Nonstop whining about how Apple sucks

Uhh, your math might be a bit off, per the self-reported answers on a previous TidBITS thread…

When I last read through those replies, there wasn’t anyone born before 1970, and Apple didn’t even exist then, so…

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You are correct. It was a terrible mistake I will never make again. I had been having a good time and while not intoxicated had enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages. And the lady in question was quite attractive.

Keep in mind, I did not know that my unlock code was all that was required to change my AppleID password on iOS. And I was ignorant of the extent to which being logged in to Apple’s ecosystem was necessary to the functioning of my iOS devices. Who knew that every time I launch an app on my Apple devices my AppleID is checked in the background on apps from the AppStore?

It happens so fast you are not even aware of it. You become aware when suddenly nothing on your iPhone works anymore.

To me, my AppleID was for iCloud, Apple Wallet and the App Store. When I download software from a third party on my MacBook it continues to work even if I am not connected to the internet. There is no third party on iPhone.

When I launch my bank software, I think it came from my bank. It did on Mac OS because it is browser based. I forget Apple was in the middle via the App Store for iOS apps.

Apple has total control and can selectively shut down just one app. As the software licensing model moves to subscription based they have you, they totally control what you can do with your own device.

Even John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign manager and not a dumb guy (even if you disagree with his politics) got phished by the Russians.

TidBITS has been around as long as the Mac, maybe earlier. The Mac made its debut in 1984. Slightly reversed for my debut. 1948. I won’t count the years between 48 and 84, but it’s half a lifetime.

Plus the Air Force Pilot is 68.

I would hazard a guess that a good number of users here were born after 1980. If you were born in 1980, you’re pushing 40.

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A tip. When you’re trying to make a point, it’s useful to give specific examples. We don’t know what park you’re talking about, which makes it difficult to understand what you say later.

So I tried to reproduce this with Upper Buttermilk State Park here in Ithaca. Indeed, the pin is in a slightly odd location in the middle of the park, so I decided to suggest that it be moved to the parking lot at the entrance.

You are correct that Apple shows you the satellite map in this situation, but that makes a lot of sense. If you’re trying to specify an exact location, the satellite map will make that a lot easier in most cases.

However, you are not generally correct that points of interest are not shown—you can see that W King Rd is labeled in my screenshot. Nor are you correct that you move the pin, at least in the version of Maps running on my iPhone with iOS 12.4. Just as you suggest that Google Maps does, the pin stays put in the middle of the screen and you move the map around underneath it.

Now, it’s possible that Apple changed this interface since you last tried it, and it’s possible that the maps near the park you’re talking about do not have points of interest listed. But neither is generally true now, and things that are not generally true should not be used for damning criticism.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a cloud in a satellite map, and there certainly isn’t such a problem with my example. I’m sure clouds exist on the maps, but the mapping companies obviously try to avoid using such imagery.

What you’re hitting here is basically a bug, and one that you can report in Maps itself with Report an Issue > Other Issue (attach a screenshot of the clouded-over map). It’s not really any different than a pin being in slightly the wrong place.

So no, I’m sorry, but I don’t see that Apple is really doing anything wrong here at all, other than having less than perfect mapping data and imagery.

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I started TidBITS in April of 1990, so it has been around for just over 29 years.

Our reader survey, which I’ll be looking through in detail this week, reveals that 88% of our readers are over 50 and 95% of our readers are over 40. :slight_smile:

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You make my point better than I could.

Because everyone uses software in a different way is why Google has a substantially large multi-story building in Mountain View totally dedicated to end user usability testing. I have no idea the total number of observation labs in that building or if there are more buildings like it in other places. But I walked by 4 labs before I got to the one they were using with me.

Google doesn’t release any application to end users before it is tested in a usability lab. They’re aren’t necessarily looking for bugs, they’re looking to see how you use their software to see what they might have missed along the way. Everything from on-screen design, menus, help text, roll-overs, even colors.

The development team watches from behind a one way mirror. Everything is recorded, screen mouse, clicks, eye movement. The lead researcher or whatever they call that person is the only person in the room with the subject. No one else. But the team can talk to the lead with further questions or modify the task. The lead will give the subject tasks or problems to solve and no help at first. You’re expected to figure it out.

“Looking at the map on the screen, what would you do if (hypothetical)?”
“If you got there at 8 pm and they were closed, but the map said they were open until 9 pm, how would you correct the listing?”
“How would you expand the search radius?”

