Today, the superbly talented Keenan Schneider wrote a post on his blog, No Octothorpe, that I thought I would hate based on the title.
Crazy thing, I didn’t hate it. Rather, I found myself agreeing with it whole-heartedly. The post, titled, “Apple Sucks”, is so right on it hurts. As Schneider puts it,
Two things are clear to me as I watch. One: we’re a far cry from the vision of Steve Jobs. This is Tim’s Apple now. A company that is going to execute on a vision of computing that is reminiscent of the late founder’s, but still wholly their own.
And two… Apple Sucks. Something I now realize has been sitting in front of me all along. I just wasn’t ready to see it.
First point is something that was beaten do death like a dead horse when he passed, Steve Jobs was a gangster. He was brilliant. He was one of a kind. Yes, he also had a lot of short comings and was sort of a dick, none the less, the man had a vision that hasn’t been matched yet. The iPhone, for example, wasn’t completely unique and it was definitely was not close to being perfect. That said, it was magical and even with all of it’s short comings it was the new gold standard in cellphones and personal computing.
The second point is even more right on. Currently, Apple sucks.
For decades, we’ve been given confections. Bright colors, flashy flavors, lots of sweets, no substance. Delicious shapes, meticulously crafted, bearing no real usage outside of casual consumption that keeps us craving for more. Some products are true pieces of art, but their luster only lasts so long before they’re replaced by some new concoction. It’s an endless stream of delectable offerings overridden soon after by more candy. Some have colorful shells, making them even more enticing. But no matter their coating, they all have one thing in common: they’re useless fluff.
We, the consumers, have a real problem. We expect new phones, tablets, watches, laptops, and desktop computers every year. We feel entitled to new operating systems every year too. Sure, we have seen some “innovation” in terms of functionality like drag and drop but after a long time reflecting on my fancy Apple toys, there isn’t much else.
Yup, we live in the time of Tim Cook’s Apple. An Apple that has a large group of devoted cult members who will drool over whatever they offer next. Hey Android fans, the same is true for you. iOS 12 and the iPhone XX will be just like Android OS Rock Candy and the next Galaxy S whatever. They will be shiny, they will be expensive, they will also be just slightly better than what we currently have while touting INNOVATION as a selling point.
Maybe there is something bigger here, maybe we are content with suck as long as it comes in a shiny package that allows us to stream “Stranger Things” and post pics of our salads on Instagram. Maybe that says something about us that we really don’t want to tackle because we know it won’t be fun. Or, maybe we all just need a lollipop.