

      Here’s just the latest example:

      The top of the line iPad (iPad Pro) neither gets the faster Touch iD nor the 3D Touch that the iPhone 6S enjoys.

      Typical Tim Cook. Who would put two entirely different chipsets in the same line of phone?

      Who would release a half-baked watch that uses cheap parts and charge a fortune for it in the process?

      Who would release a product like the new ATV, and still charge a fortune for it, when there are competitors offering more powerful boxes for a fraction of the price?

      Who would release an expensive Macbook with one solitary port?

      Who would release a mess like Apple Music and actually expect you to pay full clip for it?

      Who would price a trashcan Mac Pro to the stratosphere, even though it can NEVER be upgraded?

      Who would release a giant iPad, dramatically increase the price, but not have the accessories ready for another two months (the main selling point mind you)?

      Tim Cook… that’s who.

      1. “… like the new ATV, and still charge a fortune for it… ”

        If you consider $149 to be fortune, you need to get whomever is paying you for this drivel to give you a raise.

        But really, that’s all you’re spouting – worthless drivel.

      2. Get over yourself dude. Seriously.

        I own and love the Apple Watch, own and enjoy several of the new ATVs (but gripe it isn’t future proofed enough), own and love the new Macbook with a single port, am a paying subscriber to Apple music. While I don’t have any use for the Mac Pro personally, I’m considering the new iPad Pro just to have around the house. Cry less dude.

    2. Forget Apple University and whatever geeky thing you’re thinking. You can’t teach inherent skill and genius. You can teach someone only so far until they’re on their own.

      Walking into a boardroom you’re on your own. How well can you size people up? How confident are you? How strong is your vision? How are you able to react to different unknown variables? What if the CEO of — Corp. has a cocaine problem and is driving the business into the ground?

      You can’t teach someone how to be Steve Jobs. Or Muhammad Ali. Or Plato. It’s inherent and it’s tacit.

      Apple is now run by geeks and there’s no vision or leadership. Since Jobs left, I’ve slowly stopped buying new products. Not because of some bias. Because the products just aren’t as compelling.

      I’ve skipped the Apple Watch. Forget a watch computer with 1 day battery life. What a geeky proposition.

      I skipped the 12″ MacBook (far too underpowered).

      I skipped the Retina iMacs (no backlit keyboards, etc.).

      I’m skipping the Apple TV (no Apps as channels, just another box that will be rivaled by Google and Tizen).

      I tried Apple Music and the interface is so bad I can’t use it. It’s disgusting.

      Nothing new that Cook has tried to do has been amazing or worth buying into. He’s a shell of Steve Jobs. This is the problem. Apple’s greatest strength was its greatest weakness: Steve Jobs. Now that he’s gone, the the headless horse ride continues…

      1. No freaking kidding.
        Steve really should have left a man in charge.
        Every, and I mean every update for the last several years has been one step forward and three steps back.
        I’ve gone from craving every new product to total ambivalence, and every time Cook spouts off on ‘rights’ I know exactly what he’s spending his time focused on.
        Steve said Apple’s goal was making insanely great products, not getting bogged down in misguided social action.
        Under Cook, it’s the opposite.

  2. I switched to Mac more than 10 years ago because I was tired of spending as much time goofing around with my computer as I did doing work.

    Sadly, I’m back to spending way to much time goofing around with my computer.

    Shame on you Apple, you hired Steve Ballmer to run the shop.

  3. I can personally vouch for this. In the twelve years that I have been using Apple poducts, I have seen a major change for the worse, especially in software. I used to be a day one updater no matter what. That’s not the case now, because I know there will be issues that will take one or two updates to correct. Someone needs to shake up the staff and correct this release it if it’s good enough mindset and get the good as gold mindset back in place. Apple, you owe your faithful customers no less than the gold standard that used to be the norm.

  4. I won’t argue that Apple has alot on their “plate”; they do!!
    However; all my Apple gear is working fine. Upgrades to all products have worked. I always backup before ANY upgrade!!
    To wit–(running TWC 300 mb broadband):
    (2)ATV4, iPad Pro, iPad Air2, iPad mini4, MBP, MBair, 27″5kMac, Macmini, Apple Music——

    The holiday season is upon us and I feel it will be Cuppertino’s most profitable quarter in history. I am dreading the “Christmas Day Internet Crush” when millions sign up, sign on, and download all the stuff for their new Apple products…..

  5. Just because profits are high, that doesn’t mean quality isn’t dropping.

    I’m not going anywhere. I will continue being a Mac user. But I’m not as impressed anymore.

