John Gruber wrote about Apple’s eras of flux.
It’s a hard balance to strike. When Mac OS X releases were roughly biannual, we complained that Apple was neglecting it. Now that the releases are annual, we’re complaining that they’re going too fast.
If you ask me between getting shiny new features that have some issues and having to wait for these features to be well polished when they launch, I would rather get those features early and live with the bugs.
How many people who complain about the bugs actually report the issues? Many people dismiss sending feedback and that doesn’t help with improving the softwares.
I also believe that we are seeing a lot of issues because Mac has gone mainstream. The number of Mac users have grown tremendously in the past years. With more machines out in the wild, it is inevitable that more problems crop up.
Compare this with Windows:
Every company’s downfall is different. Microsoft didn’t have a major update to 2001’s Windows XP until 2006’s Windows Vista, which was rejected by its customers. The “fix”, Windows 7, didn’t ship until 2009.
Would you prefer an OS that is constantly updated and evolving, or would you have one that stagnates for years like Windows have.
So far the only issues I had with OS X Yosemite has been due to apps not being updated for the new OS. But once the developers caught up and released Yosemite compatible versions of their apps, the issues disappeared.
My hope is that the reliability issues we are seeing in iOS and Mac OS X in recent releases are largely the inevitable result of Apple going through numerous transitions simultaneously. Extensions, XPC, iCloud Drive, Continuity — these things require coordination between all three of Apple’s platforms (mobile, desktop, cloud). That what we’ve been seeing the last few years is this decade’s equivalent of the first few years of Mac OS X — rapid development and flux that precedes an era of relative stability and a slower pace of change. Let iPhone, iPad, and Mac settle in — and let the rapid change and flux flow through Apple Watch, CarPlay, a new Apple TV, and whatever else comes next.
OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 has been a big shift towards a seamless ecosystem on desktop and mobile. If it is a step backwards that we have to take to move forward in a better path, it is one that I would gladly take.