back to article Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

For over a year, Apple's software has been the subject of more derision than might be expected for a company of its size. Developer Marco Arment took Apple to task early last year, arguing that OS X (recently rebranded macOS) is full of embarrassing bugs and that the company is trying to do too much on unrealistic deadlines. …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    The exception that proves the rule...

    The rule being Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: The exception that proves the rule...

      But the "or what" leaves the door open to objective worsening.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The new Sierra syslog is meant to be causing severe performance problems thousands of lines of debug being stored to sqlite every second, causing even UI slowdowns, mDNSResponder all over again.

    1. Justin Clift

      Ouch, that's doesn't sound great. SQLite isn't really suited to write-heavy use cases.

      Btw, do you have a reference or pointer to the issue reported? I just did some quick lookups via DuckDuckGo and nothing obvious showed up. :/

  3. oldtaku

    You can't really say much about declining quality with iTunes, because that's always between a steaming vat of feces that, to add insult to injury, deliberately ignores many of Apple's own app guidelines.

    Other than that, hell yes stuff has gotten buggier. Welcome to the wonderful future of perpetual beta, except a lot of people buy Apple stuff because they just want things to work and don't want to be in perpetual beta.

    1. JLV Silver badge

      storm in a teacup?

      I am still using iTunes, mostly out of inertia. Never really shared the deep hatred for it, mostly for lack of trying others. However, I do now notice things that are wearing on my patience:

      - frequent changes in good-enough-UI to no great improvement (cf Windows UI)

      - disappearance/hiding of previously available functionally on iOS - shuffle by genre/artist, star ratings

      - promotion of their dumb music service

      - about as update-happy as Adobe Flash

      To be clear I buy Apple for the build quality, core OS stability and bash/posix friendliness. As well as for the main desktop windowing system. The rest comes from macports and GitHub. On those terms it works and is stable enough, esp if you sit out new releases for a while.

      I find their own apps are stodgy and prone to locking your files in databases. So I mostly avoid Mail, Pages, Safari, iCloud. And iPhoto did its best to lose all my pictures. iBooks/music/movies? Surely you're joking - who wants unportable media? I grudgingly put up with Finder but much prefer navigating the file system in iTerm2.

      Bottom line: I essentially try to have as little to do with Apple as possible while running on their platform (my treasured 17" 2011 MBP).

      Much better alternative, to my needs, than Windows and enough like Linux at the editor/bash/server-process levels that it's pretty seamless minus much need to configure anything.

      Hardly makes me notice these hiccups. But then it hardly makes me their dream customer either.

      1. E_Nigma

        Re: storm in a teacup?

        "On those terms it works and is stable enough, esp if you sit out new releases for a while."

        Funny, that reminded me of what people normally say of another OS: "I'll switch to the new version after they have solved the teething problems, when SP1 comes out."

  4. Blue Pumpkin
    Unhappy

    It's downhill all the way ...

    Even the basics are being lost.

    For around 10 years, dragging a photo onto the mail icon used to open up a new message with the photo in it - now we have mice with multi buttons I am forced to go via a crappy pop-up menu hierarchy to the 'share' options or play with cut and paste if my app is not in the list - assuming it feels like it.

    And don't get me started on what a pile of crap Preview has become - trying to save a file under a different name now involves duplicating and renaming or exporting or some other nonsense - what was wrong with 'Save' and 'Save as' - which BTW appear in all other applications.

    Moaning about iTunes doesn't count as it's been crap for so long and every new release means you can't do what you did in the last one - assuming that you can find anything again.

    The simple intuitive gestures are disappearing on the desktop and being replaced by menus and stuff you have to read - and are often inaccessible via keyboard shortcuts.

    Seems like they've moved on to another of Orwell's classics ..

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: It's downhill all the way ...

      Blue Pumpkin: agreed on Preview. <alt><file> will give you "Save As" in the file menu.

      1. raxtor
        Happy

        Re: It's downhill all the way ...

        Not to drag you off your ranting horse, but it's possible to click on the name of the file at the top of the window and change it there. This works in Preview, and also in at least a couple of other file handling apps I'm using...

    2. Wensleydale Cheese

      Preview

      And don't get me started on what a pile of crap Preview has become - trying to save a file under a different name now involves duplicating and renaming or exporting or some other nonsense - what was wrong with 'Save' and 'Save as'

      Press <Alt> (aka <Option> on some keyboards) in the File menu and 'Save As' will appear.

      Where Sierra's version of Preview has really messed up my workflow is taking away the ability to right-click on the filename at the top of the window and see where the file is in the directory tree - clicking on the parent directory would in prior versions highlight the file in Finder, making renaming a cinch.

      Looking at that again as I type, it's plain buggy. Some documents currently open in Preview allow me to do that, others don't.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Preview

        A good thing about OS X is the useful behaviour when dragging, dropping, and doing things with window titles, no other OS has it. If they've forgotten about that, then I doubt we can expect much improvement from here on. They still haven't worked out that the Finder leaving a trail of hidden files in its wake is not good. I mean, we have been using multi-user systems for some time now.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Preview

          I wanted to remove the audio track from a video I recorded of a road junction to send to the local highways authority. Took the video on my iPhone... on my iMac, it comes up in Photos. Great. Now right click, reveal in Finder... wait... where's that gone? OK, drag and drop it from Photos into iMovie... nope, that doesn't work... OK, look in the Movies folder in my User folder, that's where video used to end up... Nope, not there. Pictures? Nope. Ah, a big library file. What was that trick to show a package contents? Alt key, click... WTF?! A dozen folders with obscure names? Back to Photos... what the F*** can I do with this? Info... Ah! A Filename... let's spotlight it... and... it found it! In photos. Back to square one. GRRRRR! I can see it on the screen... WHERE THE F*** IS IT ON MY COMPUTER? Ah, export. No export. Share? SHARE? I don't want to share it, I want to edit it before I share it... Oh, I can apparently share it with myself as a file. Resolution to export at? I don't know. The original one I guess. I don't want to waste cycles reducing the resolution. Nope I can't recall the specs of that camera on the phone. I thought it was HD... that's 1080p... Not an option. Can't be it. No idea. Wonder if the original resolution is the default one? 720p anyway, that'll have to do.

          So where... Ah! NOW it's a f***ing file. We're getting somewhere. Now, how to get it into iMovie...

          Open... Nope. OH FUCK IT ALL TO HELL! Where's my camcorder?

          1. CanadianMacFan

            Re: Preview

            Try dragging the video or photo from Photos onto the Desktop or into a folder in Finder.

