Bug Ridden : OS X Mavericks

OS X Mavericks

OS X Mavericks (Photo credit: Binarycse)

Concerns regarding Apple’s quality assurance mechanisms continue with the release of OS X Mavericks. This major update to the desktop operating system for all Macintosh products was a welcome surprise – it includes a new version of iBooks for the desktop, together with enhancements for the iWorks suite, iCloud integration and the launch of desktop Maps. To top it all, this 10.9 release of OS X is completely free to all users who are on Snow Leopard (10.6) or above, marking a significant marketing switch on the part of the Cupertino crew. Yet this gift has come with some major headaches for users and demonstrates a worrying loss of quality –  the bugs found so far are beyond niggling and are potentially damaging.

WD External Drives Wiped !

Western Digital are reporting cases of users losing entire disk volumes under OS X Mavericks, which apparently conflicts with WD SmartWare, WD Drive Manager or WD Raid Manager. A fix has not yet arrived and users are advised either not to upgrade OR to remove the WD software products. This is particularly scary given that the WD products affected are specifically designed for the Mac market. My entire iTunes library of almost 2TB is stored on a WD MyBook device and I had already upgraded before the alert went out. No losses so far but I have cloned my WD device to a non-WD product sharpish. Western Digital issued an uninstaller as an interim solution last week.

Mail issues for GMail users

Seems some instability has crept into the Apple Mail software with the Mavericks upgrade so do jump to the App Store to get this upgrade if you experience any problems. Mail is generally improved with the new release – look and feel is sharper and the software is more responsive – but I have noticed inaccurate mail counts and delays in mail receiving. Sending an email prompts innacurate counts of mail items being sent in the Mail Activity window. The updated Mail version includes :

  • A Fix for the issue that prevents deleting, moving, and archiving messages for users with custom Gmail settings
  • Solves inaccurate unread counts
  • Additional fixes that improve the compatibility and stability of Mail

Finder bugs yield privacy issues

Using the Coverflow view in Finder shows up a new bug when moving files to trash. The coverflow images do not get updated – so it appears your file has not been deleted as requested. If you then repeat your Move to Trash, this will move a completely different file to that you intended. See more details on the Apple support website here.

Should I upgrade ?

Probably not. Mavericks 1.0.1 has just been released but attends to the GMail problem only. No news as yet on fixes to the more serious issues, or the overall performance degradation experienced by some users. Keep an eye out for further announcements from Apple, but these guys really do have to get their act together. The performance hits alone are serious enough – and admittedly started with Snow Leopard – but some of the Mavericks bugs are seriously dangerous to your data integrity. As with other problems, it seems there is no simple mechanism for reporting these bugs to Apple – you have to create a new discussion thread in the public support forums on Apple’s main website. Farcical !