It just sucks!

It’s official! Apple now sucks. This is coming from the perspective of a software engineer with 15 years of experience. I have been a geek since I was a kid, and have used technology from many vendors over the years. Apple once made great products, but I think they have peaked and are in decline. I believe in their rush to become the consumer technology juggernaut, quality has been pushed to the wayside. Indeed, many an Apple geek will agree, they are no longer concerned about power users. They want to sell consumer electronics by focusing on design and marketing, more than software quality. By quality, I am referring to the software. Their hardware is still some of the best you can find, and a good value.

First I bought an iPod. Even though it needed to be constantly tethered to my PC to accomplish tasks as simple as deleting the on-the-go playlist, I liked the build quality and innovative click wheel. From there, I bought a Mac Pro, lured by the many Java EE developers who moved to the Unix environment of OS X. Indeed, if most Java EE applications are deployed on Unix or Linux, the POSIX environment of Mac OS X did make for smoother transitions to production.

I can’t say it was love at first use. I ordered way more computer than I needed, but that was because I was used to Windows. Windows is a resource hog. A Mac with equivalent hardware is faster than a PC. Now this gap has narrowed, but it is still true. I am not the only one who has noticed this. Popular mechanics wrote about this, and updated it. OS X performs better than Windows… but the gap has narrowed.

As someone who has used Windows for about 20 years, and Mac OS X for about 3 years, I can’t say one is better than the other. They’re different. Mac OS X has a very slick user interface, but is it necessary? The only reason I would recommend a Mac is if you need a POSIX environment for work and want a consumer OS too. This can also be accomplished by dual booting to Windows or Ubuntu. Maybe you like the simplicity of the iLife software suite, where you can make music, edit photos, and make movies with simple, consumer-oriented software. If so, maybe the Mac is a better choice. In terms of professional audio-visual creation, both platforms work well. There are Grammy winning audio engineers, like Elliot Scheiner, who use Windows in their studio, not a Mac.

Many audio engineers are dedicated to the Mac platform. I used to record music on a Windows PC, and it got the job done. It looks like Grammy winning audio engineers and producers can also get professional results with Windows systems. Indeed, Microsoft had a 64-bit operating system before Apple.

If you watch the documentary Objectified (about industrial design), you will see designers using Windows systems. Yes, even on a documentary that seems almost like an Apple commercial. Indeed, Apple’s hardware is where they shine. It is beautiful, robust, and state of the art. There are people who buy a Mac, wipe out OS X, and install Windows. They know it is great hardware, and if you want a well-built Windows PC, they cost as much as a Mac. Windows gives people the option to buy a $200 computer which can get the job done. In many ways, this is more “democratic” than Apple, regardless of the notion that they are the leaders in democratic design. I even think if Apple gave people the option to have Windows pre-installed on a Mac, they would sell like hotcakes.

This is why I bought my Mac Pro. Macs aren’t really more expensive than Windows PCs. If you look at the specs, in detail, and try to find an equivalent Windows system, they cost about as much. I looked at DELL desktops that had quad-core processors, 1066 mhz bus speed (bus speed is very important!!!), fast hard drives, etc. They cost a few hundred bucks less than a Mac Pro, but came in the same old plastic box. When you open it up, it has wires all over the place like C3-PO’s belly. For a few hundred bucks more, I got something built like a tank. I accidentally kicked my Mac Pro with bare feet, and it didn’t move the system, but ripped off my toenail instead. Open up a Mac Pro, and it truly is a thing of beauty. You can install a hard drive in 2 minutes. You just screw on the railings and plug it in like a cartridge. You don’t even need to take off the case — it has a removable side panel. The Mac Pro is dead quiet — you cannot hear the fan. It is almost too well designed. When I first got it, I couldn’t figure out how to eject the “super drive” (uh, Apple, it’s an optical drive) because there were no buttons on it. The drive and the empty slot look the same! Then I saw the eject button on the keyboard. Great, because you used to have to drag the optical drive icon to the trash to eject (makes no sense, poor usability).

Jon Ive and Bob Mansfield are the true geniuses at Apple. It really is the hardware that sets them apart. No one else could make an iPod, iPhone, iMac, Mac Pro, or iPad.   Volunteers can jail break iOS and offer innovations that Apple didn’t think of. Apple software is not that impressive. The one saving grace is that it used to be more stable than Windows, but that has changed recently. Apple has become worse, and Microsoft has become better. In my opinion, there is no excuse for sloppy software from Apple. They have finite systems to test. That’s supposed to be the advantage of making both the hardware and software. Their testers should not have any surprises. Apple software also narrows down use cases. They limit how you can interact with the software. Compared to Windows, you can only do things a few ways on a Mac. They *should* have much better quality than the Microsoft Windows camp, but this is no longer true. Apple used to be like Honda, but now they are like Toyota. In their quest to be number one, they have made quality a lesser priority. That’s why you pay extra for Apple products — quality. The hardware is still top-notch, but the software… IT JUST SUCKS!

Windows and Mac OS X can do pretty much the same thing, even producing music in high-end studios. Macs come with more software pre-installed and ready to go. You get what you pay for. Windows allows people, who don’t want GarageBand, iMovie, or iPhoto, to just get a system and install what they want. Indeed, there are many Windows systems that ship with Microsoft Office and other software pre-installed. It’s a matter of choice. For the Java or Ruby developer, Mac OS X is better than Windows, but so is Linux. Linux is free too. If you want to develop iOS apps, Xcode only works on Macs, but Apcelerator, Rhomobile and other app generators work on PCs.