      2. Recumberic

        Re: Preview

        Right-clicking (two-finger click on trackpad or command-click) on the filename (or icon) at the top of the window and seeing where the file is in the directory tree works as expected here.

      3. SuccessCase

        Re: Preview

        "what was wrong with 'Save' and 'Save as'"

        Quite a lot actually. This is a personal bête noire and is a very good example of how users like to stick with bad solutions they know rather than good solutions they are not used to. People are used to "Save As" but it is bad for so very many reasons. The problem being it combines two action that should be separate, duplication and renaming and, horror of horrors, it is often used to save versions of documents. Why is this bad?

        1. Duplication where there should be one canonical version. Duplication results in multiple versions of a file often badly named. Far better to have one canonical version with versioning build in (as all Apple apps have had for some time - only many users don't think about it). "Save As" can too easily result in many versions of a file across the filing system.

        2. Uncertainty as to what is contained in "orphaned" versions. When "Save As" is used, an old version is left behind. So if it is used to duplicate a file, was the previous file saved first? Very often the user doesn't remember. Is there any sensible coherent version of the file in the old version? The user may well have forgotten when it was last saved. Consequently after using "Save As" users tend to distrust the earlier versions unless they have a really highly developed habit of saving before using save as, or a disciplined sense of what the file contained when it was last saved. This undermines the value of Save As for the file duplication use case. But also results in file detritus. We've all been there. It's horrible.

        3. Bad version naming. If used for versioning, doing version naming in a file name is an extremely bad way to do it; is a very 1980s solution we have the tech to move way beyond now. Version naming is more difficult to do well and more prone to error. Maybe modified dates can be used to overcome any possible user introduced inconsistencies? No relying on modified dates to determine version precedence is dangerous. If you keep to versions open and modify an earlier version, even by mistake, the modified dates are no reflect version order. My personal "favourite" bad file version practice is when you see files named things like "xxx Latest" or "xxx Updated" (though I acknowledge this isn't an argument against Save As per say, because you have to be a special kind of stupid to make this mistake).

        So sorry I disagree, Save As is one of the worst user "I like it" habits in the history of personal computing. We really are far better off with dedicated and distinct duplicate and rename functions and with proper version management (which so many people ignore) built in. Alas, people like to stick with their habits. Personally a drink too much.

        1. art guerrilla

          Re: Preview

          urine idjit...

          you ASSUME that everyone has the same saving/saveas conventions and usages you do, we don't...

          i open a 'master' file a couple dozen times a day and SAVEAS, any other process would just add bullshit that is of no use...

          when you dumb down the process, you make it difficult for knowledgeable users, NOT FOOLPROOF...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Preview

          Duplication where there should be one canonical version. Duplication results in multiple versions of a file often badly named. Far better to have one canonical version with versioning build in

          Wrong. This assumes that every person in your work orbit has the same softwares and versions that you do.

          Admittedly this assumption is common in Apple users.

          I am a big user of versioning using "filename_2017_03_29" naming, and using an older version of MS Office file types that I know will open on any computer sold in the last decade.

          Lord rescue me from the latest and greatest, like the XPS form sent to me this week by a bank. Neither LibreOffice or Office 97 in a Windows VM could open the stupid thing.

          However much I dislike Adobe, PDF always works, on any machine.

          1. John Presland

            Re: Preview

            Better "170329filename"; your directory will then show files in date order. In six months' time you may not remember the filename but you'll remember more or less when you created the file and it should be easy to find.

        3. Jet Set Willy

          Re: Preview

          Have you ever met anyone who is not on the autistic spectrum? This kind for file keeping is beyond almost everyone, as well as not taking in to account sync errors and branch versions created on a whim.

          Technically you are correct. In the real world it aint gonna happen because humans tend to have human foibles.

        4. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Preview

          File systems with version control.. like VMS?

          But I think there are two different types of version-control. There's "save it while I edit" draft versions (VMS) and then there's release versions where you do want to keep a snapshot and you might want to email somewhere, in which case, you probably do want to be able to easily see which version you mailed out. Since other OS's and applications may not support version control, you probably do want to support "save as" and you certainly want to purge the old edits rather than sending a file with all the drafts to a customer.

          Maybe we need a "save Release version as" to go along with internal versioning?

      4. Ambivalous Crowboard

        hiding things

        "Press <Alt> (aka <Option> on some keyboards) in the File menu and 'Save As' will appear."

        Oh, that standard feature that our metrics tells us loads of people use on a daily basis? Yeah, we hid it under the carpet. Just lift it up, and you'll find what you're looking for.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: hiding things

          Holding alt... for the window expansion thing. Just WRONG. Make it an option, yes. But changing the default behaviour? Forcibly? For everyone?!?

          1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

            Re: hiding things

            TRT: I sort of agree with you, but the other week I was working with someone who's also a Mac user. She opens everything using the green button and puts it onto a new desktop. Every document, every spreadsheet - all on its own desktop. She's never used cmd-tab for switching and she just swipes right and left to move between stuff and was very adept - I got dizzy just watching the screen.

            I guess it's horses for courses; I tried the desktop thing for a couple of days and it just annoyed me - except for apps where I almost never need the menu bar (e.g. iTunes).

            Maybe the world does move on and old gits like me might have to get used to it.

            BTW - just re-read that: my lawyer would like to point out that this post is not intended to imply that anyone else on this forum is an old git.

          2. nimraynn

            Re: hiding things

            TRT: This is the way of Apple. "The customer doesn't know what they want until we show it to them"

            This whole attitude got them a long way. A lot of their products were said to be stupid ideas or not possible, until they did it. This worked for a lot of things, but it doesn't work for everything. Hiding useful features and changing sensible default behaviour is just annoying. More so when you can't change it.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: hiding things

          This will put Save As back on most things which have taken it away...

    3. Hud Dunlap
      Unhappy

      Re: It's downhill all the way ... @Blue Pumpkin

      Couldn't agree more. The ease of use is gone. Safari used to have an icon to show your downloads. It is gone. You have to hunt down the download folder now. I have owned Macs since the MacPlus and every time I upgraded I never considered anything but a Mac. That is not true anymore and I no longer suggest anyone by a Mac now.

      The Reg needs a former Apple Fanboy icon.

      1. davidak

        Re: It's downhill all the way ... @Blue Pumpkin

        Nope, the downloads button is still there for me, have they been stupid enough to not have it by default for a clean install?

        1. Mike Richards

          Re: It's downhill all the way ... @Blue Pumpkin

          It's not in the default set of icons any more.

