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Apple has Jumped the Shark

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MacBook Pro keyboard -- Central Maryland (February 2014)Leica M 240 + Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH

MacBook Pro keyboard — Central Maryland (February 2014)
Leica M 240 + Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH

This began as an email to my father about the upcoming Windows 10 operating system from Microsoft.  It evolved into so much more of a detailed response to him that I figured a larger audience might be interested in reading and commenting about it.  So I decided to post it here.

Before anyone begins to flame me for this, let me offer up the following:

  • I created my first graphics program on an Apple II Plus during design school in 1981.
  • I have used and/or supported Apple computers in the work and/or home environment most of the time since then, including some 15,000 of them while I worked in the corporate IT department of Gannett (parent company of USA Today) and 1,000+ of them where I work as IT support now.
  • I have used and/or supported personal computers running Microsoft and/or Apple operating systems (and Linux, to a lesser extent) for the past three decades, with 24 of those years as an IT professional.
  • I have provided detailed written analysis of hardware and software to my various employers over the years, which has been used for IT decision-making at the highest levels.

With that out-of-the-way, I’ll continue.

=====

Apple has been rather complacent since Steve Jobs began to move away from his hands-on involvement with the company, which began about a year or so before he died.  They have not come out with any “insanely great” new products since then; it’s been more like business-as-usual — with their established product lines (both hardware and software) having relatively minor tweaks and upgrades applied to them.

Is there a new “gotta have” product anywhere to be seen from Apple?  No.  I’ll share my thoughts on the current Apple product line, starting with their hardware first:

Desktops:  Their desktop line consists of several versions of an all-in-one (the iMac) and a costly high-end box with no serious expansion capabilities (the Mac Pro); the Mac Mini is an orphaned desktop product that Apple can’t decide whether to keep or kill off.  And the competition is blowing by them; have you seen the new HP Sprout? It’s wild!  And the Sprout represents just one example of the many that competitors are looking to unseat Apple with as the tech media darling.

Laptops:  Apple’s laptop line is stagnating; they have the MacBook Air, which must be replaced often due to its anemic performance; and they have the MacBook Pro, which hasn’t seen a serious refresh for several years (the 2012 MacBook Pro I have at home has the same specs as the brand new one I’m using right now at work for our Mac migrations).  And the competition has largely caught up to them; almost every laptop vendor now has a machine that looks good and can out-spec and outperform a MacBook Pro at a lower price.

iPhones:  The only “new” product is the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus.  I have a 6 Plus and am sorry I ever purchased it.  It sucks; it’s too big and the ergonomics are horrible.  I tried to take it back to the Apple Store and exchange it for a smaller iPhone 5S, but was refused.  Oh, and the vaunted camera on the iPhone 6 Plus (which is the only reason why I bought it to begin with)?  I find that it over-saturates the images it produces (especially skin tones), and some of them I can’t fix in post-production because the resulting JPGs are just too far gone.  And the competition is already surpassing them; check out the new Android and Windows phones… the iPhone interface looks antiquated and out-of-date by comparison.  Our next cell phones will not be iPhones; they will either be a Google Nexus or a Nokia Lumia.

iPads:  The latest refresh from Apple was cosmetic and without any new capabilities.  The competition is blowing by Apple with all sorts of innovation; have you seen the Microsoft Surface Pro 3?  The Surface Pro 3 (SP3) has the specs and performance of a MacBook Pro, but in the form factor of an iPad 2 (granted, the SP3 is a little larger and heavier and lacks robust video support, but still!).  The SP3 is the machine that Apple should have introduced to the world as its own years ago and represents the future of mobile computing — that’s why I put my money where my mouth is and bought one.

iPods:  Dunno about you, but it looks like Apple has forgotten about them or is about to kill the line off, as they haven’t been refreshed in a long time and the iPod Classic is now gone altogether.  Competition?  Just about any other phone or music player on the market these days.

