Friday, August 15, 2014

Dear Apple...

You and I have been together many years, I was there in the 1980's with the Apple II/e. I became a serious user with around 1990/91 with a Mac IIcx.  I've stood by through the rough years of Gil Amelio when it was just pro users and I happily went from my Quadra 650 to my beloved but difficult to open 8500.

Steve Jobs came back at some point and drove the company into being a serious market competitor with the iMac and iPod. He ultimately hit pay dirt with the iPhone but around that time the boutique pro company had changed into the mainstream, the big corporation, the man. Apple was no longer the underdog, the hippie run computer run company that had forged its way with an attitude that said, yeah we are more expensive but we are worth it.

The idea that Jobs maintained that he was right and the user was wrong, that he knew what was best for us regardless of whether that was about dumbing down pro software or forcing how we went about using our computers. This on going insult was made all the more pointed as models of computers became harder for users to fix or upgrade and not critical applications became non removable from mobile devices.

The most recent slap happened when Apple decided that forced upgrades on mobile devices was not only going to be the norm but Apple would remain non responsive to the vast amount of pleas when people suddenly were stuck with a new OS (7) that dropped battery life so significantly some users just gave up.

I recently was forced to upgrade my iPad, a device I absolutely adored from 6.xx to 7 because Skype insisted on it and there was no way out, it would no longer launch. I use Skype for work, so this was a proverbial gun help to my head. This is an offensive business practice and one that has made me consider leaving Apple a lot over recent years. 

I upgraded to iOS 7 thinking I'd get used to the changes as one does, after all I have been through many computers and I know that ultimately most things one adjusts to or removes them from ones work vision. iOS 7 is different, yes it's ugly, yes it changes how one does many things in most cases without much reason or logic BUT it also eats the fucking battery power.

How bad can that be? Well from my own experience I used to change the iPad a couple of times a week and now it's every day. Reports all over the internet are exactly the same, not in time but in general battery drain. There are tons of articles to make the problem a bit less gigantic but none that make it small enough to not notice it.

Because Apple has made it impossible to downgrade devices, I am stuck without hacking my device (which I don't want to do and shouldn't have to)..  Apple has chosen the big brother approach, the lowest common denominator towards its users and now they have taken away a product that I found extremely useful and enjoyable.

I have some connections in and around the company but I would rather not use that route, I would rather find some realistic and permanent solution to the current position that Apple is right and many long time supporters are wrong. I want to be able to run an older OS instead of being bullied into using a new OS which seem to serve to only make machines unusable thus forcing people to buy more product.

Personally I don't know that I would buy another Apple product new until their attitude towards customers changes, which I imagine won't be happening any time soon. So Apple, consider whether treating your users like prisoners or idiots is a good long term plan. I don't care to ask "what would Steve do" -he was often wrong when it came to the human factor, I don't know that he "got" people.      

Fix my iPad.