What Exactly Doesn’t Work on OS X and iOS?

As I wrote the other day, Apple’s software is suffering from many problems, causing much grief among users of Apple products. Glenn Fleishman made a list of the many ailments affecting OS X and iOS, describing the most common problems users are seeing.

Naturally, not all users have the same issues; I don’t have many of the issues that others have complained about. For example, Glenn says, “Mail probably produces more anger than other piece of software because it’s so critical.” I’ve heard lots of people say that Mail causes constant problems, but I’ve never had issues with it. I think there could be two main reasons that Mail is problematic: some users have multiple gigabytes of emails, saving every email they send and receive. I don’t do that; I clean out my email every few months. Another is an intensive use of Gmail, which seems to not get along with Mail. While I have a Gmail account, I use it rarely.

I’ve also never seen the problems with screen sharing, Messages or Spaces, though Glenn leaves out one common problem with Messages: the inability to send and receive screenshots. This began with Yosemite betas, and is still problematic. The only way to make this work, when it stops functioning, is to kill the imagent process in Activity Monitor.

Of course, many of the new features in OS X and iOS are problematic. Handoff and Continuity either don’t work, or won’t work on certain devices; here, it’s my MacBook Pro that is simply unable to use these features. AirDrop is hopelessly unreliable. And Family Sharing is a mess.

One thing Glenn doesn’t mention is iTunes syncing, which is frustratingly broken. This is the problem that hits me most. He does single out iTunes as “a dog’s lunch of unrelated features crammed into the same sack,” and mentions how his wife “was nearly red with anger recently trying to perform a task in iTunes she’s done for years.”

With all the articles about Apple’s software problems, it’s frustrating that Apple is not stepping forward to address these issues. Apple needs a software czar, someone who can look from the outside at the problems users are reporting en masse, then try and get the company to fix them. But Apple is too concerned about keeping a glossy smile on its face, and I doubt we’ll ever see such an approach. It’s too bad, because if they don’t starting fixing things, the company’s software will become as reliable as Windows.