Nonstop whining about how Apple sucks

OK, I’ve had it. I am utterly sick of the constant drumbeat of posts here about how Apple sucks, Tim Cook sucks, any version of macOS newer than what you use sucks, Apple apps suck, Apple services suck, iPhone sizes suck, iCloud sucks, and the Finder sucks. Did I miss any other ways in which you think Apple sucks? I almost forgot. Apple is making everything suck specifically to make your life harder.

Of course, everything was perfect when Steve Jobs was CEO, and if Steve were still alive, everything would be perfect once again because Steve was a visionary. After all, Steve cared about you personally and called you on your birthday every year, but Tim Cook is a cold, calculating robot who you secretly suspect wants to harvest your organs.

There is a difference between criticism and whining. Criticism is pointing out—without being insulting or demeaning—that a specific product, service, app, or feature has some sort of a problem. Criticism is backed by reproducible statements of fact and in an ideal world, includes realistic suggestions for improvement.

Criticism becomes whining as soon as it claims that a single individual at Apple is responsible for the problem, as soon as it starts using inflammatory words like “incompetent” or “stupid,” or as soon as it lapses into the hypothetical with “If Steve Jobs were still alive…” He’s dead, Jim. Move on.

In case you haven’t guessed already, I hate whining. I hate having to read such vitriol about the products and services that I spend my days using, evaluating, and documenting. It makes my stomach hurt to see such negativity day in and day out. It’s not clever, it’s not amusing, and it sure as hell isn’t going to make Apple change its behavior. It’s like yelling at a rainstorm.

I’m not always enthusiastic about what happens in the industry either, but what really makes me want to change careers some days is having to read all this grousing. Why would I want to spend my days helping people who are so unhappy and angry?

I’m not alone. In our reader survey, some people said they avoided the comments on articles because of all the complaining. All this griping is tainting the pool. And that drives away all the people who don’t take everything Apple does as a personal affront, the people who might contribute constructively to the discussions because they’re busy using and learning about their Apple gear rather than bellyaching about it.

So I’m no longer going to enable whining and whiners on this site. Anytime I read a post that I interpret as whining, I’m going to move it into this thread. If that causes me additional headaches, I’m going to just start deleting the whiny posts outright.

As my mother always told me, if you don’t have something constructive to say, don’t say anything at all.

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I have sadly come to the conclusion that Apple under Tim Cook is rapidly sinking into mediocrity.

How many iPhone users would gladly substitute Google Voice Recognition for Siri if Apple allowed it.

I don’t use Siri because it is so bad so often. Since Apple bought Siri from some developers (who only stayed around long enough to cash their stock options) I doubt Apple has the necessary expertise to improve Siri.

Can you name one Apple application (excluding operating systems) where the Apple product is best in class and the quality of the product is so good, it drives conversions? I cannot.

The closest is Time Machine and it was developed under Steve Jobs and released in 2008, 11 years ago. And Apple has done nothing in those 11 years to improve Time Machine. It is still on HFS+ and cannot save even an image in the Cloud. If you don’t have two rotating Time Machine drives, with one off site, you are totally toast in a fire, flood, or robbery. The hardware can be replaced but the data cannot.

The quality and level of knowledge at Applecare has really deteriorated. You average Level 1 advisor half the time sounds like they’ve never actually used any Apple devices. The Senior Advisors have gone downhill and are more like the first level advisors of 5 years ago.

I have been an Apple advocate since 1984. I could articulate why Apple was better than Windows.

Now, I actually have come to dislike Apple and their arrogance. I think it is time for Tim Cook to be replaced.

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The problem isn’t users abandoning Mac OS for iOS. It is Apple users getting frustrated with Apple’s arrogance, lack of listening to customers, greed, and simply putting out cookie-cutter mediocre products and so saying goodbye to Apple and migrating to Windows or Google.

Apple software is no longer best in class in any category other than Operating Systems.

Maps? Google wins.

Voice Recognition? Google wins. Siri sucks.

Graphics? Adobe wins.