There are not many differences between a Mac and a PC right now. They both run on Intel processors (though with Windows you can run on AMD). You can install Windows on a Mac. There are some hacks to install OS X on basic Intel based systems. Microsoft Office works on both. They have converged, so it is more a matter of personal preference and taste. I think, if you can afford it, it is best to get both. That way, you don’t look like an idiot if you have to use a Mac at work, and you have never touched one before… It does take about a week to get used to using a Mac. I hated it, but now I think features like Mission Control offer much more agility when operating a computer. The gestures introduced in Lion make using a Mac even easier. I have to admit, though, the pointer can often get a bit jerky with some applications, and I have a very powerful Mac.

Indeed, in some ways Windows is superior to the Mac. I admit it — I have some degree of Windows 7 envy. In my next article, I will write about the iPad fad, how I fell for it, and my buyer’s remorse.

Over the course of this blog, I will post the truth about Apple products. I feel technology has succumbed to punditry. The debate is too polemical. There are too many fanboys each distorting the facts, making it difficult for consumers to make a decision. I would like to disclose that most of my technology is from Apple. I have a 2009 quad-core Mac Pro, an iPhone 4, an iPad 2, an Apple TV 2, and an Airport Extreme wi-fi router. In addition, I have an old DELL laptop running CentOS (Linux) as well as an Asus netbook (remember that fad?) running Ubuntu for netbooks.

My main contention in this blog is that Apple quality is slipping and others are catching up. Some are surpassing Apple.

UPDATE:
I wrote this article back when iOS 5 launched, along with an upgrade to Apple TV that was quite buggy. AirPlay would continually crash. I was very upset, and rightfully so. I had invested about $800 in Apple products so I could cut the cord. For a few months, this dream became a dystopia.

Apple fixed all of these issues by the time iOS 6 was released. Since this article was written, Apple’s quality has improved. The Apple ecosystem of products work well together, with minimal defects. Their products are not perfect, but I think they’re better than the alternatives. Apple seems to be establishing itself as the high-end of the tech market, while keeping prices surprisingly competitive. They do this by creating a limited number of products, so as to benefit from economies of scale. Basically, if you have fewer models and mass produce them, the overall cost decreases. This is why they don’t have 20 models of iPhones, all with different sizes.

I’m still keeping my eye on Apple. This site is quite candid about flaws in their products, but in a productive way. The rest of the blogosphere is taking a big dump on Apple, offering no solutions. Since this first post, I have changed course and decided to create a site that is useful and helpful, and not just another Apple-bashing site. OK, there will be some Apple-bashing along with Apple-praising and plenty of useful tips and how-to articles.



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45 thoughts on “It just sucks!

  1. I agree 100% with everything you have said. I have been in the IT industry for going on twenty five years now and have never even considered buying a MAC. I recently fell victim to the marketing machine of Apple. I wanted to finally see what a linux distro could be if it had the financial and technology resources that Apple had to offer. Well I am thoroughly disappointed in my choice. I just can’t bring myself to uninstall OSX just yet but the time is drawing near. I just can’t decide weather I want to install a Microsoft product or go with my old faithful linux platforms. The lack of usable software just boggles my mind.

    • Ubuntu is really impressive these days. If it continues, I may ditch OS X and move. As a Ruby on Rails developer, Windows is not an option. It can be done, but it’s more difficult to setup up the environment, and production environments for Rails are never Windows based. Even when I was doing Java EE, I found Windows to be a terrible dev environment. Our product had over a million of lines of code, and Eclipse on Windows didn’t work out so well. Windows is great for office workers, middle managers, and gamers. I doubt I will ever use a Windows system again. The writing is on the wall, and Windows 8 seems to be floundering. Good riddance!

      • you are not proeffsional.
        Everyone in university and over the Internet, including my own user expirience, agreed that web developing on OSX with Netbeans and Eclipse totaly sucks.

        Windows and Linux are way supperior to OSX

        • I never mentioned Netbeans. I worked on java ee for a Fortune 500 company. Eclipse is not locked in to using Netbeans, it is a versatile IDE. That said, java ee has had its day. I don’t use Eclipse anymore.

          Thanks for your opinion. Are you sure everyone on the Internet agrees with you? In the Silicon Valley, most web developers, and developers in general, are using OS X.

          • Technology has proved to be an evil thing.Plundering, destruction of Earth, enslavement for the majority for the few.Created in a “wizard of oz” climate by Tin Man types bewitched to believe brains without hearts=success.Damage done.Steve Jobs death as well as other tech stars reveals hatred. “If they only had a heart.”

      • I have not bothered to read anything but the header. APPLE SUCkS!!! I have an iPhone 4S that was on 6.1.3 it was great. Speed good , apps not so good but hey it’s a phone and a work tool not a gaming toy!. I upgraded to 8.1.1 and man am I p.($3d off .. Other than the problems of speed and wverything else I have just found that if I am charging the damn thing on my desk top my wifi printer does not print !!!!! Unplug it and hey presto printer works fine as designed ..,
        Apple only want you to buy their latest phone Can anyone recommend a good phone ? that’s not an Apple!!!

      • I remember when I got my first iPhone, it was the 3GS, and it was very fast on the Internet. That was until they brought out the iPhone 4 and then the iPad. As soon as they came out, the customers with existing iPhones got screwed. AT&T and Apple intentionally slowed down our internet browsing, and tried to force us to buy a new iPhone. Total greed. Apple is much worse than Microsoft ever was.

