Does Apple Have a Software Problem?

Apple store

Even as someone who is heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem I have to say that the quality of Apple’s products is questionable. Here is a non-exhaustive list of problems that I’m currently experiencing:

  • Apple music on my iPhone inexplicably stopped playing music.
  • The fitness app on my Apple Watch Series 2 freezes when I open it. I must wait for 30 seconds for the app to crash and reload before I can start an activity.
  • My MacBook can no longer be unlocked by my watch for unknown reasons.
  • Siri stopped recognizing my “Hey Siri” command.
  • Siri can’t answer basic queries that other voice assistants can.
  • iTunes is practically unusable because of the amount of software bloat.

These are just some problems that I’m experiencing; and this doesn’t even account for the problems that many of my friends experience. I think every person I’ve ever spoken to with a newer model of MacBook Pro has had trouble with a faulty keyboard.

Why is this worth complaining about? Why don’t I just put my computer on the shelf and carry on with my life? Computers are convenient but they are also wiggling their way into societal expectations – especially if you work in the technology industry like I do. People expect you to be available by text message 16 hours per day. Email is a necessary communication channel for most workplaces. It is possible eschew modern technology but it is becoming more difficult every day.

About 11 years ago Apple released the first iPhone. Shortly after, many other companies released their own smartphone variants. Now, these devices are so deeply embedded in the way we communicate it’s hard to imagine a world without them.

Alright, so consumer technology is deeply embedded in our society; so what? So it means that these devices aren’t just toys people buy with some disposable income. It means that these devices are important to the way we communicate and they are arguably required to participate in some parts of society. Sure, some of the problems I listed are petty. But I think the reason people get so bent out of shape about problems with their devices is not because of a minor annoyance but because the problem inhibits their ability to effectively participate in society.

Now I bet you’re asking: why don’t I just buy different products if Apple products are so bad? The thing is, I don’t really think any of the products available are perfect. Their all going to have problems.

So does Apple have a software problem? I really can’t tell.