Friday, February 1, 2019

The Growing Problem with Apple's Buggy Software

With the news of the infamous FaceTime bug this week, it feels like habit where we hear of an Apple bug every so often. Enter Darren Eastman, an ex-Apple engineer. In an interview with The Mercury News in 2018, he claims that Apple product updates are often untested, "sometimes rendering applications or basic functionality to be completely unusable until another update fixes the regression." It's this "fix it later" ideology that is ruining Apple today.

When we find out that Apple was made aware of the FaceTime security bug about a week before it started making news, that's where we have to take a step back. In my opinion, disabling group FaceTime with some form of "bug fix" reason would have been the best option for Apple. This way, Apple takes minimal PR damage and protects their users' privacy. However, we don't know what actually happened on the inside, but the damage has been done.

And here's the thing, this only matters because it made headlines. If I had a nickel for every individual bug I encounter in iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, I'd be rich. The difference between this bug and any other bug was the impact it had. It could disclose private information. And that's why it will be fixed the soonest. But that shouldn't excuse all of the other bugs in these operating systems. iOS and macOS are constantly buggy, tvOS feels flawed and unnatural, and watchOS is slow and rarely works as advertised.

Take Apple Music. Playlists and songs sometimes are "un-downloaded" without notice or reason. Custom playlist art frequently doesn't sync properly. In iOS, sometimes the "Now Playing" section just shows "Not Playing" when the section shouldn't be there at all.

I only say this because I want the best for Apple and I want Apple to be better than this. And I know they can be better. But to do this, they have to get past this awkward era of constant bugs and lackluster updates. We are supposed to live in the best era for technology but sometimes it feels like for every step we take forward, we also take two steps back. iOS 12 was supposed to be the "under the hood" update that focused more on bug squashing than features, but we're still not there yet. That being said, I am always hopeful for the next update and I legitimately hope that Apple can prove me wrong with a strong software and hardware lineup this year.

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