My thoughts on iOS 10 and Apple in general

Discussion in 'iOS 10' started by sammy2066, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. sammy2066, Sep 15, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016

    sammy2066 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    TL;DR - Apple is losing focus, innovation is dwindling, new management style is preplexing, product/UI design is suffering, evangelism levels and investor confidence will fall in the long run.

    Just my $0.02 - but iOS 10 is far from the groundbreaking release Apple, and most online publications are making it out to be. To be honest, and notwithstanding the underlying optimizations and some minor front-end tweaks, I feel iOS 10 is probably the most trivial iOS update - and that is saying a lot, considering iOS 8 and iOS 9 were highy forgettable releases.

    1. Notifications - the new UI is bizzare - rounded edges and the name of the app atop every notification is an enormous waste of screen real estate. Clustering notifications from the same app is an absolute no brainer - why did it not make the cut? Ever since iOS 7, I have become increasingly skeptical of Apple's overall design philosophy.

    2. Control center - Still not customizable (this is next level arrogance), and if that weren't enough, iOS 10 adds an extra step to get to 'now playing' - which was my most frequently used feature (thanks Apple).

    3. HomeKit - why does it come with those two ugly wallpapers? And why is there no option to choose from existing system wallpapers or just use a plain background?

    4. iMessage - Apple didn't get the memo it seems - all this time and effort to enhance iMessage with juvenile features - why? Nobody in their right mind will ever use iMessage because its not cross platform by design. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Hangouts are far better, far more optimized and far more widely used alternatives.

    5. Maps - who cares right? This effort should be completely abandoned - I don't know a single person who prefers Apple Maps over Google Maps, at least not outside the United States.

    6. iPad UI - hasn't anyone at Apple realized that you can't just blow up a smartphone UI and use it on a tablet? I mean, has anyone seen the size of control center buttons on an iPad? Notifications and control center on the iPad need to be redesigned to make better use of the extra screen real estate.

    7. Mail - Probably one of the worst mail apps on a mobile OS ever - unreliable, and painfully slow. There hasn't been one instance where I've been notified of a new email and its ready to view when I open the app - this hasn't changed in iOS 10, although the the new filtering option and mail organization tweaks are nice though.

    8. Apple Music - the so-called 'refreshed' UI is still a mess - its confusing, disconnected, makes very little distinction between my music vs. what's on the cloud, but more importantly, its sloooooow - every other streaming music service I have ever used (Spotify, Deezer, etc.) have been far more reliable, faster and ship with apps that are by an order of magnitude easier to navigate/use. iTunes deserves its own thread for the iterative, bloated clusterf*** that it has become over the years.

    9. macOS - I can't recollect a single new feature that has positively affected my productivity - not since Dashboard, Exposé, Time Machine, Stacks and Quick Look. Don't get me wrong, all macOS releases have been great under the hood - great performance even on older hardware, but all the so-called 'new' features are always relevant under very specific usage scenarios, most of which only seem to apply to Craig Federeghi when he's demoing them on stage. Everything since Snow Leopard (intelligent PDF text selection was EPIC) and Auto Save in Lion has been ho-hum - Tags, Mission Control, AirDrop, Launchpad (seriously the dumbest feature ever) are easily forgettable. I don't think anyone has ever gotten Continuity to work in way intended by its creators. Notifications Center was okay, but widgets just work better in Dashboard. Otherwise, there haven't been any groundbreaking features (not saying we need them, and we really can't complain because macOS releases are free) - Siri, iCloud Drive, the ports of iOS apps (Notes, Maps, iBooks, etc.) are all nice to have, but not must-haves by any stretch of imagination.

    In any case, the larger point I am trying to make here, is that I see signs of Apple becoming the next Microsoft or even Sony - a company spreading itself too thin by doing too much. I mean really, does Apple need to concern itself with producing TV shows? Does it really need to make a car? Does it really need to focus its limited resources on a new video sharing app? - NO.