          I assume it is part of little Jonny Ive's insistence that all desktop applications must look like they were designed for a 4" phone screen.

    4. whatevs...

      Re: It's downhill all the way ...

      "For around 10 years, dragging a photo onto the mail icon used to open up a new message with the photo in it..."

      Still does.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    The Macs in our office have been tossed aside for the past year

    What does that tell you when workers are asking for Win10 laptops because they just need to get their work done?

    Not a single Mac in daily use anymore. I doubt we'll ever buy another one in the future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Andy - Re: The Macs in our office have been tossed aside for the past year

      Tells me they lost their minds completely. Asking for Windows 10 ?!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Andy - The Macs in our office have been tossed aside for the past year

        Tells me they lost their minds completely. Asking for Windows 10 ?!

        An advert that tells the truth for once?

        Yep, get a days work done? I couldn't do that with a Mac!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: @Andy - The Macs in our office have been tossed aside for the past year

        @Coward -- "Tells me they lost their minds completely. Asking for Windows 10 ?!"

        No, it's more like "I can't use this crappy Mac - I need to push out a spreadsheet pronto, what do you have back there?"

        "Got this shiny new Win10 lapper..."

        "Oh, f*** me. OK, give me the f***ing lapper then."

        1. Kristian Walsh

          Laptop swaps

          My personal requirements for a laptop: Light weight, good screen, able to run Illustrator as well as bash and all you can spawn from it. Windows 10 laptops now qualify, and the "bash" bit of that deal is better than on MacOS ( genuine " apt-get" versus brew/port) Also good is that I can choose to purchase a device with a physical NIC... Apple wrongly thinks I don't need one anymore.

          Downsides of Win10 is the regularity of updates that require a restart and twenty years of MacOS muscle memory still making me go to the writing place for things; upside is it's faster than OSX, less buggy (these days) and doesn't assume I own an iPhone.

          ... I do miss BBEdit, though.

        2. whatevs...

          Re: @Andy - The Macs in our office have been tossed aside for the past year

          Are you still working in the 1980's?

  6. Nate Amsden

    little to do with apple

    The fail fast fix fast mentality of software development is insane. (Have worked with software dev teams for 16 years now). Sounds fine if you are working on some new thing. But should not be used on core products. Whether it is apple (not a customer so can't say from personal experience ), Microsoft struggling with their updates, MANY others as well.

    The focus has been shifting towards faster delivery of lower quality stuff because they believe they can just fix it later. Though in many cases later never comes because they move onto something else new and shiny.

    It is possible of course to release things often but it requires more care than just doing it.

    Too often agile is used as an excuse to ship faster and not need quality control.

    Windows 10 seems to be turning into the largest scale agile fail in the history of software.

    Companies like apple and MS have absolutely no excuses each having 10s of billions of dollars in the bank.

    1. Stumpy

      Re: little to do with apple

      Oh, if only I could upvote this multiple times.

      This "Move fast and break things" attitude has been the bane of my life for the last few years now. It seems to have infected every area of every development team in every business. Using Agile as an excuse to put band-aids on band-aids on poor quality development, no worthwhile external documentation and code comments that are either non-existent or referring to the original code that has since been fixed over the intervening several sprints and are now completely irrelevant in context.

      Christ ... roll on retirement. Only another 15 years to go (unless HMG decides to move the goalposts again in the interim).

      </grumpy_bastard>

      1. GarethJ

        Re: little to do with apple

        Stumpy,

        I totally agree with you, that's one of the major factors that made me decide to move away from development all together.

        For too long now, there has been a drive primarily by manglement, to race to the bottom, don't worry about quality or whether it works, we will fix it later! It seems to be more about getting it rushed out of the door instead of doing a proper job in the first place.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: little to do with apple

      "The fail fast fix fast mentality of software development is insane."

      That's one issue. The other is the converse, taking something that's fine as it is and them applying fix fast fail fast to it. Nobody seems to be immune to that and I don't think marketing is solely to blame.

  7. cd

    How bad is it?

    It's bad enough that one of the oldest Mac help sites has recent long discussions on which Linux distro to use going forward and how to make Macs boot from USB drives with those on them. Meanwhile on the hardware side, Hackintoshes are being discussed there, a place where enabling the dev menu in Safari was wild stuff, because Apple doesn't make what many content creators want any longer.

    I know I'm done with them. When this one running 10.6 runs its course it'll be something else. The shell is there but the passion is gone. Steve really gave a fuck. Ridiculously so, asininely so, but he did.

    If someone would step up with a more polished distro and bundle it on some thought-out hardware, they'd do well I think, esp with some migration assistants built in.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: How bad is it?

      I run Linux Mint on my imac 27"... two work colleagues in my group run w10 and another Ubuntu... we did not like the stability and interface decisions, so we decided not to use it...

  8. Phil.T.Tipp
    Facepalm

    "But it's not clear that Apple's software is better or worse from a reliability standpoint than Microsoft's or Google's."

    Microsoft's? You are on some serious drugs son. Melted.

  9. Nolveys Silver badge

    What is going on?

    Over the last ten years or so it seems that software everywhere has been turning into complete shit. Decent and functional interfaces have given way to useless half-assed attempts at phone interfaces. Complexity has exploded in the service of features that no sane person could possibly want. Vital features that people have taken for granted for decades are becoming impossible to use. The list goes on.

    It seams like everyone is doing this shit these days. Is there something in the water?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: What is going on?

      I think this has happened because something seemingly impossible happened, but nobody recognised it for what it was. And that something was as follows:

      They had finished writing the software.

      Now that's impossible, no program is ever finished there's always loads more that can added, etc. But with Windows 7, possibly Snow Leopard too, they were arguably complete. No changes needed, just maintenance and bug fixes, security improvements here and there.

      This "impossible" event clearly caused major mental stress amongst these companies and their teams. Microsoft threw it all out with Windows 8, 8.1, and is still clearly ill given the state of Win 10. Apple has gone down the same sort of slippery slope and is showing no signs of responding to treatment. Even the Linuxers, especially RedHat and their backing of Gnome and systemd, are not immune. Gnome especially has got the bug badly, having ripped up the rule book and rewritten it badly on toilet paper using what I'm hoping is brown crayon but is probably shit.

      Memo to all programming staff. When it's finished, stop fucking tinkering with it, and certainly don't throw it out and start again. Maintenance is boring but necessary. Sigh.

