3 reasons I fell in love with Apple are now 3 reasons Apple broke my heart :)
Apple is now focused on creating computers we WANT, but will not create a computer we NEED. This beautiful machine has now lost touch with why it was originally conceived: To empower professionals to efficiently work on a beautiful device. Here is my story how I can no longer work efficiently while using this beautiful machine.
I missed the excitement of joining the Apple bandwagon until much later in my life. All the keynotes that my friends would talk about; I only looked on with awe through the window of my Windows box. I suffered through constant crashings when using a Matrox video editing solution on Windows, when at the same time my friends drank Lattes at Starbucks while editing on Final Cut Pro. I committed to regular reformat/reinstall weekends while my friends played Frisby in the park.
Made the switch
So when I finally switched over it was a dream come true, my life was changed: Software installation by dragging and dropping, software that looks polished and stable, using ‘real’ command line to interact with my hosting and services, opening it after many days, and still power to spare. Many times my girlfriend would literally remove my laptop from my arms before bed. But looking back it was these 3 aspects that really had me at ‘unboxing’.....
1. Dedicated buttons which improved my efficiency
Coming from Windows where to change the volume is a function key sequence - programming on Mac was a beautiful experience. I was able to control the volume without even taking my eyes off my code. I felt like a magician: Commanding music to lower so I could hear my colleague speak without pausing from programming.
2. Headphones giving a unified experience
I remember seeing Kevin Rose on Twit years ago with his Apple earphones with an inline mic on the cable - wow - I was hooked. I could take my earphones from my phone and plug them into my computer for a business call! My efficiency exponentially increased. Many times I have had to take an emergency call that required screen sharing, so I simply unplugged my Apple earphones from my phone and plugged them into my computer and was able to get the issue resolved in an efficient way. I didn’t have to worry about a wireless headset dying mid sentence, it was just a rock solid cable which empowered me.
3. Keyboard and connectivity
That feeling when I switched over to a Macbook Air, and the keyboard just felt right: I was able to slide gently over with enough resistance that kept me typing without making many mistakes. All this while being able to quickly plug in an SD card (whether I would be doing photography OR burning an image for my Raspberry Pi) and being able to quickly plug in any USB dongle to efficiently transfer files. That feeling that my professional computer connected to all the professional cables of the era; it just felt right.
Now as my company grows from a one man shop to a company with a small staff I’m ready to throw my arms up in the air and claim to be a proud Apple development shop. Why worry about the extra money when you get quality and efficiency in return….
…. Then the glass shatters with the realization that the Apple I fell in love with no longer loves me back ...
1. Dedicated keys removed
All my dedicated buttons, which increased my efficiency, have been removed for a less efficient beautiful piece of glass… What’s worse is the ESC key has been moved slightly off-right so I often mis-type while trying to stay in my programming zone. Why am I being weaned off an ESC key ? Am I the last programmer on earth that wants dedicated buttons for important functionality?
-> I then realized Apple is no longer ‘into me’. What I thought is cool, is no longer cool.
2. iPhone earphones
As a friendly Canadian I suppose if Apple wants to create a proprietary headphone jack: Fine, I can live with that, but at least ensure that proprietary jack is unified between the devices and computers of that same company. Why can’t I plug in my earphones from my over thousand dollar iPhone into my over triple thousand laptop (without a dongle that falls on the ground and get's attacked by my cats). What is wrong with me using one pair of headphones for 2 devices? I just want a ‘wire’ that doesn’t need to be recharged to literally put sound in my ears.
-> I then realize it’s me…. Apple doesn’t think a 39 year old man with wires coming out of his ears is cool anymore.
3. Keyboard just too different
I am all for change, and would encourage Apple to create a side-line of computers with a touch-bar, thin and light design that goes even further... Go full Star Trek TNG glass keyboards! and while you're at it change my trackpad into an iPad, so I can watch Netflix while working without wasting screen real-estate. Give me my hybrid Tablair!
… But instead the flagship computer was changed so drastically that overnight my world came crashing down. Am I asking too much to expect a production machine to roll-in changes AFTER they have been tested or even explored in a not so important line ?
-> I then realize it’s me: ‘She’s just not that into you’.
How can I win back my Apple ?
-> In the movies I would run through the fields to Cupertino and stand outside of her window playing guitar until she remembers our good times: Programming for extended sessions with me flying over the keyboard, adjusting the volume without looking, on the go - plugging in any cable directly to my computer!
But this is not the movies…
...and I have a company to run and every day is a fight to stay afloat. So if Apple doesn’t come back to me soon - I’m on the prowl for a smooth keyboard, dedicated volume button, same sized arrow keys and a great interface to the Linux command line!