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Bugs & Fixes: Searching for Apple's latest support articles

Ted Landau | Oct. 20, 2014
Once upon a time, Apple was more than happy to help users keep up with the latest troubleshooting and how-to tips in its Knowledge Base (KB).

Aside from doing a search, the main way to use Apple's Support site to discover KB articles is by selecting one of the items on the main page and navigating the subsequent path. For example, if you select the iPhone item, an iPhone Support page loads. From here, you can choose among several sub-items — such as iPhone Essentials, Syncing, or Features & Apps. Select one and you will get a short list of relevant KB articles. When I selected Features & Apps, the resulting list included articles such as Use Health on your iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 8 and Connect your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch using Continuity. Select any of these and the text of the KB article loads.

There is nothing wrong with this approach. But the listings typically do not include newly-released or especially timely articles. For example, many iPhone 5 owners found they did not have enough space on their phone to do an OTA (over-the-air) update to iOS 8. In this case, Apple recommends updating from iTunes on a Mac as a work-around — as noted in a recently modified KB article. Unfortunately, you won't find this article via any of the posted navigation paths.

At this point you may be asking: Why did Apple drop the "recently modified articles" list? What, from Apple's perspective, could be the downside of maintaining the KB article? Not surprisingly, Apple hasn't offered any answer. I can't imagine that they have a good one. Perhaps (as I speculated previously) Apple PR is concerned about encouraging negative publicity if Apple makes it too easy to find out about the latest bugs and related trouble with their products. Perhaps there was a time when Apple was inclined to think like that. Perhaps there was a time when it even made some sense. But, given Apple's increased openness in the post-Jobs era, and given the inevitably that these reports find their way to news websites anyway, I would like to believe Apple no longer feels compelled to go down this road. Sadly, Apple's recent decision would argue otherwise.


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