      Windows 10 has a great kernel and a lot of excellent under-the-hood improvements. Imagine how ace it'd be with Windows 7's interface. Windows 8, 10 is what you get when you employ a lot of marketing and UI experts who have jobs to justify.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: What is going on?

        Incidentally, one of the major problems with Web apps like most of Google's stuff is that the programmers are all powerful and can push their latest wet dream of how-things-should-be down users throats with no warning or choice.

        OK, so maybe the tech savvy in a company that uses Google Apps can adapt quickly enough, but there's plenty of people out there who aren't tech savvy and are left floundering for quite a while every time Google goes and changes something. Not helpful at all.

        And when Google fuck it up completely (Google Maps is a complete cock up; moving / cancelling way points is a nightmare, never used to be) you're left with a real problem.

        So I see web apps as being pretty dangerous; you're at the mercy of people you don't control and, based on current form, cannot trust. At least with native software running locally you can have some control over what your working environment looks like every day.

        BTW, anyone else think that Google's search is pretty crummy these days?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What is going on?

          >Incidentally, one of the major problems with Web apps like most of Google's stuff is that the programmers are all powerful and can push their latest wet dream of how-things-should-be down users throats with no warning or choice.

          BBC iPlayer is the classic example of this. They got it right probably 5 or 6 years ago and have been steadily obfuscating and trending up the UI ever since....

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: What is going on?

          "BTW, anyone else think that Google's search is pretty crummy these days?"

          Yes.

          Google a place name: estate agent ads.

          Google a surname in conjunction with a place where someone or family of that name was associated: estate agent ads for all the housing estates named after said person.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What is going on?

            You are missing the point.

            Google is a business and the plan to be ubiquitous has been met, years ago.

            They do not need to be 'as good as they where', you have been programmed to think Google as a first choice for search so that objective is also met.

            Now they are making money from the people/businesses who pay to be at the top of the search results.

            People who pay such as the Estate Agents !!!

            Now does it make sense. :)

            You now need to learn how to filter the results to find what you really want.

            [I am sure this is a niche for a product to 'filter Google Results' :) ]

            The other option is if Google charge for pre-filtered search results on a subscription basis, so you can get results without the commercial dross at the top !!!

            [Google you can thank me for the idea later :) ]

        3. Esme

          Re: What is going on?

          @bazza - "BTW, anyone else think that Google's search is pretty crummy these days?" - I was saying to some friends just a few days ago that it feels to me that trying to find specific information on the internet is getting harder than it used to be. It's almost as if the crap results are being forced to the top of the queue as against the ones that actually match your search criteria. Another few years of this and it'll be like the early years of t'interwebs where unless you already knew where to find something, your chance of getting to it were just about nil. Only with the needles hidden in an immensely larger pile of hay and manure.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What is going on?

            Back to Gopher?

        4. Mike Richards

          Re: What is going on?

          Search is fine, but I have never worked out the Google Map interface beyond basic searches.

        5. Timo

          Re: What is going on?

          I have been waiting for the day when people start to realize this.

          "In the old days" we didn't have to keep keeping up with the constant changes to "apps" and software, the functional and interface changes. Back then you got a piece of software and maybe you'd get some downloadable updates, and you had control over your corner of reality.

          Now it is a continuous revision cycle where apps get updated and things generally move around just because the developers changed their mind. Things get added and taken away, and you have no control over it! Get on the bus, sit down, and get ready to go where the driver wants.

      2. geoffq
        Coat

        Re: What is going on?

        Old engineering adage... if it ain't broke, add more features.

    2. Milton Silver badge

      Re: What is going on?

      I don't have a comprehensive answer, but I have part of one (though I'm not being clever, others have already pointed this out).

      The problem is, at root, simple-mindedness.

      Bear in mind that people with terrific skills, whether scientists, fighter pilots or top-flight developers, can display surprising naivety and foolishness when they're out of their 'comfort zone'.

      Two decades of disruptive innovation and the shattering success of a few big names like Apple, Google, and Facebook (notwithstanding that hundreds of businesses just as good or even better have long since failed and blown away), plus the rise of outfits like Uber and Airbnb which use software to the nth degree to make humans and their livelihoods irrelevant, means that those aspiring to success tend to think in some very simplistic, cartoonish ways. You can see this just by looking at headlines, or business plans, where intellectual boilerplating would have the reader believe that every single startup has a management "passionate about {some bolox}", offering products/services that are "unique" (by the fictional margin that satisfies the idiots in USPTO), and of course "disruptive" plus all the other phrases that find their way unchanged into a business plan.

      This leads, with a kind of sad inevitability, to blockheads thinking "different" must be "better" and that getting code out there counts as first-mover advantage.

      It's been going on at least since Microsoft's 'ribbon' for Office apps, where a clumsy mess of options hogged a third of your screen as an *improvement*, making a farrago of cluttered dysfunctionality where previously your fingers remembered exactly where to find the menu options you needed.

      So Apple, leaning far too heavily on the perceived quality of their devices, which now lack a headphone socket, an SD socket and even a removable battery while doing nothing much phones couldn't do five years ago, think they are "innovating" by mucking around with poorly tested code of dubious desirability.

      The search for "different" (because it must be "better", right?) has taken us down some particularly pointless alleys, like screens of utterly pointless high resolution (on a phone??) and voice assistants renowned for their misinterpretation and hopelessly irrelevant answers.

      What's particularly funny is that manufacturers who think they are "innovative" are all glumly churning out candy-bar-form-factor phones which look almost indistinguishable from each other, instead of trying real ideas (such as revisiting the clamshell). But that's simple-mindedness for you.

  10. JJKing Silver badge

    It's a Mac, I mean doesn't it just err work? That's what the advert and fanbois say, isn't it?

    1. MrDamage

      Correct

      It only just works.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Correct

        "It only just works."

        Yeah. Like iOS Mail. All mailboxes are IMAP. Wasn't the idea to fetch recent mail and leave the rest on the server? I could have sworn an ancient iOS (?) had a days to sync option. That vanished and now the app is running at some 850MB of storage (Android, same mailboxes, about 14MB). I have to periodically erase and recreate all of the mailboxes in order to reign in this nonsense... IMAP isn't supposed to behave like POP3!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It just works ....... see !!!

      You are right .... it does just work.

      What you don't realise is that Apple have defined what 'work' means and will change that definition as and when they see fit.

      You are paying to be allowed to live in the Apple world and follow their way of thinking .......... you don't think you own those iThings do you !!!???

      Of course, having bought into the 'Apple Think' you will be totally OK with this.

