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Apple Quality Control: Enough is Enough

See yesterday’s new security bug along with all the recent extremely serious problems Apple has rushed out to customers.

Six years ago MPG started writing about Apple Core Rot, and Apple Core Rot has gotten so much worse and is now manifesting as serious security bugs.

Apple Quality Control: Enough is Enough

Apple is working on a self-driving car, which ought to make anyone nervous given the increasingly severe software quality problems including severe worst-ever security problems. These bugs are not accidents—they stem from years of increasing sloppy software development and software quality assurance.

While I’ve been writing about the issues for five years as Apple Core Rot, Apple has never once contacted me. Worse, any bug I submit goes unread for weeks, so I gave up on submitting bugs. Clearly the quality control team is severely understaffed. That and recent events make it quite plain that Apple is not serious about security or software quality (the two go hand in hand), Mr Cook’s tired bromides aside.

The new secure enclave in the iMac Pro is causing several usability headaches (for me at least) as well as breaking critical software without so much as a “heads up”. What’s the point of a secure enclave (which few people want, methinks) when Apple regularly deploys made-to-order security bugs and even root kit bugs as standard parts of macOS? And the issues fixes for fixes and supplemental updates? It’s all quite ridiculous.

Data loss file copying and hundreds of other problems including simple but scary ones like zero-byte files that are not empty at all demonstrate a nonchalant attitude about customer property, e.g., data. The only mitigating factor is rapid fixes, for which Apple deserves credit. But so many offenses of all kinds that never get fixed along with worst-ever security bugs and ones that should never happen mean that Apple has deeply overdrawn its bank account of trust. Apple no longer deserves any benefit of the doubt by having violated that trust over and over again.

The problems at Apple are glaringly obvious to anyone who opens their eyes—except apparently Apple. Unless Apple course-corrects, is only a matter of time before some major breach screws millions of users: all it takes is one security bug vector reachable via the internet and game over. Which just about happened in November. So it’s not even a “what if” but an “OMG it’s good they caught it in time”.

Hackers and organized crime must be wetting themselves, and putting new resources onto macOS exploit-finding.

Not a passing fad

Apples flubs are not ordinary mistakes! The reason we keep seeing “supplemental releases” is that Apple rushes software out the door with minimal (and maybe zero?) testing—all to make a calendar release schedule. Apple has become an irresponsible calendar-driven company—why can’t Apple see that? This is both negligence and incompetence and in MPG’s view, an ample basis for class action lawsuits going forward.

Apple, how about taking $10B of the $800B cash hoard for applying AI to software quality assurance, along with hiring 500 new software quality engineers?

When hundreds of millions of users are put at potential risk, why is software quality control not the #1 issue at Apple, or even the #10 issue?

Enough is enough

Enough is enough— the buck stops with CEO Tim Cook. Mr Cook, get on the ball with the serious software control problems at Apple, hiring and firing as needed, or hang up your jockstrap—you are putting people at risk—recent events are unacceptable to the point of being become offensive. Public relations bromides about about taking security seriously don’t make users secure. Quality software engineering does that.

When Mr Cook states that he “takes security issues very seriously”, what does that mean, exactly? Perhaps it means it is a serious public relations issue. Because rushing out macOS 10.13 with major flaws is proof enough that security is NOT taken seriously. And without overall software quality, security can only decrease.

The day Mr Cook announces that there will be no macOS 10.14 for at least two years, so that macOS can become the most robust and secure consumer OS ever released—that’s the day his he earns back some credibility. And upon delivery, he will regain the right to use the word “seriously” to describe his intent about security.

Arne K writes from Europe:

To the iMac pro: In German, we have a joke word for that nonsense, to tell you make something much better (Verbessern -> to improve), but actually you’ve worsen everything (Verschlimmern -> to worsen). So, from Verbessern + Verschlimmern, we created the word „Verschlimmbessern“, hehe… maybe something like „improworsen“ in English ;-) This is the feeling of almost every pro guys I know about the last 5 years with Apple products and software.

I use an Mac Pro from 2012, 6 core with 24GB RAM and Yosemite. I just NEED my machine and I could not risk to be held as something like a “test rabbit” from an Apple laboratory.

