Fundamental Trans/Re-gressions

Apple: It just works (used to)I’ve whined before about Apple, Inc.‘s fundamental trans/re-gressions. But now, I’m beginning to read others who are willing to publicly express their concerns as well.

Apple’s hardware today is amazing — it has never been better. But the software quality has fallen so much in the last few years that I’m deeply concerned for its future. I’m typing this on a computer whose existence I didn’t even think would be possible yet, but it runs an OS with embarrassing bugs and fundamental regressions. Just a few years ago, we would have relentlessly made fun of Windows users for these same bugs on their inferior OS, but we can’t talk anymore.”

Source: Apple Has Lost The Functional High Ground by programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast: Marco Arment

For me, it’s not just the operating system, that now, on the desktops and laptops, takes forever to load and is bloated with stuff I could care less about, it’s also their work-a-day software: Pages, Keynote, Safari, iTunes, and Final Cut X. (I never used Numbers.) In an apparent effort to make Pages and Keynote run on all devices, they have gutted features I depended on every time I use the software. I suppose this is regression to the lowest common denominator for the iOS microprocessor. Give me my desktop class software performance back! I could care less about trying to desktop publish on a screen the size of pin head!

I still use the old version of Pages because I want the features deleted from the current versions, but on the latest OS, the program is a buggy nightmare.

Final Cut X slays me. It has all kinds of weirdness from bizarre, yet required, conventions of use, to slow, slow, slow performance on Apple’s fastest hardware. The last version of FCP Studio worked!

Tried to make a copyright compliant screenshot or screen capture a brief video segment on your desktop? Welcome to the gray copy protection screen. I have to use an older system that stills allows this basic, legal functionality.

Even Safari constantly weirds out: unbearably slow or non-responsive scrolling windows. When I type a WP blog post with a few browser windows open in the background, I have to keep my fingers crossed the display of my typing won’t start to lag significantly behind my fingers. If I relaunch the browser, I regain normal performance for a while.

iTunes has become a complete, bloated nightmare. Family Share, which we use all the time in this house, just poof—went away. The streaming music service, in which I have no interest as Apple is much too late to this service, is getting poor reviews for its poorly thought-out functionality (or lack of).

And I don’t want to even get started complaining about how much I hate the new minimal UI—mainly on the iOS devices. I grow endlessly frustrated with “where did it go? It used to be obvious, and now I can’t find it. Oh, I have to touch the title to give it a rating?! That’s just insanely non-intuitive!!!” And this is just one example.

While I am not a programmer, I do push hardware to its limits. I push software to its limits as well. I have grown immensely frustrated with Apple’s regression to the mean user, lowest common denominator processor, and inattention to those “power users” who have stood by their product line when it wasn’t cool to do so, who grew to depend on “it just works.” I’m with Marco: Apple needs to refocus, slow down, and issue software that is truly intuitive and works reliably without serious fundamental regressions.

I know some of my readers think I now give Apple a hard time, but I once used their products when they were much better than this! They are not giving us their best, and their best is what they have taught us to expect from them.