The Apple Watch:  My perception is that it’s vaporware.  I’ve owned several of the newer electronic watches and/or health monitors and they all had one thing in common — they must be reconnected to a power source on a near daily basis or they turn into a brick.  And god forbid if you actually use them for health monitoring during long workouts; some of them actually need to suckle at the power teat mid-way through a day-long outing.  Nothing I’ve read or heard about the Apple Watch is any different from the rest of them, so I consider this product dead on arrival.

Apple TV:  We have one of the current versions, which we bought several years ago.  Any new version on the horizon?  No?  Didn’t think so.  Another example of vaporware, as far as I’m concerned.  When it comes time to replace our Apple TV, I think a Roku will probably take its place.

Now to the software:

OS X Yosemite:  What a colossal disappointment.  I’ve used and/or supported Apple products since the early 1980s, and I’ve never seen a buggier version of their operating system actually released to the hands of their customers.  How bad?  Yosemite locks up and crashes on my MacBook Pro at least once per day.  How is that even remotely possible?  Yosemite — like all the earlier versions of OS X — is based upon BSD UNIX, which is utterly rock-solid.  UNIX is so bullet-proof that machines running it are known for up-times that are years in length.  What has Apple changed in this version of OS X that can cause the operating system to lock-up, black screen, and reboot repeatedly?  OS X Yosemite — for me — is as stable as Windows 95.  Why has Apple decided to completely revamp their GUI and take it backward in functionality?  Why have they embraced so much of the social media integration into their core OS?  Stupid.  This is the first version of OS X that I cannot recommend to others; earlier versions have had their issues as well, but this is the first one that I actually consider a mistake to install.  Even worse, I think that using it in the work environment is fraught with potential security and support issues; it’s strictly oriented to the consumer market, and badly at that.

iOS 8:  The iOS user interface is seriously showing its age.  Have you seen the phone operating systems from Google and Microsoft?  Android in particular is eating Apple’s lunch, and I expect Microsoft to begin making significant headway in the marketplace with the next version of their phone operating system as well.

iTunes:  Wow.  Just… wow.  iTunes hasn’t really changed for most of the past decade, but it has been tasked to deal with more and more of the Apple media universe — music, videos, apps, podcasts, books, radio, and iPhone management.  A jack of all trades and a master of none.  What a mess.  It was great when it first came out, but I hate using it now.  These days I stream music via Spotify and just avoid iTunes altogether.

iCloud:  It’s convenient for email and iPhone backups, but little more than that.  I plan to ditch it when we have our next cell phone refresh.  There are many competitors in this space, and they are all leaving Apple in the dust.

OS X Server:  Ummm, you didn’t get the memo?  It’s dead, Jim.  As is the server version of the Mac Mini and the dedicated Xserve hardware line.  What exists now of OS X Server is just a series of apps that can be installed on top of the consumer-grade OS X Yosemite (complete with all the tightly integrated social media crap that should never be installed upon a dedicated business file server).  Stick with UNIX, Linux, or the newer versions of Windows Server product line instead, as Apple conceded the enterprise space to its competitors long ago.

Professional applications:  You know, like Aperture?  Gone.  Or in the process of being downgraded to work on an iPad.  What few professional-level applications remain are in flux, much to the chagrin of their dedicated user base.  Seriously, Apple — Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?  You were once the ONLY hardware and software solution for the creative professional in the visual arts, the science field, the medical field, or in the education field.  But now?  Your current products are just toys meant for content consumption — not for content creation.

Training and certification:  The lack of professional applications now brings up the issue of support training and certification on Apple hardware and software products for IT professionals.  Most of the classes and certifications have been killed off, at least for IT support staff that aren’t directly employed by Apple.  The only way you can get the deep level of training now is to be an actual Apple employee, then leave Apple (they pay many of their lower-level employees very poorly) and hire on elsewhere.  How do I know this?  Because that’s exactly the route my current employer took recently; most of our current Mac-oriented staff members were poached from Apple (or one company removed from Apple) specifically for their skill set.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Check out the official training classes available from Apple.  For OS X, there are only two classes — OS X Support Essentials and OS X Server Essentials.  That’s it — nothing else.  I’ve taken both of those classes and can honestly say that they are good for Tier 1 level (low-level help desk and call desk) IT staff members to attend, but they fall far short for the training needs of Tier 2 or Tier 3 level staff members.  Have you seen the list of official Microsoft classes?  It numbers in the dozens.  I rest my case.

