A long time ago, Apple declared that “it just works”. As more issues build up around iOS 12, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, that’s probably a good thing. Because a number of software errors in basic use cases show that “it just works” is more aspirational than you would expect.
Tim Cook stands out as Apple loses its focus (Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
Yes, software is hard, and to have some esoteric configurations throwing up errors when a handset rolls out to the public is to be expected – this is after all why every modern platform has invested heavily in the ability to roll out patches and updates over the air.
It’s when issues affect key parts of software or hardware that makes me take notice. Apple has been fighting a number of these issues with the launch of iOS 12 and the iPhone XS and XS Max hardware. Take the battery charging issue – although it has now been addressed in iOS 12.0.1, the inability of the iPhone to be charged over the cable when in stand-by mode feels like such an obvious test case that to have this slip through the system is curious at best.
It’s also not the only flaw found in first line areas. There are display issues on the iPhone X, speakers cutting out, merged iMessage conversation threads, and an audio app that doesn’t save your edited audio.
iPhone XS notched battery (center) (iFixit.com)iFixit
The last few percentage points of quality are the hardest to get right, but Apple’s reputation is that it can deliver that final step up the quality ladder to provide magical experiences. That may have been true under Steve Jobs, but as his influence becomes second- and third-hand knowledge within Apple’s rank and file staff, there is a complacency starting to shine through.
Whether that is through reduced staffing in the QA department, lower standards being applied, or too much testing being demanded from the available resources doesn’t really matter to consumers. What matters is that the famed Apple reliability is no longer something that can be counted on.
Now read more about Apples hidden kill switch inside your new MacBook Pro…