macOS quality as measured by Apple’s update release rate

“There’s a lot of chatter out there that High Sierra is potentially the worst macOS release ever, in terms of bugs and broken or missing functionality,” Rob Griffiths writes for The Robservatory. “From the recent Month 13 is out of bounds log spewage problem to the root no password required issue (whoops!) to a variety of other glitches, High Sierra has presented many users, myself included, with a near-constant stream of issues.”

“But is it actually any worse than prior macOS/OS X1 releases? There’s really not a lot of information to go on, given Apple’s very-private development process and non-public bug tracker,” Griffiths writes. “However, the one data source I do have is a list of every macOS release date.”

“With 10.13.2 having just been released, I thought it might be interesting to see how quickly the third update arrived on each version of macOS. If High Sierra is worse than usual, I’d expect that the time required to reach its third update would be notably less than that of other releases,” Griffiths writes. “With only 72 days between the release of the OS and its third update, High Sierra becomes the third-most-quickly-updated macOS release ever. What makes that even worse is that the first place release is the original Mac OS X 10.0, which one would expect would receive a lot of frequent updates (and it did). And it’s third by only one day, to Mac OS X 10.8. So if you ignore the original release, High Sierra is basically tied for first in a contest that you don’t really want to win.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The hits just keep on comin’!

SEE ALSO:
Zero-day iOS HomeKit flaw allowed remote access to IoT devices including door locks, garage door openers; fix rolling out – December 8, 2017
Apple on Mac flaw: ‘We apologize to all Mac users. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes.’ – November 29, 2017
Apple releases fix for macOS High Sierra administrator authentication bypass flaw – November 29, 2017
Tim Cook’s sloppy, unfocused Apple rushes to fix a major Mac security bug – November 29, 2017
What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw in macOS High Sierra – November 29, 2017

43 Comments

  1. While I am concerned about frequency of security updates, I would be more concerned with not promptly updating vulnerabilities in the name of reducing frequency. But that’s just me.

    1. The key is that agile development methodologies state that they’re ALWAYS coding on the next thing, so frequent releases are the name of the game. On TOP of that, you’re also able to change direction very quickly and release patches a lot quicker than before. Increased frequency, for any software, is a good thing.

      “Don’t release until there’s zero bugs” is effectively the same as “Don’t release”.

      1. Agile doesn’t mean “lower quality, but more frequently”. Everything you state is correct, aside from leaving out the quality aspect. Sure, you iterate more quickly, but good software testing is (or should be) still part of the game. If you’re gonna move faster, you better have good test coverage to insure you aren’t leaving giant gaps in the system.

    2. Quality is measured by performance, functionality, reliability, and security. Quality is not measured by how many releases are offered over time.

      I would rather have a Bentley ever ten years than a Yugo every ten months.

  2. I have had a few problems, with crashes, adn program lock up on my Macbook Air. My iPhone has crashed twice today, which is rare. This ocured after the last update.

  3. I have remained on Sierra (12.6) as I usually wait to see what the early users of new OSs experience. Am very glad I did. Despite the glowing endorsements from various mac web pages/fora/blogs, I was extra cautios – I earn my income from my MBA so any down time is an expense I don’t want to incur. Part of my reluctance was to maintain use of Office 2011 (sorry Pages/Numbers don’t work in real world).
    Perhaps 10.14 will be better…

    1. My recommendation:

      Ditch the Fusion drive. Go to OWC or whoever and get a new SSD for your startup drive. Use a huge old disk, or NAS if you collaborate, partitioned if you like, for your backup and file server/archive at office or home. Boom. You are now up to modern capabilities in both speed and storage volume.

      The time savings of having a new cutting edge SSD will pay off for itself in short order, and a proper huge multi-terabyte drive at a secure location is the best insurance policy, the best way to control your sensitive data securely, and a gazillion times faster than cloud services.

      Don’t wait for Apple to do a damn thing for fusion drives. Nobody in Cupertino uses them.

      As for high sierra — the reasons to upgrade are looking less compelling all the time, especially if you have an older Mac. I am not installing on any mission critical Macs until the bugs are squashed. Still too many glitches to accept for us.

      1. “Don’t wait for Apple to do a damn thing for fusion drives. Nobody in Cupertino uses them.”

        Ha! Totally Agree. LOL! The fusion drive was a weird experiment that never would have happened if Apple would have just put big SSDs in their machines and not tried to mark them up the standard Apple 40%. The fact that they’re not compatible with HS is probably proof of your theory that no one in Cupertino is using them. If you’ve ever had to pair or unpair one of those (for data rescue and/or replacement), you’ll know how dumb the formatting scheme really is.

        Well said, MO.

