No one will be surprised to hear that I greatly prefer Apple’s platform to those of competitors. I’ve often argued that if you want a single ecosystem where everything Just Works across devices, Apple still has a significant lead, even if other platforms are gaining ground.
But that doesn’t mean I think Apple’s own platform is perfect. There are reliability issues that mean the platform doesn’t always live up to that Just Works ideal, and there are annoyingly persistent bugs which the company doesn’t seem in any hurry to fix.
In a podcast interview on Friday, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi argued that while all software has bugs, the sheer number of users means that complaints are “amplified,” making them appear more prevalent than they are in reality. There may be some truth in this – at least on the iOS side – but I’d argue that Apple allows known bugs to persist through too many platform and app releases …
Many have praised Apple Music’s launch this week, although the focus has largely been on the free component of the service, a 24/7 streaming radio station called Beats 1. But how are users reacting to the rest of the Apple Music service? It received a lot of positive reviews in the media, but users have noticed some user experience issues and technical hiccups with Apple Music that might keep them from making a switch from the competition when the service’s free three month trial is up. Since the issues aren’t getting a lot of attention from the main stream media, I wanted to share everything we hate about Apple Music so far and what Apple needs to fix before converting potential switchers:
After many complaints from the developer community about poor networking performance on Yosemite, the latest beta of OS X 10.10.4 has dropped discoveryd in favor of the old process used by previous versions of the Mac operating system. This should address many of the network stability issues introduced with Yosemite and its new networking stack.
The discoveryd process has been subject to much criticism in recent months as it causes users to regularly drop WiFi access and causes network shares to list many times over, due to bugs. Many developers, such as Craig Hockenberry, have complained about the buggy software and workarounds have been found to include substituting the older system (called mDNSResponder) back into Yosemite.
discoveryd would cause random crashes, duplicate names on the network and many other WiFi-relate bugs. In the latest beta, Apple appears to have applied the same fix as the enthusiasts by axing discoveryd completely.
The Apple Watch had a rough launch: atypically critical reviews, extended shipping delays, and public skepticism surpassing the launches of the iPhone and iPad. But as I write these words, Apple is just beginning next-day shipments of the first Modern Buckle, Leather Loop, and Space Black Stainless Steel Apple Watches, which means that tomorrow will be the first day when the entire Apple Watch lineup is actually in (or on) consumers’ hands.
Since a month has passed since pre-orders opened, I wanted to revisit an article we published in early April — a summary of 15 user experience problems revealed by early Apple Watch reviewers. When the article was published, some people accused the reviewers of bias, but others saw the issues they identified as legitimate. Now that the “new product” dust has had ample time to settle, this follow-up article asks two questions: first, did each of the issues turn out to be real? Second, if each issue was legitimate, how should Apple solve it, if it hasn’t been solved already? The answers are actually worth discussing…
A week ago, Apple introduced 14-day no-questions-asked refunds in the EU for iTunes Store and App Store content. This means that, without the need for a reason, any Apple customer in Europe can get their money back for (primarily) app purchases in 5-7 days time. That’s how it is described, at least.
This opens up some possibilities for abuse. For instance, if you complete a game within two weeks, then you can get your money back and end up paying nothing. As a developer, I tested this out myself. It turns out there is an even bigger problem. At least, right now, when the refund is processed, the app continues to work. You get the app for free, forever.
This Friday afternoon, Apple has opened up an iPhone 5 battery replacement program after discovering that a “very small percentage” of units “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.” The iPhone 5 was originally launched in September 2012, and Apple says that the affected units were sold between that month and January 2013. Apple’s support website includes a tool to check if your serial number belongs to a faulty iPhone 5…
Apple’s refreshed MacBook Airs introduced earlier this month at WWDC certainly bring some major improvements over previous generations thanks to Intel’s 4th gen Haswell processors, 802.11ac WiFi, and other internal upgrades. However, while reviews have been quite positive and focusing on the up to 12 hour battery life, it appears some users are experiencing teething issues with the new machines, which isn’t exactly something new for the first release of a refreshed Apple product.
A thread on Apple’s support forums (via Gizmodo) includes a growing number of customers complaining of WiFi connectivity issues with the new MacBook Airs that were just released last week. It’s worth pointing out that users have complained of similar issues with other MacBooks, and with WiFi there are always lots of variables, like the network and the user’s router, that could be causing problems.
The first release of a new or revamped product can often run into some issues early on that Apple attempts to work out in future firmware updates or hardware tweaks. We saw it with the Retina MacBook Pros, and it’s likely Apple will release updates to address some of the issues that users are experiencing with the new MacBook Airs.
Apple has issued a recall for a “small number” of 1TB Seagate hard drives in the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs. Apple’s announcement doesn’t go into specifics, but says the systems were sold between May 2011 and July 2011. If you’re are experiencing issues you can take your iMac to an Apple retail store or Apple service provider, or you can contact Apple technical support. Apple will replace the hard drive free of charge. (via MacRumors)