I recently listened to this episode of The Talk Show in which John Gruber and Marco Arment discuss the state of Apple software. Most of what they said rang true to me and there was a moment when they discussed the yearly upgrade cycle we now experience in iOS and Max OS X.
The nail was hit when they discussed Apple being continually in beta and how this affects users, and my recent experience is markedly different now than it was only 3 year's ago.
Marco mentioned the need to reboot his Mac and that rang true. My iMac ran without ever being turned off for the first 2 years of its life. I now reboot it every 2 days and have done ever since I installed Yosemite. Mavericks caused some problems, but nothing that can be compared to the spinning balls and random loss of drive names in Finder, the slowness after extended periods of use and other oddities that make no sense at all.
They talked about Apple TV and in particular AirPlay. Another chord struck as AirPlay has become incredibly difficult to use over the past few months for me. It sometimes does not connect to the Apple TV at all, other times it takes forever to start a stream and Apple TV often fails to see our iPhones and iPads as remote controls.
iCloud I am not even going to mention because I will boil over, but needless to say I still do not trust it in any way.
What surprised me most was that apparently so many other people are struggling with the same problems which is both comforting and dispiriting, and I wonder if the yearly upgrade cycle is the cause?
Why do we need a new iOS and Mac OS X every single year? I get that it is good for marketing and that the Apple execs can enthuse greatly about what the new versions offer, but I would prefer to see the engineers and programmers stay in the same place and add a single new feature every few months. We are not children, we do not need a completely new experience every year. We just want stability, ease of use and the way Apple software used to be. It is, however, a sad fact that the industry as it is will not stand for that because something new is always needed.
Don't get me wrong, it is not a disaster and is still a million times better than Windows, and somewhat less flakey than Android for me, but we are coming from the high ground and Apple is gradually sliding down the hill thanks to the perceived requirement to change everything every 12 months.