HOW MINOR WERE the announced upgrades at Apple’s annual developer conference keynote? Enough that the long-maligned Stocks app got three distinct mentions onstage. Yes, the upcoming iOS 12 will get fancy new augmented reality tricks. MacOS Mojave will introduce an attractive “dark mode.” But on the whole, it was one of the sleepiest WWDC events in years.
Good. It’s not that Apple couldn’t use more blockbuster features; the more the merrier. But recent history has shown cramming every major update into one annual release no longer works. After a particularly rough stretch of high-profile bugs and security failures, Apple appears to have prioritized the basics in its 2018 releases. You’ll be glad it did.
All software has bugs. But the last year and a half have proven particularly fraught for Apple. MacOS High Sierra, announced at last year’s WWDC, saw more than its share of alarming incidents. Two critical bugs after its launch last September, both fixed within 10 days, put user credentials at risk. Another, revealed in November, allowed anyone to gain root control of a High Sierra computer simply by typing the word “root.”. Apple fixed that one within a day—and introduced new bugs in the process.
For a company that rightly prides itself on its privacy and security bona fides, the rash of incidents elicited a rare message of contrition. “We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused,” the company said in a statement at the time. “Our customers deserve better.”