3 of Apple's closest watchers say the company has a growing problem

Apple ceo tim cook sad unhappy logo worriedJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesApple CEO Tim Cook.

Three of Apple’s closest watchers, blogger John Gruber, columnist Walt Mossberg, and blogger Jim Dalrymple, all agree that the company has a growing problem with the software that ships on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

According to Mossberg, who wrote a column for Re/Code before switching to The Verge, there has been a “gradual degradation in the quality and reliability of Apple’s core apps.” This “degradation” has occurred over the past few years, he says.

“It’s almost as if the tech giant has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to these core software products,” Mossberg writes.

John Gruber, who has been covering Apple on his blog, Daring Fireball, since 2002, linked to Mossberg’s post and describes “Apple’s app problem.”

“[T]he perception is now widespread that the balance between Apple’s hardware and software quality has shifted in recent years,” writes Gruber. “I see a lot of people nodding their heads in agreement with Mossberg and Dalrymple’s pieces today.”

Jim Dalrymple, who runs an Apple-focused blog called The Loop and often breaks news about the company, also linked to Mossberg’s piece, offering agreement with its premise.

“I understand that Apple has a lot of balls in the air, but they have clearly taken their eye off some of them,” Dalrymple writes, referring to some of Apple’s recent software, such as Apple Music.

“Personally, I don’t care much about all the celebrities that Apple can parade around,” said Dalrymple. At the launch of Apple Music, the company brought Drake on stage to give a speech.

John Gruber Phil SchillerJohn Gruber/VimeoJohn Gruber and Phil Schiller, Apple’s chief of marketing, on stage.

Gruber compares Apple’s software and hardware, arguing that “Apple’s hardware doesn’t have little problems like [its software].” This could be because Apple “can’t issue ‘hardware updates’ over the air like they can with software,” he continues.

In a statement provided to Mossberg, Apple said that it has “dedicated software teams across multiple platforms [and] the effort is as strong there as it has ever been.”

Mossberg argues that Apple’s big apps — Mail, Photos, iTunes, and iCloud — sometimes “fail to meet Apple’s self-imposed standards.”

Apple has a self-imposed update schedule for both iOS and OS X, with new releases coming on a once-yearly schedule. iOS 10, the update to the current software that runs on the iPad and iPhone, is expected in June at Apple’s big developer event.

Read the posts from Mossberg, Gruber, and Dalrymple.


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