PDA

View Full Version : Apple’s Top 5 current design travesties


MacBytes
Nov 5, 2007, 09:29 AM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple’s Top 5 current design travesties (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20071105102911)
Description:: Sure we all love Apple, but it doesn’t mean we have to turn a blind eye when they occasionally make the odd design decision. Below is our list of the top 5 most glaringly bad design decisions the company has recently (and is still currently) incorporating into its hardware

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

mkrishnan
Nov 5, 2007, 09:38 AM
They all seem like valid points. I'm unsure about the discoloration... are new Macbooks still actually discoloring (in the sense of a stain that cannot be removed), or are they merely getting dirty like the iBook palmrests do (but which can easily be cleaned, e.g. by Mister Clean Magic Eraser)? If that issue is still happening, it's kind of pathetic.

Anyway, though, when they said design travesties, I was ready for some Joan Rivers fashion critiquing and not all engineering design qualms. But generally valid points.

sunfast
Nov 5, 2007, 09:47 AM
That article hit a bit of a sore note with me - my MacBook has the discolouring and the chuffing crack on the case. They could have been photographing my machine!

zimtheinvader
Nov 5, 2007, 09:48 AM
The funny thing is, they couldn't do this for any other computer, the list would be endless. Other than the MB cracks/discolouring, I've seen so many of those on campus its just sad.

PlaceofDis
Nov 5, 2007, 09:51 AM
yeah i'd say that these are all a bit of sore spots that need to be worked out. the combo drive should be long gone, sorry Apple.

Orng
Nov 5, 2007, 10:20 AM
While I agree with the author on all of those points that I'm familiar with (the iPhone is still a no-show in Canada, so I can't attest to the speakerphone) I have to say that these aren't really "design" problems, these are engineering problems. When the design department creates and polishes the look of the next MacBook, they are not the least bit concerned with the hardware in it or the materials used, that's someone else's job. That's a technical decision and a marketing decision, the designers shouldn't take the fall for these flubs.

But yeah, combo drive? WTF!

swingerofbirch
Nov 5, 2007, 10:34 AM
I've had my Macbook for a couple of weeks, and having known about the discoloration problem I've washed my hands each time before I use it. Hopefully that will stave the problem off.

armaster73
Nov 5, 2007, 10:34 AM
I agree, my MacBook has the same cracking and discoloration issues as shown here. They really do need to address these issues that have been very well documented.

Clive At Five
Nov 5, 2007, 12:08 PM
Agreed with the combo drive. If you must differentiate, put a slower Superdrive in the MacBook, but honestly, don't rip off users who pay top-dollar to use Apple products. The Slim DVD Durners cost $50 (RETAIL) on NewEgg. Meanwhile, the slim Combo Drives cost $40. Apple, just splurge the extra $10... less than that since you're not buying retail.

My personal list:

Honestly, I could care less about micro-fractures chipping away at little pieces of the MBPs. That's not what I would call a "design travesty." A mishap, yes, but "travesty" is a bit of a hyperbole.

1) Apple Mice
I agree with the first commentor on the Macenstein site. What is it with Apple not being able to get the mouse formula right, ever? I mean first we have the iPuck, then we have the giganto pill, where the whole freaking thing is a button, but the cord gets caught underneath so sometimes it prevents it from clicking, and we still don't have a right-mouse-button. Then there's the mighty mouse, which is still HUUUUUGE and the ball gets stuck and you have to have your left finger off the mouse in order to right-click.

Advice: Please, Apple, just give us a palmable mouse with right-clicking and scrolling. That's all I ask. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

2) The new iMac
The first iMac was an amazement to the eyes. The whole G3 fit into that nice little orb. Wow. Built-in screen, one cord to plug in. Done. Boom. Simple. It had plenty of computing power for most users, as it was just a few MHz behind the PowerMacs of the day. Revolutionary, colorful, vibrant, envigorated Apple's entire line-up, and influenced new thinking in all sorts of industrial design, not just computers.

The second iMac (swivel neck) was another amazing piece of work. Built-in LCD, ultra-adjustible swivel-neck, beautiful hemispherical base, and a display highlighted with acrylic edging... Again, using a G4, just MHz behind the PowerMacs of the day. It was powerful, yet gorgeous and really took your breath away.

The third iMac coined the phrase, "Where did the computer go?" and for good reason, it carried on the iMac's tradition of hiding the iMac's innards within a beautiful new form. Although considerably more simplistic-looking than the previous iMacs, the G5 iMac maintained a sleek beautiful new appearance, while not sacrificing power (until the Intel models).

The fourth iMac, however, was merely a modification of a (by then) tired design. It continued using the previous iMac's laptop components, and although they were crammed into a smaller form-factor, the sacrifice in computing power is something to be ashamed of. Not only that, but the computer is absolutely unmodifiable aside from RAM. The combination gives this computer an exceedingly short lifespan.

