If I agreed with Marco Arment about this any more, my head would explode from the sheer intensity of all that agreeing:
Apple’s software quality is declining. I’m not just talking about the most recent releases of everything, or the last couple of months — I’ve noticed this trend for about 2–3 years. As Apple’s software has grown to address larger feature sets, hard-to-solve problems such as sync and online services, shorter release cycles, increasingly strong competition, and Apple’s own immense scale, quality has slipped. The list of exceptions to “It just works” is growing quickly.
That, more than anything, scares me about Apple’s future.
And not just Apple’s future. Software quality and usability are increasingly synonymous with the quality and livability of modernity, and Apple is one of our best hopes of getting The Future right: they have the commercial might, and the idealism. They set the height of the bar. Although they don’t actually deliver anywhere near as good as I’d like — Macs and iThings still fuck up, constantly — I’m always a bit horrified by how much worse most other products are.
If Apple fucks it up, the future is fucked, and we’re all fucked.
Marco with more on the same theme fifteen months later, on The Products Apple Doesn’t Have Time to Improve.
While most of the press demands new hardware categories, I’d be perfectly happy if Apple never made a TV or a watch or a unicorn, and instead devoted the next five years to polishing the software and services for their existing product lines.
The whole (short) post is excellent.