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I am entering new territory with poor quality experiences and Apple products. As noted repeatedly in the forums, the iOS 13 releases are unprecedented in the number of issues and the number of updates in a short amount of time. I've had more buggy experiences with my iPhone and Apple Watch than ever before.

After reporting frustration in a different thread about the changes in the Mail app moving the "Move to" button, I was surprised to find the same option available when pressing the "Reply" button at the bottom of the screen. I guess that icon no longer means "reply," but instead means "see message options."

My iPhone screen has dimmed all the way, requiring me to toggle the automatically-adjust option in accessibility settings.

My Apple Watch refused to stop playing audio into my AirPods, even though I was pressing the pause button, even removing them and putting them back into my ears. Disconnecting and reconnecting bluetooth on my iPhone eventually stopped the audio and returned functionality to normal.

On the macOS side, I am astonished that I have repeated and persistent problems with a second display on my Mac Mini. It flickers, or it refuses to work at all. This was true when connecting to a DisplayPort hub through USB-C, and also through an eGPU. It is shocking, because the eGPU with an AMD Radeon RX 580 works flawlessly in Boot Camp, detecting both displays, even though eGPUs are not supported in Boot Camp. I have never had an issue with a second display in Windows 10 on my Mac Mini, but I regularly have issues under macOS.

I wish Apple would spend time fixing existing software before releasing new features that cripple functionality even further.
 


I wish Apple would spend time fixing existing software before releasing new features that cripple functionality even further.
I don't think anyone in the consumer software industry does that — new gimmicks that will be discarded in the future; reduction of functionality; obfuscation of controls and settings, if they don't just remove them. I have now officially despaired.
 


I've had more buggy experiences with my iPhone and Apple Watch than ever before.
I should have mentioned iPad, too. In the new iPadOS, today’s glitch was a completely blank Today View on the home screen. Putting iPad to sleep and waking agiain did nothing. I had to scroll up in the general vicinity of where today view would appear on the home screen in order to get widgets to appear. Now they appear fine and operational. What will tomorrow bring?
 


[FYI:]
Apple said:
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Service Program for No Power Issues
Apple has determined that certain iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices may not power on due to a component that may fail. This issue only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between October 2018 to August 2019.

If you believe you have experienced this issue, please use the serial number checker below to see if your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus is eligible for repair, free of charge.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Commentary from a veteran Apple software engineer via the venerable TidBITS newsletter:
David Shayer said:
Six Reasons Why iOS 13 and Catalina Are So Buggy
iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 Catalina have been unusually buggy releases for Apple. The betas started out buggy at WWDC in June, which is not unexpected, but even after Apple removed some features from the final releases in September, more problems have forced the company to publish quick updates. Why? Based on my 18 years of experience working as an Apple software engineer, I have a few ideas.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
More Apple quality problems:
Malcolm Owen said:
Apple TV app crashes plague small number of users before Apple TV+ launches
Apple is preparing to launch Apple TV+ on November 1, which heavily relies upon the Apple TV app for users to select and view content from the service. The Apple TV app is also a central element of Apple's newest Apple TV experience, including channel subscription options, making it an extremely important part of the Apple TV and Apple TV 4K.

However, reports from users suggest that, barely over a week before its launch, there are issues with the Apple TV app where it crashes, an inconvenience which prevents users from watching content at all.
 


Commentary from a veteran Apple software engineer via the venerable TidBITS newsletter:
One thing that isn’t discussed is why Apple has committed to the insane annual upgrade schedule. I fail to see what justification there can be for forcing out OS upgrades on an arbitrary yearly schedule, if Apple still has any interest in providing high-quality, stable, reliable operating systems.

I can think of a few less than admirable reasons for what Apple is doing, like driving obsolescence and pushing hardware upgrades on the unwary. I know and appreciate that they need to sell hardware, but they aren’t doing that very well, either.