    Steve Jobs had a really powerful quote on why Apple has been a successful company:

    “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”


    Under Tim Cook, we're witnessing an Apple that is having an increasingly hard time saying 'no' - which in my opinion has resulted in an alarming lack of focus, innovation, and a departure from the company's core competencies. Countless recent examples support this:
    • the languishing Mac line
    • no updates to the iPod line (I know it's an irrelevant product category, but at least get rid of it)
    • incremental updates to even flagship products (iPhone 7)
    • no updates to Airport products (why do we still have an 802.11n Airport Express?)
    • the new Magic Mouse (for a company that prides itself on its design philosophy, its a cardinal sin to have released such an unergonomic product, and with a charging port on the bottom),
    • this misplaced need to push iWork (similar to iMessage and Maps - anybody who wants to get any real work done will never use iWork)
    • confusing product line up - look at the current iPad line up (there are no less than six SKUs spanning only 3 screen sizes - iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, mini 2 and mini 4). When Steve Jobs came back, it was simple right? Pro/home - desktop/laptop - that clarity of thought is now simply missing. I fully sympathize with the economic benefits of product differentiation and profit maximization, but of late Apple seems to be comfortable with charging customers a premium for obsolete hardware disguised amongst a bevy of confusing SKUs.
    In conclusion, I feel there are a lot of things wrong with post-Jobs Apple, and I've been meaning to write about it for a while now, so thanks for reading. As a disclaimer, the above are my opinions, and some of you may in whole or in part disagree with what's said - but please let's keep it civil! :)
     
  2. mthomas184 macrumors 6502

    mthomas184

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    #2
    1. Notifications - the new UI is bizzare - rounded edges and the name of the app atop every notification is a enormous waste of screen real estate. Clustering notifications from the same app is an absolute no brainer, and should have made the cut. Ever since iOS 7, I am increasingly more skeptical of Apple's overall design philosophy. The new notifications need some work. I will agree. They need to go back to the iOS 5 notification set IMO.

    2. Control center - Still not customizable (this is next level arrogance), and if that weren't enough, iOS 10 adds an extra step to get to 'now playing' - which was my most frequently used feature (thanks Apple). Control Center DEF needs to have some sort of customization. I dont use timers and wish I could change that to get to the clock. Wish I could change airplane mode and Portrait Orientation lock as well. Dont use them.

    3. HomeKit - why does it come with those two ugly wallpapers? And why is there no option to choose from existing system wallpapers or just use a plain background? This I personally couldn't care less about seeing as I dont use it. So its gone on my iPhone :)

    4. iMessage - Apple seems to have completely missed the memo here - all this time and effort to enhance iMessage with juvenile features - why? Nobody in their right mind will ever use iMessage because its not cross platform by design. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Hangouts are far better, far more optimized and far more widely adopted alternatives. Actually, quite a few people use iMessage. As a matter of fact, millions upon millions do.

    5. Maps - who cares right? This effort should be completely abandoned - I don't know a single person who prefers Apple Maps over Google Maps. I actually use Apple Maps over Google Maps locally. As a matter of fact, I havent used Google Maps in FOREVER. Reason being is because of the Apple Watch

    6. iPad UI - hasn't anyone at Apple realized that you can't just blow up smartphone UI designed and use it on a tablet? I mean, has anyone seen the size of control center buttons on an iPad? Notifications and control center on the iPad need to be redesigned to make better use of the extra screen real estate. I personally wish that the iPad would be a cross between iOS and OS X. But they DEF need to better tailor iOS to the iPad more. So much wasted space.

    7. Mail - Probably one of the worst mail apps on a mobile OS ever - unreliable, and painfully slow. There hasn't been one instance where I've been notified of a new email and its ready to view when I open the app - which hasn't changed in iOS 10. I must say the new filters and mail organization tweaks are most welcome. Dont use native mail. As a matter of fact, I use Email by Easilydo. If you havent seen it, check it out.
     
  3. sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Some really good points here - thanks.

