Our family uses the following: 5 iPhones, 4 iPads, 2 Homepod Minis, 2 Apple TV 4K, 2 MacBook Pro (Intel and M1 Pro), 3 Apple Watches and maybe I'm even forgetting something, but you get the gist of it.
We've invested a lot in Apple's ecosystem. We also have iCloud, Apple Music, stuff like that. And a plethora of Homekit accessories.
Ever since iOS 16 came out (mind you, ALL our devices are capable of running the latest OS versions) and macOS 13 as well, our digital life has been ONE BIG HELL!!!
I hope Apple is reading this, because I'm really fed up with this. We're paying premium prices for premium products and a bug here and there is acceptable, but this is absolutely ridiculous and TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.
What we experience on a (nearly) daily basis:
* Screen time requests do not come through, either: at all, for 1 of us (at random)
* Screen time requests now come in as iMessage, after 5-10 are in the history of the chat the Messages app gets extremely slow, both on iPhones, iPads and worst of all: MacBooks.
* Screen time request approval on Apple Watch does NOT work
* App approval (Ask to buy) for the kids does NOT work, they can request it from their device, but we never get any notification or way to approve. Have to turn it off, then install locally and then turn on again to prevent them from installing anything else.
* Multiple Apple apps often freeze/hang and then are killed: Find My, Maps, Apple Music, Camera, etc.
* AirPlay video to Apple TVs sometimes only sends out audio, restarting Apple TV or iPhone helps until it happens again sometime later.
* Keyboard doesn't show in lots of apps, app needs to be killed.
* Battery drain is exceptionally high, I cannot get over 4 hours of screen on my iPhone while this used to be easy 5 and sometimes 6.
* Apps and camera often stutter, easily visible that it either goes down to a very low fps/Hz like 10 fps or something and/or it stutters at 1 fps for a few seconds.
* Automations don't work often times. And I know that this is Homekit and not my WiFi or anything else, because I also heavily use Philips Hue and since that is much more detailed in terms of automations for motion sensors (it reads the lux for one) and switches (I can actually configure short and long presses on my FoH switches for turning off/on and dimming) and those NEVER FAIL. Same with the few Aqara specific automations, for stuff that Homekit doesn't support: it's not as robust as Hue itself, but 95% of the time it works. Homekit? It's like 50/50 right now, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Deleting an Automation seems to work, but temporarily.
* Homekit accessories don't respond at random moments. Rebooting the Apple TV seems to help the most, but it's not a given.
* Homekit notifications for cameras are inconsistent. I own multiple Netatmo Presence cameras and to test I enabled notifications from their own app as well. Sometimes the notifications are almost instant for both (Netatmo and HKSV) but 7/10 times HKSV lags behind for at least 2-3 seconds. Sometimes it's minutes later.
* My only AirTag which is attached to my home keys has already started ringing when I picked it up when I was about to leave the house. I had my phone in my pocket, no notification, no way to stop it and simply no idea why this happened. It never was away from my phone during that period.
* My 64 GB iPhone 12 became incredibly slow after updating to iOS 16, found out that it only had 2 GB of storage left, while it was 4.5 GB before! Where the heck has those 2.5 GB gone to Apple?! I rigorously deleted some apps since it was slowing to a crawl with everything from unlocking to even opening apps, it literally felt like I was using a €50 Android phone with stutters, no response, freezes and everything along those lines with literally everything I did. Now I'm hovering at 4 GB and it's back to somewhat normal (apart from everything else above) but a 2 year old iPhone 12 need 4 GB of free storage space on a 64 GB model to run smoothly? Unacceptable. And there's no way for me to remove caches like the 4.1 GB of the Photos app while I have a total of 2.2 TB iCloud storage with Photos enabled in iCloud and not even 1 TB in use with the whole family? Same with Apple Music: I specifically said it to not download anything, I don't have local music or playlists saved (I've got unlimited 5G anyway) and it takes up 1.28 GB?! I don't mind if it does this to smoothen things up, but I find it absolutely STUPID from a company like Apple and an almost €1000 phone that it cannot see that I only have 2-4 GB storage free and stubbornly keeps a hold of over 5 GB in caches in apps that are cloud-based. At least be smart about it, just like the Offload Unused Apps feature (which I want to keep in control myself, thank you very much) or give users the option to specify how much cache can be used, like: 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, etc. Even if that makes viewing my photos slightly slower.
And there's lots more, but this has already become a novel almost.
Don't get me wrong: apart from this, I still love Apple hardware and software. But we specifically decided to go all-in on Apple and things like Homekit, because it would make our lives easier. We're a busy family with work, school, sports and a social life, like most families I suppose, so we just want stuff to work. I don't mind paying a premium, I don't mind subscriptions (there is a limit, I'm not paying for a calendar app or something), but then stuff should work. And right now it's a complete **** show from Apple. I bought a Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Android phone just to test it out, it was just €230, not even a Black Friday deal or anything, and that works much more bug-free than my iPhone 12 right now. Yes, the camera is **** (but that's what you pay for as well, or not in case of the Xiaomi) and it's slightly slower than most recent iPhones when they perform as they should, but it's performing consistent and definitely not slow at all. For my son I even tried out Genshin Impact which is a huge game and it runs flawlessly. I've literally been using it side-by-side with all the exact same apps installed as on my iPhone and it gives me over 7 hours on-screen time. The only difference of course being Homekit not running on there and some apps I had to swap out to an equivalent.
In short: I know for example that my iPhone 12 with 64 GB is too much on the limit, so I need a 128 GB phone next time, I wanted to buy the 14 Pro, but I'm waiting to see if Apple finally fixes this **** show with 16.3 or something. My son's iPad 6th gen is also getting slow for some of his games, so a new iPad is on the wish list, just as replacing the 2nd Apple TV 4K with the same one as in the living room (with Thread support), but right now I'm not buying anything until this is fixed. And I'm a patient person, but if even iOS 17 doesn't fix this, then I don't give a **** about how much pain it will cost me and my family to move away, but that would straight away mean that I would sell everything from Apple and go full in on Android+Windows+Google Home. I used to not want that, partly because of privacy, but I rate working products and services higher than my privacy (to a limit of course), especially when paying premium prices.
Let's end with a bold statement: Apple has lost it, their teams have become too big so they can't handle it and either need to go back to the drawing board on how they work or at the very least stop releasing a new iOS version every year. Just focus on getting things to actually work, then nobody will mind waiting 2 years in between major releases.