Advice: Put desktop parts in your iMac so it will once again be just a step behind your Pro machine. The "sacrifice" in size is well worth the longevity of the unit. Plus, with Johnny Ives on-board, you could surely think of a new and elegant way to design-away the extra bulk of carrying more powerful components.

3) The lack of an external MacPro redesign
Cheese Grater. Used to look powerful and cool. Now it looks old and lame. Even the PowerMac G4 (bless its heart) went through a couple redesigns during it's 5 years on the market. The G5/MacPro has gone through zero in its 4 years.

Advice: I'm bored. Fix it.

4) the New iPods
A) The iPod Touch looks like a wannabe iPhone, but does less. It's supposed to focus more on being an iPod but looks nothing like one. Basically, between the screen and the case design, the iPod looks to be having a massive identity crisis. I understand the difficulty involved in designing a full-screen-something to look distinctively different from the iPhone, but why not house it in a classic glossy white or black (or even "aluminum") edging with the mirrored back? Seriously, what is with the very odd bevel on the touch?

Advice: Start over. Redesign. Make it an iPod. Not an iPhone look-alike.

B) An iPod "Classic" without the color white is hardly classic at all. Yes, it's obvious that Apple is moving away from the color white (unfortunately if you ask me) but a white rectangle with a screen and a circle below it IS the iPod. What's with this silver crap?

Advice: You don't mess with a classic. Keep the Classic white/black, do whatever you want to the Nano.

5) LACK OF A MID RANGE TOWER
Apple, ESPECIALLY if you intend on crippling the iMac the way you do, please give prosumers something to work on. Intel makes Desktop processors for a reason. The performance gap between mobile and server CPUs is considerable. Why bar us from using desktop CPUs? Not all of us are pros, but many of us DO need more power (and longevity) than what an iMac can provide.

Advice Self-explanatory. Fill the gap, Apple.

-Clive

Rodimus Prime
Nov 5, 2007, 12:15 PM
I think apple mouse is a huge design problem. I am not saying make a 2 button mouse (sore spot for many) but at the very least add a scroll wheel. The lack of a scroll wheel is the reason why any apple mouse I get just ends up in the trash. I can deal with the lack of a 2nd mouse button but the lack of a scroll wheel and middle click drive me insane.

xUKHCx
Nov 5, 2007, 12:18 PM
I think apple mouse is a huge design problem. I am not saying make a 2 button mouse (sore spot for many) but at the very least add a scroll wheel. The lack of a scroll wheel is the reason why any apple mouse I get just ends up in the trash. I can deal with the lack of a 2nd mouse button but the lack of a scroll wheel and middle click drive me insane.

Sorry i may be reading this wrong but you have heard of the Might Mouse haven't you. It is an apple mouse with a scroll ball and a second button, even a third and a fourth.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 5, 2007, 02:49 PM
Sorry i may be reading this wrong but you have heard of the Might Mouse haven't you. It is an apple mouse with a scroll ball and a second button, even a third and a fourth.

Sorry should re explain that (beside thinking the might mouse is a peice of junk) it more the stock mouse for apple is a design flaw and belongs in the garbag. At the very least it needs a scroll wheel and maybe a middle click. The big thing is the scroll wheel. I do not think apple has an excuse for not having a scroll wheel.
I can understand the lack of the other buttons but not the scroll wheel.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 5, 2007, 02:50 PM
Sorry i may be reading this wrong but you have heard of the Might Mouse haven't you. It is an apple mouse with a scroll ball and a second button, even a third and a fourth.

Sorry should re explain that (beside thinking the might mouse is a piece of junk) it more the stock mouse for apple is a design flaw and belongs in the garbage. At the very least it needs a scroll wheel and maybe a middle click. The big thing is the scroll wheel. I do not think apple has an excuse for not having a scroll wheel.
I can understand the lack of the other buttons but not the scroll wheel.

xUKHCx
Nov 5, 2007, 02:54 PM
But the mighty mouse is the stock mouse now. The old 1 button mouse no longer exists (at least in the UK)

Rodimus Prime
Nov 5, 2007, 02:59 PM
But the mighty mouse is the stock mouse now. The old 1 button mouse no longer exists (at least in the UK)

well I'll be... Another thing that Apple said would never happen has truly happen took them long enough.

. Now if they would only update their laptops to get a 2nd mouse button.

psychofreak
Nov 5, 2007, 03:01 PM
well I'll be... Another thing that Apple said would never happen has truly happen took them long enough.

. Now if they would only update their laptops to get a 2nd mouse button.

This is a great mid way - its still 1 button by default. Two finger click is waaaaay better than 2 mouse trackpad buttons...

solvs
Nov 6, 2007, 03:28 AM
Uh, the Mighty Mouse has been the default for well over a year now. It's been around since 2005. Though you've been able to use any USB mouse since the beginning of OS X. Before even.

