My problem with most commentary to Marco’s piece is the binary interpretation of Apple’s software releases: that they should either do new stuff or fix bugs. That’s too simplistic and shortsighted. Software is never bug-free, but there’s a threshold where it’s good enough to be shipped. I want to see Apple get better at releasing updates like iOS 8 and Yosemite with a better balance between novelty and stability. They shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. I don’t want to see Apple “taking a year off” to fix iOS, as that wouldn’t be beneficial to the company and its developer community. Considering Apple’s scale and the uncharted territory of several iOS 8 and Yosemite features, that’s a tricky proposition.
-Federico Viticci, “Balance”, MacStories
If you haven’t been following along, Marco Arment wrote about the current state of Apple’s software identity, basically stating that the quality has slowly been compromised in the attempt to come out with an arguably worse but quicker release schedule. I have read the majority of the commentaries surrounding the post, but nothing hit home like that of the above-quoted Federico Viticci over at MacStories.
To be frank, I have noticed and lamented the current state of everything Apple recently and I know a lot of Apple diehards that feel the same way, but Federico comes at the discussion from the different and very important perspective of balance. Apple needs balance now more than ever. The number of new features in an OS release is great for marketing, but unimportant to the general consumer, especially when you count “new” features that most users will never touch. What Apple may need to do moving forward is focus less on what markets well and more on what is better for the product, which is the main reason that much of what has come out of Marco’s post regards Apple’s reputation capital.
Federico finishes his post with the following gem: “A steady move forward should always be preferable to a lull in progress.” I want exactly what Federico (and Marco and everyone else) wants, an Apple that shows in there next releases that they have heard these complaints and done something about them, showing progress while ensuring stability and focus.
There is no better reason to not do something
There is no better reason to try
There is no better reason to fight
Against tyranny and strife
Removal is often the goal
Removal is often the challenge
Removal is often not enough
To completely fix what hangs in the balance
But it can bring about great change
But it can bring light
But it can bring great joys
In the darkness of the night
And so I live with friction
And so I live with what is hard
And so I live with what I love
But I stay upon my guard