Sunday, 29 January 2017

Giving up on apple

That's it, a step too far, i've had enough! I am going back to Windows and Linux.

Okay, click-bait aside, let's talk about this rationally. Basically i've been getting progressively more annoyed with apple's direction for a while now and here's why.

1. Lack of investment in pro/creative products and software

The mac pro and to a similar extent the Macbook pro have seen very little in the way of genuine upgrades recently. The Macbook Pro, following it's most recent upgrade, is now an under-powered, over-priced faux-luxury machine and simply doesn't compete with the PC options on any front. The laptop options in it's price range are both numerous, and, generally speaking, better value. The Mac Pro is basically a product no-one doing anything professionally actually wants now. It hasn't been upgraded in any meaningful way since for years. It's essentially just a halo product but it's not aspirational for anyone other than people who are strongly tied into the i-world. Apple's products used to be the best built, the best running etc and they simply aren't keeping up anymore with the other options out there. I understand that Apple has optimised the OS to work well on the hardware but there is only so far you can push it before it's simply a smokescreen. Does Final Cut render faster than Adobe Premier Pro for a lesser spec'd Mac to PC? Sure. Does it offer the same feature set and usability of Premier Pro? No, not even close and that's the key point here. If you want to use Apple products you have to think their way and utilise the system in exactly the method they intended. They may think differently but often they think too simply to be any use beyond the trivial.

Back in the day Steve Jobs used to tell everyone that Apple was the company that cared about what they made, that took pride in the small details and doing a good job, a better job than it's competitors. If that's still the case, why are they encouraging a sort of dumb, blank mind, stupidity amongst their customers? One click functionality is great if you nail what the customer actually wants to happen with that click. If, however, you simply take away all the options and leave the one-click functionality as the only option you create a system that is so inflexible that it really is just a toy. Yes if you want to invest a lot of money into the various parts of the ecosystem, on a regular basis, then you can have a very nice toy but nothing more. In short, Apple now concerns itself with the trivial, not the pro or the creative user.

2. The price

What the hell are Apple on thinking they can get away with the current pricing. For years and years Apple were the hyper expensive alternative to traditional PCs. They had barely any market share until they started pricing themselves competitively. This happened around the time they switched to intel based processors and anyone that was around at that time will recall their carefully detailed argument about the fact that being on Intel would allow them to LOWER prices due to the standardised architecture and lower production costs than IBM equivalents. Now it seems they want to go back to the old world, charging extortionate amounts for machines that don't really offer any advantage. There is no doubt that in my mind that almost every product Apple now sells is overpriced. Apart from the $300 picture book of course, which represents brilliant value for money................

3. The focus on the mobile world

For years now Apple seem to have had their entire focus on the mobile market. iPhones and iPads are fine as a business proposition but not if you do it at the expense of your entire pro market. I already mentioned that Apple's focus has been on the trivial use case and this represents exactly that movement. Can you make a nice picture book on your iPad? sure. Whip out that same iPad in a studio recording situation as your main mixing platform and chances are you are not going to get paid for that session.

4. Stability

I used to use Mac OSX because it was the nicest, most stable OS around. Having moved back to Windows I can honestly say that's not the case anymore. Windows is behaving itself really pretty well and on those few occasions that it crashes I can usually figure out what went wrong and actually apply some logic to fix the problem. I grew up using windows machines and it's nice to go back to a world that seems both familiar and to be applying some more rationality to it's problem solving.

5. Bizarre software design

It's only going back to PC that i'm starting to get a sense of just how warped my perception of the whole computing world had become by using OSX and Apple products. Everything on a Mac is something other than what you are used to and i'd just gotten familiar with this weird way of working. It's nice not having to "quit" my application after i've closed it. It's nice having a menu with all my apps available if I forget to put something into the dock or quick launch area. I appreciate the familiarity of "Save as copy" over "Duplicate". Everything just feels like it makes sense again. I have to put more work into some things sure, but that work is rewarded by knowing the system i've put in place and understanding why it is the way it is. On Mac you think you understand what's going on and then suddenly you find that you've once again stumbled into some 7th circle of Hell reserved only for those who like they're entire project structures buried inside unreadable file/bundle/other random container that changes with each release. Everything about the way Mac works with applications is crow-barred into this strange way of thinking that OSX has and it's not until you step back from the edge of the cliff that you see just how messed up it actually is.

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