10/29/08
8:56 am

MacMost Now 152: How To Report a Bug To Apple

Gary Rosenzweig shows you how to report a bug to Apple. If you've ever been frustrated by an Apple application that isn't working right or crashes, this is the way to tell Apple about the problem and help them fix it.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today let's take a look at how you can report a bug to Apple.
So a bug can be anything from a crash of an application to something that's just not working as you expected. Now when you find something like this and especially if it really bugs you, you probably want to report it. Well, reporting to Apple can be done in many different ways. Let's take a look at three of them.
Now, the most official way to file a bug report is to go to Apple's official site, bugreport.apple.com. Now in order to file a bug report here, you have to be a member of the Apple Developer Community. So you have to sign up for an ADC membership. Doing so is free for the most basic membership, which then allows you to file a report like this. You can then go back and track your report as well.
Now another thing you can do is you can go to the discussions area at Apple.com. Just go to discussions.apple.com. Now here you'll find different forums for all sorts of different applications and aspects of Apple hardware and software. So go to the one that applies to the bug you want to report. The first thing you're going to want to do is search to see if there's already a thread on this particular issue. If there is, you can contribute to the thread. Give more details about what you found or continue the call for Apple to fix the problem or change the feature. If there isn't a current thread you can go and add one yourself. Now it's best actually to get as much useful information as you can and indicate that you want to help and help find a solution for the problem. That will get you the best response. Then go and check in on the discussion as often as you can so you can update people who ask you questions, or maybe even Apple engineers that post responses to that thread.
Now one of the most common places for users to find bugs is in Safari. See, Safari has got to be able to browse the entire internet, which is millions by millions of different web pages, all built by different people. So, it's pretty common that Safari or any browser doesn't render a page correctly. When you want to report that Safari isn't doing something right, you don't have to go to any of those different web addresses. All you need to do is, inside Safari, choose the Safari menu and choose 'Report Bugs to Apple.' This will bring up a short little form with the page address that you're currently on already filled in, and you just describe what is wrong with the page and why it should be fixed. You can also add some more options like the basic type of problem, and you can even send a screen shot of exactly what you're seeing on the current page or the source of the page. So it's a great, quick way to report bugs in Safari to Apple.
As a software developer, I know how important it is to get good bug reports. But all too often, bug reports are just too simple. For instance, someone reports that there's just simply a crash, or something goes wrong. You want to describe exactly what's going on, and whenever possible, produce steps that will reproduce the bug every time. Tell the developer everything about your system that you can as well so that they know exactly what's happening. Some piece of information you think isn't that important could actually be the key for the developer to find the bug and fix it.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 9 Responses to “MacMost Now 152: How To Report a Bug To Apple”

    Daniel
    10/29/08 @ 10:00 am

    Very cool Gary!
    Never noticed that “Report a bug” feature in Safari. That could have been such a time saver.

    3/21/09 @ 10:55 am

    The web page would not open, it said that there were bugs. It also said WebKit error Domain:101. Hope you can help. Love my mac for 3 months now!!!

    Vicki
    8/15/09 @ 11:40 am

    I don’t see how you’re supposed to provide any detail when it’s unclear what happened and the crash is the only thing you know occurred.
    My Firefox Browser always crashes when I play this game on Yahoo called Text Twist.
    All of a sudden, the screen will freeze, and the Browser crashes. They tell me to report it, but I don’t know what to say other than what I’ve already observed.

      8/17/09 @ 7:48 pm

      Your observations are exactly what is needed. Firefox has a built-in error reporting mechanism that it looks like you have triggered. It will send diagnostic into to the Firefox team. Reporting that A. You are at X page on Yahoo, B. Playing a Flash game called TextTwist and C. That is “always” happens is a great amount of detail.

    Jeff Ellis
    3/6/11 @ 12:30 pm

    What if you aren’t a developer? I’ve got a legitimate bug report – Assertion Errors in Mail 4.4 and I want to post the Console message to whoever reads this stuff – and find out how serious it is.
    Where do I go as a USER not a Developer to post this?

Comments Closed.