        1. I disagree. People wanted SSD speed, HDD capacity, and near-HDD pricing. At the time that Apple released the Fusion drive, SSD capacities were relatively small and prices were high. The Fusion drive, therefore, served a purpose in providing a unique combination of responsiveness and capacity at a reasonable cost.

          But times have changed…SSDs have decreased in price and increased in capacity. HDDs still have a big edge is maximum capacity, though. So, Move On’s recommendation makes complete sense – SSD for local, high speed storage paired with a HDD or array of HDDs for mass storage and backup. Pair that with an offsite backup solution and you are in a good place.

  4. It’s categorically not true that macOS 10.13.x, High Sierra, is the worst Macintosh operating release of all time. People who say that either have very poor memories or are not Mac old timers. My experience and that of many of us old timers is that the initial release of Macintosh System Software 3.0 was the worst. It was one of the pieces of software that prompted the “version 3.0 curse” statements. Well, that and MS Word for Mac 3.0, which was so bad that MS had to rush out version 3.0a (yes, an “a” release and not even a point release).

    1. Worst might be an exaggeration, sure. OS X version 10.0 was the roughest of all. I know i’m not alone however in the strong belief that every Mac OS from 10.0 through 10.6 was a beautiful step forward, with steadily improving quality. Then 10.7 and 10.8 started adding useless fluff that the user cannot easily control or disable, Jony flattened 10.9 into one of the ugliest and hardest eye fatiguing messes ever, and the decline of quality has only continued since then. I could almost forgive Apple if APFS had forged new ground, but Windows users have enjoyed a better file system for years. Cook’s limp leadership is pathetic and they have exhausted my patience.

      Apple’s leadership does not have their heads in the game; they are just milking the customers who are locked into the platform for whatever reason. Those of us who use multiple platforms daily are seeing major lack of quality and attention from Apple. In far too many ways, the competition has caught up. Then when you factor in hardware limitations — not just annoyances like dropping legacy ports without warning, but serious performance deficits across the board — and the Macs of the Cook era are not the easy recommendation anymore. There are so many things you can do with other computers that the Mac has not offered its users — though the apologists will shout one down for saying so.

      I advise people to back away from Apple’s lates Mac OS and hardware. For lightweight users or budget minded users, I steer them to Macs that are 3+ years old that have some user customization ability. Put in your own RAM and SSD. For power users, you are already running an HP Z series workstation. Enough said.

      1. Totally agree with your assessment of Mac OS versions, well done. Today it seems they are doing more to muck it up instead of making it better which was routine 15 years ago. The sooner the SJW CEO departs and they replace with a real coder or engineer at the helm is the only way to right this adrift ship

      2. MO,
        At least. you laid out your argument with intelligent thought, something that KK and GoB either don’t even try because that is not their true agenda.
        While I don’t agree that the additional “There are so many things you can do with other computers that the Mac has not offered its users” are worth the trade-offs of constant attention to, and expertise required for IT, malware, viruses, inconsistency issues, that trade-off is worth it to those who prefer, and even enjoy, the ‘tinkering’ that comes with it.

        1. “MO,
          At least. you laid out your argument with intelligent thought, something that KK and GoB either don’t even try because that is not their true agenda.”

          That was uncalled for. Learn how to spell, it’s GoeB …

      1. Neither have you, apparently, KK. Because you keep on posting the same anti-Apple crap along with GoeB. You guys ought to go into business together and show us how “it should be done.” No doubt, you two would be a huge success. /s

        1. Only a spineless mega Apple BLIND FANBOY like you just doesn’t get it. Your BLIND IGNORANCE of Apple missteps and your complicit cover up is nothing new here. Pick up your Pom Poms and go home clueless cheerleader …

  5. On my MBP, macOS 10.13.1 brought on some of the most obvious and exasperating glitches in functionality that I’ve ever experienced with macOS: some text in the Contacts notes field not visible, Calendar synchronization glitches with my iOS devices, couldn’t stop a couple of Reminders from popping up at strange times after I checked them off, and iCloud app collaboration issues. (When I initiated a collaboration, Pages and Numbers would say that the document wasn’t on my iCloud drive although it obviously was, and then the app would duplicate the file!)

    Apple Support promised a conversation with their “engineers” after I had a long conversation with a “senior” advisor then submitted a diagnostic file with several screen shots showing the issues clearly. I never heard back.

    The macOS 10.13.2 update seems to have finally fixed things. But this recent experience leaves me with the impression that quality control for software development has slipped.

