You need to wrap your head around this

by Volker Weber

I was reflecting about the things that Apple has shown yesterday, and there was a common theme. Apple did not announce any new products you need to buy. Everything they have shown will improve the products you already bought. They will get better, they gain new capabilities, they work better together. And they enable developers to build better solutions.

Apple is making you a happier customer. And that my dear friend is how you sell more products.


No objection. Yet a big "however". As it looks like now, Apple's product are slick, have lots of useful functions, are comparably easy to use. But what made them outstanding some 5 years ago is getting lost bit by bit.

Apple's products are no longer perfect. Just an example: my wife cannot find some of her photos for sharing when looking them up in the file selection dialogue under "Photos". Known problem, if sync to iCloud is active this can happen. A no-go for a non-technical person who does not start searching the internet for solutions.

It is small problems like these that I would not have run across some years ago and which happen to pop up more frequently nowadays. They make the product more difficult to use. They limit productivity. And, that's worst, through them Apple is losing its aura of being "different". You expect this kind of stuff on a Windows box, don't you? But on a Mac?

At this time I am still vastly satisfied with my Apple ecosystem. It is still far better than anything in Microsoft's world. But the gap is closing. And for high-priced products like Apple's there is no excuse for not being perfect.

Martin Dietze, 2016-06-14

Martin, do you make software? And is it perfect? What is your definition of perfect?

Volker Weber, 2016-06-14

Martin, I, for one, have a different take on the term "high-priced products": my experience is that Apple products offer excellent (resell) value and may require a bigger upfront investment but at the end of the day you get a lot of the money back (unless you store your outdated gizmos in your basement).

Markus Dierker, 2016-06-14

Markus: Exactly.

Alexander Kluge, 2016-06-14

What would you highlight from the event?

I haven't seen anything that exciting that hasn't been done before.

David Guillaume, 2016-06-14

Yes, I make software. But I am not arguing as a developer here, rather as a user. Of course, there is no bug-free product. But you can create a user experience that *feels* perfect. This requires excellent design and an excellent QA process. In our business people tend to invest in features instead. This is why I started to like Apple's products so much.

When I got my first MacBook Pro at work I was curious whether it would turn out to be worth its money, since on paper, compared with the ThinkPads my colleagues were using, it did not look like this. After half a year I felt it was worth every penny, mainly because everything worked very smoothly, because there was basically nothing that would annoy me.

On contrast, I remember from the good (?) old Windows 3.1 days WinWord 2.0 having that bug of not being able to save documents from time to time if they had about 100 or more pages. That was a big problem at that time. Word 6.0 came out, and we all hoped that now this bug would be fixed. It was not. Instead there was a busload of new functions of which not all would even work very well. This is why I decided to stop using Microsoft products by the way.

To me it seems like at Apple they used to be almost fanatic about quality. Some people say it was SJ kicking people's arses when he would see obvious quality problems (e.g. when soon after his death the saga with Airport reconnect problems started many said that had he run across this problem he would have made people solve it within days). Maybe it's a myth anyway, but I can see that this has changed as I run across those smaller, annoying things more and more frequently these days.

Martin Dietze, 2016-06-14

The "if Steve was still around" story does not fly with me. And yes, there are annoyances. Once in a while I just watch Louis CK:

Volker Weber, 2016-06-14

I for one am looking forward to continued use of products I purchased. I understand Apple products come at a premium - based on build, quality of software and overall user experience. I still own things like a late 2009 MacBook Pro 13" that to this day only item I had to replace was the battery (depleted battery in 2015!). I did put a bigger 500GB SSD Hard drive in to get more storage than the original 160GB). And now with the latest updates coming I'm getting greater bang for my buck because my devices are still supported. I truly have no qualms with Apple and their initial outlay because they still support products longer than most manufacturers. Looking forward to watchOS3.

Leo Wiggins III, 2016-06-14

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