(Yes, I’m afraid I have to get this off my chest too, being a long-term Apple user).
It’s here, the pinnacle of our technological revolution. This is it, so it seems, it doesn’t get better then this. At least I think it doesn’t, because why would the largest tech company in the world start taking steps backwards, downhill? I’m of course talking about Apple and their latest shenanigans, and I know I sound butt-hurt and exaggerated but frankly I do feel this way. Since Jobs died it seems that Apple has lost touch with their core value; usability: Everything Apple produces should ‘just work’ and be super-user-friendly.
It started when they announced MacBooks without any ports other then the one for charging. Luckily this wasn’t my problem yet, because my old MBP does a fine job of carrying on forward. I then tried the beta’s of macOS Sierra and iOS10 and this scared me. They were both full of weird design choices, stripped functionality and useless added functionality. I found this especially the Music app, probably because I use it the most of everything. The interface was clonky, the design was no longer sleek and shiny but bold, in-your-face and anything but thought trough. It was clear that design had taken over function here. The natural flow of switching between items on my local machine and Apple Music, iTunes Radio and Podcasts always was a fluid one. The intergration of my local library and Apple’s cloud services was simply amazing. So they changed it.
They tore them apart and added way more clicks then necessary for the sake of.. Uh.. Change, I guess?
This sentiment is echoed throughout everything that Apple seems to do nowadays; the new iPhone? No jack-plug, you don’t need it. We don’t care if you want it, here’s overpriced wireless thingies to lose quickly and buy again. Bluetooth? Naaah, we made our own protocol, because “it just works”. Uh-uh.
You want a wire? Sure, just prick it in your lightning connector. What? Your current expensive headphones don’t fit in there? Well okay, here’s an extra adapter to take with you all the time to put in between. Oh now you also want to charge your phone? Haha – well, can’t have it all can you now?
And the same goes for the MacBooks, what insanity is it to remove ALL ports except for charging, and then say to people “well it’s either charging or data transfer. Up to you”. And this (thus) goes on in the software (remember the drama when the new iWork package was released and the interface was so stripped and dumbed-down that it lost like 60% of it’s functionality? Ever since Microsoft stepped in the gap with a great new Office for Mac. Foreshadowing, innit?).
It seems to me that the Apple engineers were gathered around the watercooler and they asked themselves only (and only this) how they feel the future of electronics should be. When they had a vision, they decided to force it upon all their customers.
You see, I’m not against technological progress, in matter of fact I applaud it. I sent the floppydisc and cd-rom off smiling; these were technologies that no one used anymore, and then they disappeared. And that’s the difference. When computers didn’t have floppy drives anymore, people were like “Oh yeah, right, no, we don’t need it anymore! Good riddance! Stick in a card reader for us!”. Because the drives went on after the usage of the medium. What Apple is doing now, is forcing us to adapt to their “wireless philosophy” (which ironically they themselves don’t seem to believe in, else they’d use Bluetooth..). They strip us of all kinds of functionality because they believe the future is without it.
Well that’s all good and well and you’re probably right Apple, but you’ve lost me as a customer. I don’t feel like getting bullied into buying new hardware because you say so. I do believe this philosophy is the future, but not before wireless connections are top-notch will I do away with my Bose headphones. Not before local-wireless filetransfers work like a charm will I do away with my USB drives. You see, it’s all good and well to propose heading forward, but to do so, we must first make sure the tech is ready for it.
I mean, let’s look at it;
You’re just short of a bag to carry it all with you. And the point is, the iPhone 6 didn’t have this problem. As The Verge said; the iPhone 7 creates a complex set of problems for consumers. Apple reacted that they understood, but you’ve got to make the switch sometime anyway. Enter my above statement; I’ll do so when it’s ready and I will not be bullied into buying more crap just because you think I should move forward.
‘Well then’, I hear people say, ‘it is easy then! Just don’t buy Apple anymore!’. And right they are, it’s that simple and no I won’t. Not anymore. But my frustration goes beyond the things I buy personally. My frustration is due that a company like Apple sets trends, and I’m just angry with them to start trends like this no one wants, but will inevitably come now anyway. I find it scary that one company is able to decide on stuff about this, and “we’ll buy it anyway”. I don’t like the feeling of being controlled by a commercial market, no matter how long it has been on for. This time, it’s way to clear to me.
So – and I originally started out with this – I’m switching to Ubuntu and Android, and I thought it might be fun to document whatever things I encounter during the switch. I’ll write more about that later 🙂
And yes I’m well-aware that I’ll sound like a grumpy old man when this trend inevitably becomes the new standard. And I’m sure it will be better eventually
Update – It’s getting even better; the new MacBook Pro’s have a restriction on memory to preserve the battery life due to the smaller battery in the new MacBook Pro, and they’ve heard the critics; … and decided to lower the price of all the adapters you’ll need for a limited time, because after buying a half-functional laptop at top dollar, the few extra bucks for the adapter are the biggest problem for their target audience.. :’) Right?
And to top it off, they find SD cart slots to be ‘too bulky‘, because having all these adapters sticking out is soo much cleaner..