Big guys stumble. Google did it with ‘+.’ Microsoft does it every other operating system. Apple’s last version, iOS8, had a rocky start. It raises a question: If tech giants design with large budgets and top coders, why do they so regularly f- it up? Answer: software business is like herding cats.
iOS8’s near immediate 48% adoption slowed to a trickle last year after repeated glitches required patching. An early success turned to months of bad press and complaints. To its credit, Apple resolved lapses to eventually see 87% of users adopt the polished version. Just released iOS9 is on track to better that.
Still, operating system integration of features like Apple Pay and Music – the electronic cash register and inventory – is always cast against ever evolving hacker chess. While high end software drives hardware sales, payment and store apps are meat and potatoes to thieves. My YouTube search found dozens of App Store hacks – ever improving villains waging multi-front war amid the frenzy of commerce.
IOS9’s success seemed proof they’d got it right-a record adoption rate followed great reliability. All’s good. And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, 300 mostly Chinese App Store titles were removed after a jimmied version of developer tool ‘Xcode’ injected malware. Yup, cyber thieves spiked the ingredients to let trusted authors deliver wormy code sporting password grabbers and malicious redirects aimed at user bank accounts.
The bogus Xcode vendor was unapproved – not shocking since Apple operates in an ‘ecosystem.’ Hoards of developers feed its devices, bringing constant real world intrusion. Fortunately, existing controls zapped the exploit. Apple rebounds to tie. If there’s a lesson here, you’ll likely find it in ‘The Art of War.’ Author Sun Tzu excelled under fluid battle conditions. But then hackers read too.