      If not you need to take another Blue pill, no not *that* one, the one with St. Jobs profile on it. :)

  11. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    It's an evil plot to bring down civilization as we know it. Or DevOps. Wait a minute ...

  12. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Gimp

    Same bugs, but the computer is no longer yours to fix

    Apple has always been just as buggy as anyone else. From the Apple ][ with the backwards sector interleaving, all the way to today. Serious bugs were left unfixed for years. It didn't matter as long as it made a good demo.

    The difference is the walled garden. There was a time when you could buy 3rd party products to patch or replace Apple's. Some even posted free patches and productivity apps. That's gone and it took a lot of solutions with it. Your OS is digitally signed, the UI enforces one workflow, your apps have been screened for strict compliance, and your data might not belong to you as much as you think it does. Even root access on desktop computers is being phased out. A lack of workarounds makes even the simplest problem a big deal. Knowing that Apple is actively blocking solutions, as if you don't own what you bought, is frustrating as hell.

    1. moonrakin

      Re: Same bugs, but the computer is no longer yours to fix

      which translates to the enterprise being driven by S&M (*Sales & Marketing)

      Expectation management dominates the customer experience.

      This is partly as a result of the move into the mainstream mass market - but it gets to be self defeating when coders and interface architects try to cater for users who couldn't run a bath unsupervised.

      There's an adage "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

      Phones and laptops are increasingly consumer devices and with the rise of "AI" they are going to get even more obfuscated / dumbed down- leaving the demanding user little choice but to replace the OS as supplied with something that is usable for the tasks they need to perform....

    2. Naselus

      Re: Same bugs, but the computer is no longer yours to fix

      "Apple has always been just as buggy as anyone else."

      This. Apple just used to be able to blame their screw ups on everyone else. The old 'Apple kit just works' thing was always bullshit, as anyone who had to get anything Apple-made to interact gracefully with any other piece of kit on a network knows full well. Apple stuff worked with other Apple stuff and never played nicely with anything from any other vendor.

  13. Slx

    There was a glitch in the previous version of OS X where the launchpad (iOS style rapid launcher which is genuinely useful for launching apps by typing a couple of letters of the name rather than trawling through the Applications folder or wherever you've put them).

    I constantly had an issue where icons from the launcher would get "stuck" permanently on the screen over the top of every bomb else. The only way to reset it was to use the terminal and KILL the Dock process or log out and reset everything.

    That bug persisted trough multiple versions of OS X and I definitely reported it,

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Windows isn't any better. No start menu, no task bar. BUT you could right-click an icon and were still offered "Add to start menu" and "Pin to task bar".

      1. TRT Silver badge

        That sort of thing tends to make me a little bit cynical when I'm told "it's a whole new windows" or "rebuilt from the ground up" or "We've been through every line of over 4 millions lines of code..."

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the flip side..

    .. that Keynote collaborative feature and Keynote live work amazingly well, despite the collab feature only being in beta. The only problem I have with the collab feature is that I am absolutely no fan of storing anything in iCloud, it's too much of a single point of failure for me, plus it's hosted in a nation where agencies are known to subvert providers (Yahoo being a recent example, I suspect that's just the proverbial tip of the Titanic destruction device).

    I know it's traditional to moan and my years as auditor have shown that some people have an obsession with negativity (it's easy to point at what someone has done wrong, it's more challenging - and IMHO far more interesting - to come up with solutions in the same process), but I'm still quite happy with the combination of Linux and OSX/MacOS that we use. I would agree that iOS 10 doesn't feel like *much* of an improvement (the unlock ergonomics are IMHO a step in the wrong direction), but it did add some features that come in handy such as cut & paste between equipment and the ability to configure some OTP codes to appear on the lock screen if so desired (that's a combination of lock screen functionality and the OTP Auth app where you can choose what shows and what doesn't). That said, I had not noticed it had removed the time storage limit in email, but a check in airplane mode shows it actually only stores the headers until you scroll to a message, I can live with that.

    If you want two longstanding problems that have not been addressed, look at Apple Mail and the Finder.

    With Apple Mail, even the new shiny version is unable to distinguish between ATTACHING files as separate objects and EMBEDDING files like images in the message (and no, doing that "at the end of the message" is not the same as attaching). Why can Thunderbird and Outlook do it, but not Apple Mail? WTF?

    The Finder, meanwhile still lacks the simplest of usability: it is unable to put folders first in a directory. No, really, I kid you not, there is NO way of placing folders first other than either giving them a special name or sorting on kind which cancels any other sorting you'd like.

    There were external solutions for it (which basically meant we'd landed in Windows land again - fixing deficiencies that shouldn't be there in the first place), but it appears Apple has outengineered those since v 10.11 so now you can't solve those issues at all - issues that should have vanished YEARS ago. It's a good thing everything else works so well, but if you want to put a spike in an Apple fan's waffle about ergonomics, here you go - stuff you've been able to do in Windows pretty much from day one.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: On the flip side..

      "The Finder, meanwhile still lacks the simplest of usability: it is unable to put folders first in a directory. "

      It can do that in Sierra. There's a new option in the Advanced tab of Finder Preferences,

      'Keep folders on top when sorting by name'.

      Not exactly clear wording but it appears to work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On the flip side..

        It can do that in Sierra. There's a new option in the Advanced tab of Finder Preferences,

        'Keep folders on top when sorting by name'.

        Ah, thanks. One down, one to go.

        BTW, new in iOS: suppression of your own phone number. For when you want to contact a call centre, but don't want them to sell on your number for marketing campaigns..

        1. Quando

          Re: On the flip side..

          Settings -> Phone -> Show My Caller ID, but obviously not easy to turn on/off per call. Doesn't dialling 140 or 141 before the number stop it in the U.K.?

      2. Wibble

        Re: On the flip side..

        Thanks @Wenseleydale Cheese

        Also, found lurking in the same Finder preferences is the option "Open folders in tabs instead of new windows" which is on by default. Turning that off stops the <cmd>K annoyance of opening a share in a tab, not the new window which will be used to drag/drop files into.

  15. AIBailey Silver badge

    Hardly a new thing

    I've always assumed Apple to be developers of questionable software, ever since the late 90's when QuickTime used to be forced onto your Windows PC whenever you installed a game. That thing totally took over file associations, and I recall it was a major PITA to remove again. Back then, QuickTime felt like the Adobe Flash of its day.

    I've heard enough comments about iTunes to leave that mess well alone as well.

