9 Apple software problems

I first wrote this six months ago, but it sat in my drafts bin. I have updated and posted it as a record of issues with Apple software.

There is a classic tradeoff between economies of scale, which bigger organizations can exploit to lower costs, and span of control, which makes it harder for management to keep the eye on the ball. I am a long-time Apple User (Since 1981), and have gone through ups and downs. I am not keen on switching platforms or ecosystems, and of course, like everyone, am somewhat sucked into Google-world if only because of work. But why are these problems:

  1. Mail, after moving a message to Archive, Mail quickly moves it back to the inbox for a brief time before moving it back to Archive. This might have something to do with Gmail, but this behavior did not used to appear.
  2. Buying an app for a kid (subject to restrictions so they cannot buy their own apps) in my family on their iPad (an old hand-me-down without TouchID) requires the same password be entered accurately at least 4 times. Sometimes TouchID doesn’t work on parent’s iPhone to approve, instead another password must be entered. I would think 2 passwords (tops) should be sufficient. I suspect this is a problem with Apple ID services not talking to each other, so that there is one required for buying and one required for asking parents and then it forgets and then it forgets again? If I remember I instead buy on my device and it shows up on theirs using only TouchID. But this is not natural
  3. There are no parental controls on apps on the Apple TV (e.g. blocking YouTube). Why can’t I switch states to separate adults from kids, or who is watching on a shared device. My kids should have access to different GameCenter statistics than I do.
  4. iCloud Storage isn’t shared across the Family. If I have extra iCloud storage, family members should be able to use. Music has a family plan, why not storage?
  5. Music on “Computers” on AppleTV is unsearchable, and unbrowsable for large libraries
  6. TV Shows on “Computers” organize by show and season, not show (with season as a submenu), making it difficult to search. I have switched to Plex for TV Shows and Movies (but Plex has its own issues requiring renaming TV show files for compliance). I do use “Music” (i.e. Apple Music) for Music on the AppleTV, but don’t generally search my library with it and instead use Plex for my media. Searching by show and then season used to be better several years ago before an OS upgrade.
  7. Buffering issues on high resolution home movies streamed only on my home network, in the middle of the movie. Really? Even after switching to Plex. I can AirPlay a large HD movie file from QuickTime to AppleTV, but cannot stream the same file when requesting it via AppleTV (using either the Computers App via HomeSharing) or Plex. Why can I push but not pull?
  8. Two step verification is excessively requesting verification, asking me for verification on the same device multiple times, especially if I use a VPN. It seems to be related to cookie settings. There ought to be a better way so I don’t get the cookies I don’t want and do get the cookies I do. E.g. some way to identify verification cookies (from Apple, Google, DropBox) as distinct from ad-tracking cookies.
  9. iTunes has had much ink spent on it over the years, I will not add much more. I am sure they are working on it, and Apple Music seems to have settled down for me since all of my songs are now available, rather than just 25,000. Also I more or less gave up. But paying attention to Beats Music, rather than just getting the software working, is a misallocation of resources from the consumer perspective.



Problems that went away:

  1. Messages doesn’t work on one of my Macs at home. It works everywhere else. It just crashes on, or shortly after, startup. Why? [I will go with disk corruption on this … the hard drive subsequently failed. Fortunately backed up]
  2. Hangs on desktop. With an SSD Fusion drive. Why? [see above]
  3. Battery drain on iPhone 6s. I got rid of this once by wiping and reinstalling, but I don’t want to do that again. Some app is badly behaved I guess, but which? I have tried all the battery preservation tricks, and they seem to help, but I would like to have a fully featured phone (with background updates, and T-Mobile WiFi, and all my apps launched) without running out of battery in late afternoon. [I don’t know why, it just went away]
  4. Home Sharing hangs for some reason. This is on a local network through an Apple Airport Wireless device with a library on an iMac that is never asleep. I get messages like “Home Sharing is not available” and have to restart iTunes to get it back. [I stopped using Home Sharing directly as I switched to Plex for media].