Apple Computer – love them and frustrated by them.
Today I got my laptop to connect to my MacPro with the Mac Pro as a Server. Excellent. Years ago I invested in Final Cut Server – it was a nightmare for me – so it never worked. Another wasted expense! Today it really did just work. Hurrah.
I am an investor in Apple I believe they are a group of talented ambitious tenacious individuals who really do change the world and achieve commercial success – in the longer term – as well. The share price will rise and new products are on their way through that will surprise us. So much of what is produced is of fabulous quality I helped my Father in Law buy a new iPad the other day. He had bought a Kindle and replaced it. His words: “I’ve been spoilt by a Rolls Royce that was an iPad and I need the same again.” So much of Apple’s ease of use and system enable him. FaceTime is brilliant for linking to Grandparents and a key driver for this purchase.
So thank you Apple for all you do and the drive and ambition that has new products and ecosystem develop.
However I am also….
FRUSTRATED BY THEM
When someone takes something away from me I don’t like it. Today I discovered another taking away of a feature that really worked for me. Why do this? Why treat your customer, me, who is an ardent fan, in this way? Are you removed from me because you are too big? Are young bloods who don’t have a sense of users needs other than their peer group now running the show and deciding how I should work? Why am I prompted to spend time writing about this? Because I hope my voice is heard somewhere out there by the keepers of Apple’s principles.
Why would you take away a feature from a customer? At the very least leave it as an option. Make it possible for features to still be used. Keep taking things away from me and I start to not trust you. I do not understand the logic.
I think Steve Jobs would have gone Ape at how the customer was being treated in this regard. Being closer to the customer was/is key fundamental principle of Apple’s Raison D’Etre. I’m a Power User of Apple tools. Yet I feel, in some areas, I am being treated as though I should learn new ways of working that slow me down and have me forced to give up features I love.
In a meeting of designers I’d ask… Justify what you are taking away?… It looks clean for sure and now it does not ‘Just Work.’ If the designer cannot deliver clean and brilliantly functional they need to change or leave. Someone in Apple is not asking the right questions in some areas in my humble users opinion.
OK LET’S PLAY TAKE AWAY…
- in PAGES (Apple’s word processing app) LETS TAKE AWAY:
- the fab dual page layout that gave you a view of the entire spread a la Quark and so much easier to use. It was brilliant. Let then just see one page now. What! Why?
- outlining. So you can compress a document see the headings and the overall structure then drill into sections, I loved this. It has been taken away. Why would you do that? Do you think I don’t need it? Is it because the designer decided he/ she doesn’t use it and therefore we will delete it? Use Omni Outliner instead says one site – urh OK I’ll stop using an Apple product then… i tried to redo headings and it keeps falling over. Hmmm.
- the palette feature (this was a small box you place anywhere on the screen to access all the elements and controls you needed) let’s take this away and make its layout trendy for iPads.I understand it’s fashion. But what about me on my Mac Pro with a big screen having to navigate miles by comparison to what I did before? Why not leave an option, for legacy and big screen users, who loved the way it worked? These folk may not be trendy (or they may be) but they were more effective and fulfilled and enabled in their work before. We need to keep them happy and make it better for them…don’t we?
- ease of working, let’s take this away. Originally Quark type layout boxes were intuitive and fast. So let’s completely change the way it works so users now have to work out how to make the formatting behave and take time to learn how we have redesigned it. Let’s hide things and make a new way of working. You know what I stopped using it, I haven’t got the time or patience to do otherwise. I still use Pages all the time, am using it now but I used to do newsletters and naturally use it for layouts. Not anymore. Omnigraffle has you beaten by miles. Is that what you want?
- IN LOGIC X LET’S TAKE AWAY
- the ability to play in chords and have them analysed and given a view immediately on the Global Tracks menu. You can see what you were playing. How great was that after an all out improv session. Take that and develop from it. Let’s take that away. Use Toontrack now mate, EZ Keys does it a treat and you can embed it in a track on Logic.
So this huge company is taking away features that work. Little things that cause me frustration and have me look for and use other apps. The Applications are being enhanced in some ways don’t get me wrong but I simply do not understand why things are taken away and made more difficult.
- IN FILEMAKER LET’S TAKE AWAY
- BENTO! A brilliant app that utilised the power of Filemaker and allowed us all to quickly access templates to use that power. Stopped and unsupported by Filemaker. No explanation.
- Filemaker’s model is for you to then pay for a consultant to help you with programming or search for a template or learn to use it yourself. I have in the past. So Bento was fab for the customer (me). It provided an easy to use turnkey yet flexible solution to my needs. It was embraced by the creative community. But perhaps it was not a commercial success. Because it was cheap and did consultants out of a job. Then charge more for it, it’s brilliant I will continue to use it and not buy Filemaker… Doh….
- Now I do know Filemaker is programmable and not that difficult but, Bento did the arrangements for me. Joy it was and is – bring it back please.
- HIGHLIGHTING & TABS
- Highlighting… It was great I could highlight a line with a colour in my file box so my files were all colour coded. I could quickly see in a file list which ones were which. I updated my software and all those lines disappeared to be replaced by little dots at the end of the rows… some designer decided that looked nicer. But NEVER GAVE ME THE CHANCE TO CHOOSE IF I AGREED – and did not warn me they were going to nuke my lovely filing system – GRRR…
- You got Tabs now… OK but add Tabs, don’t nuke my system. Used Tabs yesterday to help my wife reach a file quick on the networked laptop – easy and quick. That works… Until you change it one day on an update and I have to redo stuff. So I’m not getting that attached to it. My Pavlovian expectation is for it to be deleted at some point.
SLATER’S BIG MISTAKE
One of my biggest mistakes was going into a charity in an executive position and being the young new broom. I had no maturity to understand how things, which had been in place for ages, were valid and very valuable. I changed everything, so supporters left in droves. I didn’t care I was looking ahead.
I was a burk… at best, there are many other words for my behaviour. It is not my proudest hour.
So, because of that experience, I wonder whether some of those leading these decisions at Apple are in that phase of life? Arrogant, isolated, in the biggest company getting paid a load and forgetting about little me shouting at the computer again as they take something away from me!
Come on Apple…
PS I was thinking further on this… Looking for Whys.
Maybe propriatorey software has been used that could not be maintained once challenged by another company – Quark re pages interface? Maybe you can’t admit that if your policy is never explain because you will look weak. So maybe sometimes you get on with something only to find that you have to remove it, or buy the company that makes it, or pay them a Licence Fee you think is too high? All these are possible. But surely not for ‘All of the above.’
Oh yes and remember the day I had a beautiful Diary and upgraded and my headings disappeared. Hey ho – Technology. And here I sit typing on anApple remote keyboard looking at two huge lovely screens that serve me well.