Functional High Ground Retort

I fear that Apple’s leadership doesn’t realize quite how badly and deeply their software flaws have damaged their reputation, because if they realized it, they’d make serious changes that don’t appear to be happening. Instead, the opposite appears to be happening: the pace of rapid updates on multiple product lines seems to be expanding and accelerating.
— Marco Arment, marco.org

Much has been written about Marco Arment's piece from Monday night, some constructive, most sensationalist drivel. The fundamental assumption here is that Apple's recent software riddled with bugs and was shipped before it was ready. I disagree.

I used OS X from Jaguar to Yosemite, iOS 1.0 through 8.1, and every release in between. Are there more bugs in today's software than 2007 or 2004?

Apple's software, like any piece of software, has always had bugs. iOS 7.0 at launch was unstable at the best of times and it took Apple months to release iOS 7.1 that addressed many of those issues. iOS 8.0 was much closer to fully baked than its predecessor on launch. Apples to Oranges, perhaps, but I see it as an improvement.

Going back to the Mac, I've yet to encounter most of the Yosemite bugs. In fact, Yosemite fixed many of the bugs I ran into with Mavericks. Both releases have their issues but is 10.10 worse than 10.9? Not in my experience.

If we're going to compare OS releases, let's level the playing field.

The debate shouldn't be whether Yosemite is less stable than Snow Leopard. The debate is whether 10.10.1 is less stable than 10.6.1. You can't compare the newly released Yosemite against Snow Leopard after it received 8 maintenance releases. If you want to avoid the early bugs, most should wait for 10.x.1 before you upgrade your Mac. I'd even suggest 10.x.2 for the conservative user.

Looking back on OS X releases ending in .1, I'd wager that Yosemite is the most stable since Snow Leopard. It's the first time in years that Finder isn't crashing for me at least once a week and I've yet to kernel panic on an iMac I use for work every day.

I simply don't accept that Apple's software is worse than it has been. It's easy to look back at the days of yore with fond memories and forget the bugs that existed in Panther and Leopard. After all, you're (probibly) not using 10 year old Macs today or fighting against its bugs.

Apple changed development schedules for iOS and OS X so they would have concurrent release dates. Among the many pro reasons, this allowed them to release features on both platforms concurrently, resulting in a win for end users and developers.

Is Apple's leadership aware of Marco's post and the growing complaints about Apple's software reliability? Yes.

Are they willing to stay quiet and ride out the storm? Time will tell.