    1. Agreed, millions of people may be using iMessage, but that number is eclipsed by the billions that use the aforesaid services! ;)

    2. Apple Maps is probably really good in the United States, but not so much elsewhere. Especially in Dubai, there's no comparison - Google Maps leapfrogs Apple Maps!

    3. Will check out Easilydo - thanks for the tip! :)
     
  4. mthomas184 macrumors 6502

    mthomas184

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    #4
    Yea I have heard that Apple Maps outside the US is hit or miss. When i go on long road trips, I use Waze over all of them.
     
  5. sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Even Maps aside, I just feel there are several other areas of the OS that deserve more attention. I have reason to believe Apple may introduce some wide sweeping changes to iOS next year, in tandem with the expected iPhone design refresh. Either way, iOS 10 at least needs a massive point relase with some UI tweaks to fix notifications - I honestly cannot stand how ugly and out of place they look. Specifically in this regard, I feel Google has absolutely nailed notifications and quick customizations in Nougat (7.0) - heck even Windows Mobile 10 handles this better than iOS 10.
     
  6. GrumpyTrucker, Sep 15, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016

    GrumpyTrucker macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    You make some good points sammy2066 especially towards the end about the alarming rate in the rise of SKUs of each product hitting the shelves. It was narrowing the focus that brought Apple back from the brink (I believe, I wasn't an Aple user then) and what they're doing now just screams "profit over all". Probably the downside of having a pure money man as CEO. Time I guess will tell the story of whether it was the right way to go.

    As for your point about HomeKit if you tap Edit in the top right corner of either Home or any Rooms then tap the Home or Room name, you can edit the Home/Room name and if you scroll down change the wallpaper too to anything you want.

    Edit: ok you can't use a system wallpaper, my bad. But you could have a photo of a plain background and choose that I guess.
     
  7. sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thank you, and I'm glad you agree - as for the HomeKit app, it lets you choose a picture from the camera roll, and not the default system wallpapers. Now how hard could that have been to let us access those? Understand its a trivial point, but some of the omissions in this release are simply shocking.
     
  8. GrumpyTrucker macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Yeah I could have sworn it let you choose system wallpapers. Although to be fair I don't think I've ever used a system wallpaper, they're usually as crappy as those they picked for HomeKit

    As for the rest of the points I suppose it's lowest common denominator stuff. There's been some huge improvements with iOS recently but there's also been some that just reek of "must keep up with the others and get the tweens on board". There was a lot of talk about iMessage going cross platform and I think it was Schiller who put that idea to rest saying they want a messages app that will make people want to come to iOS. I don't know what world they live in but no one is going to buy a >$700 device for a messaging app that is limited to one platform when no matter what Apple would like to think the world is generally cross platform. I doubt anyone outside Infinite Loop has ONLY Blue Bubble friends in their contacts.

    iOS 10 is a good release but there's areas it could have been improved without a doubt. Maybe next year eh? :confused:
     
  9. Huliodude macrumors member

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    #9
    OP, unfortunately much of what you said is true. Guys like Steve Jobs are one in a billion. Without him, there's still some awesome talent at Apple, but the vision and leadership is gone. I've been watching their giant lead in the industry slowly dwindle for years. It won't be long before they're just like any other hardware/software company. I sure do hope I'm wrong, as I've enjoyed some of their products immensely. iPhone 4 was the pinnacle of their success as far as I'm concerned.
     
  10. mikosk macrumors regular

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    #10
    You are on point with this one. Notifications are meant to be quick hits of information so you take action. Now they are a bloated mess with unnecessary wasted space and extra info I don't need. I know what all the icons so there is no need to tell me "Mail" or "Reminders" on every notification, are you kidding me?

    It will never happen but I wish Apple would just let me decide my default apps, like I can on a computer. If Apple Maps or Music are so "magical", then they should have no problem with me setting Google Maps and Spotify as my default apps of choice. If they really loved their customers as much as they say they do, this would be a reality already. Perhaps it would even make them a better company because they could maybe focus on core tech not maps and music.
     
  11. sammy2066, Sep 15, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016

    sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    And let's not forget the keynotes - I'm all for diversity and inclusiveness, but let's face it, post-Jobs, they've become a rather drab affair.

