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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bugs, Crashes Plague Apple Media Suite iLife's New Release

Less "it just works", more iCrash

Apple transformed itself over the last decade into one of the world's largest electronics makers by pumping out attractive products and maintaining a focus on trying to give its customers simpler, more reliable products.  Unfortunately the reliability part of that equation seems to be vanishing of late.  From its flagship phone having difficulty making calls without a protective case toiPads overheating when exposed to summer sunlight Apple has had perhaps more recent quality issues than any other major electronics manufacturer.

Unfortunately that trend does not appear to be reversing.  A reader writes us:
I think it is worth reporting that iLife11 is a complete disaster technically / QA wise.

I mean, Apple completely rushed it - the thing doesn't work. I have been using Macs since 10.3 panther and in the past year built myself a hackintosh. I am also a technical person with many years in the software business - I've been around. I know a badly QA'd software when I see one and iLife11 just made #1 on my bad Mac software list. I've been using iLife since version 06 at least and this is the first time I downgraded back to the previous version.

The worst of the lot is iPhoto11 (the most important app in iLife for most users)... - the thing blows up and crashes on the most simple functions required for day to day usage. I am talking about double clicking videos recorded with an iPhone! There are features missing, it has a confusing interface compared to iPhoto09. It crashed on me 14 times in 10 minutes - beyond disgrace.
iLife 2011 is the latest edition of Apple's media suite, which includes iTunes, iPhone, iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, and iWeb.  The software retails for $49.00.  The latest iLife suite launched at Apple's "Back to Mac" event last week.

As our reader suggests, Apple's forums appear to be flooding with upset iLife buyers who are experiencing crashes, freezes, missing functionality and other annoyances.

Fortunately for Apple, the repercussions of its increasing quality issues may be less severe than for the average company.  That's because a large contingent of Apple customers are unusually loyal and forgiving to the brand and have overlooked and defended its recent shortcomings.  However, it's important to remember that not all Apple users are so fanatically forgiving.  In fact many are not.

Writes one outraged customer:
This is an open letter to software developers at Apple.

I purchased iLife 11 on day 1. I've come to trust apple and their heretofore excellent work. I have to say I will think twice about buying your software again.

My issues with software "that just works" because a closed environment...

iPhoto was stuck in an upgrade loop for over 48 hours.

iPhoto still won't put a book together.

And today iMovie is stuck searching through iPhoto for a business drive even though I am home and have no way of connecting to the office drive. There's no option to cancel and open iMovie, just an error message that just keeps repeating, and repeating and repeating.

Did you even Beta this software apple? OMG, this is the biggest p.o.s. experience I've ever had (and that includes windows software bugs). Seriously APPLE, I've converted about 50 individuals into appleheads. You need to issue an apology for this release, my experience has sucked hard. 
Thus, Apple loyalists may find ways to explain away these kinds of problems, or more likely point to the company's record profits hoping to distract the focus from them.  But in the long term they likely will alienate a certain number of long-time customers and turn away many potential new ones.

Apple has unsurprisingly remained silent on iLife 2011's apparent issues.

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