E-mail? Anything is better than Apple Mail. I use Airmail.

Productivity? MS Office over Apple iWork.

Photography? Apple’s camera software cannot even take RAW images. So multiple third-party photo apps beat Apple here.

Photos software would be great if it worked. It only works on iOS, not on Mac. It doesn’t sync and hasn’t since Mojave.

Music? I’ll take Spotify over Apple Music. Or even Pandora. Apple has nothing like Soundhound or Shazam.

News? The new app is tempting due to the visuals but I’m not convinced that I want to trade the NYT for the LA Times.

Books? Amazon Audible wins.

Even the Finder is outdated. Pathfinder does what Apple should have done years ago. The Finder hasn’t been updated since 1984.

Safari? Garbage compared to Firefox.

Apple TV? Chromecast is better and cheaper.

Time Machine was fabulous for 2008 when Steve Jobs introduced it. Apple has never upgraded it to use AFS or operate partly in the Cloud. It is the closest thing Apple has to Best in Class Software.

This is what happens when you put a bean counter into a job the requires a technologist and a product person.

Apple will only get worse until they get rid of Tim Cook. He did a decent job carrying out Steve’s task list, but Steve has been dead a long time.

Apple is Tim Cook’s company now so he is ultimately responsible.

If Apple was willing to throw away Dashboard instead of monetizing it, what will they kill next?

My bet is they will kill OS X entirely and make the laptops and desktops run on iOS. Meaning it will be a closed system and every single thing that runs on it will need to come from the App Store.

As I said, it won’t be long before Apple rolls out Mac OSX v20 Death Valley.

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fogcitynative@gmail.com wrote: “Maps? Google wins.” and more

Privacy? Apple wins by a mile. Mind you, that’s not hard, and they have a long way to go to catch up to their talk. But they’re the only big company actually doing anything at all in that direction.

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Some of your evaluations are…I’m not going to say wrong but they’re opinions.

Maps…sometimes google is better…but the interface on iOS is terrible so I use Apple there…but use google on the laptop.

Graphics…Adobe has always won and will continue to win.

Finder outdated? It does what it needs to do. Sure…Pathfinder and Commander One have more power user features…but for the vast majority of users Finder is perfectly serviceable. Me…I use LaunchBar (Alfred is very similar) and very seldom actually open folders. The only read addition I find necessary to Finder is Default Folder.

Safari…I much prefer it to either Firefox or Chrome…so I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder there.

Mail…I’ve never really had any issue with it…it’s different from Eudora that I used for years but having tried Airmail and some of the others I can’t see any real reason to use them. Again…beauty/eyes of the beholder.

Office…while Pages/Numbers look and work differently…I’ve found nothing that I need to do with either that I can’t get done. True…Excel and Word have far better high end features…but realistically how many users actually use those features. I’m guessing it’s a pretty small number of us that actually need office over Pages/Numbers. We used Office 11 until about May or so when we switched over to Pages/Numbers since Office was broke with Catalina and paying for a new version wasn’t worth it. If they had kept the same interface as Office 11 it might have been worthwhile…but that ribbon bar is just broken IMO and if I need to learn a new interface I might as well learn a free one. Haven’t found anything with Pages or Numbers that I need to do and can’t.

Dashboard…never really made much use of it…and I’ll wager that most users didn’t use it much either. Sure…there are folks like yourself that find it indispensable…but should Apple cater to the needs of the small minority or to the needs of the majority? There’s always linux if you want to be able to customize everything…but not many folks really need to do that.

The no 32 bit transition…I’ll admit that’s a pain…but Apple has been telling us and developers for years that 32 bit was going away…how long do they need to keep a bunch of code maintained and backwards compatible for a minority of users? If a user has a 32 bit package that they either won’t give up or can’t give up (and the former is more likely)…there’s always Parallels and running a VM for that piece of software?

How long should Apple keep patching old software? I could see some utility in perhaps promising support Mojave with security updates for xx number of years past Catalina…but without knowing how much that would actually cost them and how many users that cost would actually be supporting it is hard to say one way or the other whether that’s a good idea. All software gets EOL’ed eventually…MS does it, Adobe does it, and everybody else does it.

