OK I’ll admit it I do hate Apple. It’s not really the products, nor the users, it’s the bloody hyperbole that goes with Apple and I reckon man users and the company foster it.
A couple of weeks ago I was sitting back at a meeting and Apple was mentioned and a zealot said, “Yeah well they [Apple] manage to come up with innovations 15 years ahead of others.” Oh give me a bloody break. Yes that is the siren of the hyperbole police you hear. For a start 15 years is such a gross exaggeration. Yes the Apple Mac introduced the GUI when they reverse engineered it from Xerox, yes Apple zealots they didn’t invent it, they just redid it and marketed it. Partly cause Xerox didn’t realise they gold their researchers had developed. When Microsoft introduced Windows, Apple “visionary” (deliberate hyperbole used there) Steve Jobs was apoplectic with rage that Apple were copied. Clearly unfamiliar with the concept of the pot calling the kettle black he called Bill Gates over and questioned him about Gates’ “theft” of the GUI. Gates’ response was simple and clear: “…it’s more like we both had this rich neighbour named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.” Yes Apple Zealots (would they be “Applets” ) Apple didn’t invent the GUI so stop whinging about Windows and any other GUIs copying.
Then Apple zealots want to tell you how innovative OSX is and how intuitive it is. Well OSX is good partly because it is built on a Unix back-end which makes it very stable. The interface is very pretty but intuitive? Well if you get a person used to Apple on there thewy love it. But get a Windows user on there, they will say it’s pretty, but they will be lost by certain things. No double click to install will be strange. Or when you click the red cross the program doesn’t Quit. No you have to select File> Quit. Now that’s intuitive… no it isn’t.
Pull out a thumb drive accidentally then try to plug it in again. Poor old OSX struggles there. You have to unmount it properly (that’s a Unix thing), which you do by trashing it, which always feels like deleting it. Strange, not intuitive. I once made this mistake of pulling out a thumb drive on a mate’s Macbook, to fix it I ended up in some disk management utility to correctly unmount the volume. He had no idea what I was doing. To a Linux nerd this was easy but to a new Mac user this would be a nightmare.
Then there is the whole iPhone and Android battle, which for the record Apple will lose. The iPhone is a cool device no doubt, but Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, or the touchscreen smartphone. They simply designed their own. It is good, well especially by the 3G model which could then be used here in Australia cause 3G networking needs multitasking which early versions of the iPhone couldn’t do. Ooh that’s a bit crap isn’t it. Oh it couldn’t do MMS either, also crap. Android just offers other hardware makers a mature and comparable OS to run their smartphones. Apple of course bangs on about copying, but what are other manufacturers to do, sit back and give Apple the whole market? Well that is what Apple would like, but sadly for Apple that won’t happen and Android will continue to push Apple and with a variety of handset makers will end up surpassing anything Apple will do.
I can hear the Apple zealots already talking about how much superior iOS is, like how it has this innovative notifications drop down in version 5… um, well Android has had that since Version 1 back in 2008! Apple isn’t afraid to copy either when it suits them.
It’s time for people to recognise Apple make some nice software and design some nice hardware too, but they certainly aren’t the second bloody coming, and Steve Jobs is certainly no messiah. As this New Yorker article explains, he wasn’t innovative, Jobs was the consummate tweaker. And this in itself is a skill, but he was no innovator. So let’s stop the hyperbole and just acknowledge they do some good stuff.