Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Apple Follows Microsoft Playbook With iOS 7: Let The Chumps Beta Test

Its been a few weeks now that I have been using iOS 7 on both my iPhone 5 and my second generation iPad. While I was pleased to see the clean interface initially, I have now become less enamored.

I will turn 68 Monday and I have discovered that to navigate menus in just too many cases I had to have my bifocals nearby. The lines are so thin that you need sharp eyes to get to the correct item or menu. I noted in the initial review that a pixel or two wider would have been better and now I KNOW it.

There are other issues though that are far more important. Things that used to work just fine may not even work at all now. In fact I know that Steve Jobs would have never allowed this to be released. He may have chosen Jony Ives to be the design guru but they had famous arguments and even the best designer often needs a firm hand. Just because its pretty doesn't mean its functional.

Battery life, something we thought was pretty much fixed in iOS 6, now takes center stage again. Literally it sucks...the juice right out of the phone. iMessage that Apple says is having problems in a small number of cases is not small when your wife yells at you when she sees you after sending six unanswered texts. From what I read, that number isn't very small either.

Syncing has become an issue again. I would never, EVER use iCloud. I don't understand how Apple can make such wonderful products and fail so dismally in the cloud. .Mac, then .Me and now iCloud are sure to create fights, anger and finally un-clouding when your phone or computer or both have the same contacts, email and Lord knows what else 10 times or to have disappeared entirely. I'm sorry Apple, its just not acceptable.

iTunes was simplicity itself. Now you just about need to be a software engineer or under 20 to understand the opening screen. It reminds me of the Kmart ads that don't waste even a quarter inch of white space. There is so much and the headlines guiding you to where you want to go are so small, I usually give up. Yet this is the ONLY way you can sync your phone or iPad. A true Catch 22!

We all know how the new fingerprint software was hacked a few hours into opening day. Now iMessage and I would guess the syncing problem is more than they are admitting. Its as if Cook, is following Bill Gates operation of Microsoft. Was there ever a version of Windows that was ready for prime time? Ever? Even with all the glitches it sometimes took years for the service packs to appear. Microsoft wonders why so many stuck with Windows 98 or more recently Windows XP. They more or less worked and no one wanted to start all over again. Has anyone really learned the newest versions of Office? Do they like it?

I can remember laughing at Windows users but since about OS 10.6, Apple has gone along the same road. Loooooong start up times, even longer shut down. A variety of screens that you are not quite sure what to do with. There is the dock, Launchpad, and Mission Control. I have several screens for a variety of different uses that I can't seem to do away with nor add to. First they stripped all your old Power PC programs until finally with 10.8 you have to have an entirely new software bundle for just about everything you used because they only support Intel chips. That $30 upgrade to 10.8 cost me $1000 in new software and three new printers.

I know that Apple feels under the gun with Android but sometimes its better to be the best than to just have it. People get angry and in this case the rumors have already started that people are giving up. Many long for iOS 6 but you can't do that. I became so frustrated after losing several doctor's appointments, times, addresses, etc., in a transfer to my computer that I swore in a Tweet this was my last iPhone. Since I won't even consider anything Samsung, I am left with Motorola and as we all know their record hasn't been so great the past few years either. Google or not.

Apple, please fix iOS 7. I heard the first Jobs announcement, bought the first phone the day it came out and have touted the advantages of Apple for years. Now, I'm not so sure. My frustration, that of my family and friends has become a chorus that is impossible to ignore.

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