While I agree that Tim Cook is not much of a visionary compared to Steve…folks like Steve are pretty hard to come by and he proved to be not so good at actually running a company beyond the idea and make it work phase…making production, distribution, and logistics works was what Tim was for. And Steve certainly made his share of boneheaded decisions along the way…to balance out the brilliant ones. Nobody gets it right all the time…even for the past 5 years or so Ive’s insistence on thin-ness and few/no external openings made simple things like swapping out batteries or attaching accessories hard to impossible. He’s a brilliant designer…but he’s not the be-all and end-all of designers…some of his decisions seem not as great in hindsight…like the spaceship headquarters for instance. Sure…it’s a nice building and Apple could certainly afford to build it…but it likely cost 2-3 times what regular old office space would have cost. Good outlay for the company? Yes in some ways and maybe not in other ways…depends on point of view and what an individual thinks is important.

I really doubt that they will make laptops a closed iOS system…there are still simply too many things that while you can do them on an iPad, they are much easier to do on a laptop with multiple windows and a larger display resolution…and touch interface just doesn’t work very well on a laptop sized resolution screen…your finger isn’t precise enough. I do expect a lot of the look and feel to be common-ized between the two…and there might even be some touch screen features added to macOS but unless iOS gets considerably more adaptable and customizable then I can’t see them merging the two…and Apple is on record as saying that isn’t in their plans. Could they be lying? Sure…but how likely is it? I’m sure they have iOS laptops running on ARM hardware deep in the innards of HQ…but these issues will be obvious to anybody that uses an iOS touch only laptop.

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Apple software is no longer best in class in any category other than Operating Systems.

Maps? Google wins.

It depends upon whether or not users want their location data tracked , stored and sold:

https://www.adweek.com/digital/google-still-stores-location-data-even-if-users-opt-out-report-shows/

Personally, I prefer Apple Maps for driving and walking directions. Apple and Google Maps both suck equally for public transportation in NY City.

Voice Recognition? Google wins. Siri sucks.

Again, tracking and accumulating data has a lot to do with this. Apple anonymizes data, so its a slower learner. But Siri is catching up:

https://loupventures.com/annual-smart-speaker-iq-test/

Graphics? Adobe wins.

Adobe doesn’t make operating systems or hardware. Without an OS, Adobe applications can’t run. And Windows has never developed anything that even approximates ColorSync that matches color between applications and devices. And Macs calibrate color beautifully. That’s one of the reasons Macs are still the weapons of choice of media and advertising businesses.

And Adobe learned the hard way not to mess with Apple. A few years back, Adobe announced they would no longer develop Photoshop, etc. For Macs and they would never begin developing Premier or After Effects for Macs, but they would for Windows. So Apple developed Photos and then iPhoto, at first pricing it much lower then Photoshop Elements and then giving it away for free, doing major damage to the PS bottom line. Apple also developed Final Cut Pro, pricing it at about $1,000 when After Effects started at out at way over $20,000. And Apple also began giving away copies of FCP for free to declared film majors and film professors at colleges and universities; they still do. And FCP was built to run on the very first Intel Macs, including MacBooks, when the Windows stuff needed big iron. And they developed iMovie for non professionals, charging around $15-20 for it, then giving it away for free.

The moral of the story: Adobe started Mac versions of Premiere and After Effects, and have student/teacher rates at 50-60% off. Apple not only did mega damage to their sales, Adobe earned significantly less revenue per sale.

E-mail? Anything is better than Apple Mail. I use Airmail.

I like Apple Mail.

Productivity? MS Office over Apple iWork.

Agreed. I suspect that in my case, after working in MS Office for decades, it became ingrained in my sense memory and it took me too long to get things done. And documents, presentations and spreadsheets wouldn’t format properly when converted.

Photography? Apple’s camera software cannot even take RAW images. So multiple third-party photo apps beat Apple here.

