“People think of Apple as a maker of excellent premium hardware. In fact, many reviewers regard Apple devices as the best you can buy. For instance, I’m on record as saying its most important product, the iPhone, is the best smartphone on the marke,” Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. “But there’s more than just metal, glass and silicon to these products. Apple’s built-in software is a huge part of the experience, and has been since the company introduced the 20151021-Walt-Mossberg-Steve-Jobs-laughing-D5first Mac in 1984. Whether it’s the operating systems or the core apps, a major aspect of what makes both users and reviewers value Apple products is software that melds power, reliability and ease of use. ‘It just works!’ was a favorite Steve Jobs phrase.”
“In the last couple of years, however, I’ve noticed a gradual degradation in the quality and reliability of Apple’s core apps, on both the mobile iOS operating system and its Mac OS X platform,” Mossberg writes. “It’s almost as if the tech giant has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to these core software products while it pursues big new dreams, like smartwatches and cars.”
” hold Apple to its own, higher, often-proclaimed standard, based on all those ‘It just works’ claims and the oft-repeated contention by Mr. Jobs and his successor, Tim Cook, that Apple is in business to make ‘great products,'” Mossberg writes. “In ways big and sometimes just small and nagging, I think they too often fail to meet Apple’s self-imposed standards. Sometimes this is on iOS, sometimes on OS X, sometimes on both… Lots of small software disappointments and aggravations, adding up gradually over time, are putting the sterling experience of using Apple hardware at risk.”
Muchd more in the full article – highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: We said as much over a year ago. Unfortunately, our opinion still holds true today, nearly 13 months later:
Dear Mr. Cook,
“It just works.” That’s getting tougher and tougher for us OS X and iOS users to say with straight faces lately.
Apple, while certainly still the best when it comes to desktop and mobile operating systems, needs to do better. Our expectations, some of us as users of Apple products since the early 1980s, are not being met when it comes to the quality and reliability of operating systems, software, and services. Used to be, you could pretty confidently install brand new operating systems from Apple. Recently, we’re more inclined to wait for a few point releases than not. It’s downright Microsoftian. Lately, for the past couple of years, your software seems rushed. Is “rush job” really the impression you want to give your customers?
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. Why not just add new features/services to existing OSes with continued point releases that refine and extend the experiences and services you want to deliver? Why not just release new operating systems only when they are rock solid and ready?
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. Seriously, nobody outside of Cupertino very much cares. We do, however, care very much that Apple’s software and services work as flawlessly as possible.
We occasionally hear things about the company from Apple employees.
Some of those things lead us to wonder if perhaps you should rethink some aspects of the culture at Apple? Specifically, what really should constitute a badge of honor at Apple? Working all day, all weekend and all night in order to squat out iOS 8.0.1 and then have to turn around and do it all over again, in a panic, to get iOS 8.0.2 out the door in order to clean up the mess? Or taking the time necessary to do the job correctly the first time?
People with proper sleep and lower stress levels do better work. Many major medical studies prove these facts. Shouldn’t quality, not quantity, of hours worked be the utmost badge of honor at Apple?
Working long hours simply for the sake of working long hours is counterproductive. It really doesn’t prove anything except that you have no life and that, despite all of their work on Apple Watch, Apple executives still do not understand basic human health requirements and are incapable of properly staffing their departments so that they can function without requiring sleep-deprived, mistake-prone employees who feel that it’s a job requirement to be able to reply to emails from managers at 2:00 am. That’s idiocy.
Driving too hard, too fast, and for too long leads to accidents.
We speak from experience, albeit at a far, far smaller level than yours. We’ve tried and been exposed to several methods as both managers and employees in the television, financial, and online media industries. Regardless of the size of your department or company, people are people. You can push people to a point that’s very productive, but when you exceed that point, it’s all downhill for everyone involved. It’s not a badge of honor. It’s not an “I love this company!” statement. It’s simply mismanagement. It’s verifiably unhealthy and it leads directly to diminished quality, increased turnover, and productivity declines. And customer satisfaction ultimately suffers. Hence this letter.
Bottom line: We long to again be able to confidently say of our Macs, iPhones, and iPads: “It just works.”
2015: Apple’s year in beta – December 29, 2015
Apple’s dirty little secret: Sucky software – why Apple’s entire UX/UI team needs to be fired – November 19, 2015
What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot – November 18, 2015
Alternatives to Apple’s bloated iTunes – November 17, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro debuts with forced reboots, missing Apple Pencils – November 16, 2015
Apple’s perplexingly incomplete launch of the iPad Pro – November 16, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
Apple’s major problem is Tim Cook – November 16, 2015
At Apple, it seems as if no one’s minding the store – November 13, 2015
Houston Chronicle’s Silverman reviews new Apple TV: This cake needed more baking – November 9, 2015
The new Apple TV has more rough edges than a sack of saw blades – November 3, 2015
Apple Music one month later: Not loving it, but I’ll be subscribing to it – August 10, 2015
The tragedy of iTunes: Nothing ‘just works’ – July 28, 2015
Apple Music, both on iOS and OS X, is an embarrassing and confusing mess – July 10, 2015
After many of complaints about Wi-Fi issues, Apple dumps discoveryd in latest OS X beta – May 27, 2015
OS X 10.10.2: Wi-Fi problems continue to plague some Mac users – January 30, 2015
The software and services that Apple needs to fix – January 14, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015