        • I didn’t know that. I’m weary of AT&T. In fact, I didn’t get an iPhone until Verizon offered the iPhone 4. All of my dealings with AT&T have eroded my trust of the corporation. I just tried their DIRECTV NOW service and it’s not very good at all. My hunch would be that AT&T was more of the culprit. I’ve never seen them do that with any Verizon iPhone I have owned. I still own my iPhone 4 and I have an iPhone 6 now too. The iPhone 4 is still reasonably fast.

          I’ve found Apple to be pretty fair to me as a customer. My Mac Pro is over 7 years old, and I’m using it right now. It’s still fast. I still have an iPad 2 and use it every day. I have no qualms with paying a little more for an Apple product. I know it will have a long and useful life.

          I haven’t heard about this problem with Apple and AT&T colluding to slow down the iPhone 3GS. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  2. I find your statements baseless.

    As I am not a fan of Windows/Micro$oft and am all for open-source software which Apple exploits to the extreme. Windows can run multiple folds faster than Mac, the hardware commonly bundled with a Mac is usually utterly rubbish with some horrible Intel video or really low end nvidia graphics. But from a software perspective it’s extraordinarily bloated, although helped due to the better design of FreeBSD which Apple is making a mockery of.

    With Windows a fully optimized system runs rings around mac, in application performance and especially gaming. All I ever remember about Mac’s are the sluggish graphics, huge application hangs and failure to get playable frame rates.

    I am a avid Linux user who likes features, customization and light weight environments, adjustable to the tasks at hand. Making software readily available and setup easily. Linux is by far the best OS I have used, I just can’t wait for the Weston compositor to kick X out of the way and bring Linux into a new age of graphic rendering superiority. Those two OS’s have nothing on this. Infact nearly all the free software available are ports from FreeBSD/Linux due to the similarities in a *nix environment.

    Apple filesystems are utter trash, and god no do I trust it with my partition tables. It’s corrupted them a couple of times. Also the lack of customization and complete daftness of many systems leaves it only in the realm of being a touch worse than Windows. I know 3 people with MacBooks who play on our gameserver, each want to get a PC desktop as they really dislike their slow and utterly useless systems.

    • Thanks for your input. Check out my link to the Popular Mechanics article with data on Mac OS X vs. Windows performance. I find that even a Mac Mini boots, launches and runs comparable apps faster than Windows. If you have data on this, please post it.

      OS X uses the HFS+ file system. It’s better than NTFS. It doesn’t need to be defragmented, which is the claim Microsoft made about NTFS, which proved to be false. It goes to show that they don’t even know details about their file system. Microsoft purchased NTFS from Novell. In rare cases, HFS+ can benefit from defragmentation, only in situations with excessively large files, such as in video production. On two occasions, I have unplugged my Mac while the disks were running, with no consequence, thanks to journaling. Having done this with Windows, I ended up having to resinstall and lost a lot of data. Before the affordable UPS, power outages were a disaster with Windows.

      Linux is a great OS for servers. It is 2/3 of the server market. I have two Linux machines. It’s not great as a personal computer OS or for pro A/V. You can’t run ProTools, AVID, or Final Cut Pro on Linux. That’s one reason I bought a Mac. With a Mac one gets the best of both worlds — a Unix environment and a consumer friendly personal computer. I can wrestle with Windows or Linux config, but it is a waste of time.

      I am a software developer. Having suffered with Windows chugging and crashing on large java ee Eclipse projects, this is not the case with a Mac. Ruby on Rails dev is also better on a Mac, as the env is pretty much the same as production. Linux is also great for Rails and java ee. In the Silicon Valley, most software developers are using Macs. Of course, if you want to develop for iOS, you must use a Mac. When I was at a Windows shop, my colleagues and I lost a lot of time and work because of Windows. Indeed, Silicon Valley companies are giving developers Macs because it saves money in the long run. Developers are simply more productive. I know people who work on Android at a leading phone manufacturer, and they use Macs. Some companies offer users a choice, and developers overwhelmingly choose the Mac.

      Having used all forms of Windows for 25 years, even the server versions, I’m still very happy with my Mac. In four years of use, I haven’t had one serious problem. We seem to have different uses. I am a software developer, but I also record music as a hobby. I don’t play video games, so I can’t speak to that.

      It’s great that you are happy with Linux and enjoy games on Windows. If you get a chance, please post some data that demonstrates Windows is faster than OS X on comparable hardware. Perhaps this is something I have overlooked. The Popular Mechanics articles and my own experience prove otherwise.

  3. What Bout the new Apple TV update that is crashing people’s units ? I (accidentally) updated and it froze, apparently now my only option is to buy a $25 cord, or to make a “reservation” at an inconvenient time in an inconvenient place. It was great while it worked but this degree of willingness to work over a customer is the sole reason for most of the backlash that they are deservedly receiving. Absolutely finished with them which is unfortunate as they did make a good phone.

    • Yeah… I wrote about that and informed people to upgrade after that issue was resolved. They fixed it very quickly. That said, in my research, the vast majority of users didn’t brick their Apple TV’s with the upgrade.

      You can get a micro USB to USB cable for $3. Check out Google Shopping or Amazon. That’s the cable you need. It’s pretty easy to fix an Apple TV. I’m going to write up an article about it soon. Basically, you plug it into your computer, start iTunes, and restore the device.

      I’d try fixing it yourself. I absolutely loathe the Apple Store. Especially where I live, in the Silly Con Valley, the people who work there are so obnoxious and arrogant. It’s much easier to do it yourself, and the $3 (not $25) for the cable will cost less than gas and the time involved.