Enterprise support:  The lack of training and certification for professional IT staff in turn brings up the issue of Apple enterprise support.  Or rather, the lack of it.  My employer is fortunate to have access to “official” Apple support in the form of an account manager and a technical engineer, both of which are eager to assist us.  But ultimately both of them are of little benefit to our organization as their standard response is to either:

  • Tell us to file a bug report for our specific problem (which Apple is notorious throughout the industry for ignoring), or:
  • Tell us that Apple is now a consumer-based mobile device company and no longer has the enterprise-level support infrastructure to aid us with our specific issue(s).

Cost:  Of course, an overview like this wouldn’t be complete without touching upon cost.  Apple has generally been known for being far more costly than the competition.  However, there was a time in the mid-2000s when Apple hardware was very cost competitive with similarly configured and spec’ed hardware from the other PC vendors like Dell, HP, and the like.  However, those days are long gone.  I recently had to replace my wife’s laptop (a five year-old MacBook Pro) and came back to her with a choice — she could have either a new $2,799 MacBook Pro with all the specs she wanted, or a new $899 Toshiba laptop from Costco that had all the same specs as the MacBook Pro, plus a touch screen.  Cindy decided the Apple tax simply wasn’t worth it anymore and chose the cheaper Toshiba computer instead.

So there you have it — my personal view detailing why Apple has jumped the shark, backed up with many years of in-the-trenches professional experience.

Thanks, Apple — you’re the best.

67 thoughts on “Apple has Jumped the Shark

  1. narble

    Yours is probably the most comprehensive and honest chronicle of the current state of Apple products I have yet to read. Thank you. When I first got my MacBook Pro, I loved it. Then, I made a terrible decision: I “upgraded” to Yosemite. Every since, the performance has deteriorated. The MS Office toolkit (where I live most often) has become stupid and slow. It took me several years to decide to move my working and personal lives to Apple. It may not take that long to move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks, Narble. Yours is not the first tale of woe I’ve heard when it comes to upgrading to Yosemite, and likely won’t be the last.

      My own experience with Yosemite is surprising, as I didn’t do an in-place upgrade. Instead, I spooled off all of my data, wiped it clean, and installed Yosemite completely from scratch. Twice. Why? Because the first install was so unstable I thought I’d done something wrong. So I proceeded to wipe it again and re-installed Yosemite a second time — with the same results.

      Keep in mind that my MacBook Pro is only two years old at this point, so there should be no reason whatsoever for Yosemite to fail or have stability problems on it.

      Like

  2. Robin S. Kent

    Hey, Mitch. That’s a pretty comprehensive indictment! Not that I have any reason to disagree with you. I’ve kept a foot in both camps since I bought my first MacBook Pro years ago (after 15-20 years in the PC environment) and ever since have had both platforms on my home network. My rationale is that I don’t trust either one. Your post came just in time to save me from transitioning to Yosemite (at least until it gets stabilized). Unfortunately, I’m not thrilled with Windows 8.1 either, but am hopeful that the new Windows 10 will be better, Now if I can just find the “Like” button around here…….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Hey, Robin — thanks! I was running a pure Windows environment at home, but bailed on Microsoft when the Vista Beta wouldn’t run on my high-end home-built desktops and servers (except for two machines that are running back-level versions of Windows to support legacy hardware that’s connected to them). Vista was so bad that we were even banned from using it at work, though that went away with Windows 7, which we rolled out pretty quickly.

