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Roger’s Rules

A Bite at the Apple: Thoughts on an ‘Unmitigated Disaster’

October 28th, 2013 - 4:40 am

sad-face
It is also extraordinarily buggy. For example, because of the new file format, it is not generally possible to email a Pages document as an attachment. Most email servers (Gmail, for example) reject the new format as suspect. Should that have been tested? Many popular add-on pieces of software do not work with the new versions of the iWork suite. It also turns out that the new file format is incompatible with the previous version of iWork (meaning, for example, that if you use the new software to open a document you created with the previous version, you will no longer be able to open it with the previous version). Fortunately, installing the new software on a Mac does not overwrite the previous version, so it is a relatively simple matter to restore the old version—relatively simple.  You still need to uninstall the new version in order to get the system to use the previous version by default. But switching back to the previous version on a mobile device, while possible, is much more complicated. If you make the change on your Mac, though, you more or less have to make the change on your mobile devices because, again, once you open a file with the new system you’re stuck. (You have one escape option: using the new software to export the file you’ve opened to the old file format.)

iWork does not enjoy anything like the user base that Office does. But there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who use it. Some are casual users. Some are professionals: lawyers, designers, publishers, etc. These are the folks who will be most harmed by the new version of the software. For on top of everything else, the new version of iWork breaks many features of document templates created with the previous version. So let’s say you are working on a book that has images in the headers and footers. Open it with the new version and, bang! the images are stripped out without warning because the new version doesn’t support that feature. It’s easy to see how hours of work might be flushed down the drain.

The situation is actually much worse than I’ve made it sound—worse, anyway, in this little hothouse universe. I’ve never seen a shoddier release. The fate of particular pieces of word processing and spreadsheet software may not signify much in the world at large. But among the population of people who use and depend on it, there is grave unhappiness. Apple really messed up on this, and it is interesting if unedifying to ask what it portends about the giant company’s future. So far, the company has said nothing about this little disaster. Many commentators have speculated that they don’t much care about it. Their revenue comes more and more from consumer gadgets like the iPad and iPhone. But part of the appeal of those gadgets is that they were supposed to be “magical and revolutionary” as well as elegant—that is, they were capable of doing important work as well as entertaining us. Does “work” still figure into the equation? A few years ago, Apple Computer dropped “Computer” and became “Apple, Inc.” Maybe they need to change their name again: “Apple Entertainment,” perhaps, or maybe just “Apple Sauce.”

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All Comments   (31)
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my buddy's step-sister makes $71 hourly on the computer. She has been fired for five months but last month her check was $17864 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try this out.....www.Bay95.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
On the very rare occasions I need to fire up a word processor on my Mac, I use LibreOffice (which has the benefit of working on my Linux boxes and being compatible with Word/Excel etc on my Windows machines.) I use emacs or TextWrangler for command line programming, Xcode for Cocoa stuff, and TeXShop if I need to do anything serious, typesetting-wise. The thought of using a phone to do word processing is bizarre.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
guess Obama was right, he is like apple
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Apple and Microsoft are, to me, like the Democrats and Republicans. There are things I love and things I hate about each, and no area of overlap.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger, you must adapt to Apple's products; they do not adapt to you. Apple is about Apple, not about its user base. Apple is a status symbol, a sign of sophisticated sophistication.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
.....and also add :

.....pretentiousness. Apple is all about corporate, circular, self-centered-ness.

They excel [punning opportunity!] at marketing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Former Apple drone here: when discussing Apple these days one shouldn't fail to mention that after updating an iphone 4S to IOS 7, a lot of folks lose their wi fi connectivity for good, myself included. It's a well known manufacturing flaw so hard to fix that Apple will offer a replacement, but for $199. Hence you pay $199 for a fix to a defective device after it gets terminally screwed by a software update issued by the same company, all this just a year and so after you purchased it brand-new.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another 25 year user of Apple products. Your "It Just Worked" statement is only true for a limited set of operations. As long as you are doing exactly what Apple thought of, you are fine. However, as a co-worker said, if it didn't, you have't even started. If something doesn't work immediately, it generally will never work. I have found that problems that would drive someone away from Windows will be tolerated, or proclaimed a feature, by Apple users. Generally, Apple makes good entertainment devices, but my iPad reboots at a rate that would be unacceptable in any other device. Find something that works for you and stick with it regardless of what the latest fad is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let's repeat your, " Find something that works for you and stick with it regardless of what the latest fad is."

Excellent summation. It's Windows 7 for me via Dell and a favorite five year old HP "laptop" which is a gleaming stainless steel beauty and weighs a ton.

It just works.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
For those of us who use NeoOffice (freeware version of Office) on their iMacs, this is a non-starter.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember when Final Cut X was released and people wailed forever about how Apple Hated The Pro Market And Final Cut Was Worthless Forever?

And then Apple re-added the actually important features over time, making it pro-grade again.

"Never remove features" means your software ends up horribly bloated and horrible.

"My new free software is crippled compared to the old version it didn't uninstall and I can still use" is ... not a significant complaint, I think?

(See Office - and note that every time Microsoft has come close, like with the actually excellent ribbon UI redesign, people cry bloody murder.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you're looking for a tool for writing, try Scrivener. Its drag and drop reorganization abilities make it vastly better than anything else for book length documents. It runs on Macs, Windows and (soon) iDevices. It synchs using Dropbox. I can write at the library on my MacBook and take up the writing again at home of my Mac mini with no bother about file synching.

Get it direct here: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

There's a free demo version. Or download it from Apple's App Store.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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