    1. Frank Bough

      Re: Hardly a new thing

      Well if you've heard enough comments then it's case closed. iTunes is remarkably inoffensive given its appalling reputation, I've been using it since it was SoundJam MP and the worst thing it ever did was confuse some cover art.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardly a new thing

        iTunes is remarkably inoffensive given its appalling reputation, I've been using it since it was SoundJam MP and the worst thing it ever did was confuse some cover art.

        I'm also reasonable OK with it, apart from its habit of only keeping one backup. When you set a phone or iPad to auto-sync for people who are not very technical, this results in erasing the very data you need to recover a phone when it goes wrong which is IMHO not the most intelligent way to go about it (yes, you can lock a backup, but that's no longer end-user compatible).

        I'm presently looking at iMazing which, despite having a frankly terrible name, actually does a couple of things really well in terms of backup. It also showed me that the iPhone keeps a list of ALL the calls you make, and I have as yet not found anything short of a reset to erase that...

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Hardly a new thing

        Ah, iTunes cover art.

        Where, from the UK, it scans in a music CD and identifies it and gives you the censored US version of the cover instead of the UK version

        (Roger Waters, pros & cons of hitchhiking)

        Apple: I'm not American, I'm not in America so I do not want your US version of the cover - I want the unadulterated cover that is on my CD

        Still, problem easily solved (...years since I last used iTunes)

  16. AdamAdam

    Anecdotal evidence only - so not sure what we can do with it, but I remember when in OS 7 and 8 my Mac ran up weeks of uptime, only being shut down occasionally when I knew I wouldn't use it for longer. Nowadays it is behaving more erratically and restarts seem to improve things.

    This is not the idea behind having a Mac.

    Even my PC at work can run for a couple of days before it needs a reboot.

    I think there ought to be a point at which there is no need for big steps forward(not that there even was any feature in Sierra that I need that Yosemite didn't have), instead, working on stability should become paramount.

    I do agree that iTunes is indeed something I find hard to understand. The interface had reached maturity around version 4/5 and every change eversince has only made it more weird. Maybe I'm too old to learn new ways of queing my songs, maybe I have become reactive in not really needing any new way to queue my songs?

    It's not the end of the world, but Apple is no longer the reliable option if you want things to work.

    1. Stumpy

      Odd though, I've so far not had any problems with macOS Sierra on my Macbook Pro ... current uptime is a little over 12 days and no instability, no slowdowns, etc.

      Generally I've not experienced any real issues with OS X for the last two or three revisions. Mail was a little flaky prior to El Capitan, but other than that no problems (although I don't use iTunes apart from transferring FLAC files to my phone, so that could explain things a little)...

  17. Deej

    Well...

    ... I for one am perfectly happy with my Apple devices. I'm not an Apple fanboy, and (these days) am not into messing around with Linux Kernels and so on. I'm happy with how it works, and am able to adapt to the changes in iTunes and what-not.

    Ultimately, I suppose it depends what you use the devices for. For my needs, the software and hardware is just fine :)

    1. Doc Ock

      Re: Well...

      >iTunes

      it's a pestilence,enough said.

      1. Deej

        Re: Well...

        See, I know that iTunes attracks an awful lot of criticism, but I really don't see what's so blummin' awful about it..

        It organises my library, allows me to sync with various devices, buy new stuff from its store and, you know, plays stuff? What are people expecting it to do?

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: What are people expecting it to do?

          Behave consistently between versions ?

        2. stephanh

          Re: Well...

          There's nothing wrong with iTunes which uninstalling it will not solve.

  18. dalethorn

    Apple's bugs aren't just bad, they change the way things work in a fundamental way (with no other option), and screw up lots of things that were working. I got the local Apple Store to admit that Apple was force-downloading the half-gigabyte iOS update to my i-devices, numerous times after I deleted each previous forced download. So I took that to Apple Support, got a top-level supervisor, who screamed at me and said "We don't do that", to which I replied "I have proof, and acknowledgement from the Apple Store", and she immediately hung up on me.

    They changed the home button in iOS10 from push-then-swipe to push-push. It took weeks to get past that old habit. They changed the way automatic (no option) functioning of the keyboard works in uppercase - backing up to erase an uppercase letter, and also changed the way the keyboard switches after entering punctuation, with no other option of course, and I haven't gotten past that yet.

    The iPhone 6s-plus keyboard is much smaller than the iPad Mini keyboard, and so when I use landscape mode on the iPhone on Web pages to enter data, do I get a bigger keyboard than in portrait mode? NO! They add all manner of extraneous keys and squeeze the standard keyboard into the center. Again, no option.

    Apple is the perfect corporation - pure greed, driven by executives who have no idea about the product, with bean-counters who thrive on making every possible cut to product quality than can be made without alerting and alarming the majority of their users.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      It's a shame you didn't get a name. Apple very much pushes unwanted updates. They used to appear listed in the part that shows how much memory things take. I got fed up of deleting it so I stuck a bunch of videos there to take up space.

      So now my iPad periodically asks me if it is okay for it to delete a dozen or so applications in order to download the update.

      Who do I send a polite "fuck off" message to? How many times must a person say no before it is understood that no means no? I know there's an update. I do not want to install it. Thank you.

  19. PassiveSmoking

    Quality is not just about bugs

    It's also about the user experience. I don't doubt that Apple are working to eliminate bugs as they come to light and have improved the robustness of their software over time, but the impression you get from the current version of iOS is just sheer sloppiness and poor design. It feels like Jony Ive has completely lost the plot. The interface has gone from simple to elephantine, with changes designed to put things like Apple Music front and centre being made at the expense of doing things as simple as enabling shuffle mode!

    There are also bugs that have appeared and not been fixed. Not bug crashing failures that would show up in crash reports, but little things that nonetheless are irksome and make the quality of the software seem worse even if it is in reality more stable. For example, several versions of iOS back (was it iOS 8?) the player stopped respecting the "skip during shuffle" flag on music files. I use this to remove things that need to be played in a specific order or spoken word tracks (or silly little 1-2 second long tracks you get on some albums) from playback, so when a bit from half way through the third episode of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or Dante saying "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" pops up during shuffle (which is now really hard to find, by the way!) it breaks the flow of the music. This would be the easiest thing in the world to fix, but they've still not done it by iOS 10.0.2. In fact they seemed to have introduced another new bug which cause some albums that spanned multiple CDs to be treated as separate albums, requiring you to build a playlist to get them to play properly.

    None of this leaves a good impression, regardless of how stable the software actually is.

  20. Nick Pettefar

    Forced Program Defaults

    I recently "upgraded" to Sierra and now I can not change the default web browser away from Safari and the default video program away from Quick Time. Is this deliberate or a bug or both? Pah!