    Mac User since the early Performa models.

  6. Apple is not the same as it was 10 years ago. The Cloud, Apple Music, AppleId, cross-synching multiple devices, iPhone, ATV, AppleWatch, etc are unique challenges and there are bound to be glitches. Add on the fact that they have tens of millions more demanding customers. I would like someone at Apple to apologize when there are major failings, but the problem mentioned in the article hasn’t impacted everyone (certainly not me). So, cut some slack.

  7. Over the past several years Apple has required us more and more to type in passwords, to the point where I’m having to do it several times a day. The iTunes and App stores are an ergonomic disaster, as far as I’m concerned. Why can’t you go through a series of steps *once* to get your password in your system, and then OS X accept that? Why have to require a password for every little thing? Like others here, Apple has increasingly shown signs of microsoftization…

    1. The problem with your point of view is that your Mac can’t tell if it’s still you at the keyboard, or if you’ve walked away and someone else is trying to use your (unattended) Mac. There are applications which use the proximity of your iPhone/Apple Watch to lock and unlock your Mac; if this were extended into a system-wide thing, I think it’d go a long way toward resolving your issue.

      1. Apple has all the hardware and software capability to offer Touch ID on Macs. Other PC makers have offered biometric ID available on their computers. But for some reason, today Apple puts more effort into “rose gold” fashion than they do staying up with technology and functionality. Cook deserves the blame he’s getting. Apple has all the resources in the world to deliver quality, but most of us longtime users see Apple services and software quality dropping quite fast. Perhaps recent switchers from Microsoft may not have noticed how poor Apple is today, but anyone who enjoyed troublefree Macs up through OS X 10.6.8 has now witnessed over five years of Apple stumbling under Cook, with more user glitches and problems than ever before. Most of it because people like Cook and Ive don’t have a clue what computer users actually need to do in the real world. Apple can’t even run its own business on Apple computers — it relies heavily on HP for servers. One has to ask why Apple can’t even rely on Macs to run their own business.

      2. This should be an option, not a requirement. If my Mac is at home, it doesn’t matter if I’m away from it. Until about the time that Cook took over we didn’t constantly have to put in passwords. You can tell that Jobs is no longer around, because he would have noticed the insanity of the current situation.

        The problem is that Apple has lost sight of the user experience, instead it is buried in layers and layers of issues and conditions that it feels must be satisfied. This is what is meant by ‘microsoftization’, it’s when a company’s software becomes a reflection of its own internal bureaucracy.

  8. Apple has become HUGE. A few years ago, people were clamoring for new products. Now they are complaining because they new products aren’t as “finished” as they might have been in the old days. It’s impossible to know how things would be if Steve Jobs were still running Apple. That’s a mind game with no substance.

    I do think it is fair to say things are not as polished as they used to be, and there are many contributing factors, But I do hope TC and Company can get a handle on this situation. WIth $200 billion on hand, you’d think they could hire enough of the right kind of engineers to make sure the hardware and software are as finished as possible.

    Mac user since the Mac Plus. Just to put in in perspective, that computer cost $2999 in 1986. In today’s dollars, that works out to $5,667, for a computer with a single floppy drive and 1MB of RAM. Now there was a computer that truly was priced “to the stratosphere” and couldn’t be upgraded, but we were all really pleased to have it!

    1. I guess then we can expect future versions of Apple hardware o be component upgradable and more affordable like the Macs that followed the Plus? 🙂 I’m all for that.

  9. We could go back to Snow Leopard, physical media and syncing our iOS devices with a cable and all of these problems would be solved.

    Apple has made a huge amount of progress in developing an ECOSYSTEM within the past 5 years and there is no looking back. While others are just getting started or standing still Apple is defining and refining the ecosystem.

    Apple and consumers are going through growing pains.
    Consumers are beginning to understand the difference between an Apple ID and and an iCloud account. The importance of using unique passwords. etc. etc. Most people haven’t had to experience the need to reboot their Mac or reinstall an application on a Mac. This is a good thing.

    Sure Tim Cook is Captain of the ship and the waters are rough, but Apple is going to keep on sailing and leaving everyone else in it’s wake. No other company is even close to accomplishing what Apple has accomplished in the past 5 years.

