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A list of macOS, tvOS and iOS bugs I encountered while helping my family over the holidays

These are just functionality/correctness bugs. If I covered UI bugs, I’d miss my flight home.

macOS 10.13 High Sierra

  • The installer nukes user accounts that have been around for years to replace them with new user accounts without warning (in this case, _assetcache replaced the intermapper user).
  • Users (with >500 UIDs) can “disappear” until reboot; e.g. id returns nothing for the user.
  • Domain name resolution (for a device on a local subnet, with one nameserver configured) fails until I use the increasingly-baroque and undocumented method of clearing the DNS cache, or reboot, of course.
  • Changes to file sharing are a mess.
    • Neither SMB or AFP came up cleanly the first time, requiring I toggle them off and back on from System Preferences.
    • There is no UI to indicate that sharing via AFP does not work at all on APFS.
    • Finder ignores the username you pass in a SMB sharing URL (e.g. smb://username@host/….).
    • SMB — the only documented option on APFS which provides reasonable security, unless I want to set up Kerberized NFS — is horrendously unreliable. When stressed, it either produces a massive number of errors, requiring I try a particular copying process 4 times before it completes successfully, or just deadlocks client processes entirely. In the latter case, you can’t even cd into the share without the shell hanging; GUI apps beachball and if you try to kill them, get stuck exiting (the STAT column in ps reads ?E).
  • I tried moving from iPhoto to Photos. Since I can’t copy files across the network to synchronize photos with other family members (an incredibly common workflow which Apple still hasn’t supported in any way), I tried using iCloud Photo Sharing for the purpose. This does downsample both photos and videos, but short of Thunderbolt Target Mode or NFS, I couldn’t see another way to do this aside from copying the entire photo library from one computer to another before trying to copy across individual photos.
    • Copying photos to shared albums sometimes just fails (it’s all or nothing), without any detail in the error message indicating which of the hundreds to thousands of photos you may have selected caused the problem.
    • Notifications generated during population of a shared album include a number of photos which often doesn’t match reality. I think it’s cumulative, so if you delete photos, the number can be greater than the total number of photos in the album.
    • When selecting photos in a shared album, sometimes Select All doesn’t select all the photos.
    • When selecting photos in a shared album and right-clicking on them to open a contextual menu, sometimes some of the photos get deselected and you have to try again.
    • Even after the shared album has theoretically synchronized, the number of photos displayed across multiple Macs can differ. In one case, there were hundreds of photos displayed on one Mac and zero on the other.

tvOS 11

  • Search — one of the marquee features of the device — broke one day. The Search app displays a spinner forever, and voice search claims that Up Next is somehow misbehaving. Restarting does nothing. Logging into and out of various accounts does nothing. Reinstalling the Apple TV helped for a while, but the problem came back.
  • Moving apps on the home screen is horrendously buggy. The OS will get confused about which app is which; sometimes there will be no way to launch an app except by voice because it “loses” an app; sometimes it’ll leave “holes” in the layout where an app should be. Restarting was the only remedy I could find.
  • Trying to view the Bloomberg app in the App Store caused it to hang repeatedly, requiring a restart. (I could view other apps in the App Store after force quitting it, prior to restart.)

iOS 11

  • The iPad Dock included a “stuck” partially animated app icon (same as the one next to it).
  • The number of unread items in the unified Inbox in Mail didn’t appear correctly.

The comparative length and severity of bugs on the above lists speaks for itself.