Greater expectations

Federico made a comment on the latest App Stories podcast that expectations around iOS 12 are somewhat low because it’s predicted to be a maintenance release. I disagree, at least about lowered expectations being the correct response to rumors of a bug fix focused iOS release.

A simple list of the things that my Pocket Sized Podcast co-hosts and I have had to fight with in iOS lately reveals a lot of hours wasted battling technology just to sync watches and listen to music.

  • Apple Music quit playing songs for me on my iPhone until I nuked and paved it (couldn’t restore from backup or it would break again).
  • Ronnie had to nuke and pave to get his Apple Watch to sync reliably to his iPhone after years of it working correctly.
  • Vic nuked and paved his iPhone because of bad battery life and constant hangs and stuttering performance. It now performs smoothly again.
  • One that I bump up against all the time is the failure of mobile Safari to enable simple things to render the way they do on the desktop browser, breaking certain critical sites.
  • Dictation is abysmal. I don’t care how great other people say it is, it fails hard on a daily basis, forcing me to stop whatever I’m doing and occupy my hands to fix its implausible and contextually nonsensical interpretations of the words coming out of my mouth.
  • Siri is useless. Recently I asked it for directions to a Main Street about 5 miles away, and it routed me to a Main Street in Tennessee. I live in Oregon.
  • Yesterday my Apple TV quit showing me any iTunes content, displaying instead a lovely gray empty screen until I signed out and back into my iTunes account in Settings.
  • Side effect fixes of my iPhone nuke and pave: iCloud copy and paste now works reliably between Mac and iPhone, unlike before, and the timeout when “preparing” a screenshot from the screenshot editor window is gone now (I hated that one).

That’s just a sample of all of the dumb things I and others I know have encountered in iOS recently. Cumulatively, we’ve sacrificed hours combatting iOS to gain supposed convenience and the time saving benefits of technology. Really we’ve just lost portions of our lives we’ll never get back again.

I don’t think envisioning a bug fix version of iOS requires lower expectations at all. I think it requires both higher expectations and a huge amount of faith in Apple’s programmers that I really don’t have anymore.