The controversy surrounding the quality of Apple software.

While Apple finishes fine-tuning the Apple Watch and, above all, launches the promotional machinery that accompanies a launch of this importance, the involuntary protagonist of this beginning of the year is being Marco Arment.

Famous for his activity as a developer (the Overcast podcasting app is his latest creation for the iOS platform), blogger and podcaster, he also created Instapaper and The Magazine and worked as a CTO at Tumblr. The purchase of this service by Yahoo helped him not to have to worry about his economic situation again, but that doesn’t mean he can’t keep up with Apple’s daily news. After all, Overcast is a success in its category and Arment is constantly updating it with bug fixes and improvements.

Thanks precisely to this technical background and the extensive experience that all these years have given her, Arment has a privileged view of Apple. Not internally, but as an advanced (rather, professional) user of their products, both at the software and hardware level.

The controversy surrounding the quality of Apple software

In an article published on his blog on January 4, Arment talks about how good Apple devices are and the problems the company is having lately with its software products. The article began to circulate like wildfire, appearing in different general media in the United States and even on television (Wall Street Journal, CNN or CNBC, among others). All this commotion has led him to write a second article in which he claims to regret having published the first, the text of which he came to modify to qualify and clarify his comments.

But, is Arment wrong with his article? In view of the reactions, it seems that not much. Marco talks about software full of bugs and, in general, of poorer quality than previous versions, even losing key features. He’s not just referring to OS X; also to iOS. He comes to compare it with the insecurity that any new version of Windows generates.

The controversy surrounding the quality of Apple software

The reason? Fundamentally, the dynamics in which the company itself has gotten involved, with important updates every year, both in iOS and in OS X. This causes the development teams to have unrealistic plans, with too many new features to present in very short periods of time, which leads to the quality of the software suffering. Probably the clearest case we have with the unfortunate launch and subsequent withdrawal of iOS 8.0.1.

It is true, as Federico Viticci points out in his response to Arment’s post, that stability in iOS has worsened since the arrival of version 7. The changes introduced, the complete redesign, both at a functional and interface level, have meant a before and after on this platform. It is possible that this instability is the price that must be paid for the evolution of the system.

The controversy surrounding the quality of Apple software

Should Apple stop this yearly pace of updates and focus on improving stability and performance? Do we need new features every year? As always, the answer depends on each user. Many don’t care about third-party extensions, widgets, or keyboards. They just want to have a system that doesn’t crash, apps that don’t crash. That, however, leads to a lack of evolution that is a must for other users.

It is also true that everything related to Apple is amplified much more than the rest. This week Google acknowledged problems with Lollipop’s memory management, but the news hasn’t generated much of a stir. Of course, it also helps that the adoption rate of iOS 8 is much higher than that of the latest version of Android.

The controversy surrounding the quality of Apple software

In short, we all would like to have software without bugs on our iPad or iPhone. But that is not realistic. Operating systems and applications have bugs. No matter how much they try. We don’t hesitate to complain when necessary, but the user experience is still what keeps us on the platform.