    1. Stumpy

      Re: Forced Program Defaults

      Seems like a problem on your side. I'm running Sierra, and have Google Chrome set as my default browser - It's an option in System Preferences > Default.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Forced Program Defaults

      I haven't used Quicktime in *years* - I play everything through VLC and MplayerX. Go to "get info" of the relevant file (Ctrl-click or right click), and choose whatever alternative player you want, then choose "Change All" and it should be OK. If not, you have a bigger problem :).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MplayerX fails to install on Sierra

        The MPlayerX installer gets to the end then tells me the installation has failed.

        Something about "No internet connection", which isn't true.

  21. Disgruntled of TW
    FAIL

    There are 342 pending updates

    Agreed. Software quality is sacrificed due to speed to market, driven by jazz hands and people who do not believe in the market value of a quality product. There are commercial pressures to get it out, alpha, beta or whatever, but just get it out rather than test it "reasonably".

    I do not update any apps on my iThings unless ....

    1) It is a security update that I am convinced represents a threat vector

    2) I read about and decide I want the new functionality

    3) I am compelled to for OS upgrade/compatibility reasons and I STILL want the app

    Otherwise, I have 100+ companies that I have no influence over, and who may or may not be compromised, and I'm allowing them fairly unfettered access to install software on my iThing. Most non-technical folk behave like like this, which feeds those marketing folk who don't sell on quality, just the unwanted features of the "new shiny thing".

    Show me where the market for quality is ... and I'll go there. That's what I want.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "One fiction writer"?

    Is it Charles Stross?

    Remember that Neal Stephenson's "In the Beginning ... Was the Command Line" started with a gripe about MS Word trashing his file about ... 20 years ago (whut?). Maybe we will be looking at a "reboot" from the British Isles?

  23. Alan Potter 1

    Having recently bought an iPhone to replace my trusty but fragile old Androids, I am being forced to use iTunes.

    I can honestly say I cannot think of any major piece of software I have used in the past twenty or more years that was so bloody difficult to use. It's fine if everything is just right and you want to arrange things Apple's way - but dare try to import a file that it doesn't like or manage your music yourself and it is the most utterly unhelpful pile of steaming you-know-what in existence.

  24. Fihart

    Of course it's getting worse.

    And in some ways always has been worse than.....Windows. The drive for minimalism has meant that Mac lacks DIY features that Windows users take for granted, particularly when things go wrong (which perhaps they do more frequently in Windows).

    An earlier poster says issues with iTunes don't count because it's always been crap, but it's a real problem when the main gateway to devices is so awkward to use. Just try putting a home made ringtone on an iPhone -- it is actually possible but, compared to Android, it's a farce. This seems to be deliberate, presumably to make one pay to download tones.

    I won't elaborate on the issues with moving pictures/scans or text files onto an iPhone but they pretty much rule out the phone's use in my business.

    Then there's the terrible keyboard. Most recently I tried out an old iPhone 3G (found in the rubbish) and was surprised to find that the keyboard was quite usable.

    Yes, Apple software is getting worse.

  25. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    It's the fault of those wanting instant gratification - those who wait in line for days for the latest shiny toy when it's possible to just wait a few months. Look at the minor revision of Apple's software to refer to this chart:

    10.0 - alpha unstable pre-release for unpaid testers

    10.1 - beta release for those who enjoy reporting bugs

    10.2 - official pre-release for those who will accept a few bugs to gain a couple of extra features.

    10.3 - first stable release. Be prepared to be disappointed.

    10.4 - most but not all bugs have been squashed. You'll have to learn to live with any remaining bugs.

  26. MrWibble
    Stop

    "Let us know what you think – comment below or drop us an email."

    Just stop it. You're better than that, El Reg.

  27. Bob 18

    I'm a scientist; I need to build stuff and run it in a sane environment. The best OS X for my needs was about 3-5 years ago; since then it's been going down. Starting with El Capitain they broke GCC so badly it's on longer usable. Unfortunately, no one else offers a Fortran compiler, a necessary part of scientific computing (yesterday, today and forever). I converted my Mac desktop to Linux and have been happier ever since.

    OS X is still a decent laptop/terminal OS with an edge over Ubuntu. The retina display is beautiful and user things for the most part still "just work." But even there, they keep fiddling with no discernible movement forward. The "natural scrolling," for example. And all those iFeatures they fiddle with on every release? What a waste of time. I don't use iTunes, Pages, Mail or any of that other crap for my work.

    1. stephanh

      I am using the GNU Fortran from macports, which works fine.

      The default Apple "gcc" has been clang in disguise for some time.

  28. /dev/null

    Pages

    Pages 4.0 is great, and you can still get it if you know where to look. Just don't update it. Still seems to work on 10.11, haven't tried 10.12 yet.

  29. Wibble
    Facepalm

    Sierra, stuffed with tat we don't need - looking at you Siri

    Something new has happened with the latest version, Sierra. It was released and has *nothing* of use. It's slower, has pointless UI tweaks and just about every "new" feature is simply not applicable or downright not needed.

    Siri for example. What the hell is that all about? Siri seldom works on a phone when you need it such as in a car. So why would you use it on a desktop machine in an office, or on a laptop in a public space... There's such a delay with it interpreting your command, that it's utterly pointless. Of course, if this were touted as an accessibility feature, I'd get it. But it's not.

    So you turn off Siri because it's not needed and there's security concerns. Then use a *wired* expensive pair of headphones with the control button and click to stop or start music to get a Windows-style popup box "Do you want to enable Siri"? Every. Sodding. Time.

    What else is new... Watch -- never. Copy desktop to Apple (and pay loads of money to them) -- no. Handoff to phone/tablet -- no. Apple radio -- no. Send all my photos to Apple -- no. Phone without a headphone socket -- no.

    Apple are a bunch of arrogant greedy bastards who've have completely lost their way.

    I'm a customer, not a bloody cow for you to milk.

  30. Mike Richards

    Time bloody Machine

    When it works it is great. And most of the time, it just works.

    When it fails - well there's not much you can do to find out what's gone wrong. There are no detailed error messages and no obvious way of looking at the processes - the new backup reports in the Console are unfathomable.

    Apple's advice for when things go wrong beyond turning it off and on again, quickly goes to 'erase your backup disk and start again' then to 'you need a new Time Capsule'.

  31. Jason Hindle

    Sentiment vs reality?

