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Phil Schiller talks iOS 11 bugs and HomePod delay in new interview

December 18th, 2017 at 8:00 PM
iOS 11 Apple

Any new iOS release is bound to have some bugs; it’s simply a reality of software development. That said, iOS 11 from the very beginning was deemed to be unusually buggy relative to previous iterations of iOS. Early on, users who were quick to update their iPhones to iOS 11 noticed a whole range of frustrating issues, including wonky app behavior, a drastic decline in battery life, periodic system freezes and more.

Not too long after, iPhone and iPad users running iOS 11 were impacted by a pair of bizarre autocorrect bugs. The first one, if you recall, auto-corrected the letter “I” and changed it to the letter “A” followed by a symbol depicting a question mark in a box. While many bugs tend to fly under the radar, this particular issue garnered mainstream attention as a multitude of users took to Facebook and other social media sites to essentially ask, “What’s wrong with my iPhone?”

Apple ultimately fixed that issue, only to see the emergence of a new auto-correct bug which changed the word “it” to “I.T.” Following that, there was a widely publicized HomeKit bug followed by the incredibly embarrassing and dangerous bug in macOS High Sierra which allowed anyone with physical access to a Mac easily gain root access to the machine.

Again, software bugs are inevitable in any system, but the prevalence and significance of the bugs we saw in Apple software over the past few months inevitably led some to wonder if we’re starting to see a worrisome degradation in Apple software quality. Are the bugs referenced above symptomatic of a larger problem within Apple’s software teams or, perhaps, isolated incidents that just so happened to manifest at the same time?

Addressing the issue in a new interview with The Telegraph, Apple executive Phil Schiller dismissed the notion that Apple software engineers are getting careless and that Apple software, on the whole, is getting worse.

“We just had a bad week,” Schiller explained. “A couple of things happened, that’s all. The team is going to audit the systems and look carefully at the process and do some soul-searching, and do everything that they can to keep this from happening again.”

Schiller’s statement echoes a statement we heard from Apple PR following the macOS High Sierra bug: “We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.”

As for the ongoing HomePod delay, which some rumors have attributed to ongoing software kinks that still need to be ironed out, Schiller once again toed the Apple party line and said that the company is more concerned with rolling out a product when it’s ready as opposed to getting it out in the marketplace as soon as possible.

I’ll just say that it’s not ready yet. One of the things a lot of our customers appreciate is that we’re never afraid to wait to ship something.

Not everyone in our industry follows that model. We’re at the very, very beginning of this market of intelligent music speakers that we want in our home. Some companies like to put things out even if they don’t think it will succeed at the start, we care a lot about the quality of the things we want to put out there and so if it’s not ready it’s not ready yet.

Originally scheduled to launch this month, Apple pushed back the HomePod release to early 2018. Schiller’s full entire interview is well worth a read and can be viewed over here.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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