Apple Needs to Support Legacy Systems Better
Apple is a company with an amazing legacy. It has been fighting the good fight against Microsoft with its Windows Operating system and originally the IBM hardware PC market (now against all PCs and Manufacturers running Windows) for quite a while and if we take DOS into account might as well say since inception. The company carved out a creative niche within publishing ecosystem and was able to trailblaze in front of rivals like the Amiga in the 1980s to take the second place.
However, at one point things were looking quite dire for Apple and Steve Jobs was even outed out of the company he built with Steve Wozniak in a Los Altos garage (although in hindsight Wozniak admits this is a bit of a myth). Apple decided to go beyond computing and found the sweet sauce in the iPod and later the iPhone and it’s mobile operating system iOS.
However, computers or the Apple Mac is still a large part of what Apple is about and has always been about. Computers that generally are long lasting and worthy of the higher price than rival Window machines and ones not prone to viruses (as much at least), malware, and shoddy parts that will go bad after a while of heavy usage.
Yes, some of these are just stereotypes or things the media tells us and the truth is that every manufacturer has their upsides and downsides as well as issues with hardware and software. Apple is no exception to this rule.
I want to point out an issue I have been having with my now legacy 2009 iMac I still use as a media hub and a gaming hub (due to the fact I have Windows 7 installed on it via Bootcamp, but can dual-boot).
An issue that can be quite annoying to someone like me who is a vintage and retro hardware enthusiast is Apple’s support of older hardware and operating systems. This is a bit of a shame as Microsoft supports Windows, despite all of its trials and tribulations (particularly malware and viruses) for many years. If I recall, it was only recently that Microsoft declared Windows XP not to be supported any longer (and it still may be up to a point or date they specified) as many enterprises, particularly in poorer countries, rely on it.
I have a 2009 iMac hooked up to my HDTV that I mostly use in Windows 7 Bootcamp mode to play games on and emulators. However, its hardware is still quite impressive and it beats out my two (one malfunctioning completely due to SSD failure) Macbook Airs I own from 2012 and 2014. It even came with a dedicated GPU, although now very outdated being the Radeon HD 4670.
The thing is I cannot update the Snow Leopard OS. When I click on the Apple icon on the upper left corner of my desktop and look for an update, it says my system is up to date. However, when I try installing it from the App Store, I cannot due to not being able to even log in with my account I have been using for the last 10 years or so.
This is really strange because it will ask me to log into iTunes or my Apple account, but never actually log in when I enter my current App Store/iTunes passwords. It just gives me errors like my password needs to be reset and even when I reset it, it will not let me log in as it requires a two-factor authentication and these authorizations do not show up on any of my devices for me to have an input code.
Apparently, this is somewhat of a common issue. I cannot even access the App Store or log in in any way to it on Snow Leopard. So this is really a big issue for me as I still want to make use of my iMac beyond it being a Windows 7 (via Bootcamp) gaming machine. Apparently, there may be a solution I have not tried yet and hopefully it works when I do and this solution is entering a password then some sort o verification code if I actually get it.
Here are a couple of short videos I made of the issue showing how it will not update or let me access my account. As you see it gives me an error in red letters and inside the username and password selection window (underneath these fields) even when I select the correct username and password. But due to two-factor authentication, it won’t let me log in. It also claims my system is up to date even though it is legacy Snow Leopard thus, the App Store is somehow not functioning or seeing new OS versions.
It is clear Apple does not care very much about supporting legacy hardware and making it easier or even compatible with new software or even be able to update it’s OS to a newer version hassle-free. I am not necessarily asking to update my 2009 iMac to the latest MacOS, but at least something newer than Snow Leopard, which Starcraft 2 is no longer even compatible with, but once was so i know it is very playable on the hardware.
Lately with the Apple Arcade becoming a big push alongside Apple News and Apple even sponsoring some TV shows and other multimedia content, it is clearly becoming a service-oriented company like Netflix. However, it should not forget its roots in computing and the Mac and support both new and legacy systems alike. The image itself and the brand of Apple will only stay strong and benefit from such support.
Note that this is the major issue I have with Apple right now, but I have a couple others as well worth noting. They deal with Apple Music subscriptions and the infamous Appocalypse where 64-bit mandated support made iOS releases iOS11 and beyond incompatible with 32-bit apps or those compatible with earlier iOS releases.
A big problem for Apple Music subscribers is how you cannot change your country of residence within Apple Store or iTunes unless you do not subscribe anymore to Apple Music. Thus, you have to possibly wait until your month if not longer is up for the length of membership you paid for.
Thus, if you move to another country or travel, you cannot change your stores and download apps within that language or price tags until the Apple Music subscription runs out. This is a major issue.
Another issue I have had from time to time related to Apple support of its services and software is with the way it treated us gamers after the Appocalypse or after we updated to iOS 11 on our mobile devices. Literally, my best games I paid up to $10 each were gone and Apple did not offer any refunds or solutions. Not only this, but I have an older version of GTA Chinatown Wars that I bought at one point yet the Apple Store (maybe Rockstar is more to blame than Apple in this regard) will not let me just redownload the game I once had installed on an older iPad I owned, but try to force me to repurchase it. It is still in my history and Rockstar never responded to me when I complained.
This goes to show that the largest and most profitable companies still have not worked out all the kings when it comes to customer service and retrntion of legacy customers. They made be lagging in the online and subscription or digital distribution network support for these customers and legacy system users and often care more about the bottom line then their overall image or customer retention.
Supporting legacy hardware, software, operating systems and games should not hurt a company’s bottom line, only help it and help earn it more staying power and a good reputation amongst its fans.