Here’s what I want from Apple
I just read the news that Apple is working on new Mac Pro and other desktop Macs and first-party display. That is good news, since many of us worry about the fate of the Mac and pro line especially.
It became way too common to criticize Apple, well, not without a reason.
But I want to just express what I want from them, as a pro user. Apple is a big company and has lots of money and lots of people so when they do not do what many users see as important and necessary it’s upsetting.
Regular updates for all products.
It used to be a time when most macs would see updates twice a year, we can see that even in the naming like early-2012 or mid-2011 and so on.
I do not need huge redesigns that often, I need updates, so the products stay current. In a way redesigns should be rare and brave, yet with a lot of thought, something Apple was mostly very good at.
Small drive size bump, or a bit faster memory, or a bit tweaked video graphics, or a bit improved ports would really help pro users. Ever current specs would also reduce the worries that potential buyer have: “if I buy a machine now it will be instantly obsolete when new model comes out”. Veteran Apple pros will tell you that upgrading to the very next model of Apple devices often feels like a small improvement, and that is actually great. It’s how Apple rolls. If updates happen regularly I can go to the store and buy what ever is current and be happy with it. With 30 days price protection and sales before the update it will make it not upsetting at all.
When product lines are not updated regularly it feels like they are not just stagnant, but neglected and that is very disturbing feeling to have about company famous for attention to details. Regular updates is part of the UX, that is design of user experience that we — customers of Apple want to have.
Feature evolution parity
For me it comes down to how company cares about me as a user. Only USB-C ports on new MacBook Pro — OK, maybe it’s fine, but other lines of their computers don’t have USB-C. No SD Card reader, but do I need to have one external for older macs and one for newer ones?
You go to the Apple store and buy new (not that cheap) mouse and it comes with the cable that you can’t use on the new Macbook you just got.
New iPhone without headphone jack and where do you suppose to plug lightning headphones if you have a Mac too?
Ah, dongles. Well, maybe it’s a solution, but dongle and adapters do not exist for all the use cases. There are some instances when it’s impossible, but there are many others when Apple just does not bother.
If they do not make adapters I want them to work with third party vendors to help them to address the needs.
It’s OK when one product is ahead of the others for less then a year, but when half of the product line is using one standard and the other half using the other for years it is again feels like a neglect.
It would be all much smother if new MacBook Pro had at least one old port. But even better if they would update old style body MBP with at least one USB-C port. Just one USB-C port on other Macs. Sell the new MBP as they are, but offer something to customers who are not ready to make a jump to all new ports. They did similar thing when MBP were moving to retina, the non-retina models were not just kept in the store, they were updated. This time around they are just keep selling the old hardware.
USB-C chargers and charging cables for iPhones and Apple Watch should be for sale and even better in the box or at least as an option.
I even wish for MagSafe to USB-C and USB-C to MagSafe adapters (there are rumors that at least one kind might be in the works, yet again only one, now both)
Again, if all product lines were updated regularly keeping feature evolution parity would be a lot easier too.
Number one is just follow your own Human Interface Guidelines. But over all “Design is how it works not how it looks” mantra is often abandoned by Apple.
When Apple forces users and developers to move to new standard, new UI or new something it should be the first one to move all it’s current products to it.
You all know lots of examples when third parties do better than Apple, but few rare cases is now what we see.
Take care of really weak parts and low hanging fruits
Search, networking reliability, Siri, maps, App Store.
In some areas Siri is not just bad, it insulting. Again I am not here to teach then how to fix it, but boy, why can’t they just ask me how do I pronounce bunch of standard things, how to read my own name, my wife’s name?
All this “intelligence” of maps is limited to offering me annoying popups that offer me to go to the address that is set as work address, and not even once offer me to drive to day care, something I did every day? Why offer directions to the office and not to the parking?
Syncing all my preferences and settings across all devices is such simple need to understand, yet even basic map bookmarks are not synced. Input layouts I have to maintain manually, the dock, the mouse settings, Safari preferences etc. etc. All this should be kept in one central place and allow me to apply it all or one by one on new device or even have multiple profiles. In the days when cloud computing is not new concept setting up a new machine or mobile device should not take a day or three days.
Search in App store is just as bad as web search when Altavista was a king. Actually in Maps it is just as bad.
Networking somehow always feels buggy. Sometimes it works fine, but often it’s not fine at all. Connecting to a share on another Mac in my home is not a sure thing. Somehow it always worked with Windows NT and works only sometimes with macOS. By the way not updating Airport line does not help here too.
Multiple accounts on iOS and iPads especially is a highly demanded feature. Merging Apple IDs, and in general I strongly believe that it was a mistake to force users to pick a third party service to create Apple ID. It would be much clearer if user’s apple ID was not by Google or some one else, like Yahoo. But it’s even worse, it had to be not icloud.com, not me.com not mac.com. Then family sharing, family and small group administration is big underdeveloped area. Multitasking on iOS, iPad especially is lame, but I guess it’s not low hanging fruit, yet again maybe in 2012 it was hard issue, but by 2017 it should be in a way better state.
Few personal pet peeves
iPhone headphone jack is my biggest issue.
Folders on iOS should not be limited to 9 apps on iPhone and 16 apps on iPad. And opening folder should not hide status bar.
Rotation lock physical switch on iPad is greatly missed.
iTunes on the Mac interface is broken ever since iTunes 7. I am talking about just music part. Displaying songs, editing playlists, is all deteriorated. On iOS it so bad that I have to write entire essay about how much it is bad.
Common — not listing all the artists, sorting compilation albums by one of the artist from a compilation, no back button?
I just want Apple not to drop the ball and unfortunately it often feels they do it left and right. I have not talked about myriad of bugs and overall reduced reliability, as Marco called functional high ground. But besides Apple is big culprit in too much design too little function too.
I still believe it all can be fixed, that is why I wrote this.