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Ex-Apple engineer claims company is failing at Internet

Mark Hattersley | Nov. 28, 2012
Former Apple enginner claims Apple’s Internet problems will be its undoing.

A former Apple engineer has taken to the Internet to declare Apple a dud at the Internet.

The hard-hitting piece by Patrick B. Gibson calls "Apple's approach to the web has been a clusterf**k". He goes further to explain that a friend has a thesis that "Apple's biggest problem: Google is getting better at [product] design faster than Apple is getting better at web services".

Patrick B. Gibson outlines the following problems:

- Apple can't update its online store without taking it offline first.

- A popular Game Center game was able to bring down the entire network.

- Apple requires you to re-friend everyone on Game Center, Find my Friends, and Shared Photostreams.

- Notes requires an email account to sync.

- The iTunes and App Stores are still powered by WebObjects, a mostly dead framework written almost 20 years ago.

- iMessage for Mac lives in an alternate dimension in which time has no ordered sequence.

- Ping.

The piece has been picked up by Business Insider's Henry Blodget who believes that "it rings true" and that "with a few exceptions--such as iTunes, the App Store, and the auto-updating of its operating system releases - Apple's online services are startlingly frustrating".

But is it really true? Apple has had a few problems with cloud services in the past, notably MobileMe, but iCloud seems fairly solid so far, and to-be-fair Google (and every other online service) has issues. This website details that Google Mail was last down 5 days, 19 hours, and 1 minute ago.

I think we're all aware that Apple is capable of updating its store without shutting the whole thing down for several hours. Amazon updates its store with thousands of new products daily, as does Apple. We don't remember the store closing for Apple to introduce these Logitech Ultimate Ears 350vi earphones that went on sale the other day.

Apple clearly chooses to do it this way when introducing marquee products, presumably because the "Apple Store offline" frenzy is free global marketing.

Anybody who genuinely thinks otherwise has probably not thought things through. This could be why Patrick is an engineer and not in marketing.

Game Center - So Game Center went down for a couple of hours when a popular game overloaded the service. Xbox live occasionally goes down, PSN Network sometimes goes down, Steam sometimes goes down, and so on.

Sometimes services go down because data centres are beseaged by problems. Like Tropical Storm Sandy which knocked out a lot of servers in North Carolina. That's not to say it doesn't matter, but all major companies are dealing with the cloud, and getting better at it.


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