Chaszmyr
Nov 6, 2007, 03:37 AM
Personally, I wouldn't care if my AppleTV lacked a hard drive all together, I've only ever used it for streaming video.

Genghis Khan
Nov 6, 2007, 03:47 AM
meh...not the top five apple current design mishaps

- mighty mouse: perfect except for scrollball which clogs up too easily and is such a pain to clean for short-term benefit that i don't bother anymore
- apple tv: useless - far too expensive
- mid-range tower: i agree...we need one desperately...if they release one at macworld, i'll be first in line
- lack of pro-line exterior redesign
- RAM: why is apple RAM (before and after purchase) so expensive? you can get third party RAM for such a fraction of the price that's it's not funny
- mac mini: too expensive...now i realise that apple's become more cost-effective the higher you go, but if apple can't release something mildly sensible at this price, then why bother?
- iChat AV: you have to pay to use it...oh yeah, fantastic personal messenger service:rolleyes: ......would love it if iChat was like adium in that you can use any service you want


this is just a spontaneous list, haven't thought about it...although these issues do need to be addressed

EDIT:
possible midrange tower
2.00GHz/2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" Processor
1GB/2GB/4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics with 256MB/512MB memory
320GB/500GB/750GB Serial ATA Drive
---with prices just below the iMac range---

Diatribe
Nov 6, 2007, 04:12 AM
They all seem like valid points. I'm unsure about the discoloration... are new Macbooks still actually discoloring (in the sense of a stain that cannot be removed), or are they merely getting dirty like the iBook palmrests do (but which can easily be cleaned, e.g. by Mister Clean Magic Eraser)? If that issue is still happening, it's kind of pathetic.

Anyway, though, when they said design travesties, I was ready for some Joan Rivers fashion critiquing and not all engineering design qualms. But generally valid points.

Yeah, I haven't seen a lot of threads about that lately, so I assumed it was gone. Would be sad if that's still happening. Never heard about the case cracking though.
Makes me wonder whether I should advise my gf to rather get a MBP or at least a black MB.

solvs
Nov 6, 2007, 05:30 AM
- mighty mouse: perfect except for scrollball which clogs up too easily and is such a pain to clean for short-term benefit that i don't bother anymore
Meh, we use them at work. They aren't that bad. The hockey puck was far worse. Personally, I use a Logitech.

- apple tv: useless - far too expensive
Expensive, yes. I don't use one. But those who do have them seem to like them. And it is a rev. A.

- mid-range tower: i agree...we need one desperately...if they release one at macworld, i'll be first in line
That would be awesome.

- lack of pro-line exterior redesign
The current one is fine, but I'm sure we'll get one eventually.

- RAM: why is apple RAM (before and after purchase) so expensive? you can get third party RAM for such a fraction of the price that's it's not funny
This is a big problem. We know they get it cheaper, even with upgrade costs, there's no way it costs that much. Same with drives. I always go 3rd party.

- mac mini: too expensive...now i realise that apple's become more cost-effective the higher you go, but if apple can't release something mildly sensible at this price, then why bother?
They need to drop the price at least $100, if not more, for what you get. Same with the MacBook. #1 complaint I hear about Apple.

- iChat AV: you have to pay to use it...oh yeah, fantastic personal messenger service:rolleyes: ......would love it if iChat was like adium in that you can use any service you want
You only have to pay if you use 10.3. Which is now 2 gens old. It was free with Tiger and is still free with Leopard. Free to use to. Fully works with AIM, and you can text with other services with Jabber. I'd like interoperability too, but Yahoo/MSN seems to be the main problem with that.

Makes me wonder whether I should advise my gf to rather get a MBP or at least a black MB.
I was going to buy a MB, but spent a little more for a second hand MBP and it was definitely worth it.

Diatribe
Nov 6, 2007, 06:21 AM
I was going to buy a MB, but spent a little more for a second hand MBP and it was definitely worth it.


Yeah, for me this is a non issue, as I'd personally never get a MB. But for my gf there is also size to consider, well, and price. A non tech person is never inclined to spend $700 more for something of which the value is hard to grasp for them.

mkrishnan
Nov 6, 2007, 06:48 AM
Makes me wonder whether I should advise my gf to rather get a MBP or at least a black MB.

I think the case cracking affects both, although I guess the pictures I have seen have always been white ones.

netdog
Nov 6, 2007, 06:58 AM
The aluminum and glass iMac

It is garish and glarish.

shoelessone
Nov 6, 2007, 08:58 AM
The funny thing is, they couldn't do this for any other computer, the list would be endless. Other than the MB cracks/discolouring, I've seen so many of those on campus its just sad.

<anti-fanboy>hmm.... I never had any of these problems with any of my dell machines in the past, nor any other physical problems so obvious or glaring. Same wit my IBM T40 I use for work. </anti-fanboy>