I am sick to death of the yearly upgrade cycle.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
One thing that isn’t discussed is why Apple has committed to the insane annual upgrade schedule. I fail to see what justification there can be for forcing out OS upgrades on an arbitrary yearly schedule, if Apple still has any interest in providing high-quality, stable, reliable operating systems.
Apple is clearly more interested in generating profits than in providing stable systems. To be fair, stability wasn't exactly Steve Jobs's top priority, either, but the current scheduling rush seems to be driven more by the need to generate new revenue from Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus (as well as iPhone 11 and Apple Watch 5).
 


One thing that isn’t discussed is why Apple has committed to the insane annual upgrade schedule.
  • It cuts in half the period that older macOS versions are supported. If they commit to supporting the previous two major releases, and they were released every two years, that means they are supporting them for six years. With annual upgrades it would only be three years.
  • I've said before that the difference between major and minor releases is that major releases don't have to maintain API compatibility; Apple is free to change (or break) anything.
  • It reduces the number of bugs to be fixed. Per Six Reasons Why iOS 13 and Catalina Are So Buggy, they don't have to fix old bugs that are not regression. So it's like hurrying in football to start the next play before a challenge flag can be thrown: as soon as the new macOS major release comes out, all of the previous bugs are now "existing bugs" that can be dismissed.
  • New major releases generate lots of free publicity.
  • Now, I'm not one to ascribe greedy financial motives to every action Apple takes, but if you are such as a conspiracy theorist, consider: new major releases break APIs. Developers have to release major updates to keep the product working. The App Store doesn't allow for upgrade pricing, so the new version is full price. Apple gets a cut of that.
 


One thing that isn’t discussed is why Apple has committed to the insane annual upgrade schedule.
Part of it is the need to roll out features across all of their platforms simultaneously, and those features sometimes require new frameworks to work. Now, in the good ol’ days, we might have gotten a feature boost in a mid cycle upgrade a la 7.5 or something similar. But I think there is too much shackled to getting everything wrapped up together for that kind of thing to happen.

Looking at Microsoft, we see the same issues with rushed updates, and they don’t even have a mobile platform (but do have support for the other mobile platforms, as well as a much higher breadth of hardware). But as long as phones have annual upgrade cycles, we will probably be getting this kind of macOS release schedule and quality.
 


Apple is clearly more interested in generating profits than in providing stable systems. To be fair, stability wasn't exactly Steve Jobs's top priority, either, but the current scheduling rush seems to be driven more by the need to generate new revenue from Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus (as well as iPhone 11 and Apple Watch 5).
Apple is suffering from its success in becoming a "growth" company. Stockholders want more growth, so they end churning out new features for the sake of new features instead of solid products.
 



Call me naive, but I've submitted several feedbacks to Apple, and I mentioned this very thing.
There is nothing about new features that, for the most part, cannot be accomplished with an update within an OS X version. In some ways Apple does this when they cannot finish all of the features and thus rolls them out later. I fully support the idea of not having new annual OSX changes. Each year, the need for a new OSX goes down, there are so many features in current macOS that I do not use. To be blunt, the largest impediment to my productivity is me, not the computer. I can easily get just as much done running El Capitan as Mojave. It is not the lack of running the latest version of macOS that causes me to buy a new machine - it is the lack of security updates. Thinking back, I guess one item that was cured in an OS X upgrade was the ability to access much larger hard disks.
 


David Shayer said:
Apple doesn’t do a lot of automated testing. Apple is highly reliant on manual testing, probably too much so.
Given what I've seen coming out of Apple over the years, this does not surprise me one bit.

If Apple were still a "small" company, still in "startup mode" or not yet fully entrenched in the marketplace, I might've given them some slack on the quality of their software.

But when a multi-billion dollar company goes out and spends $6B on a new campus, and obviously spends nothing (or next-to-nothing) on improving QA instead of spending, say, a few 10's of $million hiring/training folks to find and fix these massive amounts of bugs (which would not only improve the lives of those being hired, but everyone's that uses Apple products), then they get no slack whatsoever.
 


  • Now, I'm not one to ascribe greedy financial motives to every action Apple takes, but if you are such as a conspiracy theorist, consider: new major releases break APIs. Developers have to release major updates to keep the product working. The App Store doesn't allow for upgrade pricing, so the new version is full price. Apple gets a cut of that.
Good point - I wonder if any state AGs might be interested in looking into that.
 