You’re talking iPhone/iPad cameras. Android devices also need third party apps to shoot RAW. There are plenty of iOS apps at the App Store, and just a few weeks ago a very interesting article ran in TidBITS:

https://tidbits.com/2019/06/14/the-ins-and-outs-of-non-destructive-editing-in-photos-for-mac-and-ios/

The rest is subjective.

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Thanks Adam.

Jack Clay

As my mother always told me, if you don’t have something constructive to say, don’t say anything at all.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I get some of the complaints — loss of 32-bit is going to be a hassle — but there’s nothing any of us can do about it by whining.

The best thing is to post solutions — such as a third-party app that duplicates Dashboard’s functionality — not wishing for the “perfect” past.

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Thanks, @ace
I confess sometimes to kvetching a bit about particular aspects of MacOS, but only with the purpose of trying to figure out solutions to problems that smarter minds than me can suggest.
Complaining just to vent does no one good; in technology, in politics, in life (note to self: avoid serving on a condo board if at all possible!).
I’ve been following TidBITS long enough to hear all the reasons why Apple is the most horrible computer corporation in the known universe, and thus mostly tune the whining out. Maybe putting all the whines in one thread will be beneficial, we shall see.

I’ve been using Apple since 1984 as have my mother and sister. I managed all the Navy’s computers, displays and signal processors before retiring in 91. I’ve continued to use Macs. I’ve periodically had to use Windows. When I do, it reminds me how great apple is!:blush:

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The more you know and the more you demand from Apple software, the more critical you can become. Most users are not where most of you on this list are. They don’t use all these 3rd party apps most of you use. They have basic needs. This forum is a place of talking and asking for assistance. I appreciate everyone’s comments; however when I hear, “complain, complain, complain” I turn off. I have used Apple products since 1987. I have used many programs. Question, would you be happier with Windows? I will stay with Apple. I love their products (if you have a good friend with a couple of habits you don’t like, do you complain about him or ignore them and move on?)

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Adam couldn’t possibly have asked for a better example of what he means by whining. It’s OK to not like certain companies and/or their product, but, man, your stated-as-if-they’re-facts comments are off by miles.

And now that I’ve posted this, I’ll head back to work, where almost every single employee uses a MacBook Pro and contributes to creating a kick-ass SaaS application. I still wonder how we manage to pull that off — day in, day out — if all we have is such a lousy platform like OS X…

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I am apparently the king of the whiners since with only one exception, all the posts you moved here were written by me, so please let me have the last word.

I disagree that my posts are whining. I am sorry you feel that way. Weren’t you the author of the “Bad Apple” series a year ago?

I cite specifically what’s wrong. I cite if I have a suggestion on how to fix it. Although I am not a programmer. Maybe I don’t write so well, because I express a lot of emotion and opinion along with the facts. Because I point out specific deficiencies of Apple products that go beyond being mere bugs.

I don’t complain about 32 bit because users were warned. I do complain about being locked out of my Apple ID for 32 days because Apple made it super easy for a thief to change my AppleID password on iOS devices. And super difficult (despite Face & Touch ID) to validate my identity.

I complain about bad decisions, which you can read about in the threads I’ve written which are now posted here. Some of these decisions are merely misguided (like killing Dashboard instead of making money with it ) but some decisions made at Apple really are stupid.

Like using a satellite map to reposition POI pins that are out of place. That didn’t happen by magic. Somebody at Apple thought it was a good or cool idea and somebody approved it and another somebody designed it and maybe a few somebodies coded it. But no one said anything. And I refuse to sugar coat it. Using a satellite map alone without legends as the method to report out of place POI’s is stupid. It’s not a difference of opinion, it’s not a human error, it’s not whining and it’s not a bug.

I point out why specifically Apple cannot compete with Google on maps and why trying might be a wasted effort. Google has a million more data points, called volunteer Local Guides, who feed Google with tons of free data. Building an organization around customers and their input really isn’t a part of Apple’s culture. That’s just a fact. Might it change? Possibility but there’s that pesky company culture thing.

