My 2018 Apple Report Card

MAC: F

To compute or not compute — that is the question. Whether tis’ nobler to suffer the repeated keys of bbbb or to take arms against a sea of Apple Apologists and by opposing end them.

macOS Mojave? meh. it’s a app.

macOS Mo’ still has critical errors outstanding in basic applications. Did you know Mail.app will actually refuse to show you messages in nested IMAP folders? And this bug has been reported to Apple for years?

See this? My report was number 41,824,401 which they filed as a DUPE of 15,570,921. That’s a LONG TIME for the original issue to exist completely unaddressed.
Over years and years of filing bug reports, I’ve never received human words from Apple’s developer support (which we pay $100/year for the privilege of accessing). Everything is always 100% template macro replies asking for “more information” — except, I gave you plenty of information in the original report along with logs and server side readouts too. Sorry Apple, but you are a trillion dollar company and I shouldn’t have to give you my time for free to fix your broken products. You want help? Pay my day rate.

iPhone: A+

iPhone lineup is clearly the primary focus of Apple, outside of their on-again-off-again love affair with Titan time travel. Thus, 2018 iPhones continue to be the best physical artifacts of computation ever constructed by humanity.

iPad: A+

iPad lineup is the secondary focus of Apple and I haven’t seen enough people praise Apple’s decision to put modern iPads in iPhone 4 ID, which seemed perfect until iPads got a bit bendy under the new encasing. oh well, can’t win ’em all.

Apple Music iOS Music App: F-

An ongoing quest of mine has been spreading the word about how inadequate the Apple Music iOS Music App has been since it launched.

AirPods: B

AirPods actually get a down rating this year because they haven’t been updated in a long time (as far as consumer electronics go). They were A+ when they arrived, but now they are feeling a bit old. I wish they had better sound isolation or foam tip inserts since for loud situations like trains, planes, or gym work, they don’t offer enough ambient noise protection (I still prefer a wired ER3SE with foam tips for long term listening or a previous-year-model Jaybird X3 with foam tips for gym use).

Apple Watch: A+

Apple Watch 4 is amazing in all aspects and even offered at enough price tiers where anybody can buy into the Apple Watch Lyfstyle under current economic conditions.

Apple TV: ?

I haven’t used an Apple TV in years since I’ve been somewhat homeless and traveling since November 2016. Previous Apple TV was nice if you needed AirPlay to awkward locations you couldn’t run HDMI cables.

HomeKit: A to F

HomeKit is a curiosity. When it works, it’s great. When it doesn’t work, you have to reboot all your iOS devices (why?) and it starts working again. Fix your shit, Apple. Give us admin interfaces, Apple. You can only release zero-interface applications if they never never never need real time debugging or maintenance intervention (and, no, attaching device debug logs to the radar roulette wheel of support, then just praying and sacrificing goats in the hopes someone at Apple won’t ignore your problem is not a solution to problems thousands or millions of users are having every day — we pay you thousands of dollars a year for hardware with features advertised as working; when those features don’t work, just saying “lol we’re apple sucks to be you” is not acceptable. Improve your customer-developer-management communications, Apple! We’re here to help).

HomePod: A to F

HomePod is also curious. It’s obviously a great single speaker and stereo speaker pair, but the iOS aspects have internal iOS-style failures. Since HomePod has no power button, there’s no way to correct a HomePod stuck in broken iOS states except to crawl on the floor and unplug HomePod from the wall for a complete power cycle (and no, Siri does not allow reboot-by-voice because Apple’s new motto is ALL DEVICES JUST WORK FOREVER (we will ignore all failures) DEVICES REQUIRE NO MANAGEMENT (just reboot them when they fail) BECAUSE EVERYTHING WORKS FOREVER (please reboot devices four times a week to maintain feature functionality)).

Thanks, Apple!

Siri: B+

Siri on HomePod is the best voice assistant currently available (when iOS on HomePod isn’t broken internally and when Siri isn’t mis-hearing a HomeKit command and activating the wrong devices). HomePod Siri has the most sensitive voice assistant microphone and can even respond to commands from multiple rooms away when speaking in a normal voice loudness (we shall not think about having an always-on microphone that can hear your entire encased life just from one location).

Cash Management: E-

Apple of the modern era has had a nice problem to have: too much money.

Apple: D

Since this is a 2018 Apple review, we’re not going to cover the 2019 disasters of the FaceTime Spy Gate or 2019 Facebook Smackdownpalooza.

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Matt Stancliff

Matt Stancliff

Medium is for whiny rants and self-aggrandizing aggrandizement. Matt is also available for parties and corporate events.