    1. Given how many people can’t use Apple’s iCloud for many technical and legal reasons too numerous to discuss here, Apple needs to get a clue and allow people to configure their Mac hardware and software so we CAN return to the efficiency and reliability that cables and Snow Leopard gave us. Despite the legions of iOS fans willing to accept a highly limited, slow, complicated “ecosystem ” of rental computing and disposable hardware, longtime Mac users want and need Apple to deliver competitive hardware and software that adapts to THE USER, not to Apple’s increasingly frustrating offerings. Apple today forces users to subscribe as the very first step to Mac ownership. Apple software phones home incessantly. Features are removed so that Apple can constantly push subscriptions to users. 1984 is here and it is now Apple who is acting like Big Brother. And no, just because Google is worse doesn’t forgive Apple’s sins. Apple needs to reintroduce itself to Mac power users, small businesses, gamers, and big spender prosumers. Until Apple returns to the user focus it once had, its Mac platform will continue to degrade towards Microsoft-like bloat and inefficiency or worse, it will be as limited as iOS, which remains primarily consumer grade stuff. Sorry, but i agree that Cook’s insistance on iOS gadget profit has DEFINITELY come at the expense of User experience on all Apple products

  10. I just don’t get all this ‘Apple was great while Steve Jobs was there and now that he isn’t everything is poor’ argument.
    I first fell out of love with Apple when it ditched Front Row while its DRMd iTunes Store content failed to work with Plex XBMC and the like. That, combined with its refusal to comment on user criticism of its decisions, simply suggested to me that it treats its customers with disdain.
    Changes to Address Book that denied users an efficient overall view and added mouse clicks, the introduction of those really rather hideous skeuomorphic app interfaces, the fact that SJ seemed viscerally opposed to established file systems and the determination to force “Save As” enthusiasts into using cumbersome Duplicate commands were other examples that suggested to me that Apple didn’t “just work”.
    Apparently I was lucky with MobileMe and iDisk while others were not but iCloud has hardly been wonderful. And iTunes has had problems for as long as I can remember.
    I still buy and use plenty of Apple kit because it is in my opinion, on balance, better than most of its competitors’ ranges.
    Certainly there have been recent disappointments: the whole Aperture thing, and an apparent right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing situation on its productivity software ( I got on just fine with Apple Works). But such problems are nothing new.
    And for what it’s worth, I think that under Tim Cook its expression of values is refreshing and positive.
    Steve Jobs had a powerful talent for delivering well-timed, well-rehearsed, casual, intriguing presentations that were very short on detail, which his successors can’t quite match. He worked for a long time through a dreadful illness that showed he had courage and determination. I’m sure he had many other qualities and I certainly wouldn’t want to be disrespectful to him.
    But I just don’t see this golden age stuff, at all. Apple’s hardware, software, performance and delivery aren’t perfect now but neither were they perfect then.

    1. Nobody I know described Apple under Jobs as being perfect. However, under Jobs, the company had relentless user experience focus. Now profit and ugly minimalist featureless interfaces and non-upgradeable, non-performance-competitive hardware is the rule. With Apple’s resources, it could sell both “cars” and “trucks”. Instead Cook wants to sell hardware with less than 3 years of useful life and software that pushes subscription. The desktop experience has actually degraded in the last 5 years.

  11. Mr. Cook is paying more attention to his personal agendas than minding his own stores.
    It could be very detrimental to Apple for him to become known more for his personal agendas than Apple CEO.
    And you might ask what agendas am I talking about? Lol…you see, thats called, laying preventive fire in the Army…jajajajajaja…
    Well, you know very well what one of his agendas are…so don’t ask me fool…

  12. I can point out that in the security community, Apple’s security certificate BUNGLE at the iTunes App Store has created a massive SLAP at Apple’s reputation. The simplicity of having someone, ANYone keep track of when certificates expire is profound. Apple F-ed Up Badly.

    The entire past year, plus, has been about kicking Apple’s lazy ass regarding security flaws in hardware, firmware and software. It could not be more obvious that Apple has shoved routine and critical security concerns onto the back burner. And that’s TERRIBLE. The ramifications are bitting Apple in the ass, over and over and over.

    WAKE THE HELL UP APPLE! (0_o)

  13. It shouldn’t be overlooked that employee pay for most Apple retail and corporate employees is well below what they can get somewhere else. As an ex-employee myself, I can tell you that there has been a mass exodus of a lot of very talented people over the last few years, and I think it’s really starting to show in certain areas. As a lot of those die-hard Apple believers have moved on, I think it’s been tough for Apple to replace them with newer employees that feel quite as passionate about the products and overall quality. The “coolness” factor of working for Apple has lost its sheen somewhat.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.