I’m Losing Confidence In Apple

It pains me to write this. Really.

I bought my first Mac in 1984. It was one of the original 128K, 9-inch black-and-white screen computers that had the names of all the designers and programmers etched inside the cover.

Apple Macintosh, circa 1984

Boxy mouse, chunky keyboard, power button on the back, it was then, a marvel of technology. Today, it’s a bit anachronistic, and what was Apple Computer is now Apple Inc. and the Macintosh is now simply a “Mac.”

Before I got my first Mac, I had already been familiar with Apple computers (lowercase “C”). I had a //e and a //c. The //c was a very sleek computer then, and I think would still be considered so today. But the Mac, with its graphics and advanced technology was for me, the game changer!

Over the years I’ve owned more Macs than I can possibly list. “Fat” Macs, Performas, Duos, PowerMacs, PowerBooks, iBooks, MacBooks and so on. Currently, I have FIVE Macbooks running at home, serving a variety of purposes.

To add to the list, I have three iPads and two iPhones. I have multiple iPods of every generation, a set of AirPods (and another, newer set on the way) and TWO Apple TVs!

But somewhere along the line, and only recently to my consciousness, I’ve become unhappy with Apple. It’s difficult even now to pinpoint the source of unhappiness.

Let’s start with Siri, Apple’s voice-enabled “assistant.” This is technology that is supposed to respond to voice queries, providing quick searches, calculate math formulae, find locations and offer directions.

Siri may work for others, but I’d say my measure of success using Siri is around 10%. In fact, I get so frustrated with Siri responding to my entries with absolutely nothing related to them, that I have disabled it (her?) on my iPads.

Now comes Touch ID. Two years ago, I bought a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. One of the features with the Touch Bar is Touch ID: register your fingerprint and instead of using a password, let the computer recognize you by your fingerprint.

More and more, this feature doesn’t work. When new, it was a fabulous experience: sitting in an airport boarding area, just press my finger on the Touch Bar pad, and presto! Except now, the screen just shudders, and after repeated attempts, tells me I need to input my password. But that’s what Touch ID is meant to bypass! I have reset (deleted and added) my fingerprints, to no avail. What gives?

Similarly, I had a problem with my keyboard. This turned out to be a known problem that Apple would repair at no cost to the consumer. Dutifully, I took it to an Apple Store, and the Genius there said Apple would have to repair it. I left it, and when I received it back, the entire hard disk had been erased. WHAT??!? How in the world does repairing or replacing a keyboard require wiping a hard disk?

No company is perfect, not even Apple. Maybe it’s me, but I think maybe Apple has let some cracks develop in its product design, development and testing processes. That disheartens me, but I still consider Apple’s products superior to the competing products out there. For now.

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