A “Pro” line should be able to held a full length extension card and also (at least) 4 in-house storage disks or the ability to add an RAID card or so. No external “power supply chaos” and “cable sauerkraut” as with the actual Mac Pros.

Also to the new MacBook Pro, keyboard is worse and it lacks the needed slots and attachment possibilities. And now the “iMac Pro”. All failure by design.

They forgot that “form follows function” and THEN, after this is achieved, the genius is in giving it a great design – that’s what Apple was hailed for in the past. You got everything you need + a great design.

nd the actual operating system is more and more a no-go. Right now, with IBM(!) on their side + the big security concerns with Windows10 and Server 2016 + Office365 – the have the big change to create a secure, reliable, performant + cool IT environment, all with Pads’, Notebooks, mobile phones, storage, backup, work stations and servers – all working hand-in-hand and easy to maintain and to set up. Almost a “no brainer”.

They just stare on their 800 billion dollar amount-mountain of cash.

My best friend is working in Paris for the BIG TV station “ARTE” and it once was an Apple castle – they almost completely lost them, because of the change of the Mac Pro and the Final Cut pro-x nightmare (you may remember). They had thousands of Macs… once.

I sit and wait for the new Mac pro, praying it will be a manly machine, a true work horse again – and that Apple will release a stable OS X the next time.

Thank you so much for your good work Lloyd, you’re one of the few with expertise and style + a profound critical view from the pro-side on the whole thing. I really don’t get it, why they do not hire you and the guys from OWC (and others) as at least consultants.

MPG reiterates its position that Apple is near it peak due to these and many other failures, and will begin a rapid decline at some juncture, no more than 10 years out.

Martin D writes:

For the fourth or fifth time in the last couple years, my 2016 MacBook Pro (Retina, the previous design, not the current one) has utterly locked up.

It has been sitting here for hours as I slowly run the battery down. A couple of the previous lockup, it has “snapped out of it” after a while, but this is the third time that (so far) it never did.

There is simply no way to power it off. Holding the power button down does nothing. Closing the lid does nothing. Obviously, you can’t just pop the battery out since there’s no removable battery.

I am losing many hours of productivity. All because of no actual power switch. This sucks.

[4 hours later]... Damn thing is STILL GOING since 11:29am. I’ve even got a USB hard drive (not SSD) hanging off it. 😫

MPG: hardware core rot? With no real on/off key, Martin’s 2015 MacBook Pro and newer models (and others) have no recourse when they haywire.

Arne K writes:

Your own comment on Apple „enough is enough” is so very true. Sad and true. Reminds me on what you’ve posted about Craig Federigi telling the world “that Apple software quality has improved over the last years”, hahaha!!!

It’s more an more like “Bushism”, those sentences… (“they overunderestimate me” or “misunderestimate me”)

omething else: Did even ONE PC mag ask you if your statement could be re-printed by them? I guess, no.

MPG: no PC or Mac Magazine has ever asked me about reprinting anything on this site.

Aedrian S writes:

Thank you for the Apple Core Rot compilation. I’m glad I’ve found a poweruser who says what I’ve been saying since Lion, which is where I became very irritated with Apple. Sitting on the desk I spend much of the day at is a Power Mac G5, a machine that I use almost daily. I have newer Macs, but getting around the problems of the operating systems I’m forced to use make the old machine the choice; even major work--heavy audio work and photograph editing—is carried out with actual joy instead of a string of profanity as I try to navigate the byzantine mess that is High Sierra. I’ve been a regular Apple user since the // era, and have introduced and provided support for Macintosh to many people. I sometimes want to apologise to those I’d converted to Macintosh, and it becomes tiresome to continue using the phrase, “It wasn’t like this when…”

Ah, I can continue onto a litany of complaints, but I’m sure you already know what I want to say. Thank you, though, for the MPG site as a whole. I’ve already send a link to Core Rot to a fellow Mac user and security expert. We really must get Apple to stand at attention.

MPG: the best way to get a company’s attention is via money—declining sales. But Apple Mac sales seem to be booming.

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