The coronavirus pandemic has made the world stop. Streets are empty, companies have sent home their employees and greenhouse gases have noticeably decreased. And with life moving at a leisurely pace, Apple has the perfect opportunity to do the same.
For several years, users have been complaining that new, full-number iOS and macOS updates have not been stable when first launched; that they’ve had to wait for several further point updates to get things running smoothly and reliably. The company has focused more on long lists of features than on stability.
Of course, I understand why those long lists are so appealing; new iOS features are part of the recipe for selling new iPhone models, Apple’s bread and butter. More new features lead to more coverage and more updates.
But still – at a certain point, Apple has to slow down and really make an effort to increase stability and reduce the number of bugs. Remove those minor flaws that persist despite years of development. Persuade AirDrop and Continuity to “just work”, as the company likes to say. Make Mail a little less crap. And when is a better time to slow down than right now?
Based on a leaked version of iOS 14 – which will be unveiled at this year’s online-only WWDC 2020 event – we know that Apple plans to add lots of new features, but there’s nothing to say that all of these need to happen right away. Apple can put the majority of its many capable iOS developers on code-checking and bug-hunting duties, and make iOS 14 the most stable update in a decade.
Of course, there will be complaints about the lack of cool news, but those who like to complain will always find something to be unhappy about. And hundreds of millions of users who just want the phone to work smoothly will quietly appreciate the update.
Last year, macOS Catalina introduced several major changes to the Mac operating system and the list of problems was so long that we had to update our major problem-solving article several times. Some of the updates may have been necessary for macOS to evolve into the future, but Mac users could definitely do with a bit less drama.
Even today, the version 10.6 update of Mac OS X remains almost mythical among Mac users for its stability and smoothness. Apple should take the chance to do macOS 10.16 – and iOS 14 – at least as well.
This article originally appeared on MacWorld Sweden. Translation by David Price.