How bad is Catalina? It

Comment In the midst of Apple's attempt to defend itself from criticism for its removal, restoration and reinstallation of an application used by protesters in favor of democracy in Hong Kong, the company also faces particularly volatile criticism from users of its latest desktop operating system, macOS Catalina.

Since at least 2015, developers and others with technical knowledge have been concerned that Apple software quality is not what it could be. Complaints reached Apple executives and in 2018, there were reports that the company's technical leaders focused on improving quality.

Judging by the reception of macOS Catalina, also known as macOS 10.15, it seems that Apple's quality boost was more aspirational than real. 19659002] In two publications this week, macOS developer Tyler Hall, from Nashville, Tennessee, attacked Apple's MacOS Catalina update, comparing it to the vilified Windows Vista and subsequently detailing its many alleged failures.

The Register contacted Hall to discuss his concerns, but declined to comment further. "[T] his has exploited much more than he intended," he said in an email. "And I have personally listened to people from Apple with whom I am a friend and other people I know by reputation, that my comments were hurtful. I prefer not to say anything else"

The Register also asked Apple if The company would comment on how macOS Catalina was received and if user dissatisfaction differed from previous versions. But Apple, and this may not be a surprise, has not responded.

Up to a point, dissatisfied users should be expected with any software release. And there is no shortage of these. Apple's MacOS Catalina forum is currently full of people who report problems and criticize Apple's quality assurance process. The discontent can be attributed in part to Catalina's elimination of support for 32-bit applications, necessary for a possible future transition away from Intel. But there's more than that.

Experienced macOS users tend to recommend waiting a few months for updates and bug fixes before installing an important operating system fix. Even so, macOS Catalina seems to be worse than people's low overall expectations for software.

Among those who discuss Hall's publications in Hacker News, there is enough support for their concerns.

• "I am somewhat surprised that they actually launched with the state they are currently in."

• "This year, all of their operating systems seem to be plagued with problems at launch. IOS 13.0 was so bad that they launched 13.1 in less than 5 days, but even now a lot of things are still unpredictable (with 13.2 in beta). WatchOS 6.0 is also still quite bad and not yet solved (with 6.1 in beta). MacOS 10.15 GM seems quite flawed. "

The feeling on Twitter is not much better:

Then there are publications that claim to be Apple employees and describe the company's internal disorder and lack of communication. The Registry cannot verify who these people can be, but other people who post in the thread confirm that Apple employees they have met have raised similar concerns.

In particular, these alleged employees raise the same issue cited by Hall, which Apple's marketing group overrides engineering concerns.

As Hall argues, "Apple's insistence on its annual cycle of large splashes is essentially breaking down engineering."

Michael Tsai, macOS software developer who wrote about Apple's software quality problems in 2015, told The Register in an email that he thought Hall's criticism was mostly fair.

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In a Twitter message, developer Steve Troughton-Smith said he didn't have much to say about Katherine. "It has been in a fairly stable state for a while, to my knowledge," he said, noting that much of the criticism of the operating system is due to its security and privacy features, which is disabled on his machine.

"I don't think it was premature, I think it has been more or less in the same state for a while," he said. "People had trouble synchronizing their Mojave Reminders from iOS 13 due to the new Reminds app, so it wouldn't surprise me if Apple accelerated Catalina for a couple of weeks just to make that problem go away."

Even so, Troughton-Smith agreed that Apple's software quality has recently been uneven.

"I think they improved last year at the expense of this year," he said. "They have had software quality issues since at least iOS 7 and the change to [Craig] Federighi."

"I think iOS 8, 11 and now 13 have been breakpoints. IOS 13 has been the first time the operating system did not exceed the line for the iPhone's launch. Here is a pattern that may be due to the scale / complexity or style of administration, but it seems balanced on the razor's edge. " ®

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