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Headphone Meltdown

Apple has lost it completely:

  1. On macOS Sierra, when you click the play/pause button on attached headphones and Siri is Off, an alert comes up asking you whether you want to enable Siri. Every. Single. Time. No matter what you do. (Reported: Radar 28386625.)

  2. On iOS 10, if the screen is off, the Lightning headphone adapter stops playing back music after five minutes.

  3. On iOS 10, the controls on Lightning headphones stop responding intermittently.

I don’t say they’ve lost it completely because they’re completely debilitating bugs, I say it because anyone who’s affected would find it in the first day of use, and millions of people are affected.

You don’t get to say that everything just works, you don’t get to say that you’ve considered every detail, you don’t get to say that you have a good enough grasp of how your customers are using their products if this is the kind of stuff that slips through. Not the kind that appears in the first beta builds as everything is barely starting to click together – the kind that ships to millions of customers.

I don’t wish for someone to be fired over this, I just wish there were two grumps on every product team who didn’t buy into the full vision and who imagines what it’s like for some of these millions of customers to actually use what they’re putting together. Will the company who prides itself on “saying ‘no’ to a thousand things” please stop thinking up ways to build cars for ten seconds and test the stuff it’s shipping today?

(TL;DR: Bro, do you even test?)


  1. The headphones only shut off when not plaging music. Still bad, but check your facts.

    By Daniel · 2016.09.20 23:36

  2. Can’t confirm the first — not when Siri is on, not when it’s off. It wouldn’t surprise me, though; there’s a certain “new features are cool, and everyone will want to use them, right?” hubris at Apple (cf.: the manual Night Shift toggle takes up an extraordinary amount of space in iOS 10’s Control Center for no apparent reason other than to highlight the idea), which in turn presumably leads to too little testing of the feature being off.

    The second’s description doesn’t even match the tweet you linked to (playback continues, but controls become unresponsive). Like the first, though, it appears it’s not always reproducible: http://www.macrumors.com/2016/09/19/apple-bug-fix-lightning-earpods/

    “The glitch doesn’t happen every time. It’s seemingly intermittent and random. (I thought I was going crazy until I saw some people with similar issues complaining on Twitter.) If you experience the problem, you can just unplug your EarPods and plug them in again to temporarily fix it.”

    That said, I have no iPhone 7 nor its accessories to confirm either way.

    By chucker · 2016.09.21 10:15

  3. I first saw the tweet being used to back a problem where the adapter did just shut down during music playback, but while the screen was off – likely the victim of overzealous power management. I’ve also seen it used to back the problem of controls giving up the ghost. They could be two separate issues. In fact I’ll edit the post to make that clear.

    @chucker: I’ve tried dozens of times and can’t get rid of it – it holds steady from the last beta through two GM seeds (one of which is now the released version) and for multiple sets of headphones, both Apple and off-brand.

    By Jesper · 2016.09.21 14:54

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