      For what it’s worth, Windows 8.0 and 8.1 are also banned from work, though I’m tasked to be the lead on our team to support Windows 10 when it goes gold. In the meantime, I’m using the Windows 10 Technical Preview to type this response to you, and I have to say it looks to be the best release from Microsoft in many years. Very stable, fast, easy to use, and a blend of both Win7 and 8.1 in GUI design — I think they have a winner on their hands.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. agarrabrant

    I really don’t like this! Not your well thought out and excellently expressed critique. I really don’t like the “Creative Nap” that Apple has taken! Like you, I am mourning the looming end of my nearly 35 year relationship with Apple. You think there is any hope they will wake up and blow our socks off one more time?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      There is always the possibility that they can do just that very thing — have something hidden in deep secrecy and spring it on the world when we are least suspecting it. However, that was more of a Steve Jobs hallmark and not one from his successor, Tim Cook (who is not an innovator; he’s a supply chain specialist).

      I like Apple, and I like the products they produce. I just think they’re resting on their laurels right now, and think that they’d better turn that around PDQ or they’ll see their stock go off a cliff.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ray Laskowitz

    I’m not going to attack, and I’m no Apple fan boy, but where did you get the idea that the big Apple desktop has no expansion capabilities? My graphics and designer colleagues have modified them beyond belief. So much so that they might very well be a different machine.

    Oh yeah. My Yosemite never crashes.

    What can I say? Some folks are just too smart….:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Compared to the prior Mac Pro, the current version has no expansion capabilities. Granted, the new Mac Pro has lots of ports for external peripherals — but it’s nothing compared to the robust chassis, power supplies, fans, expansion slots, and drive bays that the old one had.

      I’ll be interested to hear of their long term experience and satisfaction with the new Mac Pro, which is so new that they shouldn’t run into problems for some time yet.

      Yosemite works for you and never crashes? Awesome! Truly, that’s good to hear.

      My own experience with Yosemite is surprising, as I didn’t do an in-place upgrade. Instead, I spooled off all of my data, wiped it clean, and installed Yosemite completely from scratch. Twice. Why? Because the first install was so unstable I thought I’d done something wrong. So I proceeded to wipe it again to bare metal and re-installed Yosemite a second time — with the same results. Keep in mind that my MacBook Pro is only two years old at this point, so there should be no reason whatsoever for Yosemite to fail or have stability problems on it.

      Like

    2. Ray Laskowitz

      I guess we aren’t that smart around here. We just use it to produce what we do and really don’t over think it. I would never wipe my hard drive. I just follow instructions. Maybe you should just get rid of your Apple products. 🙂

      Like

    3. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Wiping your hard drive is the best way to make certain that no cruft is leftover from prior installations, and is the preferred method of installing a new OS on any machine.

      I’ll let the Apple devices that we have live on in peace, and replace them when they need to be refreshed. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting.

      Like

    4. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      It happens. Even with Windows, Linux, and other OSes.

      We had a guy once who messed up his Sun Workstation so bad that a factory technician had to come out and rebuild it.

      So, yeah, even though you don’t seem to believe me, stuff like this does happen.

      Like

    5. Ray Laskowitz

      I believe you. I really do. I just think many people over think it. Probably the guy who messed up his Sun work station might fall into that category.

      And, because I believe you I started poking around in installation instructions and work arounds for Yosemite. Two things kept popping up… Don’t wipe your hard drive pre-installation and if you have repeated problems with installation and subsequent use, you very likely if a bigger problem in your computer. One more thing, it is absolutely essential to do even the most minor upgrades when Apple says they are ready. That’s something that we’ve always done. I’ll tell you that, one machine took about three hours total download/installation time and it ran fine. The other took a little less. These sites also seemed to agree that you need at least twice the HD space needed to download and install the new OS. BTW, I did not read any Apple sites. These are all third party sites.