  6. Here’s an obvious and bothersome glitch that hasn’t been fixed since macOS 10.12.x: On your Mac, choose your own travel time X minutes before the event, then add an alert time Y minutes before travel. On your iPhone, the alert for the event will be timed to sound X + Y minutes before _travel_. So with travel time double counted your iPhone will sound an alert (quite possibly at an awkward time) 2X + Y minutes before the event.

    Over the past year or so I’ve submitted several reports of this glitch to Apple feedback and more recently reported it to a senior Apple advisor. The glitch persists.

  7. This is one of the worst sentences I’ve read in a long time:

    “From the recent Month 13 is out of bounds log spewage problem to the root no password required issue (whoops!) to a variety of other glitches, High Sierra has presented many users, myself included, with a near-constant stream of issues.”

  8. Sierra on my 2014 MBP and El Capitan 10.11.6 on my 2007 MP works for me. Until my 2018 MP arrives and I actually like and approve of Apple’s direction as I DIDN’T along with many other pros with the 2013 MP. I agree with feature creep after Snow Leopard the experience hasn’t gotten better or more stable in many respects. iTunes, well, has all but imploded on itself. I hope AFS rights itself as well. But Apple can slow down on the OS upgrades to every two years in my opinion.

    1. Disk Warrior will have to be some badass software to clean up Apple’s mess. Until Disk Warrior is available for High Sierra I refuse to upgrade and that also depends on further postmarketing surveillance and reviews.

      1. Why so hard on Apple? As I said, APFS is a big change. I applaud Apple for taking this important step. The growing pains are inevitable… There is no way to do this without some hiccups.

      1. I do blame them , but not on the same terms as others would. The file system transformation was a long time coming, but they rolled it out this year because it was good enough. Good enough is never good enough for the likes of us geeks, but it made business sense for Apple to nudge the technology down the road, even if third-party utility developers claimed to need more time to update their software. If Apple is one thing, it is aloof to the requirements of anybody else. They live or die by their intuition of what their customers will like, invariably ignoring the cries of the pundits. I rather like that about Apple. I hate the pundits.

        1. Much I admire getting APFS out on the streets for SSD Macs, it’s NOT finished and that means its detrimental to upgrade to High Sierra on networks where conventional hard drive and Fusion drive Macs MUST access the newly transformed APFS Macs. Not-gonna-happen. SHAME on Apple!

          Then Apple keeps obnoxiously using marketing-coercion to convince innocent Sierra users to upgrade to High Sierra. SHAME on Apple!

          Happy News! Micromat now has updated TechTool Pro 9.6 to repair APFS file systems. That’s a great step forward! But it doesn’t cure Apple’s HFS+ can’t access APFS critical problem.

  9. Absolutely the poorest version of macOS. If you only use the Apple included software it may be OK, Has broken more Applications than I want to deal with. Have strongly recommended to all members of our Mac User Group to wait on installing.

    What I find most interesting is since Apple has started the Public Beta of macOS and iOS the past couple of years, there appears to be more minor issues that in previous system updates prior to Public Beta.

    1. It is my opinion. as an Appleseed beta tester, that Apple’s public betas are merely a marketing strategy. Otherwise, Apple treats them as an annoyance and only grudgingly bothers with tester feedback.

      One Example:
      I’d been pointing out for over two years that the macOS 10.11’s and 10.12’s Font Book application has been incapable of showing any sign of newly installed fonts having actually been installed. You have to reboot the damned thing to get it to actually do what it’s supposed to do and used to do. This idiotic bug is 100% consistent. Apple 100% doesn’t care. That’s both lazy and irresponsible. It’s also an insult to those of us who’ve wasted our time beta testing for them. I no longer bother.

      I’d love to cheer Apple at every turn. But when they crash and burn macOS on the roadside, I’m going to complain. And the longer they ignore their problems, the more I complain, as should we all.

      1. So much for High Sierra being the next Snow Leopard. Missed that by a mile. And that is what macOS truly needs now: a release of nothing but bug fixes all the way around including the included programs such as iMovie, Photos, etc.

  10. The big fat problem:

    macOS High Sierra 10.13.x ISN’T FINISHED! It remains betaware. Everyone who’s using it is forced to be a beta tester. That’s sick and sad.

    Hey Apple! When APFS is finished, then we’ll talk. Until then, stop trying to force me to upgrade to the damned thing! I refuse. Why? Because the fact that APFS isn’t finished means that installing in onto my network would BREAK the ability of my Macs to communicate with one another. HFS+ has not-a-clue how to communicate with APFS. And I’m stuck with HFS+ until you make APFS able to work on both conventional hard drives AND Fusion drives. Fulfill your PROMISE and finish APFS, DAMMIT!

    Sheer idiocy on Apple’s part. Inexcusable, at this late point in time. *Impatiently*Waiting*

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