If you get stuck, they might give you a clue. The point isn’t to complete the task, it is to watch how you try to finish the task. Often they get what they need in the attempt and they don’t want you to finish. They move on because each subject is only in there for an hour.

I honestly do not know, but does Apple do any end user testing in a usability lab? Because if they had this type of testing they would have caught the map with clouds issue.

You seem to know software development? Is it possible they only tested the move the pin to the right place once and got lucky that the place on the map they chose for testing wasn’t cloudy the day the satellite image was captured.?

I mean anyone on the team that tried that function and got a cloudy image would have set off bells in their head that this design was fatally flawed.

I mean how could they not test every function on the design spec and yet never once see a cloudy image and realize you cannot accurately locate the pin using satellite images?

Now if that was the only thing I saw in the last six months I’d chalk it up to your viewpoint. No one ever saw it. Everybody uses the software differently. Shit happens.

But the bad decisions and poor running software is not an aberration. It happens too much to just be an overlook or not using the software the way the user chose to use it.

There is another post here about the Apple Account Recovery System. The poster says there are literally huge threads discussing this thing and pretty much everyone agrees its an abomination and a disaster.

Apple publicly continues to defend it as a great security enhancement.

I wonder if the small team behind the Apple Account Recovery System are still employed by Apple. Since the program has received so much public scorn. It certainly isn’t making Apple any new friends. Instead its is losing them friends.

I was told by more than one Applecare Senior Tech that it is a total black box. They have absolutely no clue what it does or how it does it. Very few people know the algorithms behind it or why it takes weeks to recover an account. All; they can do is apologize and suggest sending feedback. Which apparently Apple has chosen to ignore.

Consider this as a possibility. The smartest engineers prefer to work for someone else other than Apple? My friend turned down a lucrative offer from Apple to work for a smaller company for less money but more opportunity to have an impact. Doing something more interesting and that is recognized as an achievement by both other engineers who knew the degree of difficulty all the way to end users who don’t care how it works or who created ir, but just love that it works so well.

Adam, thanks so much for this. Whining has become a distraction from what the Talk list originally was…advice and analysis about Apple products, services and apps from second and third party developers. And the tone of the discourse wasn’t combatative.

And the times I’ve had to use Windows reminds me of what both of my parents used to say to me and my sister when we were kids…“I’ll give you something to whine about.”

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Who is the one here making generalities. Show me where I said OS X was lousy. You can’t because I never said it. I did say their application software is OK but wouldn’t win any awards. I did say that I see a decline in quality and enthusiasm. I do see a much greater tolerance for what I consider sloppy work. And I did say they aren’t very good at listening to customers or conducting usability testing.

And I cite specific examples to back up my assertions. Yes, I wrote some things in anger. You call it whining. You might be angry too if you were locked out of your Apple ID for 32 days after Apple made it so easy for a criminal to change your Apple ID password?

How much of the award winning software would you be able to produce if you could not get into your AppleID? I am on a MacBook Pro just like you are and I don’t write about the things that work. What keeps me buying Apple is their operating system. But I use almost no Apple applications.

I do not use the Finder. It isn’t bad for a product designed in the 1980’s. It gets the job done and it does no damage. I prefer Path Finder. When it stopped working with the earlier Catalina betas, I had to go back to Finder. I didn’t like it.

I do not use Apple mail. Again, nothing wrong with it, a very serviceable product. Doesn’t do any damage but it hasn’t really had much done to it for ten or more years. I prefer Airmail 3. It makes handling my mail much faster. A flick to the left to trash, a flick to the right to archive. Very flexible in how many different ways it can be configured. And it does things like delayed send that Apple simply can’t.

I use Google Maps instead of Apple maps. I’m writing a side by side comparison. With examples.

Still use Time Machine. There is simply no substitute but because it can’t keep an image in the cloud, it’s very vulnerable to catastrophic data loss. So I still have to use Dropbox. It won’t restore my system in full like Time machine but I feel a lot more secure with my documents in the cloud.

Prefer Spotify to Apple Music. Still have Pandora. A matter of personal choice really. Nothing I can find wrong with Apple Music except it can’t match to many of the material in my old iTunes Music library. It’s OK, there millions of song sto listen to.

Now when it comes to Photos, I’m torn. If I were only considering iCloud and Photos on iOS I’d be loving Apple. But when it comes to the Mac version of Photos, I have a lot of issues. Especially around the Photo Library and syncing.

Right now, under Catalina 6, Photos is dead. Trying to bless a music library as the System Music Library makes the whole Photos program hang. Bug filed.

