Last week was a really bad week for Apple, with both iOS and macOS falling victim to high profile bugs.
I won't bore you with the details, but the TL:DR of the headaches that Apple -- and more importantly, Apple's customers -- encountered was as follows:
- A serious -- and very stupid -- root bug was uncovered in macOS
- The patch that Apple pushed out for the root bug broke file sharing for some
- Updating macOS to 10.13.1 after installing the root patch rolled back the root bug patch
- iOS 11 was hit by a date bug that caused devices to crash when an app generated a notification, forcing Apple to prematurely release iOS 11.2
Stuff happens, I get it.
And even having billions of dollars in the bank doesn't insulate a company from problems. But such a series of problems affecting both iOS and macOS -- bugs that potentially affect more than a billion active devices -- suggests that Apple might be being stretched thin by the demands that the aggressive iOS and macOS update schedule is placing on the company.
But it's hard to not come away from the last week with the feeling that Apple is slipping. It was only a few weeks ago that I was pulling Apple up for delaying the launch of the HomePod smart speaker, and suggesting that the iMac Pro might also end up being delayed. In that piece I wrote the following:
"As much as I don't want to bring up the tired old "Apple wouldn't have done this under Steve Jobs' watch" trope, a lot of what's happening at Apple lately is different from what the came to expect under Jobs. Not to say that things didn't go wrong under his watch, but product announcements and launches felt a lot tighter for sure, as did the overall quality of what Apple was releasing."
While the problems of last week may indeed have happened under Steve's watch, it's almost guaranteed that given his personality that heads would have rolled, which limits future failures.
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