      I went to the Apple store once. I called them, and they agreed to service my Mac. I brought it in and they reneged on what they promised. I can’t fault Apple for this. The staff “huddled” and came to this decision on their own, as if I had never called and arranged for it to be serviced!!! They’re like Oompa-Loompas with their blue shirts and their huddling. Obnoxious!!! Geniuses? Ha!

      Apple could provide better direction for their staff, so they don’t make these bad decisions. If someone buys a $2500 Mac Pro, they should be treated with a modicum of respect. I dragged my huge, heavy Mac Pro down there. I got over it. I’m not going to buy a crummy Windows machine, like a Dell or something, because the people at the Apple Store upset me. In the end, while the Apple Store experience upset me, the alternative was worse — getting a Windows machine, perhaps installing Ubuntu on it. In my case, most developers doing Java EE or Rails use a Mac. Developing Rails on Windows can be done, but it’s a pain. Rails is really meant for the *nix environments. OS X gives me the best of both worlds — unix and the ability to run consumer apps (watch Netflix, use iTunes, etc.)

      Anyway, good luck with your Apple TV. There are alternatives such as Roku, Chromecast, etc. But since you can fix it for $3, that’s probably the best option. I guess I am a little less rattled by having to McGyver things, as I have been developing and trouble-shooting enterprise systems for years. Perhaps I forget that fixing an Apple TV would be fun for me. For most people, it is an unwelcome pain…

  4. Apple sucks worse than ever now. My Retina is crashy as hell, prices are through the roof and updates and upgrades are brutally forced.

    IPhone is trash, the kids barely use the ipad now and are all on android devices by their choice, and the jailbreakiing trash means I dont even own this device, and they constantly try and break how I like to use it.

    Apple is a stupid scam.

    • Sounds like Android is a good choice for you. I still prefer iOS and Apple products. I use my iPad for media creation, as well as gaming. If I valued customization, I would go for Android. Android is a great choice for many people. I get my share of truly open and customizable computing with Linux.

      I’m not so sure about your claim that your “Retina” is “crashy”. My iPhone and iPad are rock solid and don’t crash. Which apps are crashing on you all the time? I don’t get crashes, even when I am using media creation apps like GarageBand.

  5. Apple sucks big time. Stupid apps are littered with in app purchases. No matter where my 4 year old kid clicks he is getting these g*d*mned annoying popups. Juts criminal. Government should take action.

  6. the user experience at boot, if there is a problem, like fs needs to be checked or similar is so awful. absolutely horrible! c’mon apple, learn some stuff from linux, give me some f****n feedback. showing me an apple logo for 5-10 full minutes with no other user progress UI hooks is just f****n stupid. Admittedly, this happens rarely, but the fact that you deem the user so unworthy of progress appraisal make me question your whole boot, load, run paradigm. Apple is better than this, why they have chosen to start excluding the user from involvement in the progress, and establishment of the silly bsd boot process is beyond me. Apple has begun to subscribe the the “user is the last to know” paradigm, a symptom of the “i-am-so-much-smarter-than-you-that-i-cant-justify-taking-the-time-to-show-you-even-a-progress-bar” software development paradigm. I am, in order of precedence, not surprised, as apple devs have been thinking this for a decade, not terribly upset, because I wouldn’t use an Apple OS for my server or mission-critical services without a million-dollar-indemnification insurance policy, and maybe not then, and finally, because, most users are sheeple, apple-sheeple, and I am not. Just saying…

  7. Apple could sway my thinking, at least a lttle, by doing one thing, make xcode run on “any” OS, why must i purchase a silly osx mac just to develop against iOS incudes? I will tell you why, cause Apple is lazy, and s****y, and great and fabulous, all at the same time. Apple, decide. be the thing that we all hoped you would be, or f**k-off, your choice.

  8. I completely agree. Imagine this: I moved to another country recently. I have a new credit card from the local bank. Apple will not allow me to add this credit card to my account, because it is not coming from my former home country. I cannot change my country because I have an active iTunes Match that I would have to cancel first. Guess what, you cannot cancel iTunes Match, you can only select to not renew it! As a result: I will not be able to make any purchases from Apple for the next 8 months, because this is when my iTunes Match subscription ends and this is when I can change my country.
    This sucks soooooo much, that I can only laugh. I am so glad I have bought a new Surface Pro 3. Less apps, but also much less controlled by the dark side of the force.

  9. Well, just as an update for 2015, let me tell you that Apple, with iOS 8, sucks real, real bad now.

    I’m roughly from the same background as you, and so I know it’s not my stupidity.

    Airdrop? Maybe works 5% of the time. Snappiness? My original iPad Mini has become close to unusable since iOS 8. Stability? Mail app crashes to the Springboard while composing. Siri? Can’t turn on the Flashlight. Transferring a photo album between two iOS devices without going through the Internet or a Wifi router? Seems outright impossible.

    I’m seriously looking at buying my first Android device shortly. (diehard Apple fanboy since 2011)

    • I don’t think iOS 8 is as bad as iOS 7 or 5. I haven’t had any app crashes in months. The first month I had a few. iOS 7 had crashes for 6 months, mostly with Apple’s own apps. There weren’t a lot of crashes when compared to other operating systems (mobile and desktop) that I have used. I don’t lose work from crashes. I re-launch the app, and everything is back.

      I have an iPad 2 (not an Air, but an original that is 4 years old). I am running iOS 8.2 on it. It runs quite well — I even play video games on it. It’s not as fast as my iPhone 6, but it is, after all, 4 years old. What other company even supports a device that is 4 years old?

      Most of the people I know, personally and online, aren’t having these issues. How much free space do you have on your iPad Mini?

