Why Apple's Remote App hasn't been updated for iPad, iPhone 4, or iOS 4

Steve Jobs say Apple is the largest start-up in the world, and Posterous CEO Sachin Agarwal not only experienced it, but says that's why things like Apple's own Remote App for iPhone haven't been updated for iPad, iPhone 4, or iOS 4:

Yes, the Remote app is due for an update. But here's why it hasn't been updated: the person who wrote it is busy working on other things. Yes, the person, not the team. (He's a good friend of mine)

Apple doesn't build large teams to work on every product they make. Instead, they hire very few, but very intelligent people who can work on different projects and move around as needed.

Argawal says it isn't uncommon for members of one team to find themselves moved over to something else entirely when ship dates need to be met. That's true for iOS, Mac OS, Pro Apps, and every part of Apple, and something he says is in stark contrast to Microsoft:

Maybe that's the problem at Microsoft: they think they can solve problems by throwing lots of people at them. They put together large teams to build products. And large teams require managers. The last thing we need in software development are more product managers.

[Posterous via 9to5mac]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Why Apple's Remote App hasn't been updated for iPad, iPhone 4, or iOS 4


Hmmm makes sense to me.
However that strategy doesn't work very well for Facebook..
Remember the guy who wrote the facebook iPhone App?
still to this day the BEST Facebook app across all phones, however, since he left.. the app itself has received no major changes in over how long? going on a year and a half now right? or almost 2 years.

I agree somewhat, facebook for iPhone might be one of the worst written apps there is. The longer you leave it installed, the longer it takes to upload new posts. However the web interface on the other hand works very well, andnprobably receives more attention, and thusly so: it is smartphone agnostic. I really wish they'd fix that piece of crap app though.

I would love to see the ipod app tied into the remote app. I'm always playing my ipod in my car, but when I get home on wifi, I would like to have my itunes on my computer play the song where I left of in my car. Maybe a "Send To Remote" option. I'm sure it will never happen, but I would love it!

How can you compare the development team of a simple, very very simple iTunes remote control to one of Microsoft's products. I would be embarrassed if I was Apple and had to assign more then one developer to a project so simple. Microsoft has large teams for large projects and small or single man teams for small projects. Anyone that is interested in how development happens at MS should check out channel9.msdn.com. It is very interesting to see how they manage large projects. MS has it down to an art now. OSX has it's problems too, don't kid your self's.

"the person who wrote it is busy working on other things"
One of the largest tech companies in the world, and they can't afford the resources to keep something like the remote application up to take for millions of their customers?
It was written by one person... it's not like it's a major piece of software. Apple even boasted about how easy it was to update apps with iOS 4 features.
The real reason? It's a freebie. And there's not much for them to gain by spending the time updating it. Great business decision, sure... but not really a customer focused one.

I agree with @Chris
"The real reason? It’s a freebie. And there’s not much for them to gain by spending the time updating it. Great business decision, sure… but not really a customer focused one."

I wish they would update it significantly. I consider this my most important app by a long shot. Like many magnitudes more important than any other app on my phone including the phone app. If only it'd turn on my TV my life would be too good to be true.

During the keynotes they make developing an app sound so easy and quick, I was surprised when updates were not available for all apple apps on release day for iOs 4.0

Doesn't bode well for the other Apple apps on the iPhone/iPad if they can't spare a guy the time to recompile his app on iOS 4...

Thread cleaned. Please stay on topic and if you'd like to point out typos please use email. We appreciate your eagle-eyes!

This must be what happened to the Nike+ app too. That thing has been pure suck since the iOS 4 update and that is a CORE app that comes preinstalled!

Does anybody else find it incredibly ironic that the guy is using an example of how things don't work to justify him saying that you don't need managers?! Well, buddy, no, it would appear that you really do. Or else, shut up and make it work.

Apple I bought my iPad last week assuming it was designed to access my iTunes when i'm at home (cover flow, dj, etc), basically a fancier larger screen version of the most important app by a mile, remote app. When you assume things you make an ass out of you and me Steve!! Hurry the #!#@ up with this app already.