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Apple quality issues

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Ric Ford

MacInTouch
They sure have. They have removed ratings and reviews for their products. Have a look.
I'm really at a loss for words here. What Apple's doing nowadays is simply unbelievable.
The Verge said:
Apple removes customer reviews from its online store
...
Apple’s choice means that customers can’t provide useful feedback on the products available on Apple’s store — especially if a product might be bad. There were at least 735 one-star reviews for the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter, for example, but now you can’t tell if it’s good or not just by looking at that page.
What an absolutely brilliant way to address the issue of selling crap products at exhorbitant mark-ups.

I wonder if this information is relevant:
FTC said:
Consumer Review Fairness Act: What Businesses Need to Know
The Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) protects people’s ability to share their honest opinions about a business’s products, services, or conduct, in any forum, including social media. Is your company complying?

Contracts that prohibit honest reviews, or threaten legal action over them, harm people who rely on reviews when making their purchase decisions. But another group is also harmed when others try to squelch honest negative reviews: businesses that work hard to earn positive reviews.

The Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed in response to reports that some businesses try to prevent people from giving honest reviews about products or services they received. Some companies put contract provisions in place, including in their online terms and conditions, that allowed them to sue or penalize consumers for posting negative reviews.
 


I just checked the Mac App Store and the iOS App Store – both still have reviews.

A big difference between the App Stores and the web store (besides software) is that the web store is financially dominated by Apple products, whereas the app stores are not. My interpretation is that Apple can't take criticism but doesn't have a problem when it's directed at others.
 


I just checked the Mac App Store and the iOS App Store – both still have reviews. A big difference between the App Stores and the web store (besides software) is that the web store is financially dominated by Apple products, whereas the app stores are not. My interpretation is that Apple can't take criticism but doesn't have a problem when it's directed at others.
Furthermore, Catalina claims 4.3 stars out of 5 reviews; however, only four 5-star reviews are visible. The critical fifth review is nowhere to be found.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Furthermore, Catalina claims 4.3 stars out of 5 reviews; however, only four 5-star reviews are visible. The critical fifth review is nowhere to be found.
Bizarre. I went into the Mac App Store in macOS Sierra and searched for Catalina. In the summary/thumbnail list, it shows up with 4.5/5 stars from "30 Ratings" (seriously, only 30 people using Catalina?!), but I can't for the life of me find ratings/comments in the detailed listing (amidst absurd small, light-gray type, etc.).
 



Bizarre. I went into the Mac App Store in macOS Sierra and searched for Catalina. In the summary/thumbnail list, it shows up with 4.5/5 stars from "30 Ratings" (seriously?!), but I can't for the life of me find ratings in the detailed listing (amidst absurd small, light-gray type, etc.).
I might be misunderstanding what you're saying, but ratings are not reviews. Ratings are when someone clicks on some number of stars to pick 1 to 5 of them. Reviews are when someone writes text.
 
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Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I might be misunderstanding what you're saying, but ratings are not reviews. Ratings are when someone clicks on some number of stars to pick 1 to 5 of them. Reviews are when someone writes text.
I was quoting Apple’s Mac App Store verbiage. In the past, at least, a customer could “rate” (numerically) and comment on their experience with a product on Apple’s websites.

(For what it’s worth, I am intimately acquainted with the concept of real, objective Mac product reviews from my past experience as both a professional reviewer and reviews editor for major Mac magazines. Nothing on Apple's websites, nor many pretend "reviews" on other websites, are anything of the sort, but Ars Technica’s excellent macOS reviews are outstanding examples of depth, quality and objectivity.)
 


I was quoting Apple’s Mac App Store verbiage. In the past, at least, a customer could “rate” (numerically) and comment on their experience with a product on Apple’s websites.
Again not sure if I'm missing the point, but both of those functions are still there, in big visible green letters, and still called (as you say) "rate" and "review". They only show up if you've actually installed the software from the App Store, though. Is that what people are tripping over?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Again not sure if I'm missing the point, but both of those functions are still there, in big visible green letters, and still called (as you say) "rate" and "review". They only show up if you've actually installed the software from the App Store, though. Is that what people are tripping over?
There is some confusion here. ”Ratings & reviews” of Apple products, such as the execrable Lightning headphone adapter, have been removed from the Apple Store on the web (and the Apple Store app, too, I think).

App Stores (for third-party software) may still show ratings and “reviews” (i.e. comments), but there may be oddities/issues there, too (including what we mentioned). I can still see “ratings & reviews” in the iOS App Store, both for third-party apps (e.g. Photoshop Express) and Apple’s AirPort Utility, for example.

Here's another article about the issue:
Business Insider said:
Apple killed the option to leave product reviews on its site just as holiday buying starts
  • Apple quietly removed the "Ratings and Reviews" section from its online store, meaning shoppers can no longer see online reviews of Apple products before they buy.
... The Verge noted there were over 700 one-star reviews of the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter published on Apple's site before the section was removed. An archived version of the page shows hundreds of one-star reviews from customers in India, Australia, and the US.

