Start making sense: In your Apple criticism

Criticism is fine, but ranting isn't helpful.


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Hey, how about if, when we criticize Apple, the things we complain about are real problems instead of zany top ten or twenty six lists? Let’s just try it once and if pundits don’t like it they can, uh, quit writing about Apple entirely.

Writing for The Guardian, Steve Rose attempts to provide “A brief guide to everything that’s annoying about Apple.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Aaron Fisher, Eric Díaz, @papanic and Nathan Larsen.)

The list is not brief, most of the items not annoying.

Is this the beginning of the end for Apple?

Of course. Much in the way that life is just one long march toward death. Just like this list.

The Macalope is often decried as an Apple “apologist” but that’s not really it. There’s plenty of room to criticize Apple, he just hates to see it done so sloppily. If you’re going to write a guide of things annoying about Apple, it really should be about things that actually matter.

A list of such items could include many things, like slow Watch performance, the iTunes desktop application (Rose swings and misses at this one), the App Store ecosystem for developers, Apple Music’s inscrutable user experience, Eddy Cue’s fashion choices (that’s kind of a joke, but…) and many others. Many of Rose’s don’t stand the scrutiny you’d give a desperation vending machine burrito purchase.

1 The passwords

This one’s OK. The Macalope’s not sure what the alternative is to having multiple logins other than simply giving up on security, but user ID and password management is kind of a mess.

2 The product launches

Please, just quietly release everything. Marketing is for companies that are trying to sell something. How gauche.

3 The endless hardware upgrades

Stop trying to improve everything! Really, I was fine with a Walkman and an HP 29C.

4 The Green Eggs and Ham approach to software updates

There are several reasons Apple bugs you to upgrade. The cynical one is it’s easier for them if everyone’s on the latest release (it’s also a marketing tool). But the biggest is security. It’s simply better to update. Complaining about it is like complaining about dental hygiene or oppressive government regulations about how many weevils can be in a breakfast cereal.

You will not be surprised later to find that Rose also complains about bugs.

5 The U2 album

The only music Apple ever gave away for free was the album absolutely nobody wanted or asked for.

It was not the only music Apple ever gave away for free but… yes.

6 The price

Apple products cost too much! And what’s with that high resale value and all that utility and build quality?! Urgh!

7 They’re too cool for tills

Thinking outside of the box about how to manage a crowded retail store is simply hipsterism.

This is not analysis. This is throwing a tantrum.

8 The ubiquitous ringtone

You know, the Macalope has a graduate degree. You can just imagine the poor life choices that led him to sitting at a desk and critiquing this list.

10 The rip-off accessories


And we’re not even half way through this list. Don’t worry, the Macalope won’t subject you to all of it. He can’t, it’s against the Geneva Convention.

11 The constant iTunes revamping

The problem isn’t that iTunes gets revamped, the problem is it just keeps getting worse.

See, this is the problem with ranting. You miss making the actual point.

Siri, fast-forward four minutes.

15 Mac lag

Our old MacBook takes longer to wake up every morning than we do.

You’ll note that “old device is old” and “Apple updates too much” are both on the same list without a shred of irony.

Siri, skip the things that are merely bass-ackwards and go to the next thing that is revoltingly bass-ackwards.

18 They have turned into The Man

Apple has marketed itself as the alternative choice ever since Ridley Scott’s 1984-themed Super Bowl ad 30 years ago, but, in the meantime, it has basically become Big Brother

The company that just fought the FBI over protecting the rights of its customers and has made privacy a cornerstone of its ethos (as opposed to its competitors) is basically Big Brother. Huh. Guess you can write that without exploding.

Siri, spin the wheel of garbage again, please.

22 Their wealth

Success is so annoying.

Make it rain tire fires again, Siri.

24 Error 53

How many corporations possess and wield the power to criminally damage their products – your products – after they’ve sold them to you?

Uh, in technology, all of them?

Siri, put us out of our misery.

26 Their business model is The Circle

Dave Eggers’ dystopian novel details a utopian-sounding tech corporation whose ambitions extend to every aspect of people’s lives, anticipating, fulfilling and creating their every desire, to the extent that people never need to step outside the closed loop of control.

Which major technology company doesn’t want to do that? Amazon practically gives away its tablets and sells an always-on listening device and buttons inspired by lab rat experiments, for crying out loud.

The Macalope is fine with criticism of Apple. Throwing a fit, though? It’s just not helpful.

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