      I wrote this article way back when iOS 5 came out. That was horrible. iOS 7 was a bit dodgy. iOS 8 had some serious problems for the first two months, but then they fixed them. They are promising iOS 9 will focus more on quality. They are not going to cram in as many features as with iOS 8.

      Most of the problems I have are due to my Internet connection. I can’t blame that on Apple. If you look at customer satisfaction, they lead the industry. They’re not perfect, but better than the competition.

  10. Well, I think I have about 16 of 32 GB free, but these problems aren’t really explainable with lack of disk space.

    Almost all animations are choppy as hell. Buttons need seconds to respond to taps. Continuity? “Call using iPhone failed” (tried everything under the sun to fix it: Sign out and back in to iCloud on all devices, etc.). No luck. Sometimes, trying to call from my iPad using my iPhone will just fade the screen briefly out and back in with no error message whatsoever. Or it will display the callee’s name twice.

    This is all on iOS 8.2. I admit I’m an extreme power user and have high expectations, but almost all of these were still being fulfilled on iOS 4 😉

    Anyway, maybe on Android, things are even worse. I guess I’ll see 🙂

    • It seems like all of these problems you have are due to WiFi issues. That may explain why most users are not facing these issues. I used to have WiFi oriented problems with my iPad and Mac, because I was using a junky router. I bought an AirPort Extreme — no more problems.

  11. I have been getting the same issues as AlwaysComplaining and it is not a router issue. I use an iPad Retina and have no issues but when I use my iPhone 6 plus my wifi fluidity is disturbed. I get constant apps freezing for a second or two and speed tests run between both devices I constantly run at half speed with iPhone and always full speed with iPad. Apple claims they fixed the wifi issue but I am not completely sold that it is software instead of hardware. They certainly seem to be rushing from venture to venture and cheapening the Apple experience.

    • It could be a defective WiFi module. I have an iPhone 6 and get the same Speedtest results as on my Mac and iPad. It’s worth contacting Apple’s customer support about this issue.

  12. Comparing Macs to PCs are like comparing a Luxury Car to an Industrial Truck. Yes. If you compare vehicles just by its carrying capacity and horsepower, get the truck. And reduce its weight to get a overpowered dual-v8 car. 3000 horsepower. But you cant drive a truck to the hotel lobby. You need a car. This is the reason between Desktops and Laprops as well as Tablets and Phones. They have their specific uses. But you get what you pay for.

  13. your car/truck analogy does not hold up. there are many cases where a device made by apple and another device which happens to run a different operating system are equivalent in ways that a car and truck most definitely are not.

    • I personally don’t like that analogy either. It’s the one that Steve Jobs posited for the iPad vs. a computer. If we’re going with car analogies, the iPad is more like a Formula 1 race car. It’s got great specs, but it can only drive around in circles on the iOS race track. iOS is just too closed and limited to be useful for me. It’s good enough for my iPhone, but I can’t even do the basics of running this site on an iPad, let alone software development and other tasks.

      For more information on all the things that can’t be done on an iPad, check out this article.

  14. Hmm…I’ve used both Windows and Linux. I’m less than impressed with the Mac user interface.

    I don’t get why it’s a great UI decision for the menu bar for a given “app” to be at the top of the screen, instead of on the app’s window. When you’ve got lots of windows running around, it’s confusing. And things like the Mac equivalent of ALT+TAB don’t cycle through all the windows, but rather through all the apps. I need a _different_ keystroke to cycle through the windows _within_ an app. Just seems stupid. (Yes, I found a key shortcut for cycling through all the open windows, but it chokes when it gets to my Emacs window…emacs captures the keystrokes. More silliness.)

    • Linux offers a variety of user interfaces, some of which are copies of OS X, like Macbuntu and others. The UI is just the shell and can be changed.

      There’s an advantage to a top menu bar with smaller windows. All of the menu commands can be displayed regardless of window size. I also think it’s easier to see which app has the UI focus. I actually prefer it to Windows. For example, if you are using a media player with a compact view, you don’t need to expand it to access the top menu. There’s no “>>” on the menu bar to get to other options, because regardless of Window size, you see all of the menu options. I think it’s very good usability.

      There is a disadvantage. If you have multiple windows open, you need to click on the window once to focus it and display the menu bar. The last version of Windows I used (XP) had this same issue. You had to click once to focus it, and then you could access a menu item. I don’t know if this is still true. The slight advantage with Windows, in this case, is that you don’t have to reposition the cursor to access the menu.

      In my opinion, Mission Control (on OS X) is a better way to work with multiple windows. If you have a trackpad, you just swipe three fingers up and get a birds eye view of all open windows and desktops. Swiping three fingers down launches Exposé, which displays all open windows for a specific app. It must be a great feature, because Microsoft copied it in Windows 10. Not that Apple doesn’t copy a lot from others. They have become less innovative and more “me too” in the past few years.

  15. Note that I did buy my first Apple product this year, an iPad Air 2. Why? Cuz I wanted a tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio (to read PDFs), and the few Android tablets with that a.r. mostly had crappy hardware build quality. A new Samsung design came out, which I was eagerly awaiting, but they made terrible design decisions (weak CPU, extremely thin at the cost of terrible battery life).

