Another Apple software update failure

“A while back, an Apple executive, in response to a question about declining software quality, asserted that quality had actually improved in recent years. But since there were more people using Apple gear, each problem received more coverage,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl.

“I suppose that’s quite possible, except that there’s no way for anyone outside of Apple to know whether that response is accurate or just corporate spin,” Steinberg writes. “Certainly the common perception is that software quality has declined. Even after four maintenance updates, OS X El Capitan rates no better than three-and-a-half stars.”

“Apple fed iOS 9.3 builds to tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of customers and developers. Surely at least a few of them encountered these bugs and took the time to report them,” Steinberg writes. “If Apple didn’t listen, the beta test process is seriously flawed.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s perplexing why problems that obviously should have been caught during Apple’s beta testing periods aren’t identified and corrected before software releases.

With another Apple failure, it’s time to forget about hardware – March 29, 2016
Can Apple get things back under control? – March 29, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


  1. Weirder still, these problems were absent from the Betas!

    I blame man-in-the-middle (government-acronym-in-the-middle) attack in order to get phones into a weakened state for govt hacking.

  2. I have not been able to update my phone, because apple keeps telling me that It can’t verify the update it just downloaded from the internet, because I am not on the internet… its glorious..

  3. I’ve been involved in beta testing before as a developer, and I can tell you it is a very frustrating problem. Bugs are often seen by beta testers but then aren’t actually reported. Particularly with large, informal testing, users just kinda assume someone else will do it, or they can’t plainly state how to reproduce the bug, or they just don’t bother.

    Beta tests are better than no beta test, but they don’t actually catch that many bugs.

    With this particular update bug, it really is a small % of users that got snagged.

    I don’t believe Apple got serious bugs reported and then just ignored them.

    1. I tried then gave up. The big reporting app was a piece of crap. It took ages to get the info in and then I’d written a whole detailed write up. Then I hit a button (can’t recall which) and this crazy error came up with two options: Cancel and Continue. Well I didn’t want to continue, as it was a scary error message. So I hit cancel. And the whole damn thing was erased. Apparently cancel meant cancel the report.

      I was so pissed I ha e up and never reported another bug. Sorry, but I have better things to do than be jacked by software when I’m trying to help.

      Apple, fix the bug reporting software.

      1. Fortunately, you don’t have to read and understand words to use an iPhone, you just have to randomly push icons or buttons and sometimes something that you wanted to happen will !!!!

    2. Great observation MikeMo.

      As to Sternberg’s statement: “But since there were more people using Apple gear, each problem received more coverage,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl.
      “I suppose that’s quite possible, except that there’s no way for anyone outside of Apple to know whether that response is accurate or just corporate spin,”, that’s bull crap. Just look at the number of iPhones sold from calendar 2008 through calendar 2010 (165 Million)) vs calendar 2013 through calendar 2015 (578 Million).

      A hypothetical 1% bug rate in 2010 generates 1,650,000 problems.
      A hypothetical 0.5% bug rate in 2015 generates 2,888,000,000 problems (75% more bugs) on half the bug rate.

      iPhone enjoys the industry’s highest customer satisfaction rating. IFF these problems (that I believe are very real for those that are experiencing them) were anything more than click bait for hit whores, iPhone would not have the industry leading customer satisfaction rating it does.

      My iPhone 5 took the update without incident. I am saddened that others didn’t fare as well. But if the error rate That a LOT of people are reporting upgrade problems does not directly translate to a “problem for Apple”. I seriously doubt that there have been over 500,000 upgrade problems reported to Apple, which would put the number of problems reported at ~0.0865/100 upgrades. Note: 1/100 = 1%.

  4. The wireless 9.3 update hosed my iPad mini 2. And that was AFTER the update had completely downloaded before I started the install. The second firmware update repeatedly failed to write. Had to start over from restore. Fortunately I had a pretty good iCloud backup. But still not something I wanted to go through.

  5. I am a beta tester and my iPad 2 didn’t have these problems. i do wonder why apple does not do its own regression testing against its own library of older models. I know they don’t make money off of the old Apple devices out there but products that don’t have to be thrown away every 2 years like Windows pcs have great value to users. Apple should own this issue and do a better job.

  6. I was part of the beta and installed every version. This links-not-working did not manifest itself until I installed the GA release.

    One one hand, you can stop blaming the beta process, or at least the beta testers, because this new feature wasn’t unreduced until GA. On the other hand, why was such a major change introduced so late?

    I have seen others say that this impacts other releases (9.2) as well, but something major changed somewhere!

    1. Sadly, iOS 9.3 has not been a great experience on my iPhone 5. It randomly and frequently “freezes”, at which point no input or interaction is possible with any part of the interface (home button or software interface) – I simply have to wait up to a minute for the phone to “un-freeze”. This can happen at any point, in any app, or even in the basic iOS interface itself.

      I know in the past that Apple has put out updates, only to later tweak the update to work well on older phones – then releasing a new X.X.X release. It would be nice, if they know about the slowdown on older equipment and know that they will be able to fix it – that they would let those using older phones/iPads to wait for the update. 1) I don’t know if this is true, in this case, as the user above orenokoto mentions no problem on Ethyl’s iPhone 5. In other cases, they did know mentioned shortly after the release of new software that it would be tweaked to work better on older devices in a soon-to-be-released update.

      1. I have a 6 Plus and have the same problem.

        Links in emails, Safari, Opera, and other apps don’t work consistently. Sometimes the screen seems to freeze. Sometimes that freeze is accompanied by a spinning gear in next to the carrier ID, and sometimes not. Even when there is a gear, eventually it stops and nothing works until I close out the app.

  7. Sidebar Favorites in El Capitan continually go missing in Open/Save-As application dialogs. I constantly need to delete the pref and restart to restore them. I have found no functional fix

  8. These problems never appeared in beta testing. I’ve been using the beta version for a while and never had issues with broken links in safari. They only emerged with the final version. Very odd and most disappointing indeed.

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