What the hell, Apple? That’s what I’ve been saying quite a few times recently. Over the last few months, I’ve been rather disappointed in some of Apple’s devices and software.
I still think Apple is the undisputed king of mobile (iPhone and iPad generally offer a better experience than Android in my experience) but I’ve been disappointed with their laptops and some of their software quality issues.
Before I explain my frustrations, I do want to point out that I think Apple isn’t doing too bad — they still have great products, but I’ve been more frustrated over the last two years than before.
Note: I’ve been using a Mac running macOS since 2011. Prior to that, I was a Windows user and owned a PC. Nowadays, I use both.
For the purposes of this post, I want to point out some of the disappointments this year:
- Issues with macOS High Sierra:
- The new version of WindowServer (it gradually slows down and crashes if I’m running a scaled resolution on my 4K monitor). I’m not alone.
- The massive security issue with the root account exploit that was widely publicized. If you weren’t on 10.13.1, upgrading to that version would undo the fix, too.
- My colleague at work also had issues with upgrading to High Sierra: his laptop wouldn’t proceed with the installation.
- Shared folders with NFS are broken. This is fixed in 10.13.2 (which is currently in beta). Because NFS does not work correctly, it breaks some Vagrant environments, including Laravel Homestead.
- Issues with iOS 11:
- I was suffering from massive slowdown on my iPhone 7, after upgrading. Yes, this was even after Spotlight indexing was done with the heavy lifting on my device after the upgrade. This issue was resolved when I reset the settings of my device.
- Being unable to type “I” due to an auto-complete bug.
- Visual glitches, app layout issues and design inconsistencies.
- People are reporting the Podcasts app has become much worse. It’s gotten more similar to Music.app’s design.
- Personally, I’ve disliked the new design of the Music app ever since Apple Music was introduced. The previous version was just way easier to use.
- Notification grouping was removed in iOS 11, leading to notification bubble overload.
- This decline in quality is not new, since iOS 10 also had issues. For example, opening search on an iPad would sometimes open the keyboard sideways!
- The December 2nd rollover springboard infinite loop.
- Generally being displeased about the new MacBook models.
- Some people (like me) really seem to prefer the old MacBooks, and do not think that the Touch Bar is any improvement over the function key row.
- Marco Arment even wrote a post about Fixing the MacBook Pro. He has mentioned this on ATP as well prior to writing the post. Additionally, he did a great writeup of the issues with USB-C and the most recent MacBook Pro.
- A growing number of customers have also been reporting keyboard issues, with keys getting stuck and being unable to fix this without going to an Apple Store.
As far as general trends go, these are my issues:
- A lack of consistency and quality in some of iOS’s built-in software.
- A lack of quality control when it comes to rewriting underlying system components on macOS (WindowServer this year, in 10.10 it was discoveryd). This one is the most annoying one for me, since I use macOS for work. Having my computer freeze is not good.
I feel like there’s been a definitive increase in issues I’ve personally experienced with devices from Apple, running their software. I understand that no software is bug-free, but I was expecting more from them: especially given that their software quality has always been rather stellar (again, in my personal experience).
That being said, as long as the bugs get fixed, that’s okay. The biggest offender in my view is that the folks at Apple don’t seem to be focused on delivering an overall consistent user experience on all of their devices: it feels like they got sloppy.