Apple and bugginess

There will always be bugs. But the level of bugginess does seem to be rising to new heights.

Let’s start off with this recent Daring Fireball post, iOS 13.2 is overzealously killing apps in the background (and yields joy if you are a fan of the DF hidden URL game):

This bug where apps are getting killed soon after they’re backgrounded is driving me nuts. Start a YouTube video in Safari, switch to another app, go back to Safari — and the video loads from scratch and starts from the beginning.

There are many similar examples. Supposedly, this issue was quashed in a new beta, but it was surprising to see it make its way into the wild.

Next, take a look at this post from Kirk McElhearn, detailing problems opening iCloud files.

Another widespread issue is the frustration of trying to get HomePod to recognize a second person’s voice. For me, the issue manifested itself when my wife asked HomePod Siri to add an item to the shopping list, something she’s done on a regular basis since HomePod first entered our house a long time ago. But now, all she got was:

Who is this?

And that took us down a wild road of trying to figure out how to get HomePod Siri to recognize her as a person. Now, you might put this off to pilot error, but this problem is pretty widespread. I’ve spent a ton of time trying to solve this problem for my setup, and also helping others fix it for their setup. There’s no shortage of people who can’t get this to work and now have loved ones shut out from the HomePod.

I suspect that the issue at the core of this HomePod problem is a poorly chosen setting, or lack of the proper update. To me, if iOS 13.2 is required for this to work, Siri should say as much, instead of simply saying the unhelpful, “Who is this?” The complexity of the Home app setup is daunting, well beyond the capabilities of a newbie to work through. And there are a lot of settings that have to be “just so” in order for this to work.

I’m not trying to pick on Apple’s developers here. But something does seem amiss. Some say the issue is too much pressure to deliver on too short a timeline. I have no idea. But as a user, I am frustrated.