Today apple had a big conference about some of their new and upcoming products and I a bit saddened by it. Not because it was disappointing but because it was everything that I expected.
I use to like Apple products a lot, the original iPod were great and I will admit that the original iPhone was quite revolutionary. But things have changed quite a bit. I don’t think that Apple has released any truly revolutionary product since the iPod touch. One could argue that the iPad was a game changer but I disagree for one simple reason: the iPad is nothing more than a glorified oversized iPod. Sure the screen is bigger but that is about it, there nothing your iPod cannot do that your iPad can (other making you look like an idiot when you take pictures with it). Even the Macbook air is simply Apple’s entry in an already exist trend of Netbooks.
The main problem I have with Apple these days is their attempt at streamlining everything beyond stupidity. If you look at older operating system like Windows Xp, some menus and setting panels could be confusing for the average, non-techie user and Apple’s OSX was much simpler to understand and use. But now they are so streamlined that advanced options and technical information are disappearing. Last spring I downloaded the update app thingy to upgrade my system to the ‘Mountain Lion’ version but it would not work. There was a window where you are supposed to select what hard drive the operating system needs to be installed on, which should be easy considering my computer has only one hard drive. However, My hard drive was not recognize by the updater. All it said was “You can’t use this drive for the install”. I tried rebooting my system, re-downloading the update, but nothing worked. There was something wrong with my computer but it refused to tell me what it was…
I ended up bring my computer to one of the genius bar thinking that they might be able to access some hidden option or something and fix the issue. Turns out, no, they had no idea why it would work and, no, there are no hidden option/configurations. The only way my system would upgrade was after a clean swipe of my hard drive. Great job Apple…
Somewhat more recently, I noticed some applications were uninstalled from my iPod when I synchronized with my itunes. I went to the apps tab in itunes and set those apps to be installed when I sync my device. Plugged my iPod and let it sync. The apps had not installed and were were unchecked in the list of installed/synched apps on my iPod. There were no error message what so ever to tell me why those apps were not installing! Nothing! Turns out the newer version of those apps were incompatible with my old iPod which runs on an older version of IOS… Why won’t you tell me that!?
There are also a lot of smaller things like: You can’t use a custom ringtone on your iPhone/iPod (only the ones you can buy on itunes), there are few personalization options for your devices, they hide the application and configuration folders on you computer, can’t receive files via bluetooth from a windows computer even though you could send files to one… You get the idea.
Now onto the actual press conference. I did not watch it live but I have read several article on it but I have a good idea of what Apple had announced. It seems that Apple’s motto is now “Form over Function” and it pretty obvious.
They announced a new macbook air. It lighter and thinner that the previous version and it batteries are supposed to last longer than before (doubtful about that last claim but whatever). More importantly: it has only one port. A single USB 3.0 type C port For charging the battery, video output and accessories… How stupid is that? Well as long as you decide to charge your computer, you can’t connect your iPhone for example, or use a USB mouse. If you want to do a presentation, you have to run your computer on battery, which I can tell from my personal and professional experience is a terrible idea
! Also their is no headphone port. If you want to listen to music, everyone else will also listen to your music. This is incredibly stupid! Edit: turns out this was false! There is an audio port. I guess people on Twitter were lying to me…
Finally, as far as i could tell from the picture posted of the internal components of the computer, there does not seem to be any fans to keep the computer from overheating (not that previous generation of macbook could do that anyways). Chances are, if you push the computer too much, it will overheat and become slow as sloth.
Oh, and it’s gold…. Great to look at, inconvenient to use at best. For 500$ less you can get a Windows 8 tablet that has more power and features than the new MacBooks. It is a real shame.
And then there is the Apple watch. I don’t have much to say about other than it is completely useless. The thing is that you can’t use the apple watch by itself, like most current smartwatches, you need an iPhone 5 or 6 to use it. Even then, it is nothing more than an extension of your phone. The only difference it make is that you don’t have to reach and hold your phone for some basic tasks. The battery life is a shameful 4 hours which means that you have to carry the bulky looking charging pod/cable/adapter thingy all the time. On paper, it is a terrible product and if one look at how the current market of smartwatches, it fair to assume it would fail like all the others.
There is single reason why it will not fail though: Because Apple made it.
It does not matter if it is better or worse than any of its competitor or how many glaring design flaws it has. People will buy because it is an Apple product. It not because it works but because it looks good. Form over Function. Apple has become the Lamborghini of tech devices: they look good and everyone wants one but they are expansive and mostly impractical.
Ps: This post is full of typos. Sorry, my dyslexia and spelling things correctly are not friends…