But I even differ with them philosophically over syncing. I want my new photos downloaded first, they want to upload all 22,000+ photos first and compare them to iCloud versions. Suffice it to say for the last year Photos Mac has never once finished syncing to iCloud. It didn’t work under Mojave and it doesn’t work under Catalina. I wish they’d let the iOS team code it. I don’t think much of the Engineering team doing Photos Mac.

I just want Apple to get back to being on a mission to change the world. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been wowed by an Apple New Product Rollout. Yeah Steve was a master at the Reality Distortion Field and when the software was crashing he wasn’t above faking it. But how long has it been since I felt “I have to buy that! I know it is expensive but damn it is beautiful and its capabilities almost seem like magic.” Maybe those days will never come back. Corporations are just like people. They get old and die.

But can Apple just get back to TRYING for perfection. I know they’ll never get there. None of us will. But it was fun to watch them try. Now it seems like a lazy, lumbering giant where just OK is good enough.

No whining. Fervent hope.

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On another Mac news and advice site that I follow, the same thing has happened. For what it’s worth (my two cents), I interpret this as the resistance to change of cranky, old, white males — and I know, because I am one.

Everyone on that other site, or nearly everyone, has used Macs professionally, for years, and they have a strong preference for whatever OS and principal application release worked best for them. Anything which deviates so much as an iota from that perfect (in remembrance, at least) state is terrible beyond words, yet my fellow old cranks will complain nonetheless. At length.

While I know that no app and no OS is ever perfect, I find myself wondering why I’m less resistant to change, even if I’m not all that excited about the latest version of something. Maybe it’s because my father used to quote Robert Browning, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be” all the time. Maybe I just want to see what’s over the horizon each day. Or maybe I just like to try new stuff. I think most of us do, unless and until we find a setup that appears to optimize our workflow, or some other use we have for our devices.

While there’s at least one Apple product class (the watch) that I don’t see myself ever buying (at least until they make one that can be worn on the inside of the wrist), I still haven’t seen any competitors’ products I’d prefer in any product class where I do buy Apple hardware. Is the Apple stuff perfect? Not that I can ever recall. But it’s enough better I’m willing to pay the price difference. (Fortunately, I’m no longer in the market for a pro-class desktop!) So my complaints, I promise, will always come with suggestions for improvement, or at least a question of the form, 'Is there a reason whey they can’t…?"

I used to participate in the Apple Community forums. I wanted to help others figure out problems I myself might have had and had fixed. I finally quit as it was just one hysterical, negative comment after another, much as the ones you listed above.

If you does not like Apple, then don’t buy it. No one is forcing it on you. If you have a problem, ask for help. If the first person can’t help you, take it up the food chain.

I never could abide my children whining when they were little and I would not answer them if the voice was whiney. I feel the same today, but when it’s “adults” doing this, I’m just totally turned off.

We have forgotten how to disagree in a civil manner. All we do is attack. I’m very tired of it, too.

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Well, that either means you have a lot of older readers or a lot of young ones who don’t vote. Kind of reflective of the whole country.

In the comment I responded to, you make statements such as:

Voice Recognition? Google wins. Siri sucks.

E-mail? Anything is better than Apple Mail. I use Airmail.

Safari? Garbage compared to Firefox.

There’s just no way to engage in a meaningful discussion if the underlying core “assertion” amounts to little more than “Apple products are bad, other companies alternatives are better across the board.”

As for changing the world, being able to prevent afib deaths by analyzing a person’s heart beat via Apple Watch is as world-changing as it gets.

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I get Adam’s stance about whining. He might seem a bit cranky about it, but I understand his frustration. At times I find it grating too. Other times I totally get where it’s coming from.

Regardless, to the rest of the crowd here either just piling on or ganging up on essentially one other member who has dared to openly state that they don’t find a whole lot of pleasure with the way Apple has developed certain things, well to me that’s just outright bullying.

“Disagreeing in a civil manner” also means accepting that what you love another might find a pile of junk. And if you can’t just let that stand, well then IMHO you’re not one iota better than the guy whose opinion you’re trying to very publicly club to death.

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You are correct. They changed the entire interface. You cannot relocate the pin. You can suggest adding or deleting a label. Very primitive compared to Google maps,You can only write to them. Apparently they are very confident in their data.

Let’s do a side by side comparison at the most basic level. No 3D, No Street View just the maps. And I am going to try to be fair and stick to facts. No whining.