I believe every company always reflects the person at the top. I’ve worked at enough places to know the truth of my assertion. Their personality, vision, management style, hiring practices, background, interests, intelligence, tastes, politics, specific technical knowledge, life experience, risk profile, convictions, likes, and dislikes, etc. It is all reflective of that person and it really does permeate down through the entire organization starting with the CEO’s direct reports. Because the CEO hired them personally. And they hire their direct reports, and so on. I know from experience it gets all the way down to the receptionist at the front door. It is called COMPANY CULTURE but that culture starts at the top.

So ultimately, yes, the CEO is responsible for everything. I have no way of knowing what action if any Apple took on the Satellite Map for corrections thing. Apple’s pretty secretive about everything.

That’s why the best managers in the opinion of many spend less time in meetings and a lot more time walking around and listening to the people on the front lines, actually doing the work, not just managing the people doing the work. Even then, it’s a challenge to get employees to be honest and deliver news the CEO might not want to hear.

The CEO of Costco visits every store in the chain and doesn’t just meet with the store manager. Their employee turnover is tiny. I’ve talked to numerous AppleCare Senior Technicians and they tell me Apple doesn’t even listen to them. And all they do all day is talk to customers with problems.

So extrapolating from what knowledge I have received, I could hazard that Tim Cook isn’t a fan of management by walking around. But that’s only a wild ass guess as I don’t really know. But we need only look as far as companies like Southwest Airlines and Starbucks to see the significant changes wrought by a new CEO replacing a founder. The culture at both these companies changed when management changed. The good news is the founders were so good, it was pretty hard to screw it up. At least for a while.

I know a few people personally that work at Apple HQ. They’re over 50 so they’re not many of them left. Most of them report to people half their age. They learn quickly at Apple to keep their mouth shut if they want to keep their job.

I do not believe Apple conducts much research into product functionality and user interfaces. This goes all the way back to the days Steve Jobs was asked about why Apple doesn’t listen to customers via qualitative research. Steve said something like “I don’t believe in qualitative market research. Customers don’t know what they want until I show it to them”. And for that time and because Steve was a visionary, he was right. He didn’t need qualitative market research. It would never have produced the products that emanated from Steve’s mind.

I know for a fact Apple didn’t use market research because I worked for a company that sold the best qualitative and quantitative research in the country. Apple was a small client buying sell-through data gathered from retail stores and tear-downs of other products. (Apple was not my client, I called on Intel. I tried to sell data to Motorola but they claimed they did not need it. Based on their market position today, I know how valuable what I was selling would have been). I also built a small business from start-up to success and sold it. So I’m not just shooting off my mouth and saying Apple sucks. For the record, they still in my opinion do a lot of things right. I just don’t think Apple lives up to its potential. There just doesn’t seem to be that intense drive to change the world that used to infuse the entire organization. Steve used to say he wanted to make products that amazed customers. A product that people knew they wanted to buy from the first time they ever saw it.

But as you say, Steve is dead. Get over it. So might it be possible that the current management group could benefit from some market research? Or at least doing a better job of listening?

I know that Google does a ton of research because I have participated in their research multiple times. And been paid to participate. I’ve seen a glimpse of their usability labs and spent many hours in one, but only on the mirrored side of the glass…

I’ll give you credit for doing a great job of listening because you read my posts enough to find them objectionable. I would have been happier to read your response to the substantive issues I raised. If my posts come off as whining, maybe it is because I’m angry, disappointed, and sad. I have been an Apple advocate since before many of your readers were born.

So I have a very long term history and perspective and trust my gut. My gut tells me Apple is changing and in my opinion, in some ways not for the better.

You are right about one thing, nothing anybody writes on any discussion board, including Apple’s own communities, will change anything. If there is something wrong with the leadership and direction, Apple’s Board of Directors will be the last to know. Because the sales data will show the cumulative effect of every decision made along the way.