  16. Apple’s not so good for business
    I work and manage IT for a small consultancy company that bought an iMac and iPad with a view to moving our entire computing over to Apple. We were particularly keen on the claimed well presented output that Apple publicity suggested we would get.
    In many ways we have not been disappointed but in one particular area we have been very much let down by Apple. When printing emails, especially emails with graphics anywhere in the email, OS X Mail will from time to time put a page break in the middle of a line of text, putting the top half of the line of on one page and the bottom of the line on another page (see image below)

    This problem occurs whether printing to a physical printer or to pdf. Apple Care have told us that there is no way to prevent this problem, and that we will have to wait and see if it is fixed in a future version of the program…
    We frequently are involved in contracts etc where an email trail is a key bit of information, and it is hugely frustrating and embarrassing that we cannot control the output so that the text is all readable. It appears that OSX Mail has decided that the page break will come at exactly the place the page it wants to, irrespective of whether that chops a line in half or not. Even the old dot-Matrix printer I used in the 1970’s put a line either on one page or another, but OS X Mail seems to be unable to do this.
    So, if you need to print out emails in a form that can be read and does not make you look professionally inept, think twice before choosing Apple.

    https://twitter.com/NoFixFound/status/707170649450680321

    • That doesn’t surprise me. Apple’s operating systems are great because they are rock solid and offer great performance. Their stock apps are terrible. I personally don’t use Mail on OS X, but just use Gmail in a browser. Of course, this may not be an ideal solution for everyone.

      Check out Thunderbird. It’s a popular, free email client that gets a lot of praise from its customers. I recommend alternatives to just about every stock OS X and iOS app. I still think OS X is a great operating system. iOS? It’s good for a mobile operating system, but it is far from professional.

      I have used OS X for about 7 years and have not once had a system crash. I have had a few apps crash, mainly due to Flash, but also some of Apple’s apps like iTunes and Reminders. I also don’t run any anti-virus or anti-malware software, and haven’t experienced any issues. With Windows, even anti-virus software couldn’t protect my computer from being routinely infected. This was when I worked for a Fortune 500 company that had just about every security measure in place.

      Keep in mind, you don’t have to use Apple for everything. You can install different email clients, as well as substitutes for other stock apps. The teams that develop their stock apps are staffed with mediocre developers. The teams that create OS X and iOS are cream-of-the-crop software engineers and architects. Apple isn’t a monolith. Some of their products are excellent, and others are deeply flawed. They keep their top talent working on the most critical products. In general, there is a feeling in the Valley that app developers don’t need to be very good. Companies like Apple hire average developers to create their stock apps. I also think Apple’s latent engineering process may make it difficult to find and fix defects.

      The software that comes bundled with OS X and iOS is not much better than the free software that comes with a Dell or other Windows systems.

      I also like the quality of Apple devices. I have owned a lot of Windows machines, and most of them are just so chintzy. According to Consumer Reports, even many high end Windows PCs have a lot of problems. I’m sure there are good Windows machines, but I haven’t had much luck with them. I feel like buying a Windows machine is a roll of the dice. Buying a Mac is a slam dunk.

  17. Add in the way Apple treat their customers, though: just remember the way they killed iWeb on them, huge amounts of peoples work just gone. They just suck.

    • I may have to revisit this article with an update. Since late 2014, Apple’s quality has been in decline. Besides the highly publicized flaws in iOS 9.3, the Apple TV update, tvOS 9.2, is also quite defective. Ever since iOS 8, Apple has offered users very buggy releases. If these were inexpensive products created by some fly-by-night startup, I could understand it. This is the largest corporation on the planet and they charge a premium for their products, presumably because they are of higher quality than the competition.

      I don’t know the iWeb story, but I’ll look it up. They have been doing some sneaky things lately. They pulled the plug on free iTunes radio. It now requires an Apple Music subscription. One of the top commenters on this site returned his Apple TV 4 because of this. I tried Apple Music but canceled it because it was too buggy. In the three months I used it, it seemed to get worse. My iPad 2 is continually crashing. I am lucky that I didn’t upgrade it to iOS 9.3, which seems to have bricked some older devices. I’m still using an iPad 2 because I don’t want to invest in another buggy Apple product. If I replace it, it will be with a MacBook Air, as long as they don’t ruin that too.

      For Apple to succeed, they need to create a new, breakthrough product (like the iPhone) that everyone will want to buy. Instead, they are fiddling around with the size of existing products developed when Steve Jobs was in charge. Even Apple TV 4 is just an iOS device that plugs in to your TV. The homogeneity of UIs makes some sense. But this leads me to the other problem… If Apple can’t improve their quality, they will eventually decline. The cadre of hardcore Apple fans may continue to buy their products. They are iSheep and will buy anything Apple puts out and claim it is the best thing in the world. There’s no excuse for the poor quality. They make the hardware and software, so there aren’t hundreds of configurations. A device like Apple TV is fairly simple. It’s not a general computer. It is highly specialized, less complex, and therefore should have fewer defects.

      As for the iSheep, one thing that made me laugh is the Apple Events app for tvOS. I went to the download screen and noticed it already had 85 5-star ratings after just two days in the App Store. All it does is play Apple Events. That’s the iSheep. The problem is, most people who buy an iPhone, their most popular product, are not iSheep. They own Windows PCs and watch TV with a cable box. If their iPhone is buggy, they may very well switch to another smartphone. The vast majority of Apple customers are not loyal to the company. They are not iSheep. Apple’s decline in quality could have dire consequences on their bottom line. Maybe this is what it will take for them to wake up and smell the coffee.

      Apple needs to invest more in QAT, stop cramming so many useless features into releases and fix defects. If they did that, one could honestly justify paying more for an Apple product. I am personally dismayed that I no longer have a high quality option for computers and electronics. It’s been 18 months of this bad quality, across the board, with the Mac being somewhat immune. They are not fiddling with the Mac, but it isn’t as reliable as it used to be.

