This is somewhat provoking title, but I can't get my head around it: Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft et. al. claim to hire only tech's top talent. They often still put some mediocre to terrible frontends out there.

– Apple TV+ on the web: is not a great experience. I get that Apple wants to people to use an Apple TV, iPad, iPhone to watch Apple TV+. So it might be an intentionally sub-par experience in this case, I guess?

– Official Reddit app: I'm actually fine with the Reddit app and use it since Apollo was killed. It's still way less polished than Apollo and it's hard to grasp why that must be. It's not even about the ads: For example opening threads with a video embedded is a terrible UX (just try it out). The settings are a mess, I turned off all activity notifications and still receive some (in-app) – and can't figure out why.

– Official Youtube app: It's quite buggy. For example, the “use device theme settings” on my iPhone 15 does not work (it works on my iPad though!). When browsing through shorts (I know, I know), the audio from the previous short often remains, so one sees the current short's video with previous short's audio track – one needs to switch back and forth to fix that.

– Github: Not sure if it's just me, but I find browsing Github extremely slow. I have no benchmarks, but subjectively browsing through repos the latency seems quit high. Given how obsessed frontend devs are with loading/rendering times (SSR, Million.js, etc.) this doesn't appear to be right.

In most cases there's also no way to officially report bugs.

On the other hand there are so many indie devs – who would probably have a hard time getting hired by FAANG or even an interview – who create far superior user experiences. It's also fairly easy to report bugs and in my experience they get fixed.

My question is: Is it a lack of developer skill on the FAANG site? Is user experience not a priority at all?

I wonder: Wouldn't tech companies actually benefit from supporting third party clients? They might even force third party clients to put ads into their apps. Maybe even force tracking and provide tracking SDKs? I know tech companies won't give up on ads & collecting data. But at the very least put a clean, polished and stable app out there or allow talented indies to do so.