Editor’s Note: Apple has made a go of this Mac business for 25 years, but who’s to say that the company doesn’t need some helpful advice on how to keep the platform thriving for the next quarter-century? Just in case they’re hurting for ideas at One Infinite Loop, we asked Andy Ihnatko for a to-do list of things Apple needs to tackle.
1. Rethink the Finder
It may have been the epitome of file-system graphical navigation in the early 1980s, but come on: its Flock of Seagulls haircut is showing. Apple, you’ve had more than 20 years to think of the Finder’s next evolution. So evolve it already.
2. Don’t just tell me you can’t eject the media
Tell me which damned file is in use by which application! Either that, or give me a name, an address, and an appointment so I can slap the OS engineer responsible for this behavior, for a minimum of 40 minutes.
3. Fix Back to My Mac
This feature is way too cool and useful to be so unreliable. Once this thing starts to work as advertised, screen sharing, shared iTunes libraries, and a load of other features will become exponentially cooler and more useful as well.
4. Add readable media to iTunes’ portfolio
I can use Apple products to listen to music, view photos, and watch TV shows and movies. So what does Apple have against reading? Third-party Mac and iPhone reader apps have already proved that Apple has built some wonderful reading devices. So why can’t I sync and read desktop documents on my iPhone and iPod as easily as I can sync and enjoy music and video? And why can’t I buy reading material just as easily? Books, comic books, college texts: Apple should be selling them all in the iTunes Store. Do it all well enough, and people might even pay $500 for an Apple e-book reader.
5. Bring back licensed Apple merchandise
We totally promise not to make stop-motion videos of the “I’m A Mac” and “I’m A PC” dolls gettin’ it on.
6. Give the Mac mini and Apple TV a soul (one each)
Apple excels in part because when it releases a new product, it makes an emphatic and aggressive argument that convinces you that there was a [name of product]-shaped hole in your heart all along and you never knew it. But the company hasn’t yet made that case for the Mac mini or Apple TV. C’mon, Apple: If you don’t believe in these two products, upgrade them until you do.