I am sure if Apple’s technology had managed to save me $5,000 and get my equipment back, I’d probably have a much more positive reaction. But Find my . . . didn’t. And changing the password with just 6 digits turned Find My… off, even though the devices were reported stolen hours after the robbery.

Meanwhile, I will just keep submitting my bug reports on Catalina and iOS 13. Over 70 so far. Quite a few have quietly been fixed or just stopped occurring. There are still a lot of bugs, some of them nasty and crippling. Some of them have been found by other testers, but others I am the only one reporting them.

But I don’t write about them here because there are not about intentional design and product decisions, or Apple policies. No sense whining about bugs. And when it comes to bug reports, Apple is listening and reads every one.

Until something Apple does affects me as much as those I’ve written about already, I’m done “whining.”

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This may become one of my favorite threads here at TidBITS. :rofl: I totally agree with your post, Adam, and admit that sometimes I’m a whiner about Apple, but in the long run I love my Apple toys and all I manage to do with them.

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I didn’t call out anyone in particular because this is a trend that’s been building over time. I only moved recent posts because I need to actually publish an issue today (and Apple just released a new version of iOS), so I don’t have time right now to go through a lot of older posts to move those as well. I probably will move them if I run across them organically.

The Bad Apple series specifically calls out intentional design decisions that are demonstrably problematic, not bugs or unreproducible issues or just things I disagree with, and it always suggests solutions. They’re actually quite hard to write. And we go months between those articles.

That will color everything you write, particularly if all the emotion and opinion is highly negative or downright angry.

And while critical, that’s not whining, and that post wasn’t moved here.

I read everything, though really long email message and posts sometimes cause my eyes to glaze over. That’s part of why the negativity hits me so hard—I have to take it all in.

As far as the substantive issues go, it was difficult to respond because you lumped many things together in a single post, and it wasn’t clear what a useful response would be. I don’t understand your point about pins in Maps, for instance, so I don’t know exactly what you’re criticizing or if there’s a solution or if it feels like a too-minor point to stress about. (I can’t imagine that most people ever submit a correction to mapping data so even if the interface is poor, it’s the end of the world.)

Similarly, you’re making some criticisms about the ease of changing Apple ID passwords in a situation where some of your gear was stolen, but it’s not obvious to me what went on or if it could have been prevented.

If you’d ask a question—even if it’s as simple as “The interface for this task seems really awkward; am I missing something?”—that’s totally fine, and all of us here would be happy to read it, try it, and either make suggestions or commiserate that it’s a mediocre interface.

Just do it as one per post and try to keep it factual.

Thanks!

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Excellent.

OK, yes people do submit map corrections. As I said, Google has 1 million local guides and they earn level points sending in corrections.

So, Apple Maps has the pin for the park in the wrong place. Meaning following the directions in the app does not get you to the place you want to go, but gets you lost instead.

You can in both products submit corrections or suggest an edit.

If the correction is the location of the pin or the dot or the x that marks the spot (and not textual data like a street address, hours, phone number, etc.) and it is in the wrong place, they request the user put it in precisely the correct spot.

In Google Maps, the red pin or dot remains stationary and the drawn map can be moved underneath. If you are there or know the area, all the street names and points of interest are shown on the map. So locating the dot is easy.

Now, Apple maps wants you to move the pin to the correct location on a satellite map. No other points of interest shown except tiny colored dots. Lines are overlayed for the streets but no street names. The biggest problem is one that Apple should have recognized immediately and is why I correctly call Apple stupid.

In between the satellite in space and terra firma there are these things called CLOUDS. Now, Apple, where in this sea of white do I drop the pin that was in the wrong place. Now, OK, Apple, you think using the satellite is cool and differentiates you from Google. Well, if you are not being stupid, you recognize the problem and write an AI program to never use images obscured by clouds. Or you use a hybrid map of a drawn map superimposed on the satellite.

Does that help you understand the issue? And why almost anyone looking at that map in development would instantly see the cloud problem just as I did.

Ever have a friend pick up your locked phone in your own house and want to use it? So they ask you “Hey Adam, what’s your unlock code?” I’d bet you’d give it to them. They’re your friend, you wouldn’t even have them in your house if you didn’t trust them.

