Monday, December 18, 2017

iOS11 Continues It's Buggy Reign of Terror

One morning last week, I received an unusual call from my wife. She was in Japan and, back at the hotel after a day of meetings and a work dinner, she'd tried to set an alarm for an early morning meeting the next day. Suddenly, her iPhone 8 began restarting. Repeatedly. She tried a number of different things to fix it, but when they didn't work, she called me.

After some online searching, I was able to find a path that temporarily fixed it. As you may have guessed by now, it looks like what she was experiencing was the "Calendar bug" in iOS 11.1.2. Later, I was able to text her an alert her to the 11.2 update that patched the bug.

Yet Another iOS 11 bug -- who could have imagined?

And then there's Apple Pay
And so, that same day, I updated my phone to iOS 11.2. It turns out that beyond the patch the highlight feature that's been added with iOS 11.2 is the, "you should really turn on Apple Pay" feature.

After you install iOS 11.2, the phone says that you need to "Complete the Installation Process". It then takes you into an Apple Pay configuration wizard. Don't want to enable Apple Pay? Then iOS 11.2 drops a big red notification bullet on your iOS settings app icon. The only way to turn this off is to either enable Apple Pay or dive into the settings in Wallet and turn off Apple Pay Cash.

About a day after I did this, I was suddenly greeting with a pop-up screen that basically said, "Don't you really want to enable Apple Pay?" I'm not sure what triggered this -- or whether it will recur -- but it occurs to me that when you're having to advertise "an upgrade" in your operating system software in order to gain adoption, you've got some underlying issues with the feature.

Put a different way. I've gone several years without enabling Apple Pay. What could possibly drive the product team to think that if I hadn't activated it, that this feature was the trigger that would make me choose to enable it?

Instead, what this is another example of is Apple's software team starting with the conclusion that this whole Apple Pay Cash system would work more like their imagined model if it was enabled universally. In other words, this design, this feature set, is entirely centered on Apple's imagined needs for themselves and completely disregards my needs as a user. Fundamentally, this is what's wrong with today's Apple on a broader scale.

Apple's new slogan should be "Think marginally different than Android".

And One Patch Follows the Next
Of course, about a day after installing the 11.2 update, there was iOS 11.2.1, another patch to address a camera auto-focus issue introduced with the 11.2 update. It goes without saying that they still haven't fixed a whole host of animation or screen presentation bugs that affect operation.
  • The calculator will still miscalculate 1+2+3 if you type it too fast.
  • My email client often shows emails in my VIP mailbox, even though I have not received any emails from VIPs. For whatever reason, it errors in it's calculation and display of these mailbox roll-up folders. Additionally, these numbers will linger for a length of time.
As I've noted, it really makes you question the products coming out of Apple these days. These days, when I look at my iPhone, I never think, "this is the best phone I've ever owned." Instead, virtually every time I look at my iPhone, I'm struck by how much of the damn thing has been broken.

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