Apple is suffering from its success in becoming a "growth" company. Stockholders want more growth, so they end churning out new features for the sake of new features instead of solid products.
I think the root cause is that Apple is a public company, so its customers are stockholders, not end users.

As such, Apple will do what it wants to serve its real customers (the stockholders); end users (ie. consumers) are just another tool Apple uses to generate value for their customers.
 


I think the root cause is that Apple is a public company, so its customers are stockholders, not end users.
Apple has been publicly traded for a very long time and product quality has varied greatly over that period - great in some years and terrible in others. I don't think the two are related.

I think it has more to do with whether or not top management understands and embraces the needs of users and developers (vs. the needs of the marketing department to make something that looks great in a press release). Currently, I don't think they do.
 


Apple has been publicly traded for a very long time and product quality has varied greatly over that period - great in some years and terrible in others. I don't think the two are related.

I think it has more to do with whether or not top management understands and embraces the needs of users and developers (vs. the needs of the marketing department to make something that looks great in a press release). Currently, I don't think they do.
True, and I was saying so in the context of the current times, where Apple has touted ever increasing year-over-year revenues and profits, setting the stage for the expectation from their real customers (stockholders) to keep that going.

If it were not (or had never been) a public company, that same pressure wouldn't exist - it would exist in a different form: that of end users' expectations.
 


I'm curious. I'm about to upgrade an old iPhone. My daughter recently had her iPhone 6 crash and burn and bought a new iPhone 11. Today she reported troubles typing and swiping and took it to an Apple store where they swapped for a new one, because hers had "a display controller issue." There was a comment made that they had seen this before, and since she had it for only thirty days, it was better just to swap.

While I appreciate the good service, especially since her job is phone-dependent, I am curious if others are seeing this issue. Frankly, for myself, I am inclined more toward an iPhone 8. Thoughts on either issue?
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
There's a big problem with Apple's iPhone 7, known as Loop Disease.

Some "Level 8" ******* on Apple Community forums claims, falsely, that there's "no such thing." I guess he missed the multiple class action lawsuits over the defect.

Someone I support apparently got burned by this defect, and the iPhone is no longer usable at all, but Apple denied them repair or replacement.

#appleabuse #applequality #loopdisease #iphone7
 



There's a big problem with Apple's iPhone 7, known as Loop Disease.
Another comment on the forum post links to a Hugh Jeffreys repair video where he bought a Loop diseased phone, replaced a broken screen and then sent the result to an Apple service site and got the phone replaced free of charge, despite being out of warranty

If Apple doesn't replace the phone, Hugh Jeffreys linked to a repair video by Federico Cerva where he performs a board-level repair, fixing the problem.

it appears that the problem is a manufacturing defect on the motherboard. After removing the audio CODEC chip, he shows how one of the solder pads under it immediately pops off the board as soon as it is touched. He solders down a short piece of wire to take the place of the missing pad and reinstalls the chip. The phone boots normally afterward and presumably works (he didn't show audio operation - the video ends after the phone boots up).

Conceptually, it's not a difficult repair, but of course, it requires the tools and skills to remove and replace a BGA chip from a phone's motherboard without breaking anything else in the process.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple quality has deteriorated so badly and obviously, the company is apparently working on changes to improve it:
Mark Gurman said:
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.”
 


Apple quality has deteriorated so badly and obviously, the company is apparently working on changes to improve it:
From the article.
Last year, Apple delayed several iOS 12 features — including redesigns for CarPlay and the iPad home screen — specifically so it could focus on reliability and performance. At an all-hands meeting in January 2018, Federighi said the company had prioritized new features too much and should return to giving consumers the quality and stability that they wanted first.
It really isn't rocket science. Pick a reasonable list of stuff to do and do the limited scope well. It isn't like they haven't done it before.

Similarly,
The new approach calls for Apple's development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags
Again, there is taking continuous integration past the common sense stage. If someone integrated a half-finished, highly flaky component, then turn that off for the vast majority of the testing instantiations. And if it is highly coupled to everything else while highly flakey, maybe just don't integrate it yet. That's what branch builds are for.
 



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