  18. Windows 7 PC user: I sold AAPL [stock] recently because itunes…a key element in Apple’s ecosystem, sucks bigtime.
    I had been happily using itunes 10.7 but decided to upgrade to the current version because old software is a security risk. All I use itunes for is to download certain podcasts..I couldn’t get it to do that…couldn’t figure it out at all. Thought, maybe it’s me…so I googled “itunes sucks” and well, I’ve got a lot of company.
    My experience with itunes assures I’ll never buy an iphone or Mac. The basic Apple value proposition of, “pay a premium for ease of use and a superior ecosystem,’ is out the window if they can’t make this core element of their ecosystem work easily, intuitively. Itunes isn’t new. There are many articles, my “Itunes sucks” search turned up telling Apple that it sucks and how to fix it…and yet.
    While the world focuses on the the latest gee-whiz…perhaps the basics of the value proposition should receive a bit more attention.
    I ran across this older post when search for confirming/disconfirming views.

    • I couldn’t agree more that iTunes sucks. I don’t agree that the allure of Apple is their ecosystem. Their devices are amazing. Mac OS X is rock solid. iOS is a great for what it is — a mobile operating system. Trying to make the iPad a professional device is pointless as long as it runs this limited mobile operating system. For me, I stick with their devices and operating systems, but look elsewhere for content.

      There are numerous Podcast apps that are superior to anything Apple has to offer. iTunes is really par for the course. None of their “first party”, stock apps are very good. They are better than the trial ware one would get with a new PC. I think it’s best to look for the third party alternatives. Google, for example, makes some of the best iOS apps. I use Chrome instead of Safari, on my iPhone, iPad and Mac.

      The problem with Apple’s apps seems to be due to their size, problems attracting talent and attitude toward app development. Apple is a huge corporation. Large corporations have very complex and regimented engineering processes. These processes work well for building large projects — devices and operating systems. They’re not conducive to developing apps. I don’t know exactly what engineering process Apple uses, but it seems to be very rigid. They are unable to quickly resolve defects. Apps like the Remote app (used to control Apple TV and iTunes) are horrible and they don’t fix the bugs for years. Reminders still has a sync bug that has been a problem for 3 years.

      Apple also has difficulty attracting top talent. They do hire some talented engineers, but they are assigned to work on their top-selling products. Anyone who owns an Apple TV knows how it’s a bit neglected. Furthermore, top talent in the Valley want a lot of equity. A six figure salary is not enough. A few stock options with high strike prices are not enough. The top people in the Valley start their own companies. The next tier work at small startups. Apple simply isn’t an attractive place to work for the best and brightest.

      Given the difficulty of hiring top talent, priorities come into play. The iPhone is their most important device. Operating systems like iOS and OS X (or macOS) are also very important. These endeavors get the best engineers. iTunes, Apple TV, Apple Music and other products take a back seat to more lucrative products. iTunes has been a mediocre product for years.

      My take on all of this is to buy their devices and use their operating systems. You can install Windows on a Mac, but it’s like putting ketchup on a prime steak. I look elsewhere for apps. For example, I do not use Apple Music. I use Spotify. I tried Apple Music and it was too defective. There were 30 second audio dropouts. The search didn’t work. It didn’t work at all on my iPad 2 for about a month until they issued and update. Instead of Reminders, one can use Clear. Instead of iTunes, one can use content portals from Amazon, Google or other corporations. If you’re looking to download Podcasts, you can use gPodder or other alternatives. To me, these deficiencies only reflect on Apple’s ability to develop apps. They don’t tarnish my impression of Apple as a whole. They still make the best devices and operating systems, in my opinion.

  19. I am so upset with apple. If I could kick Tim Cook in the a** I would. Nothing works well anymore. Whenever I update anything it f***s something up and I spend enormous amounts of time trying to figure out how to fix it.

    • I agree. Apple, under Tim Cook’s leadership, is starting to let quality slip. It seems like they don’t test anything at all. Either that, or QA finds the bugs but they don’t fix them. I find that hard to believe because some of the defects are show stoppers. iOS and tvOS are the biggest culprits. OS X is still pretty good.

      There’s no excuse for this, because unlike Windows or Android, Apple only has a finite number of devices and testing possibilities. They know what the hardware is and they can test every model. Furthermore, Apple customers pay a PREMIUM PRICE and EXPECT QUALITY. If they can no longer deliver quality, customers like me may just buy another brand of computer, smartphone or TV appliance.

      I was so upset last night. My Internet connection went out, so I decided to listen to some downloaded music using AirPlay. AirPlay should work over my WiFi network (AirPort Extreme router) without an Internet connection. But every minute, the sound would cut out. It seems that my iPad was continually running some process (trying to login to the iTunes Store?) which caused the audio to cut out. AirPlay, in general, has really gone downhill since they “overhauled” it in iOS 9. They must have drastically reduced the buffer size. Gotta love a device with 64 GB of storage, but no buffer for AirPlay. If I walk in between my Apple TV and router, the audio will cut out. This never happened with my previous Apple TV 2. It’s in the same place and uses the same router. That new Apple TV has great hardware, but tvOS is really one of the worst operating systems I have ever used. Even the worst Windows PC I have owned would be more stable as a home theater PC. I find myself constantly rebooting it and there are so many quirks and defects that don’t get fixed with updates.

      Someone I know on social media says his Airport Express will have AirPlay audio drop outs when he uses his computer. It’s because they changed the networking priority for AirPlay. There’s no common sense there. If you’re playing music, it has to the priority. No one wants choppy music or multimedia just because you load a web page. DO THEY EVEN TEST THIS STUFF?!?

