Apple has a software problem right now, as some of the world’s most popular Apple bloggers have ably documented. Over at The Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik goes over the assorted complaints about Apple’s software and comes up with an unsettling theory: That the problems plaguing Apple’s own applications right now are the same ones that long plagued Microsoft’s Windows.
“Others wonder if Apple isn’t running into the same problem that bedeviled its arch-rival Microsoft for years: It’s building new functions on top of an outdated core, rather than scrapping the core and rebuilding from scratch,” he writes. “This process turned Microsoft Windows into a barnacled monstrosity, and the same thing could be happening with OS X and iOS.”
Hiltzik says his main beef with Apple’s software right now “involves Preview, a program that comes with every MacBook for reading and annotating PDFs and other page and image files” and that “crashes all the time.”
The Reddit thread over at /r/Apple, where I first found Hiltzik’s article, is similarly loaded with complaints about Apple’s software. And keep in mind, this is a page full of Apple fans who are normally defending the company from criticism. Here’s a quick sample of their biggest gripes:
This is right up there with the ‘ask me later’ every single day when there is an iOS update that you dont want to apply. I filed a bug report to apple about it and god damn, the reply I received was not a pretty one. as a customer I’d like to never be bugged that often, and it really really bugs me when it asks when im only on 3G… data OTA is expensive dammit.
My favourite annoyance is using Siri to create a reminder, having Siri incorrectly interpret a word, correcting it within the Siri interface, and ending up with two reminders: one corrected, one not. Maybe everyone at Apple enunciates perfectly in quiet rooms.
I don’t experience anything that completely just crashed my iPhone or Mac. It’s just annoying little bread crumbs of bugs that add up to a loaf of annoyance.
For instance, the notes app on my Mac. If I open it, and then click on the window of another app, then try to click back on the notes app, it doesn’t show up. I have to close it out and re open it, or use the shortcut that shows all my open apps and then I click back on the notes app.
Or in iOS, the control panel just won’t come up when I slide up. It just stops working and I’ll have to reboot my phone. Or in iMessage, the screen will just turn black or white and I’ll have to close out of iMessage and reopen it.
The only thing that regularly drives me nuts is AirPlay and contacts not syncing.
To be sure, every other software platform has its problems. As someone who just switched from Android to iOS last year, there’s a lot about iOS that is frankly a breath of fresh air.
That said, I basically never use Apple’s own default apps and I stash most of them in a folder on my iPhone’s home screen. iTunes is one of the few Apple applications that I still use on a regular basis and it is absolutely terrible these days. On those rare occasions when I still feel like buying a song or album, I often have to try buying what I want three different times before it ends up in my library. It’s just a miserable experience to use and if the rest of Apple’s apps behave anywhere close to this then I can more than understand the complaints.