What comes first? The chicken or the egg?



Don’t you just LOVE nonsensical phrases? Especially when it comes to tech. I mean, what could eggs and chicken and the order in which they appeared in nature have to do with technology outside of a certain Colonel’s automated deep fryer? Well my little chickadees, I’m here to tell you and it won’t be pretty.

My my, Apple’s sure rolling in it these days. Lots of sales, lots of customers trying their devices for the first time, no bugs in their software…wait, I’m just kidding about that last part. In fact there’s LOTS of bugs in Apple’s henhouse (tired of the chicken metaphor yet?) and lots of true Apple believers talking about it. In the old days when nearly any story about Apple began with, “The beleaguered computer company Apple…”, many Apple pundits took a long term view toward problems with Apple’s software. Not so much anymore. Is it because there’s more problems, more people willing to talk about them, or less satisfaction with the status quo? I think it’s all three and that’s a disturbing trend.

Problems with WiFi, and BlueTooth. Problems with Mail, Safari, and Notification Center. Problems with external drive connectivity. That’s just in Yosemite. Problems for years with iTunes (that bloated sack). Problems with iOS 8, so many that it might take ANOTHER article just to go through them (not to worry, I won’t do that to you). Problems, problems, problems. So what can we do? Well, really not much other than wait for Apple to resolve them. Not exactly the most satisfying answer, but really other than NOT buying new Apple gear, there’s not much else we can do.

Alright so now I’ve spent nearly 300 words telling you what you already probably know when what many want is the solution to all this madness. Since I do understand a thing or two about madness, I’ll give you my take on all this.

Step 1: Stop updating OS X with whiz bang (to Apple anyway) new features until the whiz bang new features from the last OS are mostly resolved. Yes thanks for taking out all the skeuomorphic elements from the OS as I don’t think it really added anything beyond “Wow, computer generated Corinthian Leather” to my workflow. However I could have withstood it for another year if those same engineers and programmers had just worked on making the basic stuff work on the computers they said it would work on.

Step 2: Stop updating iOS until what you already have works like you said it would. Continuity, schmontinuity, how about a few less connectivity bugs. How about Siri figuring out what I’m saying instead of the weird (though occasionally funny, or better that what I probably wanted) stuff she spits out when using voice instead of the keyboard. How about my battery lasting for a full day under regular use? I should note that I’m still on a 5S and not the giganto-6/6+. Yes, I’m extremely jealous of those with a 6.

Step 3: Stop trying to make OS X more like iOS. These are two different platforms with two pretty much different use cases (mostly), and two different user interfaces. I get that many, myself included, like to share data between these devices, but I would rather have iOS act more like OS X than the other way around. PLEASE give me an easier way to find documents than 3rd party apps or “the cloud”. Let me then open those documents in the application of my choice (as long as it’s compatible).

Step 4: An iPad really is all the computer most people need. And yes to all those who look down on it as simply a consumption device I say, you’ve never really tried anything beyond that. I’ve recorded multi-track podcasts, edited video, edited and created graphics on mine (a 3rd gen) and once you know your way around, it’s an amazing device. However with a simplified interface, there also comes the dreaded, “I CAN’T FIND WHAT I NEED TO DO WITH “X””. Look we know it’s coming. Just add multi-user support and stop selling units with only 16GB of RAM. Add some default folders that developers can point their documents to. And do it in a way that doesn’t require being connected to the internet.

Step 5: Fix freaking iCloud already! Get Pages, Numbers, and Keynote out of beta like they’ve been for a loooooong time now. Google has managed it with their online suite with God knows how many different OS’es (OS’s?) and browsers. Have the stand-alone versions work better in OS X even if they’re not 100% feature compatible (just take those features away in the desktop version and be done with it) and sync to iCloud later once my device reconnects whether it’s an iOS or OS X device. If for some weird reason there are inconsistencies between the two (maybe two different devices made edits before connecting), show me and let me decide how to reconcile them.

Step 6: iTunes is a steaming pile of bear droppings that fell into the ocean and was covered with whale droppings. You changed the interface with version 12 and now we have to click all over the place to find our devices and media. Was there something wrong with the sidebar? Did it say something bad about your mother? I mean I get that you want to try something new, but why take away the option of using it like a lot of people prefer? These changes still haven’t resolved long standing issues so what was the point? iTunes is no longer that thing that just breaks even for Apple. It’s no longer just the gateway to content for our iThingies.It makes real money for Apple and maybe you should treat it with the respect it deserves?

Step 7: Speaking of iTunes, how about letting me access the content I paid for WITHOUT have iTunes running on the computer that has the content on it? You want to sell me a new Airport Extreme? Add an iTunes server to it that I can hang an external drive to that will allow access to legally paid for content to any connected device or computer on my network?

Step 8: AppleTV. The interface is showing it’s age and doesn’t work as well as other choices. You still have a locked in audience for as long as DRM remains on video content, but slowly people are moving away from this kind of paradigm. Also that chicklet remote? Sucks.

So what came first? The success or the changes in how Apple does business? You probably couldn’t have had one without the other. Instead of looking for that next thing, make what you have work like it should. Almost done with my rant. In closing I would say things mostly still just work, but we’re used to them working better.

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