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  • Some of the Latest Apple Glitches In Brief

    November 5th, 2014

    Although my experiences with OS X Yosemite have largely been favorable, it does seem that some people are reporting Wi-Fi connection issues. So their Macs aren’t able to sustain the Wi-Fi hookup for more than short time before it has to be reestablished. It appears there are some home-brewed workarounds, some of which involve dumping networking preferences and redoing them, but it’s not a lock.

    Some of the media outlooks complain that Apple hasn’t officially responded to the problems, and there are enough reports to show a trend. That would imply there’s no concern about it, but that’s just not so. An example is the report that Apple has already seeded the first OS 10.10.1 update to developers. One of the key areas they’re being asked to test is Wi-Fi, which, if correct, would indicate they have been aware of the problem for a while and have been working on a fix. Such things aren’t done overnight.

    You wonder, in passing, why this problem, and a few others that appeared in Yosemite, weren’t fixed during the beta process, which included not just developers but over a million Mac users who signed up for the public beta. It may well be that they were discovered late in the test process, or Apple didn’t feel they impacted enough people to hold up release. So on my Macs, a short time after launch, Mail stops displaying the number of messages in a mailbox, and I know Apple is aware of that one, though it is probably relatively insignificant in the scheme of things.

    All in all, as OS X releases go, the number of bugs described online seems fairly normal. I suppose it’s still not at all certain whether the public beta helped all that much, but at least it served a positive marketing initiative, to drive more interest to Macs. Clearly the platform is on a tear these days.

    When it comes to Apple’s mobile gear, reports are still coming in of perhaps some lingering bugs with iOS 8.1. There’s also a published report that a beta of version 8.1.1 has been seeded, and, further, that it might contain critical performance improvements for older gear. So folks who found performance to be perfectly awful on an iPhone 4s or an iPad 2 may receive some relief when the update goes live. Right now apps take longer to launch compared to iOS 7, and overall system and app performance may be more jerky than fluid.

    This brings to mind iOS 7, which supported the iPhone 4, but not so well. It took iOS 7.1 to make that 2010 iPhone relatively snappy again. Maybe not as quick as iOS 6, but certainly more usable. So will iOS 8.1.1 do the same to the iPhone 4s and iPad 2? We’ll see.

    When it comes to hardware, although someone is trying to resurrect BendGate with those alleged 300 pictures of bent gear, there may actually be a genuine problem. Well, if the reports are true and consistent.

    So there’s a story that at least some folks who bought the 128GB configuration of an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus have been reporting what appears to be a very serious issue involving those with large app libraries. So it is prone to crash, followed by an endless boot loop after a restart. The jury is out as to the cause.

    It could, I suppose, be a software issue, a problem managing large app libraries. One story has it, however, that it could be a hardware issue that involves a defect in the memory controller of the NAND flash used on these models. If that’s the case, affected customers would have to get replacement handsets.

    Now we have to make some assumptions. First is that this is a hardware issue and not something that can be fixed with an iOS update. If it’s a defective component, the question would be whether a lot of units are impacted — necessitating a huge and expensive recall process — or perhaps just a few early production units. The media and industry analysts who might want to fear monger over the threat of defective iPhones need to hold off until the facts are known.

    One thing is sure: Regardless of the expense, if any iPhones under warranty have defective flash memory, Apple will do the right thing. However, that has never been confirmed. What’s more, the actual number of people reporting such problems appears to be quite small. Many of the posts, for example, on Apple’s support forums are from a small number of people who are conversing back and forth with other posters, so the total number of posts mount. So if a problem truly exists, it may not be widespread. And if there are, indeed, a small number of defective iPhones out there, that’s not really unusual. It happens with all makers of tech gear.

    The long and short of it is that there isn’t likely to be a recall, or even the need for one. More to the point, I wonder if reports of this sort are sometimes influenced by Apple’s competitors who lack the ethics to play fair and compete with the best products and support. It doesn’t mean they aren’t real, but sometimes you wonder.



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    One Response to “Some of the Latest Apple Glitches In Brief”

    1. dfs says:

      I’ve said this before a while back, but it bears repeating. In contrast to many other software developers, such as Microsoft, Apple has a policy of that has been called “continuous beta.” They release, say, an operating system after an extensive but not exhaustive testing phase. Incompatibilities, bugs, and other glitches come to light. Very soon Apple releases an upgrade intended to fix these problems. More problems come to light–same thing–and around and around we go until the product is well into its maturity and things settle down. This in contrast to the competition’s policy of doing much more intense testing and then releasing upgrades called “service packs” at much more widely-spaced intervals. In the life cycle of an Apple OS, for inst., there may be 6 or 7 upgrades. In the life cycle of a particular version of Windows there will be a lot less service packs.

      Which is the better policy? That’s a bit up for grabs. If you want to have the latest and greatest hardware, then you naturally prefer the Apple way, since it gets new technology into your hands faster. But the price you pay, whether you are aware of it or not, is that if you buy a new item of Apple software and run it on a new item of Apple hardware you are volunteering to be a beta tester. But if you are primarily interested in getting work done with a minimum of aggravation, you’re better off sticking to mature hardware and software.

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