    On the whole, more code = more bugs, so perhaps the overall feeling is justified. I think OSX peaked, in terms of reliability, at Snow Leopard. Upgrading from that, to Lion, on my first (white) MacBook proved to be a big mistake. I find El Capitan mostly fine, but don't like the overall look of the thing (the UI tweaks do IMHO suck).

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Sentiment vs reality?

      Also agree that 10.6 was the peak OSX release. Significantly it was also Bertrand Serlet's* last release as head of OS development. He left Apple after this release, handing over to a guy who'd only been in the company a wet weekend. The next version, 10.7 was the first ever MacOS X release I rolled back.. But it wasn't the last. My Mac is still on 10.9, and I think it'll retire on it.

      (* An ex-NeXT manager who led OSX development and later took over as head of all software. The most senior person I had a proper conversation with in my time in Apple: I had a somewhat heated engineers' argument about application resource formats with him, *before* my then manager revealed exactly what his role in Apple was. Oops.)

  32. Ilsa Loving

    Expectations are higher

    The thing is, Apple charges a premium for their products, and can get away with charging that premium, because they have the reputation of quality above and beyond anyone else in the computer industry.

    So when they fall flat, people get exceptionally pissed, above and beyond what they would with anyone else, because their expectations are significantly higher, and rightfully so.

  33. Gis Bun

    Quality control at Apple died when Jobs went to the big Mac in the sky...

  34. sola

    Great battery life but that is about it

    I started using OSX with El Capitain (company issued 2015 Macbook Air) but I never found it particularly intuitive or even better looking than top-of-the-line Linux distros (Cinnamon or KDE Plasma 5).

    Apart from the stellar battery life and fairly good software availability, I found the Macbook generally inferior to my Linux laptop (an Asus N550 with Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon) when it comes to supporting workflows around java/web development.

    E.g. I find the whole global menu stuff annoyingly limited with multiple monitors/virtual desktops (Normally, I use a 3-monitor setup with my dev workstations). When I want all monitors to belong to one virtual desktop, I cannot have the global menu on all monitors so I have to look for the global menu (on Monitor1) for a menu item belonging to a window displayed on Monitor2. Plain annoying and unintuitive.

    Shortkey configuration is also light-years ahead on Linux (especially on Plasma 5). I set a lot of short-keys for application launchers and even for running application windows (so that, for example, I can switch very fast, directly to a specific application window from another virtual desktop).

    Adding manually created launcher entries to the dock / launcher of OSX is a huge hassle compared to the built-in menu editors of Cinnamon and KDE and the ease of creating .desktop files (e.g.: for a manually installed Java application like OTROS which has no .DMG package). I don't understand why there isn't a more simple way to do this in OSX. Also, the OSX dock now looks much uglier than similar dock apps in Linux (e.g: Cairo on Cinnamon or Plank on KDE) And Linux docks have intellihide by default, no need for extra apps to do this very basic thing.

    Luckily, I was allowed to have a proper dev Linux workstation so now I only use the Mac when I travel and to run stuff which has no proper, 100% alternative on the penguin. There are not so many things like that now. Just last week, I found that I can create a screencast as fast with KDEnlive as with iMovie (and was a bit it more intuitive too).

    All in all, I just don't see why people think that OSX is so easy to use and powerful. Mainstream Linux distros in 2016 beat it handily in features, customizability and, in some cases, even in looks. Nowadays, the hardware is the real value with Macs, not the OS.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MAC OS Sierra Multitasking et al

    Seems since the last few updates in El Capitan that switching between app windows started some serious kernel issues that have grown to epic proportions with the release of Sierra.

    Where I once had to insistently click on app icon bars to get them to come back to life, now all I get is kernel freeze where the app just shuts down after a few minutes.

    This is so bad I am about to investigate which Linux variant I can use instead of OS X as my Macbook Pro is effectively useless with this new OS.

    I have to conclude QA at Apple is a figment of imagination these days. Its shocking. Apple Apps and Microsoft Apps in particular are so bad I am pining for Windows ME or JavaOS experiences to make me feel better about my Apple platforms.

    Don't get me started about iTunes, the team at Apple responsible for that garbage should be shot for crimes against bad coding.

    Holy Cow Mr Cook, are you trying to write worse code than Java? Do you have a $1 bet with Mr Ellison on that score???

    Sure seems like its some bizarre bad joke you got going with someone to me at any rate.

    Best thing to fix this situation is either fire the entire OS X team and sub the coding to Ubuntu and Opensource folks or just ask Microsoft to help you guys out there as you folks obviously have little to no idea what you are doing anymore....

  36. stephanh

    vim 8

    Ok, so apparently Sierra ships with Vim version 7.4.898. If they had only delayed with a few short weeks, they could have been the first OS to ship with Vim 8! Now that crown will probably go to Ubuntu later this month. Unsure if Apple will recover from the blow.

  37. NixRocks

    Not just Apple

    Yes, Apple quality has dropped, but Microsoft's has dropped to a much larger degree. Windows 10 is still alpha quality at best with development clearly being driven not by technology pros, but by the marketing department.

    Just give me Debian.

  38. Stork Silver badge

    For me OS X topped at 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

    It is the most stable OS I ever used, and I can't think of anything useful (to me) added since.

    Unfortunately it is not supported for a few years now (security?)

    - iTunes: has not been opened for months

    - iPhoto: why can't I delete it?

    - iMovie: uses it now and then. But I was happier when it was simpler, as what I want it for is simple stuff.

  39. S1974

    The dirty secret of the software industry is that the companies - from the executives to the individual programmers - don't care about software reliability because the consumers don't care. Back in the 90s Microsoft made notoriously unreliable software and consumers ate it up anyway and complaints about bugs were handled by the industry (ie not just Microsoft) by blaming the user for failing to understand their brilliant product or by saying that due to the massive potential hardware configurations out of Microsoft's control that the problem was inevitable. Note that within a decade Microsoft would release the Xbox 360 that was built completely under their control and it was possibly the most unreliable technological product released this century. The same can now be said about Apple where both the hardware and software is under their control and the reliability is dwindling.

    The astonishing thing is how little consumers care. Would anyone tolerate any other product with this level of reliability? NO! So why do we tolerate it here in tech? And I'll leave with this thought: these same people are poised to do with cars what they did with computers and phones. Soon will be the day that you'll try to leave for work only to find your car is "bricked" because it did an automatic update over wifi containing a careless bug. How can anyone who has ever used autocorrect on a phone get the impression that these same people can take the far more difficult process of driving and make it safe? It ain't gonna happen folks until we demand more professionalism from an industry that has skated along for far too long with free expectations.

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