“It just works” was never completely true, but I don’t think the list of qualifiers and asterisks has ever been longer. We now need to treat Apple’s OS and application releases with the same extreme skepticism and trepidation that conservative Windows IT departments employ.
I work in IT for a small, 100+ employee, client-focused, marketing and web solutions company in the Midwest. Like most companies, we have Macs and we have Windows PCs.
When Mavericks was released late in 2013, I could not have been more confident in it as an upgrade. Let me stress exactly what I'm saying: I was very confident in Mavericks as an upgrade for the employeesthat needed their computer to work -- which is everyone.
Mavericks had tangible improvements to memory handling (quite literally making computers that had the same amount of RAM before the upgrade perform better after the upgrade), energy efficiency, and multiple displays.
Then, in 2014, Apple debuted Yosemite, alongside iOS 8, and many other exciting announcements. I have never been more excited after a WWDC Keynote. Soon after, Gruber published "Only Apple". Excitement for Tim Cook's Apple was at a fever-pitch and I felt it.
However, the truth that iOS and OS X users have been living inside for the last year is different than the conception by Apple observers that it has never been in a better position to handle multiple projects and work together with itself to make an incredible ecosystem of products.
I find myself apologizing for and explaining away more bugs and UX obfuscations in iOS to my friends and family than I ever thought I would. I struggle to think of something OS X Yosemite has given me that makes my MacBook better than it was when loaded with Mavericks. (I even find myself look wistfully at Mavericks machines -- my regression du jour in Yosemite is worsened SMB/CIFS performance that I dearly need at a job where we run a Windows-based network file server.)
I am now on the third draft of this blog post, and I struggle to deliver to you some sort of gleaned conclusion. A genuine distillation of my knowledge and experience having lived and breathed the Apple sphere since 2006 -- but that's not a unique position either. So, I'll say this:
Apple will obviously come through this struggling period. I must remind myself that whether the product is for me, Apple is launching a new product line and I've been through this before. I have the patience to wait for Apple to tighten up; and it will tighten up.
I also believe that iOS is currently in a crucible. Add control and useful complexity without taking away magical simplicity and guaranteed understanding. In all honesty, I don't know if it's possible to make a handheld operating system that empowers me and my mom -- but Apple is finding that out right now, and it's damn hard.
I am not a sucker. I am frustrated. But, I am patient. Because this is how the world works.
As long as I believe Apple is trying to make the devices that I want to use, that I want my family to use, that I want to recommend... then I'm not going anywhere.