Let’s take the Apple Map first. I picked an area I know well. And we’re looking at the Charlee Hotel. It has a rooftop bar called Envy Rooftop.

Notice the address of the Charlee on Calle 9A. That is the correct address. But Apple hasn’t converted the street address to a geocode and used the geocode to correctly place the Charlee. So first of all Apple has this pin in the wrong place, Half a block away and on the wrong street.

Now maybe you’d like to read some reviews about this Hotel. Apple has a deal with TripAdvisor.com to use their reviews. Now I personally find TripAdvisor reviews and data not quite accurate. Here’s an article from a local journal calling into question the accuracy, legitimacy and currency of TripAdvisor Data for this particular area. Maybe it is better elsewhere.

There is no other choice but Tripadvisor.

The map does have a nice clean Apple look to it. And it’s fast.

Now let’s consider Google Maps information on the same hotel.

First I agree it isn’t as visually appealing. Probably because the number of Points of Interest is dramatically higher.

The reviews are done by Google users. The Google Local Guides are vetted. Fewer fake reviews.

The Charlee is in the correct location. The Bebo Gelato stores has been closed for months as I know the owner. Google still hasn’t removed it.

If you want to stay there, Google Shows the rates from three different booking sites. So it isx possible to compare.

I did not take the time to compare the navigation from the two map sites. Since I am familiar with Google Maps, I can tell you they can route by car, bicycle, public transit, or on foot. They show multiple routes and consider traffic data. They also show links to Uber and Cabify and the estimated time of arrival at the destination and approximate fare. One click takes you to the ride share site with your destination pre-populated. No integration yet to scooters, that just started appearing a few weeks ago.

So now you can see both mapping sites next to each other. I prefer Google’s product over Apple’s. But Apple knows they are playing catchup. Maybe Apple will get better enough to challenge Google.

After seeing both, what’s your opinion and why do you prefer one over the other?

“Whining is manifested when Apple never takes any notice of criticisms and suggestions over improperly performing functions that still exist over time.

Whining is manifested when Apple seems to spend more time doing yet more emojis than fixing its basic application software.

Whining comes about when you learn it is best to be at least one version behind the current version of OS.

Whining comes about when you go into a new ‘non Genius Bar’ Apple shop and find that the new concept has reduced the quality of expertise.

Whining is the frustration that Apple has never learned about web services, the cloud, etc and that it is best to minimize Apple cloud usage but Apple forces you down that route and all hell breaks loose.

Whining is all you can do when you find another company now doing something better in a field that Apple opened but didn’t have the concentration to continue development and to be best in class.

Whining is easy when arbitrary interface changes happen for no apparent benefit and shows Apple has forgotten to follow its good interface rules.

Whining is easy when you can’t understand why Apple is not refreshing its Mac hardware in reasonable time.

Whining is easy when your Apple ID suddenly doesn’t work when you have done nothing to settings and to fix seems convoluted and unnecessary.

In conclusion there’s much to praise Apple such as its stance on privacy and environment, but Apple could reduce the whining by getting out of its ivory tower.

Adam - whining happens in communities and TidBits helps me realise that I am not imagining things when Apple stuff is illogical, difficult and frustrating to me.

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Dear Adam, in a wider context this isn’t a good time is it – and you’re reacting to an aspect of this.

But please don’t feel too bad yourself – you & Tonya & Josh and all the other TidBITS writers, over the years, are so valuable – you’re treasures, don’t ever forget this is how so many of us here feel!

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Cheers @ace I too hope that the topic steadily fades down the list of active topics…

Well said, Adam. I agree entirely. Whining is dull, it’s tedious, it contributes nothing.

Jeremy

Totally agree, Adam.

If you don’t like Apple products, stop buying them! Stick with the product you have.

Few things are perfect in this World and Apple can have a few missteps, like everyone else. Without them, most of the other stuff wouldn’t even exist.

I grew up when a calculator was a fantastic piece of tech and I always feel totally amazed whenever I use an Apple or any other well-designed and reliable product. My glass is half full…

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Personally, I prefer Google Maps for transit and driving, and Apple Maps for walking, as I said when I wrote about using them extensively over two weeks.

You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, and in this post you’ve backed it up. People may or may not agree—that’s their right.

But there doesn’t need to be a jump from your preference to a general criticism of Apple or using it as evidence that Apple’s work is generally inferior. It’s not a zero-sum game—everyone can use what they want, and if they prefer, like me, they can even use both apps simultaneously.

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