That is what happened to me. My so-called friend, who I had known six months and who had been to my house ten times, put some sedatives in my food or drink. She was cooking dinner for us. She kept filling my glass with more Pina Colada.

Once I was out, she cleaned me out.

Now, Apple has this thing call a TRUSTED device. So it is easy to sign in on your trusted device but requires a 2FA code on a non-trusted device too. But Apple makes getting the 2FA code easy on your trusted device turning 2FA to 1FA. Basically eliminating all the extra security provided by 2FA on a second device. Because Apple kindly sends you the code. Right on the device you are using to try to sign in… Of course before you get sent the code, you must enter your password. Essential it is a downgrade 1FA. Password ONLY.

Now we get to the good part. Apple wants to make it so easy to get into your account there is something in settings that will allow you to change your Apple ID password offline using only the 6 digit device unlock code. You know, the code your friend asked for to order some more pizza. Or play your favorite song? Or check their Instagram. Because their phone is in their coat pocket and the coat is in the back closet.

So using this Apple provided criminal support tool, the pico second the thief took my phone online the password was instantly changed. And Find My phone was turned off. Meaning the thief could then reformat the storage on the phone and sell it or pawn it.

If this happened to you would you know how to make your stolen phone untrusted? I have been using Apple devices for decades and I honestly do not know. Here’s the answer. Go into iTunes and choose ERASE HARD DRIVE. That takes priority over Change The Password. And ERASING your hard drive remotely removes your 6 digit unlock code and LOCKS THE PHONE with a new code. It does not set it up as new. It locks the phone. Making it useless to thieves.

You cannot change the AppleID password so easy on Mac OS. You need the current password to get into your account. If you forgot your credentials, you can go to Iforgot.apple.com and change your password. But they ARE GOING TO SEND A 2FA CODE to one of your registered devices. Since once I discovered the theft I contacted my carrier and shut the stolen phone down. The thief never gets the 2FA code.

I’ll spare you the problems created by the second metric Apple uses to verify identity. Your credit card on file. Which I also closed upon discovering the theft. Apple tries to authorize that card but it comes back invalid.

Guess what? Despite having my finger print and my faceprint, Apple can no longer verify me, the password is changed to the one the thief used and I am locked out for 32 days.

Again, my complaint about Apple is really poor intellectual thought (I won’t say stupid because it wasn’t stupid as far as it went, it just wasn’t thought through when they designed security. They didn’t apply multiple possibilities and scenarios)

Remember NOTHING that came from the App Store works if the password to your AppleID has been changed. And Apple makes it super easy to change the password on iOS. So no contacts, no Uber, no online flight check in, no dictionary, no iCloud, no online banking, no nothing. You have a phone that makes phone calls, takes photos, and has Safari barely.

Iforgot.apple.com is great for the person who truly forgot their credentials. They still have their 2FA trusted device and their credit card on file is still in their wallet or purse. So Apple designed their system for the most common scenario in a world without any crime or natural disasters. They never, ever did any “What about the customer who did not forget but this calamity happened? Or that crime happened? Or both this and that happened?” Never occurred to them.

Now ask yourself how’d you’d feel about Apple after this happened? The guy at the top of Internet Software and Security is Senior VP Eddy Cue, who reports directly to CEO Tim Cook. They had to have known and they had to approve. Or maybe they didn’t care? Or maybe weren’t paying attention? Or maybe weren’t managing their team of what are really still big children. The human brain isn’t fully developed until age 25. The last thing to develop is judgement.

Would you after learning all I told you have any confidence in Tim Cook or his direct hire Eddy Cue?

Sorry, I am still scratching my head as to exactly how this happened and why Apple believes in what they did?

First solution is to immediately remove the change your Apple ID password with only your unlock code function from iOS. Guess what? It is still there in iOS 13 Beta 7.