      I think Scott Forestall would have made a better CEO. Someone like him, or Steve Jobs, wouldn’t have tolerated these defects. The irony is that Tim Cook really went after Forestall for Maps. He was supposed to sign a letter that he acknowledged that the product was deeply flawed. It was all political, as Forestall was gunning for CEO. Tim Cook is quite tolerant of poor quality, unless it is from someone competing for the CEO position.

      Forestall would have made a better CEO. He’s an engineer. He gets it. Tim Cook is a marketing guy. He thinks he can sell anything with the right marketing. I don’t think Tim Cook even notices these problems, let alone confronts the engineers. I also have to think the engineering budget pales in comparison to marketing. Apple has become all about marketing mediocre products. They use marketing to sell flawed products as if they exhibit high quality.

      It’s a real shame, because Apple’s hardware is still quite good. The iPhone is a really well-made smartphone. Apple TV has great hardware, and that Siri Remote is amazing (albeit fragile). I still have my iPad 2, which has been hobbled by iOS 8. It’s in mint condition and the battery lasts all day. Unfortunately, it is incredibly buggy and dead slow. I got 3 years out of a $700 iPad before their iOS updates rendered it unusable. They’re doing this on purpose. They’re hobbling “older” devices so people will buy new ones. I won’t ever buy another iPad. It’s incredibly wasteful. They talk about the environment, but if people can only get 2-3 years out of an iPad, that’s not good for the environment. Some of it can be recycled, but that takes resources and energy.

      I was patient and thought iOS 8 was just a big release, so I cut them some slack for a while. iOS 9 was supposed to be better, but it really isn’t. Now they are more into boondoggles like putting stickers in iMessages. It creates a new way to make revenues by selling third party stickers. Lame, lame, lame… They forget what propelled them to being such a large company. It was the iPhone. When it launched, there was nothing else like it. It was rock solid. Remember how solid iOS 4, 6 and 7 were? I don’t think Apple will ever get back to that with Tim Cook at the helm.

      Where’s the innovation? They’ve just been fiddling with products that Steve Jobs created. They make different sizes of iPhones and iPads. They put iOS on Apple TV and call it tvOS. The Apple Watch isn’t something that hundreds of millions of people want to buy. Where’s the next killer product?

  20. Wait, Apple doesn’t offer good hardware. The 5000 dollar MacBook Pro with the 16gb ddr4 and rx 460 is beaten by the Razer Blade with i7 770hq, gtx 1060 graphics, and same amount of higher clocked ram.

    • The Razer Blade seems like a great computer, but the MacBook is lighter and more compact. It also features better battery life. Components that weigh less, take up less space and conserve power tend to cost more. Apple also includes a software suite that adds a lot of value. Their software engineers need to be paid, so it is part of the price of the computer.

      macOS is a faster operating system than Windows. You can buy an “underpowered” MacBook and it will perform just as well as a more powerful PC. I learned this the hard way. My first Mac was much more powerful than I needed, but I was thinking in terms of PC specs. Similarly, you can install Linux on a PC, and you’ll notice it’s much faster. All of the *nix operating systems are faster than Windows. macOS is a Unix operating system.

      I’ve gone through the cost analysis, and I find it hard to beat Apple when you factor everything in. Size, weight and battery life are very important aspects of a notebook computer. The MacBook is half the weight of the Razer Blade. It’s also 30% thinner. I also think the new MacBook may have a brighter display than the Razer Blade.

      Reliability is another issue. Since my first Mac, I’ve bought nothing but Apple products and they are ridiculously reliable. My Mac Pro is built like a tank. They’re obsolete before they even come close to breaking. But their obsolescence also takes a long time. Apple supports the Mac with countless operating system updates, which are free. That’s built into the price of the Mac. Even if software is intangible, developers need to be paid. Unless you pirate Windows, you’ll need to pay for that too. I hear that Windows 10 is the last version of Windows and will have free updates forever. Maybe so, but those updates may eventually hobble the computer with poor performance. Microsoft isn’t going to hand out Windows for free. They will get paid again when you buy a new PC, because the last one was hobbled by a Windows update. They’re experts at planned obsolescence. OS X and macOS are the only operating systems that I have used where newer versions actually perform BETTER on the SAME hardware. Every Windows computer I have owned has been very unreliable. Consumer Reports found that even high end PCs are not reliable.

      I’m not an Apple fanboy. Read this site, and you will see that I am quite critical of the company. Apple hardware is peerless. Virtually every developer I know if the SF Bay Area uses a Mac. Google has over 40,000 Macs. All of these intelligent people came to the same conclusion as me.

      Of course, if one is looking for a gaming computer, the Razer Blade beats a MacBook any day. Even though Apple has brought their Metal graphics API to macOS, game developers are still shying away from the Mac. Macs actually have excellent gaming performance now, but without the titles, it’s academic.

  21. I am a long time OSX and Logic user. Apple is not able to fix major bugs since they bought Logic from Emagic. But they charge full money for every major update from their long time customers. Logic 10 has some cool features, do I need them? For example Reaper you just write a note at the forum and a few days later the bug is gone. Its away, you never see it again. In other words I don’t care about the name – a so called pro application. What is this? The damn software just should work every single day without making trouble. I need to compose music because I earn money with it. If they still cant fix that sample rate error thing and the automation bugs… its not a pro application. Its a JOKE for 229$. I am on the jump to Reaper and the next thing will be to leave OSX as well…. sorry Apple after 20 years my heart for your greedy company is broken. If money is the only thing that drives you and you software quality sucks… can you see the problem Tim?

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