EA haven’t removed micro transactions from Star Wars Battlefront 2

In a move I half expected EA announced that micro transactions are being temporarily removed from Star Wars Battlefront 2. Note the word temporarily.  

This is merely a move to take some of the heat off the game that launches today. Once the launch window is over they will be turned back on.  

This is simply a move to stop people cancelling preorders and flood the press with stories of it all being ok now.  

It’s not!

Please don’t buy this game, it’s the same as it was before this announcement.  

Did I flip flop on the iPhone X?

If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed I ordered (and then cancelled) my iPhone X order on Friday. To be fair my bank took care of most of the work as it flagged a fraud check. The question I’ve been getting is did I change my mind?

Well, it’s complicated.

Whilst I disagree with the pricing structure I asked myself again what opportunities does it present to me and what problems does it overcome? This was in the recent light of being offered £400 for my existing phone meaning an upgrade to the X would be £599 for me. It has me rethinking as I normally spend about this much per year.

The main draw of the X for me was the camera of the Plus (I love it!) in a smaller body.

The main argument against was Apple charging as much as they have for it whilst taking away the 128GB model. I’d have to get the 64GB version this time around.

So I’m in a moral dilemma, fact of the matter is getting one on launch is going to be impossible now so in the grand scheme of things it’s not important.

Actually in the overall grand scheme of things at the moment whether I get a new phone at some point or keep my existing isn’t that important really...

Taking a break from writing

I wanted to let you all know I’m taking a break from blogging for a few months, I need to type at a keyboard for a few less hours at the moment. 

I’m planning on sharing content in different ways. Initially I’m thinking podcast and YouTube. 

Best way to keep up to date is to follow me on Twitter.  

Why I don’t recommend updating to iOS 11

I’ve been using iOS 11 since the beta and now it’s available to the public I’ve come to the conclusion there’s more downsides than up. Therefore I’m recommending you don’t update to it.

iOS 10 was a solid release, acceptable performance and a pretty consistent user experience. It just works and if you want your iOS device to continue to do this then don’t update.

Inconsistent /glitches

There’s inconsistencies of UI all over the place in iOS 11. Whilst I like the bolder more prominent header text in Apple’s own apps they cause a problem. Comparing two apps side by side shows differing spacing between them.

I’ve also experienced glitches such as data being hidden in the music app on the iPad. I’ve been raising this particular one since beta 1 and it’s in the Public release. Is someone sleeping in QA at Apple or do they just not care?

Performance problems

I get lag, from opening apps to app switching to flicking between home screens. When I’m talking about lag I mean visible stutter that take me out of the experience of using my device.

I’m on an iPhone 7 so not exactly a slow device. It’s like Apple care more about the look than feel.

Ever since iOS 7 performance hasn’t been top notch but it has been a fluid experience when using iOS. iOS 11 introduces more of these performance niggles that ruin the joy of using iOS.

Loss of features

I’ve talked about this quite a bit already but losing 3D Touch to app switch was unacceptable. To take away a feature just to benefit the highest end model of iPhone is border negligent.

Older hardware

Anything older than a latest generation iPad Pro or iPhone 7 and up should not be running iOS 11 period. If I’m seeing these performance issues on both my 10.5” iPad Pro and iPhone 7 it’s not going to be great on anything previous to it.

What to do?

Well, vote by staying on iOS 10. If Apple can see a slow adoption rate to iOS 11 they might actually take a deeper look at their software.

They might start asking why aren’t people upgrading. Hopefully when they probe a little more they will find posts like this one.

What are your thoughts on iOS 11?

What’s up with Apple’s QA team?

I’ve been writing a lot more negatively about Apple since the launch of iOS 11 and the iPhone X announcement. This isn’t like me but I need to get it off my chest and into words, it’s like therapy. 

This time I wanted to talk about my view of current QA (Quality Assurance) at Apple and try to figure out what’s going on. 

Lack of staff

The first most obvious question, do they have enough people? I’ve worked in the industry long enough to know that you need a large QA team to cover the complexities of modern software.

There are a lot of facets to test both from a look and feel perspective. Unless you have a large team something has to give. In my experience the performance of iOS isn’t a priority for Apple, so it’s form over function. This only gets you so far and even on newer hardware iOS stutters. 

This coupled with bugs I’ve raised since beta 1 still not addressed leads me to believe they simply don’t have enough people. 

I want Apple to be proactive not reactive.

Focus on the wrong type of issues

Links up with my previous point but they need some direction. 90% of my bugs raised are performance and UI, which don’t get updates very often. 

Unable to replicate

I get a lot of requests for a system diagnostic even for simple bugs. I’m getting worried something fundamental is broken in iOS if basic behaviour is different between my device and those being tested at Apple.

Trained staff

Are the staff trained to the appropriate level in development? Can they fix code issues or is everything reassigned to the development team? This introduces a bottleneck and puts more pressure on a development team that should be focussed on underlying code efficiencies. 

Testing on older devices

I like to think that Apple QA have access to a lot of older devices and test against all the platforms it supports. This will make sure that performance is acceptable for all devices. This should also mean that the underlying performance should be worked on to help with these efficiencies.

Widening it’s QA team

I feel that with the modern world a lot more companies should embrace the concept of having a portion of your staff working at home full time. Apple moving this way, specifically for it’s QA team would open up in a few ways

  • More experience: You have a larger pool of experienced QA staff to call on
  • Different point of view: You now have access to people in different countries with different values, having a diverse QA team would I believe give a more rounded view of iOS
  • Grow the team: You have a lot of money in the bank, why not expand the QA team, with remote working you can do this

So here’s my pennies worth on where I think the QA team at Apple is, I am probably 100% wrong but as someone on the outside that has worked for various software companies it’s where I feel Apple are right now.