iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 Catalina have been unusually buggy releases for Apple. The betas started out buggy at WWDC in June, which is not unexpected, but even after Apple removed some features from the final releases in September, more problems have forced the company to publish quick updates. Why? Based on my 18 years of experience working as an Apple software engineer, I have a few ideas.
• Overloaded Feature Lists Lead to Schedule Chicken
• Crash Reports Don’t Identify Non-Crashing Bugs
• Less-Important Bugs Are Triaged
• Regressions Get Fixed. Old Bugs Get Ignored.
• Automated Tests Are Used Sparingly
• Complexity Has Ballooned
In an unprecedented move, Apple announced iOS 13.1 before iOS 13.0 shipped, a rare admission of how serious the software quality problem is. Apple has immense resources, and the company’s engineers will tame this year’s problem.
In the short term, you can expect more bug fix updates on a more frequent schedule than in past years. Longer-term, I’m sure that the higher-ups at Apple are fully aware of the problem and are pondering how best to address it.
MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Apple can get a handle on it and, as the ecosystem simplifies by coming together (Mac Catalyst, SwiftUI) the complexity issue will be tamed!