OS X Mavericks Release and Update – The Buggiest Ever?

Well, now that OS X Mavericks has a .1 update, with the concentration being on Apple Mail and Graphics, it would be safe to say that OS X Mavericks, like iOS 7, is possibly the worst release of OS X ever. The completely untested releases, not to mention the non-existent UX.

Mavericks, true to it’s name, is one. Almost nothing works as expected. Although Apple acknowledged issues in Apple Mail, it was limited to Gmail related accounts and mentions nothing else. It still has a clutter of draft/versions and sync issues. The rendering of standard HTML email still does not work.

The Contacts still retain the bloat and duplication issues of earlier. All iCloud applications require manual run to sync them across devices. The iCloud Keychain does not work for Exchange accounts…try changing an Exchange account password after the policy expires it. The more iDevices you have on the iCloud Keychain, the worse it becomes.

Preview still retains the PDF printing issues. It will still scale to fit by default instead of the actual size. Trying to print multiple PDF pages on a single sheet still offers no control on placement etc etc.

The OS X Finder seems to be the buggiest of all. Old Spotlight related issues are back with a vengeance. The native file systems have issues as well, more so when combined with the Spotlight issues. Most Macs, including mine, want to always keep indexing on any and every random change. Spotlight has been trying to index my external HDDs, initially formatted with HFS, then ExtFS for hours and never succeeds.

Time Capsule issues remain as they were. If you extract files from ISO images, as in my previous post, the directory time stamp is altered to 1980. If you fix or re-index any drive for Spotlight/searching issues, all folders will have their date/time stamps reset and you would have no track of the original. Try copying a few directories over the SMB network and you will see random tags appearing on the copied folders.

Finder will also keep forgetting your network paths, no matter what network you use. This applies to the Time Capsule as well. After some time of running, it will show you the files (if you are lucky) on the Time Capsule, but, will fail to copy/delete etc since it “forgets” to add the “/Volumes” to the path. The Finder will also freeze at random and will not restart even from the terminal command line. Interestingly, all file operations work fine from a terminal window, it’s only the finder that is extremely buggy. In fact, there are so many network and external drive related bugs, besides the local drive, I cannot even begin to list them here without running out of space.

The all “new” tags “feature” is a real “killer”. Just try deleting a tag with some external drives and some network drives connected. You will spend a lifetime waiting for the operation to complete. If that is not good enough, see what happens to any directory that ends with “.pages” or “.desktop” etc. It will be treated as a Pages file rather than a folder. Even the standard “Compress” will fail to complete archiving in these cases.

Try user switching a few times. The running app windows will go off the screen in a couple of switches. As already mentioned in an earlier post, you still cannot access the Time Capsule from multiple accounts.

The completely random hangs and crashes, specifically in the Apple apps, is absolutely amazing. The main culprit being Finder itself. One can keep resetting the PVRAM and SMC to have the system working normally for a while, then, back to “Mavericks” style. Try a clean install if you will, within a couple of days, the result is the same. It’s almost as if persistent bugs are programmed into the system.

The numbers bug in the sizes displayed by the various Apple applications still remain. iTunes might show you 1 MB and after download the same file would show up as 1.2MB etc etc. Seems that the math applied to computing the sizes vary across all Apple apps. This applies to the downloads listed on the Apple sites as well.

Excepting for the normal user working with a default installation on a single system, Mavericks is not really usable for now, specifically because of the Finder and Spotlight issues. Going back to Mountain Lion seems to be the only fix for now. I did not face any of the new Mavericks related issues once I re-installed Mountain Lion.

I really have to mention the Mavericks installation progress bars and timings for old times sake. Apple seems to have gone one up on Microsoft with Mavericks as far as displaying the progress of installation is concerned. Some might recall the early days of Windows where the installation progress would zip to 99% and then take another 5-10 minutes to complete. Well, check this out on installing Mavericks, clean or update, it will zip through the progress and then remain on “less than a minute” for around 15-30 minutes!

I guess we can now start and try to figure out why Mavericks and some of the other Apple software was made free…it does increase the perceived value. In reality though, it will throw you back a few years where one would struggle with buggy software and wipe out your normal productivity instead of enhancing or increasing it.

Let’ s hope that we see some improvements with future updates of iOS, iTunes and Mavericks…

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