Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Point Three

iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 have both been released today.

Surprisingly and happily, the iOS update includes a gigantic list of bugs patched in the release in place of the anemic “bug fixes and performance improvements” notice affixed to pretty much all updates these days.

Not included in this list is a comprehensive fix for that annoying as shit bug where tapping in the space between the keyboard and the Quick Reply box would vaporize anything typed in the box. Now, unless the box is empty, tapping in that empty space will have no effect. If you press the home button or something, the text entered into the Quick Reply box will be there if you enter the appropriate conversation.

On the OS X side of things, I’ve seen significant improvements to the reliability of discoveryd. Both updates include a great new constantly-scrolling interface for inserting emoji, because nobody in the world knows that the “bell” section includes the saxophone, pushpin, and tofu on fire characters.

The biggest across-the-board news is the final release of iCloud Photo Library alongside the new Photos app for OS X. I had a rough start with iCloud Photo Library, but a nice person in iCloud engineering has worked with me over the past month to fix it, and I couldn’t be more delighted with it. The seamless syncing is exactly what Apple promises, and makes the 200GB iCloud plan an easy purchase. I feel vastly more confident that my entire library is backed up without intervention.

The Photos app itself is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s way faster and way better than iPhoto ever was, but if you’re like me and you’re used to Aperture, it’s a bit of a letdown right now. I think it deserves its own article, because there’s a lot to dive into.

Critically, though, both of these releases are far more stable and far better than iOS and OS X have been for months now. In an ideal world, these are the releases that the point-zero versions should have been. Assuming Apple keeps reliability at the top of their priorities for future releases, we’ll look back at the last few months as a turbulent but necessary blip in Apple’s record. They’re presenting a very ambitious view of the future, and now their delivery is catching up to their rhetoric.

Update: 10.10.3 also includes more exciting Notification Centre spam, courtesy of Apple. Awful.

Update 2: Apparently, the spammy Apple notifications are also in iOS 8.3.