AppleInsider posted archived screengrabs of the product page for the first-gen Apple Pencil as it appeared on November 16 and November 17. The "Ratings and Reviews" section was visible on November 16 but not on November 17.
 
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They only show up if you've actually installed the software from the App Store, though.
That is how other apps are displayed in the App Store on my Catalina installation; however, the App Store does not recognize that I have Catalina installed (10.15.1 release), so the "rate" and "review" options are not shown for Catalina.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
FYI:
Reuters said:
Apple fails to end MacBook 'butterfly' keyboard class action
A federal judge on Monday rejected Apple Inc’s bid to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit by customers who said it knew and concealed how the “butterfly” keyboards on its MacBook laptop computers were prone to failure.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California said Apple must face claims that its troubleshooting program did not provide an “effective fix” for MacBook design defects, or fully compensate customers for their out-of-pocket expenses while seeking repairs.
#applequality #appleabuse
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
For what it's worth, some discussion about Apple quality issues and alternatives:
ZDNet said:
Why I may dump Apple in 2020… and why you should consider it too
... iOS is getting crappier and crappier.

But it's not just iOS. The latest macOS Catalina release has had some nasty bugs too. These don't get as much airtime, but the uptake of macOS updates isn't as aggressive as that of iOS, and it isn't landing on hundreds of millions of devices within weeks of release.

But for Mac users who have dropped a significant wedge of cash on hardware, this is no comfort.

But it's also not just the software. Hardware quality is also not what it used to be. New hardware is released with bugs that take time to fix, battery life is pretty mediocre across all hardware (with the exception of the iPhone 11 Pro Max), and prices are still eye-wateringly high.

Then there are all the weirdnesses....
 


I have no sympathy for Apple. Jony Ive and Tim Cook bear the responsibility of the misbegotten, poorly-designed, butterfly keyboard, and to claim that four years of free keyboard repairs is sufficient when it is inevitable that it will continue to break and malfunction for its entire useful life is just ludicrous.

But maybe Apple doesn't have to take all of the machines back; maybe all they need to do is engineer three top cases with new scissor-type keyboards and let MyGreenMacRepair or DTTService do the swaps (as they seem to be able to do it at a profit, while Apple loses money on repairs, right?) – so the 13" and 15" MacBook Pros and the 13" MacBook Air (retina) become useful and reliable.

What of the MacBook? Just give those customers 13" MacBook Pros with the keyboard swap and put those MacBooks where they belong - in the recycling bin.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
FYI (also noted in our MacBook Pro topic):
Forbes said:
MacBook Pro Power Problems Confirmed By Apple
... The kicker is that after this process the final step is to update to the latest version of MacOS, which suggests there’s an issue with the battery management system not reporting correct information back to the core system, and this method resets the values.

If that is the case, and the values continue to slip and require recalibration, then the fault is likely going to need another patch to MacOS Catalina, which has not had a smooth roll-out. Hopefully Apple’s developer team get on top of the issue before countless MacBooks are unwrapped on Christmas Day.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's more about the MacBook Pro 16-inch quality problems, plus some other Apple quality issues:
Tom's Guide said:
The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a major quality control problem
... As AppleInsider points out, the MacBook Pro 16-inch exhibits “intermittent popping sounds” that occur when you stop audio, skip it, or close an audio app. It seems to happen when “the clipping you can get when audio peaks too high, or when speakers are abruptly switched off and on.” The problem has been reported by multiple users in different sites.

The Final Cut Pro site fcp.co says that the problem also happens every time a user presses the space bar to play or stop the video in FCP, causing “an annoying loud click from the speakers.” In theory, the speakers on the MacBook Pro 16-inch are great, as we noted our review. But this bug could put a big damper on that quality.

Worse: the MacBook Pro's popping sound problem is not new to the 16-inch model, as it was first widely reported in 2018. How hasn’t this been fixed yet?

In parallel, MacRumors’ forum users — which historically catches many of these ongoing bugs before they go wide — report that the new 16-inch display suffers from “ghosting” issues...
 



Speaking of quality... I've been very disappointed in the scratch resistance of the iPhone 11's screen. Despite the "toughest glass ever" claim from Apple, I've gotten more scratches on my iPhone 11 in the few weeks I've had it than in the year I had my iPhone Xs. Has anyone else experienced this?
 


Speaking of quality... I've been very disappointed in the scratch resistance of the iPhone 11's screen. Despite the "toughest glass ever" claim from Apple, I've gotten more scratches on my iPhone 11 in the few weeks I've had it than in the year I had my iPhone Xs. Has anyone else experienced this?
I have had an iPhone 11 Pro Max since it was released, use it every day, and have yet to see a scratch.
 


I have had an iPhone 11 Pro Max since it was released, use it every day, and have yet to see a scratch.
Same. I use a bumper-style case [Amazon], because I want to minimize the thickness of the phone. This means the back is just as unprotected from scrapes as the front. So far, nothing. There are more wear marks on the outer steel band than on the glass slabs.
 