    P.S. Please ignore the typo in the graph!
     

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  12. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #12
    What's "SECRACY"?
     
  13. sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Ha, its late - I misspelled. But if that's what you're focusing on, then you're really missing the point.
     
  14. Huliodude macrumors member

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    #14
    Yes, Steve's keynotes were awesome! I was always ready to buy whatever that guy was selling 1/2 way through the presentation.
     
  15. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Well then don't use it.
    A lot of people want to change everything - I think it all works great for me.
     
  16. DaveOP macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I agree with all of your points except iMessage. At least with all my friends and family, iMessage is 100% used. I dont know anyone in my circle of friends, co-workers or family that uses WhatsApp, or anything else. I understand that internationally it's HUGE, and far outscales iMessage. Here, though, we appreciate the improvements.
     
  17. teknikal90 macrumors 68030

    teknikal90

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    #17
    I use iMessage all the time. In fact one of the reasons why I won't switch to android is imessage. everyone in my social and family circles uses imessage

    part of the reason is becasue i use it as how an SMS is used. it's not an entirely different service. it's simply an add on to SMS. if I want to SMS someone and they happen to use imessage, great! I can now do cooler stuff like send pictures videos etc. if not, that's ok, i can still get my sms message across, with no work on my part.

    contrast that to an entirely separate service ala facebook message and whatsapp. they're standalone separate services that requires the other person to have those apps installed. I can't just facebook message or whatsapp a phone number. They're not seamless services.
     
  18. JM macrumors 6502a

    JM

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    #18
    Yeah, what was it with the iPhone 4/4s? I remember being completely infatuated with it (I couldn't afford it at the time... my first iphone was 5c when I finally got a decent paying job). It was just so.... cool and fun to play with. I loved going into the Apple Stores and just playing with the 4's.

    It was the same with apple desktop and laptops (iPod too) from 2000-2007: I HAD to have them. They were the best and the coolest.

    (sorry "cool" is a very subjective term but I can't think of any other way to describe the emotional experience I had when interacting with Apple products. Though, that Jet Black 7 gave me a very familiar shiver of excitement.)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 15, 2016 ---
    What the h*** is the pink line? Job's life?
     
  19. teknikal90 macrumors 68030

    teknikal90

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    #19
    iPhone 4s was the best phone ever made.
     
  20. JM macrumors 6502a

    JM

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    #20
    They won't allow default apps because Job's leadership dictated that Apple knew what's best... and it mostly worked (with grumblings).

    Because the leadership is gone and you have a phenomenal distribution guy at the helm (Cook), the only thing Apple can do is try it's best to follow Job's ideals (cause they worked). But the personal beliefs that differ from Jobs are creeping in and battling for focus.

    Jobs had focus, and now there isn't the same focus (or lack of focus) and so there is an amalgamation of focuses that result in a less superior product.
     
  21. sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Ha, I meant to say secrecy, which has tanked in the post-Jobs era.
     
  22. JM macrumors 6502a

    JM

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    #22
    Absolutely. This is why I don't think I will ever get something other than an iPhone. (Oh Woe is me.)
     
  23. sammy2066 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Guess I may have underestimated how many people use iMessage - but again, as I mentioned earlier, the combined user base of all other cross platform messaging apps far eclipses that of iMessage. Maybe its more popular in the United States? :/

    WhatsApp is pretty seamless though - you register once, and people in your address book (if they have WhatsApp) just show up in the app. All chats and media are seamlessly backed up on iCloud - its pretty great.
     
  24. teknikal90 macrumors 68030

    teknikal90

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    #24
    I have whatsapp too in the odd time a friend of mine uses android and must resort to it. the user experience on that doesnt compare to imessage in my opinion
     
  25. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #25
    I actually agree with most of what you wrote, but not the ultimate doom & gloom conclusions you draw.

    And there is no real alternative. I've already danced with Samdung and NSA/Google, and I'm not going back for seconds.
     

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