      Like

    6. Ray Laskowitz

      Agree to disagree. It’s not a debate. You have problems and have written a classic rant against Apple. I’ve seen it in the past. I have no such problems. Obviously somebody is doing something wrong. Stop over thinking it.

      Like

    7. Ray Laskowitz

      Cool. Here’s what I think. You’re angry at Apple because they wouldn’t take back your iPhone6, when you should have learned how it felt in your hand prior to purchase. Now, because of that, you think everything they do sucks. Sorry that it didn’t meet your expectations. Failed expectations cause a lot of problems in life. 🙂

      Like

    8. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Sorry, but that’s not the case. I’ve been a longtime Apple supporter and own many of their products. The reason I couldn’t return the iPhone 6 was simply because it was outside of their much shorter return policy (30 days for all their other hardware and just two weeks for iPhones).

      I think the reason you can’t leave this alone is that I’m hitting points that you don’t like hearing because you’re such a fan boy.

      Sorry to disappoint you.

      Like

    9. Ray Laskowitz

      Not quite. I said wasn’t going in. You’re typical. Sorry. I’ve read too many screeds from people like you on both sides of the aisle. Read what you wrote again. Tell me I’m wrong and this time don’t try to dismiss me just because I disagree with you.

      Like

    10. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Hahaha — you are kidding with me, right? No? That’s okay, I’m still chuckling.

      You do realize that with every response you’ve posted thus far that you appear more and more to be the same rabid Apple fan boy that you deny being?

      Sigh.

      Up to this point I’ve been willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but not now. So I’ll lay it on the line.

      You are quite simply flawed in your belief that your experience with Yosemite represents 100 percent of the rest of the OS install base.

      None of the machines that you work with have had problems with it? That’s great! I sincerely mean that.

      Yet I know that my problematic experience with Yosemite is not unique, nor was it an issue of “over thinking it”, nor doing something wrong. Evidently you haven’t read the rest of the responses in this post where other devoted and long-time Mac users are also experiencing problems with Yosemite. And I strongly suspect that most of them (if not all of them) took the same approach that you profess to be the one and only true route — an in-place upgrade.

      So what is your response to those Yosemite users? They’re wrong, too? They’re guilty of “over thinking it”?

      You are kidding, right? Because I’m equally certain they aren’t laughing.

      Here’s another angle to approach it with — what’s the size of your data set? The machines that you have had a perfect Yosemite experience with — what is their total number?

      I ask because in my IT support role, I’ve worked on thousands of Apple machines — the bulk of them since System 7 through to now. I’ve worked on close to 200 in the past several months alone, many of which had hardware and software issues that would fit within your narrow worldview of how they should be treated, and not subjected to “over thinking” of any kind.

      So, yes, Ray — I’m telling you that you’re wrong.

      You’re correct for the small number of machines that you deal with, but you are completely and utterly wrong when it comes to the rest of the Yosemite install base.

      And if you want to erase all doubt that you’re an Apple fan boy, please come back for more.

      Like

    11. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      That’s right, Ray. An IT guy. A Tier 3 desktop specialist that’s been in the trenches for 24-years.

      At any rate… I don’t want to fight with you. Life is too short.

      I like your images and wish you good light.

      Like

    12. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Good advice — and I plan on following it in about 7-10 years when I’m able to retire. But taking computers and their software seriously is my job right now.

      Like

  5. listentothebabe

    wow thanks. saved me from Yosemite and the iphone6. My iphone5 is in dodgy condition and chipped in places but works ok. I was eyeing the iphone6 for the camera. What a relief I don’t have to give Apple more of my cash as I already have a Mac Air and an ipad. I have an old iPad, don’t think I’m upgrading that bit of machinery…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Sure, no problem — glad I was able to help you.

