It’s no secret that I have been a huge fan of iOS since its inception. It brought many great improvements in security, stability and approachability for the beginner-to-moderate computer user.
Unfortunately, it increasingly feels like those days are at an end. The iOS 7 and now iOS 8 rollouts have simply not been up to the quality of earlier releases.
For sure, iOS 8 is highly ambitious. I have long been an advocate for many of the features that iOS 8 brought: extensions, interoperability and so on. Sadly, complexity has brought with it fragility.
We spoke about this on Connected this week in relation to iOS 8’s Health app, but it’s no secret that the recent releases of iOS haven’t been smooth. iOS 7 users dealt with springboard crashes for months, and 8.0.1 basically turned iPhones into iPods.
I think Apple’s moving too quickly when it comes to software.
Apple prides itself in offering experiences not just products. With that worldview, there is no room for bad software releases or bugs that last months or even longer.
Microsoft and Google both have trouble getting users onto the newest versions of their software platforms, which Apple pokes fun of in keynotes on a regular basis. A few more bad releases and Cupertino could be in the same place, which is bad for the company and third-party developers.
While saying Apple should slow down, backing off from annual releases of iOS and OS X does come with its own downsides. Mainly, the impression — and media coverage — that Apple is slowing down and is unable to innovate.
I think this, however, is a problem for a couple of news cycles, while the legacy of bad software releases could be more damaging long-term. While I like new features as much as the next nerd, I’d much prefer an Apple whose software I can trust and rely on, day in and day out.