2017 has been a big year for Apple to say the least. The release of new iPad’s, MacBook’s and the iMac Pro. Amongst the news there have been announcements for products and features that are yet to appear or have been delayed. Even more shocking is the amount of bugs and issues that have been plaging users in their latest operating systems that have required disabling or patching. Is Apple focussing too much on time scales rather than quality of their products.
The HomePod is Apple’s entrance into the genre of Smart Home Speakers the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo already reign in. Announced in June the HomePod utilises Apple’s virtual assistant Siri combined with a 6 speaker system. A high quality speaker which allows you to also control your HomeKit compatible smart home devices.
Originally announced with a late 2017 release date, this has now officially been delayed into 2018. Similar to last years Airpods announced in June 2016 for release in October 2016. Delayed until December 2016.
Apple’s keeps to a regimental release of new iPhone’s typically in September. This years rumour mill was full of hype over the summer with it being the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. The iPhone X did not disappoint, other than the fact it was delayed past the usual September time frame and released in November.
Software and features
As with the annual iPhone release Apple now have yearly releases of their 4 major operating systems. macOS High Sierra, released in September, had an issue discovered the following month. If you had a guest account enabled on your Mac somebody could potentially log in and access and change the main users files and passwords. A software patch released the following week resolved the issue. However in the interim period in order to fix the issue a user had to temporarily disable their guest account and set a root password to secure their machine.
iOS 11 – also released in September has had 8 subsequent updates since. The majority of these have been to resolve bugs and problems relating to keyboard lag, battery issues, predictive text, disabled 3D touch and more.
iMessage in the cloud is a feature announced in June which allows you to sync your messages between iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch. This meant if you delete a conversation on one, it would delete on them all etc. This feature was active during the public beta over the summer but removed before official release in September. It is still yet to appear.
Losing control of your home
One major issue received less publicity linked with HomeKit. HomeKit is Apple’s SDK that links smart home equipment with an iCloud account to add an additional layer of security for smart bulbs, smart locks, smart cameras and more.
A vulnerability discovered in iOS which could allow remote access to smart locks. This meant if someone has your iCloud account details, they could potentially through a process unlock your front door if you rely on a smart lock. Apple quickly chose to disabled HomeKit sharing for everyone. This meant if you share access to your smart home equipment with family this no longer worked. This left family members without the ability to do something as simple as turning the lights on. This has still not been resolved to this date.
Is Apple’s method of quantity of quality destroying their reputation
Since September there have been 9 software updates and that is just to iOS. Is Apple choosing to follow their annual release of software and hardware a bit too closely? Is Apple releasing lower quality and sub standard software to keep up with consumer demand. Should they slow down and move to an 18 month release period. Should they stop announcing products before they are ready?
Each year there are an ever increasing feature list in the palm of your hand. What started out as a device that combined a phone, a music player and a camera. Most of which people would carry around all three. A smart phone can now replace your wallet, monitor your health and control your home. Software that can control most of your life requires a lot of time and attention. Rushing software and hardware development leads to an expectation of faults and bugs to occur.
Is Apple’s focus on release dates and consumer expectation impeding their development and reputation as a company. A reputation widely regarded as focussed on high quality and standards rather than a race to release.
What are you thoughts? Should Apple slow down or have less products in their portfolio?< Back to Blog