Speaking of quality...I've been very disappointed in the scratch resistance of the iPhone 11's screen. Despite the "toughest glass ever" claim from Apple, I've gotten more scratches on my iPhone 11 in the few weeks I've had it than in the year I had my iPhone Xs. Has anyone else experienced this?
I have same issue with an iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Scratches have not been an issue in preceding decades.
 


Speaking of quality... I've been very disappointed in the scratch resistance of the iPhone 11's screen. Despite the "toughest glass ever" claim from Apple, I've gotten more scratches on my iPhone 11 in the few weeks I've had it than in the year I had my iPhone Xs. Has anyone else experienced this?
I have same issue with an iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Scratches have not been an issue in preceding decades.
Two comments coming from an iPhone Xs Max to an iPhone 11 Pro Max screen: First, I noticed that the coating on the new phone's screen seems to have more "tack" than the older one... it just seems to be attracting more dust from my pocket and also doing a poorer job rejecting finger oil.

Second, with respect to scratches: I was really lucky with the iPhone Xs Max, given that I mostly carried it in the front pocket of various pairs of jeans – not even superficial scratches for close to a year. But with the new phone, I decided not to press my luck further... thinking about the danger of rivets in the jeans causing a scratch, or the roughness of denim wearing the coating off. Researching screen protectors, I found some pretty amazing YouTube reviews of the Sapphire X / X2 glass screen protector from Shellrus, and just installed it on my phone. It is 99.99% pure Sapphire with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale (not the so-called 9H "pencil-lead" hardness that other tempered glass competitors tout)... the packaging claims it has been GIA Certified.

Here are some early impressions on the plus side:
  • My initial impression of it is very good and I'm expecting it to be extremely scratch resistant if not "scratchproof" (especially in my jeans environment).
  • It is a bit thinner than most of its tempered glass competitors @ .23mm, and touch sensitivity on the screen seems completely unaffected by the protector.
  • I neither see nor sense any darkening of the screen. Even though the X2 variant completely covers the notch with the exception of an opening for the speaker/mic slot, I don't see any degradation in the sharpness of selfies (so far) or FaceID speed.
On the minus side:
  • The oleophobic coating is a somewhat more reflective than Apple's original screen coating. This is a compromise I can live with, if the protector lives up to its potential, because the iPhone 11 Pro Max's screen is so bright.
  • Cost: this is an expensive piece of glass at about 85 USD (!) The product was a Kickstarter project and, looking at the campaign page, the Early Bird pricing was 68 USD. Still expensive, but maybe they can get back to that pricing if they reach a sales threshold.
Lastly, I have absolutely no connection to Shellrus. I'll try to come back with an update after I have had more experience with the product.
 



Second, with respect to scratches
I’m very disappointed with the scratch resistance of my iPhone 8. For several years, I have carried an iPhone 3GS then 5s then SE in bags, pockets, containers, etc. without a case or screen protector - with keys, coins, dropping the phone face down on the ground, etc. Never a single scratch. Then within weeks of receiving my iPhone 8, I had screen scratches from keys in my pocket....
 


I’m very disappointed with the scratch resistance of my iPhone 8. For several years, I have carried an iPhone 3GS then 5s then SE in bags, pockets, containers, etc. without a case or screen protector - with keys, coins, dropping the phone face down on the ground, etc. Never a single scratch. Then within weeks of receiving my iPhone 8, I had screen scratches from keys in my pocket....
As a professor of Materials Science, I know how these are (or should be) made. If keys or coins can scratch them, then the glass is defective. They used to be made by Corning, which has the recipe down pat. Presumably, these are now Chinese. If so, then I'd expect a wave of reports about easily cracked glass as well.
 


Not only is Apple still using Corning, but they just invested $250 million in the company.... The iPhone 8 is a few years old and there has not been a “wave“ or even a real blip about cracked or scratched glass. Perhaps this was one defective phone or perhaps there is something else going on....
 



Here's more discussion on Apple's own support forum:
These summarize several years of complaints about the 'new' problem of scratches and cracks. Yes, they might indicate a random glass problem in Corning's production. However, I think it is a result of pressure on the glass originating within the phone. In a new model, too much stress might be applied to the glass during a new manufacturing process. If so, then the phones should show cracks/scratches at the nearly the same stress points. Realistically, the most likely culprit is a swelling Li-ion battery. New phone models will almost certainly have a new battery size and shape, and failures can be common in their early manufacture (think Samsung 8). A good micrometer would measure swelling of a phone before it breaks. Or, look up 'Newton's rings', and start your next project.
 


My iPhone 7 Plus was kept in a leather portfolio case. In that same case I also carried a credit card. The phone screen was full of micro-scratches from the card. It seems the soft interior of the case would also scuff the screen. I wouldn't call them scratches – they almost looked like a straight version of the "swirls" I used to get on my black car from polishing with the wrong cloth.

My current phone is an iPhone X. It's also been kept in a folio case since day 1. Not as bad as my 7, but still more small scuff marks than I would expect based on Apple's claims.
 


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