Things That Bug Me About Apple Products

Sometimes, people (usually those who are sold on Microsoft Windows) like to say that Apple users are “fanboys.”

This is a pejorative term of sorts, and what a guy essentially means when he calls you a fanboy is “you just like Apple products because they’re trendy and make you look über-chic—you would never complain about any flaws because Apple can do no wrong in your eyes, and all you ever do is blindly praise the little company from Cupertino and their scruffy, pale CEO Steve Jobs.”

Or something like that. But here’s living proof that I am, in fact, not a fanboy. (Not completely, anyway).

Here I am, of my own volition, writing a list of the things that drive me absolutely batty about Apple products. Now, to be clear, I do indeed like Apple and pretty much everything they’ve ever created (all the way back to The Newton in the 90’s… remember?), and I own the following Mac Products: MacBook Pro,  iPhone 4, iPad, iPod Shuffle, and until a month ago, an iPod Nano. So it is true: I am a fan. But still, as much as I like even these, here is a list of a few things that totally drive me nuts about Apple products… because there’s really no good reason for any of them.

  1. Lack of multi-tasking on the iPhone. (Even though Apple has addressed this, it took them FAR too long to fix it, so I’m listing it here anyway).
  2. Lack of multi-tasking on the iPad. (See note above on iPhone, except it’s still not fixed).
  3. Lack of ability to turn off auto-rotate on the iPhone 4. (Yes, I know the functionality is somewhat there, but it’s hidden, and it won’t let you lock in landscape mode so I still don’t count this as “fixed”).
  4. iDisk (I’ve had SO many reliability issues with iDisk that I’ve completely turned mine off and never use it. Yes, I know, that’s a full 20GB of Cloud Storage I paid for that I’m not using, but I just can’t count on it).
  5. Lack of the ability to change an iCal event’s calendar on the iPad. Really. Once you’ve created an even in iCal, you can’t change the calendar its in. On the iPhone you can, but on the iPad? No such luck. There’s no good reason for this. Oftentimes, I’ll set up a meeting on my iPad, then save it, only to realize I accidentally saved a “meeting” in my “financial” calendar of events. Totally annoying.
  6. Lack of ability to invite an attendee to an iCal event from your iPhone/iPad. (So picture this—I’m standing in line at the bank, and the guy I’m talking to on the phone just confirms that he can meet at a time and day that I’ve suggested. He then says “hey, can you just send me an iCal invite?” Currently, to the best of my knowledge, I have to just tell him “Nope, sorry man—I’m in line at the bank and all I’ve got is my iPhone. I’ll have to wait until I get back to my office, log onto my computer, and then send you an invite… [that is, IF I even remember.]” How lame is that?
  7. Notes Sync. MobileMe is an amazing service. And unlike hoards of other Mac users, I’ve never whined about the $99/yr pricetag. Doesn’t bother me a bit. …except for one nagging issue: the “notes sync” doesn’t work. I know, I know, technically, it DOES work, but only after much finagling. Honestly, it takes me too darn long to figure it out, and I have to sync, then “unsync” a few times to test it, so it’s almost not worth it. Usually, when I help a friend or customer set up MobileMe, it takes about three minutes. …all except for Notes. With Notes, I have to embarrassedly say “umm, sorry, that one’s complicated… call me when you’re in front of your computer and we’ll try to set it up then.”
  8. iOS4 for the iPhone 3G. I’m not much for the conspiracy theories about how software companies try to “upgrade” your OS in a way that intentionally breaks what you have, just to force you to upgrade. (Except perhaps for Windows Vista. …just kidding.) But this one was ridiculous. I had an iPhone 3G. Yes, it was old. Yes, it was a little beat up. But “iPhone OS3” worked just fine. Until one day, while I watched the Apple Keynote with bated breath, waiting for Steve Jobs to announce a new mobile operating system that would (FINALLY!!) allow me to multi-task. And my patience was rewarded—indeed, there was an updated OS, and one that included multi-tasking at that. However, my excitement vaporized after I upgraded to the funnily-named “iOS4.” Why, you ask? Well, for one, it took over an hour. But secondly, and most important—it made my iPhone slower. What?! An OS upgrade is supposed to make your hardware run better, stronger, and faster! But no, this was not the case. My iPhone ran slower, took forevvvvvvver to load iCal and other “basic” apps, and guess what? I couldn’t make multi-tasking work at all. Yes, I looked at the online tutorials. Yes, I followed all the directions. But no matter how I configured it, I would launch Pandora Radio, and excitedly double-tap the home button to pull up the multi-tasking menu, and Voila! …Pandora just vaporized. No iCal in sight. Very frustrating, and a big buzz-kill, especially after waiting for it for so long.
  9. [Update 11-02-10] iPhone Apps you can’t uninstall. Why is there a “Stocks” app on my iPhone? Certainly not because I put it there, and not because I want it there. I hate it. I never check stocks, I have no money invested in the stock market and I simply don’t care how the markets are doing. Easy problem, right? Just remove the app from the phone. Oh wait! Sorry—you can’t! It’s there to stay. Same thing with the new “Game Center” app that the iOS4 update installed. I don’t play games and I don’t want that silly app on my iPhone, so why can’t I get rid of it? It seems ridiculous that I have to keep both of these just because Apple thinks I should have them. I don’t want them.

So there you have it. At least eight legitimate beefs I’ve got with Apple. All that coming from the guy who proudly tells everyone he meets “Hello, I’m a Mac.” Because Apple is far from perfect, and because my memory if far from perfect, I’ll update this post and add more items to this list, as Apple breaks things or as I remember them. Whichever comes first.

What about you? Do you have anything to add to this list? Any fanboys out there?

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