Let’s call it Feature Drops. Apple’s usual routine of introducing new features, upgrading customer devices, and then fixing bugs has become massively complex and needs some order. Feature Drops is about order. And customer sanity.
Deal With Change
Apple’s methodology is time-honored but starting to show its age. In the past, new versions of iOS, macOS, iPadOS, blah, blah, were shown off to developers and customers at the annual WWDC event in late spring. Those new versions went to beta status quickly enough, and a few months later launched as new versions of each respective OS. That worked. For a while.
The Mincey Plantation is home to plenty of Apple kit, many iPads and Macs, everyone has an iPhone and we have a few old ones that still work, plus there’s Watch and a couple of Apple TV units to care for. In late summer, all those devices start to get the new OS upgrades, then, in days and weeks afterwards, the inevitable updates to the upgrades.
This year was the worst ever. Upgrades were released too soon and came with plenty of bugs. Bugs were squashed frequently over the next few months and that required continuous updates for each device. As the Mincey Plantation’s Official Updater, I objected to the update frequency after the total hit about four dozen.
What is it about Automatic Updates that do not update automatically?
Google’s new Pixel phone feature means features will come over the course of a year instead of waiting for a monolithic upgrade. Let’s call that Feature Drops, an idea that Apple needs to implement, too.
Nothing improves without change, so it’s better for Apple to get customers involved in ongoing change rather than giant, overwhelming, public relations events with so many details mortal man cannot remember them all.
I like it. As new features are ready to be implemented, send them out the door, Apple. Got new apps? Launch them already. Let the world know. Scream to high heaven. Or, keep quiet and just do it. We don’t care. We’ll figure it out eventually. Already iPhones, iPads, and Macs have so many features most of us don’t even know what they are, let alone master them.
How about a feature rollout and bug fix update every couple of months all year long? I’d vote for that. It would save me hours of updating the dozens of Apple devices we have stashed around the Mincey Plantation, especially if Apple could make Automatic Updates actually be automatic.