Dear Apple

Dear Apple:

Yes, your products are sexy and nicely designed and I lust after them with all my heart, especially after being inundated with ads in which comely young people dance around and smile and socialize with them. But your UI quotient is not as high as you think it is. After one week with a new iPod touch, I’m remembering the other reason I went over to The Dark Side back in 1998. I’ve been walking around for the past 10 years thinking it was because of your major strategy FAIL in forcing people to shell out huge amounts of cash for your platforms and hardware, only to discover that none of the software they needed would work on them.

The other reason, Apple, that I left you for your eveel cousin PC/Windows back in 1998 can be summed up in one work: CLUNKe.

As in, your shit is CLUNKY, Apple. Now that I’ve had a decade or two to appreciate the joys of tweaking settings and whatnot (“fiddling”, as Army Guy would call it), I can see that your sexy, cleanly designed UI isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s clunky because in order for a design to be spare it can’t have as many dials to twiddle and buttons to click. It’s clunky because, unless someone is paying close attention, she can lose $12 worth of apps while updating the OS of their hardware. It’s clunky because it’s resource-intensive and resistant to intermittent fix-ups. It’s clunky because it’s not customizable. And it’s clunky because it doesn’t play nicely with any kind of hardware but yours.

Not everyone in the world can afford to pay through the nose for upgrades every two to three years, Apple. And not everyone has hours and hours to lose on your support forums, or upgrading their entire operating systems.

Once upon a time I thought I was an Apple person. But since then, I’ve learned I’m not an Apple person, a Microsoft person, or a Linux person. I’m a pragmatist. I want what’s inexpensive and easy to use. I suppose I’ll just have to suffer through the indignities of not being the first girl on the block with the new shiny white toy, and wait for the 3G version of your products. Preferably as a Christmas/birthday present from my favorite Silicon Valley techie.

Sincerely,

Me

Author: Frances Donovan

I like poetry, long walks on the beach, and net neutrality. Tending the Garden of Words (www.gardenofwords.com) since 1998.

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