Bloomberg has uncovered details of what went wrong at Apple and who is to blame for the botched release of the iOS 8.0.1 update yesterday, citing sources who point to a quality assurance manager in charge of overseeing iOS updates who also managed QA for the Apple Maps project before its launch. To quote Bloomberg:
The same person at Apple was in charge of catching problems before both products were released. [redacted], the mid-level manager overseeing quality assurance for Apple’s iOS mobile-software group, was also in charge of quality control for maps, according to people familiar with Apple’s management structure.
According to the report, this was also the individual responsible for hunting down any crucial bugs in the iOS 6 Maps software, which debuted to a chorus of negative reviews and bad press.
The mid-level manager was reportedly taken off of the Maps team when the bugs became public, but he was left in charge of general iOS bug testing, where he leads a team of over 100 people in making sure that each release is up to snuff. These updates are often in development before new devices even come off the assembly line, but because the quality assurance teams don’t always have access to them, they’re unable to test the software with the new hardware.
Bloomberg also provided a few additional details about how Apple’s software QA works. Issues are divided into categories based on priority, with the most critical issues being able to actually halt production of a device so that they can be fixed. Teams responsible for checking certain aspects of the software may also give the software a passing mark even when other issues that arise in other areas, leading to delays and more problems in testing.
Internal turf battles also can impact quality testing, according to a former senior manager. Teams responsible for testing cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity will sometimes sign off on a product release, then [Josh’s] team will discover later that it’s not compatible with another feature, the person said.
As Apple works on an emergency fix for the issues, it has informed users that they should downgrade to the previous version of iOS 8 and await the 8.0.2 release.