      Maybe in time Yosemite will become the operating system that it should have been straight out of the gate, but I rather doubt it, as they are already hard at work on the next version of OS X. Much has been said in the tech media about the aggressive OS X upgrade cycle they have set for themselves, and how their developer resources are stretched too thin to create builds of OS X that are solid and robust.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Agreed. Many pros in the visual arts field are furious at Apple for abandoning them — including many, many pro photographers that were left out in the cold when they kicked Aperture to the curb.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Rob Tobin

    Well written and to the point.I migrated to Lightroom 5 over Aperture, because Lightroom was progressing and Apple was stagnating. Apple is doing the numbers game with more consumers than pros as a market. Apple may realise, that you can’t rest on your laurels – but I think it’s too late.My son has a Sony phone, that he can use underwater – why couldn’t the iPhone 6 have that ability ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Hey, Rob! My point, exactly!

      Years ago I was the point of contact within Gannett for mobile device vendors (called PDAs or Personal Digital Assistants in those days). I clearly remember having a Road Map meeting with our Palm Pilot account manager, and getting into a heated discussion with him over — of all things — whether their product should support color or not. This was back when the Microsoft Windows CE devices were just beginning to come out with color screens and our users were dropping Palm Pilots in droves simply to be able to see things in color. And this account manager had the gall to tell me that our users had clearly lost their minds and would come crawling back to the monochrome Palm Pilot devices that they had abandoned.

      Palm’s market share never recovered from that blunder, and they are now just a footnote in tech history. I hope that the same doesn’t happen to Apple.

      Like

  7. John

    Very comprehensive write-up and analysis man. I’m still running Mavericks, and so far, so good. Thanks for saving me from the, ahem, “beneficial” upgrade to Yosemite. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rwanderman

    I’ll just take issue with one of your points, for now:

    “The latest refresh from Apple was cosmetic and without any new capabilities.”

    That’s not true at all. I have the new iPad and got it because it has both Touch ID and Apple Pay, both of which work quite well. It also has a new LCD screen which is quite a bit nicer than the already quite nice screen on the first iPad Air.

    Apple is far from perfect, lots of issues with Yosemite and iOS 8 but I’m pretty sure they’ve not jumped the shark quite yet. I think they’re about to announce the best quarter they’ve ever had, selling more of the iPhones you hate than ever before.

    Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      I would describe those all as being more minor and cosmetic than anything else. Seriously. In the big picture of the iPad development arc, those are just point release footnotes.

      If Apple wanted to leapfrog the competition, they would announce something truly dramatic — like betavoltaics (nuclear batteries), or water-proofing to a depth of 10 feet, or the ability to run desktop applications on the iPad. As it is now, they remain content consuming devices. I tried to use one exclusively for image post-processing and creating posts for my website, and finally gave up after a month of effort. They just don’t offer the abilities that full desktop machines do.

      Like

  9. Sophie L.

    Very great article and very interesting. I am a Apple user (iMac 30″, iPhone 5S, iPad and Apple TV) and my cat is named Apple !!! And I am very disappointed by Yosemite 😦 ok it is free but I prefer pay 30€ like before or snow leopard and have real improvement and not just the dressing. Not better point of view for iOs8. And the stop of Aperture .. hum… I had promise myself that I never return to Adobe and I did it for LR and PS !!!!!! Before I’d wait for looking at the new version Photos by I now they will do it for the most people and that ‘s not what I am looking for. Make the less for the most, that ‘s what the do.And that’s not what Steve wanted for is Cie. He revived the Cie one time after an announced death and they break all his job. Too bad 😦 I am in the way to change all my devices but I hope they will redress the barr . Apple watch what it means , they didn’t see that google glass is not a god idea, sometimes I am asking about what Tim do in his office and why the old employees like Phil doesn’t say “it is not Apple this time”.
    Thank you for this article that allows me to speak about my felt.
    Have a nice week

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks, Sophie. While we haven’t gone so far as to name our cat after Apple or any of their products, we do have a lot of their line in our household.

