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The Apple iOS 13 Fiasco

See my recent posts on iOS 13, including iOS 13.2.3: Random Haptic Clicks Drive Me Nuts on iPhone 11 Pro Max and iOS 13.2.3 Breaks Bluetooth Pairing for my Mercedes Sprinter Van for all my iPhones.

Quotes below from: Bloomberg: Inside Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut.

When the company’s iOS 13 was released alongside the iPhone 11 in September, iPhone owners and app developers were confronted with a litany of software glitches. Apps crashed or launched slowly. Cellular signal was inconsistent. There were user interface errors in apps like Messages, system-wide search issues and problems loading emails. Some new features, such as sharing file folders over iCloud and streaming music to multiple sets of AirPods, were either delayed or are still missing.

This amounted to one of the most troubled and unpolished operating system updates in Apple’s history. “iOS 13 continues to destroy my morale,” Marco Arment, a well known developer, wrote on Twitter. “Same,” replied Jason Marr, co-creator of grocery list app AnyList. “Apple's really shown a lack of respect for both its developers and its customers with iOS 13.”

... The initial version of iOS 13 was so buggy that Apple has had to rush out several patches. In the first two months of iOS 13, there have been eight updates, the most since 2012 when Federighi took over Apple’s iOS software engineering group

Duh. This is news? It has been going on for years.

And it’s not just iOS — macOS is if anything, much worse.

The sad fact is that MPG has been reporting on Apple Core Rot since 2013, documenting just a tiny fraction of the onslaught of problems (it could be a full time job), and repeatedly the lack of respect* aspect.

As a 30 year professional software developer, I know exactly what is going on, because I know what shortcuts and rationalizations are used by management to ship dreck to customers. The root cause is poor leadership, graded an apropos “F”. Expectations should be that significant progress will NOT be made so long as the leadership stays the same (engineers at Apple are highly talented as a rule, I do not blame them, it’s the culture that leadership establishes). And why does leadership get a massive pay package for inflicting pain on millions, rather than getting fired ignominiously as incompetent?

Apple has cost me personally the better part of a day of wasted time just on iOS 13 (weeks for macOS over the years!), with no fixes in sight for iOS—I would like compensation for malpractice. Don’t get me started on compatibility, which will cost me $1000 if I move to macOS Catalina, if a solution even exists.

* “Contempt” might go a little too far, but not by much, what with no official way to revert to the prior version—what better word to describe a refusal to allow users to solve their own issue by backing off to what already worked?

Yet no effort is made, and on macOS, data is usually irreversibly altered (e.g., Mail) so as to make it technically difficult. All that stems from priorities, and reliability and compatibility are NOT priorities.

As a member of the software architectural review board at Sun Microsystems for years, I know how a well-run company that respects its customers operates—incompatible changes are never taken lightly, and must be justified.

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