For the last two decades, Apple has overcome a series of unwarranted hardships in acceptance. Apple was innovating – from the creation of the iMac, to the iPod, to the iPhone—basically, anything new with an “i” in front of it over the last 15 years you could almost guarantee was from Apple, and was something new, exciting and intuitive.
Sure, while many of the things they did wasn’t necessarily the first of its kind, it was always taking what was already in existence, and changing it for the better. Intuitive interactions, seamless UI, clean aesthetic, all with performance in mind. Apple’s attention to detail was unparalleled.
One thing that helped this idea of seamless and intuitive interaction across all devices, was the fact that Apple owned both the hardware and the software of all their products. They were in complete control. Because of this control, they could oversee the performance between the hardware and the software. You could say they were made for each other unironically and unmetaphorically. Their support was – and in many ways still is – seamless. No matter the problem you might have with a device, you could take it to Apple, and they would handle it.
So WTF happened?!
The death of Steve Jobs was, in fact, the death of Apple. It did not take long for Apple to introduce a stylus to the iPad – to which even the slightest of idea of needing to use an accessory to operate a device was borderline insulting to the man. Granted, his idea of the stylus being grotesque was at a time when iPhones were much smaller, and iPads didn’t even exist. Even still, Jobs believed in intuition.
Then you have the 6 Plus. For all intents and purposes, it’s a decent phone – but it’s huge. When asked about the idea making a phone as big or bigger than a Galaxy S phone, he responded that they were “Hummers” and that “..you can’t get your hand around it..no one’s going to buy that.” Boy was he wrong about that.
The thing is, Jobs spent his days at Apple developing a brand people could believe in. People believed Apple would provide them intuitive and innovative experiences for their needs. The “Pro” line of products – the Mac Pro, the Macbook Pro – were for professionals, and while they were loaded with quality hardware only a power user might need, they had the same intuitive experience as any other product. The interaction between devices was seamless.
This brand trust so many of us have had over the years is slowly starting to break, and has been breaking ever since Jobs’ death.
Some very basic examples:
- No headphone jack on the iPhone 7 without using an accessory.
- No ability to charge your iPhone and use wired (normal) headphones without buying an expensive adapter.
- No ability to charge your iPhone on your new Macbook Pro
- No ability to charge your new magic mouse on your new Macbook Pro
- No ability to charge your new magic mouse and use it at the same time.
- Gimmicky hardware with a multitude of UX and UI bugs.
- Trackpad on Macbook Pro is so big, it interferes with typing.
- Physical function keys are gone in favor of a giant trackpad and a touch screen bar.
- High performance hardware, low performance software.
- Phones get bigger and harder to carry and operate, “Pro” computers get smaller and less usable
- Zero scalability – everything is soldered in. Upgrading your device means buying a new one.
- Wireless earbuds – or Airpods – over $200 for shit sound? No thanks…
- Late to market on smartwatch device – releases slow performing, low-battery life, overpriced fashion accessory and heart rate monitor.
- No standard USB ports on Macbook Pro, so no real way to use any apple devices – or any standard peripheral – on a “professional grade product”.
- Macbook Air – the light consumer-grade Macbook – taken off market because it competes too much with the supposed “Professional” grade Macbook.
The list goes on. It seems like Apple is now in the business of releasing gimmicky toys with little thought put into how people would actually use them. The devices run slower and poorer, have shorter and shorter lifespans, become less usable, yet become more and more expensive.
At this point, Apple is using its brand as a crutch and is no longer doing anything to re-enforce it. It’s getting lazy. There are no longer any inventive minds at Apple; they are simply taking what already exists, and transforming it into subpar toys. Nothing useful, just something that warrants nothing more than a glance with a very concerned “That’s interesting” remark.
I miss the old Apple. I miss Steve Jobs and his creative mind. I miss looking forward to Apple’s announcements.