Worth Reading: ‘Apple Has Lost The Functional High Ground’

Marco Armet is concerned about the current state of Apple’s software releases:

“Apple’s hardware today is amazing — it has never been better. But the software quality has fallen so much in the last few years that I’m deeply concerned for its future. I’m typing this on a computer whose existence I didn’t even think would be possible yet, but it runs an OS with embarrassing bugs and fundamental regressions. Just a few years ago, we would have relentlessly made fun of Windows users for these same bugs on their inferior OS, but we can’t talk anymore.

“‘It just works’ was never completely true, but I don’t think the list of qualifiers and asterisks has ever been longer. We now need to treat Apple’s OS and application releases with the same extreme skepticism and trepidation that conservative Windows IT departments employ.”

There’s no doubt that OS X and iOS have suffered from some high-profile bugs in recent months, but I don’t know if I can stand here and say that Apple’s software is any worse now, quality-wise, than it was ten years ago. Browse the archives of any Mac forum from ten years ago and you’ll see that even then, Mac users would complain about a perceived lack of quality control. (See also: Daniel Jalkut’s rebuttal in which he highlights Apple’s software missteps over the years). And that’s ignoring the fact that at a fundamental level, some Apple products—like the OS X Finder and iTunes—have arguably been hot messes for years.

Ultimately, all we have to go off of are anecdotes. And anecdotally, I generally find Apple’s software to be as solid—and as buggy—as it was when I hopped on the OS X bandwagon in late 2001. You mileage, as always, may vary.

Nick spends way too much time in front of a computer, so he figures he may as well write about it. He's previously written for IDG's PCWorld and TechHive.