      I, too, would prefer a slower development cycle, and if it means that I pay for the privilege — so be it. I would much rather have true innovation and rock-solid stability over free and buggy any day of the week.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  10. Stephan Pot

    Very interesting post. Over the past 2 decades I’ve been involved, as an IT guy, in supporting Windows workstations and servers and Linux servers. I think with Windows 7 the OS really became mature.
    Two years ago I switched from a Windows PC at home to an expensive 27″ IMac. It is not bad but now, with Yosemite, it has become a burden. My next machine will be without a shadow of a doubt Windows based. I own an iPhone 4s and it has become slow. I’ll upgrade to an Android phone as you get more for less. I’m happy with my iPad air but I prefer my Android one as it is cheaper and has more specs. No more iPads here. I love my iPod Classic though. I guess Apple is ditching this product line as an iPhone is a music player too, right?
    Apple products are high quality products but indeed, while they were asleep competition has passed them with innovative products. They are reliable too, Android has gained maturity and all these products are much cheaper.
    But in the end everything is about choice and perception. There is no right or wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      You and me both, Stephan — and I agree with your assessment of Windows 7. I think you’ll like Windows 10 even better, which I’m running at home right now and am very satisfied with it. I think Win10 will prove to be a modern version of WinXP that people will utterly come to use and depend upon.

      No more Mac laptops or desktops for us; too expensive. No more iPads; not enough functionality. I, too, love my iPod Classic, but that model has been killed off and they don’t currently make any model of iPod or iPhone big enough to handle my entire music library, so that entire product line is dead to me as well.

      The final verdict is still out on the iPhones for us, but we’ll be looking for something the same size or smaller than the iPhone 5S; if Apple comes out with a 4″ version of the iPhone, we might stay. But I have to say that the Android phones (the Google Nexus line in particular) and the Windows phones (the Nokia Lumia line in particular) are the ones we will be looking closely at when we refresh our cell phones in another 12-18 months.

      I’ve found the Apple products to be consistently cosmetically beautiful. However, I’ve worked with enough of them over the years to discern that they have some serious quality control issues for the internals.

      For example, my wife purchased a brand new iPhone 5S and used it for a few months — all the time complaining that the image quality from the camera was terrible and was far worse than what she had with her iPhone 4. We finally looked at the front of the camera lens under magnification and discovered that there were particles inside the lens! We looked at my iPhone 5S, which was purchased at the same store on the same day, and it didn’t have that problem. However, my 5S had a weird black area to the left side of the screen anytime an app would launch; it would show up as a large black semi-circle with a grid of white lines, which would then disappear once the app finished loading; and that was the only device I’ve ever seen with that odd behavior.

      And that’s not all. During the big Mac migration we’re having at work, we’re discovering all sorts of odd behavior and problems from machines that are all supposed to be identical. So much so that I question how rigorous their QC is in the Asian factories where all their devices are built and assembled.

      At any rate, the point that I’ve been trying to make with all of this is that Apple isn’t the only game in town, and we would be wise to look carefully at what we’re buying prior to actually handing over our hard-earned cash.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Andy Townend

    I am a big Apple fan, so this is a fascinating and at the same time disturbing post. I agree with a lot of what you say, although I still use a 17 inch MacBook Pro which I bought in Sydney in mid 2010 and it is still going strong (new memory, flash drive, and second hard drive in the old optical bay) and I am typing this on my little MacBook Air. I don’t like the appearance of the screen since Yosemite. And I will be sorry to see Aperture 3 die….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      This post has been the result of several months of thinking and mulling over in my mind about the shortcomings that I see developing for Apple. To be sure, every single one of my talking points could be completely turned around and dashed by them at any time. For we all know just how secretive Apple tends to be and how a number of their biggest hits have appeared completely (to us) out of the blue.

      I will note one thing, however; the former-Apple guys that I work with say that Apple is so secretive that none of the internal product design groups know anything about what the others are doing, which is why they sometimes release products that are jarringly dissimilar to one another.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Andy Townend

      I would be very sad to see Apple completely lose their way, using their products for the most part is a real joy. Most of the time they just work the way I want them to. Interesting comment about the secretive design process.

