Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Apple’s Neglected OS

David Sinclair:

Sometimes, I encounter serious issues that make me think that [Mac OS X] isn’t getting the attention it deserves from Apple. Sure, each year they add lots of useful new features, and hundreds of APIs… but there are often huge fundamentally broken problems that don’t get addressed.

I just encountered another mysterious bug that Apple says has no workaround, so I thought I’d take a moment to mention some that particularly bother me. Again, I really like Macs and Mac OS X, and primarily develop for it (along with iOS and watchOS), so I wish these issues would be fixed. I have, of course, filed Radar bug reports for all of these.

Here are my top three, all of which Apple has said there is no workaround, but are causing serious issues for lots of people.


Fundamental things like reliably launching helpers, accessing Twitter accounts, and a functioning clipboard should not be low priorities. They should be urgent priorities that get fixed before adding new features.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

It's not just OSX. That Game Center bug that affected many turn based games appeared with iOS8 and reportedly is just now fixed in the iOS9.3.2 betas.

I've been critical of a lot that's been going on in OS X but I think fundamentally Apple's problem is that it's trying to continue to run like a startup. That was arguably very doable when there was just OSX. Now that there's OS X, iOS, tvOS, watchOS and presumably the car it's getting harder and harder for the main people to focus on everything. The traditional solution in business is siloing. But Apple wants to more or less have everything integrated. There are some big benefits to that but the downsides are things that keep getting forgotten.

However I'll admit I'm pretty happy that features I've long wanted like iCloud syncing of non-Apple books in iBooks have finally happened. Lots of other small features I've long wanted finally happened.

@Clark Either they need more people or they need to do less (or slower). What happened to “a thousand no's for every yes”?

I was excited about the iBooks syncing, too, although note what TidBITS said about it.

It's been working fine for me but it's clearly got lots of boundary cases it doesn't handle well. I'm just happy that the OSX version of iBooks has been getting attention. While it has problems it's vastly superior (both the Mac and iOS versions) to Kindle apps. The downside is that the iBook selection sucks compared to Kindle - especially in the area of technical literature.

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