Secondly, change the documentation to advise if the phone is lost or stolen and you know you are backed up to iCloud, WIPE THE DEVICE and LOCK IT REMOTELY/

Third, drop the whole trusted device scenario. Every login that requires your AppleID and password will require a 2FA code. Add SMS and spoken in a phone call as ways to receive the code.

Stop using the financial services network for identity verification. There are better ways like hashing your FaceID or TouchID data string using that 6 digit passcode as the secret encryption key. Or obscure public record data not on your credit report. Which of these was the make of your first car? Which of these banks financed a home for you? In which of these hospital was your oldest child born?

4 random questions, you must get all 4 correct and time to answer is measured and counts. You can pass and substitute one question. Guaranteed only the real person can pass this test.

Is Apple listening? What do you think?

Hopefully this explains in enough detail the systems and vulnerabilities.

1 Like

And this is where you move from fact to opinion.

Saying that someone “should have recognized” a flaw in something assumes
that someone involved in the making of it actually used it the way you
do and thinks the way you do about it. I’ve been involved in development
and documentation long enough to know that everyone uses everything
differently, and no two people will see the same issues.

It’s really the same phenomenon as hard-to-track bugs. You can’t test
every possible usage case and hardware/software combination prior to
release, not even with public betas. There will almost always be someone
who has just the right combination of stuff to experience a bug.
Similarly, there will always be a user somewhere who sees a usability
issue that never came up during testing because they use things just a
little bit differently.

I’m not saying that this issue was definitely accidental oversight. I’m
saying that it doesn’t help anyone, including yourself, to say, “They
should have seen this and fixed it!” and thereby conclude that the whole
company is “stupid”.

Maybe someone did see it, and they were told not to fix it yet (or ever)
because there were higher priorities, such as bugs that cause actual
crashes. Maybe it’s an issue that will be resolved by an upcoming major
update and thus isn’t worth fixing in the current version. Maybe they’ve
tried fixing it, and anything they’ve tried so far causes bigger
problems. And maybe a single stupid project lead killed fixing it
because they like it the way it is.

There are a lot of possible reasons for this issue to remain, and the
vast majority of them do not fit under “nobody noticed it, so they’re
all stupid”.

The “Apple is Stupid™” refrain is something I expect to see from BGR or
ZDnet. On sites like that, inflammatory language and opinions drive page
views. TidBITS is better than that, and I would hope its readers are as
well.

Do you really want to see genuine software stupidity? Talk to medical
professionals. I have yet to deal with a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or
related support staff member who’s not constantly fighting with their
software to do routine tasks because the people who designed it haven’t
a clue how medical staff actually do their work. Work with some of those
programs for a while, and most of Apple’s missteps will seem like
papercuts by comparison.

Mark D. McKean
qpanda@quantumpanda.com

3 Likes

I’m sorry, but that just baffles me. The only person I’ve ever given
my phone code to is my wife of nearly twenty-five years. I avoid letting
other people use my phone for anything other than a phone call, and I’ll
unlock it myself before handing it to them, and not leave their vicinity
until they hand it back.

And lots of people come into my home who I wouldn’t trust with my phone
code. There are multiple levels of trust, and allowing someone to enter
my home while I’m present requires a far lower amount of trust than
giving them my passcode.

Maybe I’m paranoid. Or maybe I’ve seen enough security failures to know
that giving “friends” your passcodes is a great vector for breaches. I
don’t even share my Netflix password outside of my household. The only
password I give out freely to friends is to the wi-fi, and I use the
“guest network” for that.

I’m not saying you deserved to have your account hijacked–nobody
deserves that. But it’s hard for me to commiserate with someone who
freely gave out their phone’s unlock code to someone who they’ve known
for only six months, someone who wanted to steal from you so
intentionally that they drugged you, and then blames Apple for
allowing their account to be stolen.

That said, Apple’s AppleID account recovery process is really, really
poor. And hundreds of words have been written online about that; this is
not news to most of us. All the more reason to take more precautions to
keep it from being accessed by someone else.

Mark D. McKean
qpanda@quantumpanda.com

4 Likes