      Like

    3. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      As would I. And I agree; when they work correctly, they just work — no fuss, no muss.

      Yeah, the guys we hired from Apple had all sorts of interesting insights to share, primary among them is that the company has really changed in the short time since Jobs died, and they left the company because they didn’t like the direction it was taking (among other things).

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Elisa

    I’ve never used an Apple. Proprietary and massive expense. If I can’t run other normal and mainstream stuff like others, why would I want to pay? I have often wondered about the ‘creative’ stuff and persons that use Apple but have never know why. You don’t convince me that I ever should!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      If I had only used a PC all of my life, I would totally agree with you. However, the very first time I saw a Macintosh back in late 1984, I was stunned at the graphical user interface (GUI) that Apple had produced. It was light years beyond anything currently available for the IBM PC, and for a visually-oriented graphic designer like myself, it was nirvana.

      Fast-forward to today and the differences are far more subtle and nuanced. An argument could be made that both Windows and OS X have stolen so many ideas from one another that they rather blend in together now, and non-technical consumers would have a hard time telling them apart.

      Like

  13. Terry

    iPhones are my only Apple experience. My son however has preferred Mac/Apple products since he left home 15 years ago. His disappointment with Apple is beginning to grow as others offer more features for less money. He tried an Android based phone and continued having crashes. he backed up frequently. But ultimately the last crash did a full nose dive and lost all it’s content; unrecoverable. Good thing for his backup effort. A 3 month old phone. He hates Android products.

    I have a Kindle Fire. I despise the OS for the lack of updates, apps that suddenly close and frequent unit shut downs. It’s size is comfortable but that’s it

    I may wait a long time before I make decisions about Apple anythings. Or Any product right now. My 5s is still solid. eh, except a battery problem they claim is not covered…

    My Dell desktop is Windows 7 is stable as hell. It is however a ordeal setting it up in Starbucks.

    Like

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Hi, Terry. Have your son check out the Google Nexus line of Android phones, as they ship as Google had designed them to be and don’t come with any of the junkware that the other Android phones ship with. If he wants to ditch Android altogether (and I wouldn’t blame him if he feels that way), then the Nokia Lumia line is the equivalent of the of the Google Nexus and ships just as Microsoft had designed them to be.

      If he wants to go back to an iPhone (thinking that his experience will be perfect), have him read my above response to Stephan Pots, as iPhones can have spotty QC performed upon them at the factory, which results in just as many problems as those from other vendors.

      I owned a couple of the monochrome Kindle devices and find them to be perfectly adequate for reading. I’ve never tried any of the Kindle color devices.

      Given what I know about computer security, I would never use my own laptop to connect to the wireless access point in any public place, not even Starbucks.

      Like

  14. Larry McGraw

    I guess I am the guy that poked the artist and asked WHY. What we see is a repeat of what every tech production company has faced over the centuries. The feelings expressed here were felt by the car buff who loved his Hudson Hornet or Oldsmobile 88. Hopefully some one with Steve’s imagination and drive will rise at Apple and keep MS and Google honest. The economic system we have can be frustrating at times and need correction at others but giving ownership of products we create is still better than the rest.
    Embracing and adapting their product to serve home, office, banking (most of the ATM’s use Win XP still) and industrial process control has kept Microsoft dominant in market share. I have been so unhappy with Windows 8 that I was ready to go back to Vista, which after the upgrades and patches still works pretty good. The guys in Seattle and Palo Alto do respond to lack of sales.
    Thanks for the reply to my question.

    DAD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      No problem, Dad. Oh, and you’ll like Windows 10. It’s rock solid in Beta and doesn’t have any of the issues I’ve seen with Win8 or Win8.1.

      Thanks for commenting. If there’s one thing I’ve learned with this particular post, it’s that people have a real passion for the technology that they use.

      Like

  15. Pingback: Apple Has Jumped the Shark — Fall 2016 Update | Exploratorius

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