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Apple fans are coming to hate Apple software (latimes.com)
641 points by molecule on Feb 8, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 585 comments



It's kinda weird to read commentators talking as if this was the end of a golden age of Apple.

From my perspective, their application software has always sucked. It was there because you need apps to bootstrap a platform and attract enough users to attract developers. But you can't really expect a consumer electronics company to have the best application for a given niche once the niche has been identified and attracted companies that really want to make it their bread-and-butter.

XCode and occasionally FaceTime & iMovie are the only bundled applications that I ever use on my Mac. When I get a new computer, the first things I do are usually download Chrome, MacVim, Google Photos, and VLC. I use Hangouts over iMessage, Google Calendar over the built-in calendar, and Google Docs over the office suite. On my iPhone, getting Google Maps and Yelp is a top priority, lest I end up navigating off a mountain. This is not a new habit; I've operated like this since getting a Mac in 2009 after a 10-year hiatus from Apple products.

Perhaps I was just less brainwashed than most Apple fans, and the end of the brainwashing may itself be news with big consequences for product adoption. But IMHO anyone who used the whole integrated Apple software suite and never looked elsewhere has been missing out on some seriously nice features this whole time.


> anyone who used the whole integrated Apple software suite and never looked elsewhere has been missing out on some seriously nice features this whole time

Ditto for anyone not using the Apple ecosystem. Better tested drivers installed by default, no OS license hassles, no issues created by malfunctioning (or maliciously functioning) antivirus, top download sites weren't infested with malware (no hunt for the real DL link), journaled FS in the consumer tier for instant fsck since 2002 (vs 2012), no-additional-cost professional-grade IDE since 2003 (vs 2015), one-click backup since 2007, decent integrated movie editing, some truly awesome platform-specific-at-first apps (subethaedit, quicksilver, textmate, coda), solid one-button-away desktop search years before it landed and stabilized in Windows, window navigation with expose (they've arguably been leapfrogged since then with window snapping), unix command line with a decent terminal emulator, emacs movement supported in every text field by default, built-in menu bar search, the list goes on.

I now have both feet in the Windows ecosystem but the transition was rough. If you have used Windows all your life, you have taught yourself to live with a lot of BS. Since you have made the investment it's now a sunk cost and no longer factors into your OS decision. Fair enough, but realize that wasn't the case for everyone. Also realize that you necessarily didn't miss what you never knew you could have.

I use the past tense because MS has caught up on most of these fronts, except for perhaps stable drivers and license hassles, where they are hobbled by their business model rather than technical shortcoming.


FWIW, there are more options than just Apple and Microsoft. I was on RedHat from 1998-1999, Mandrake in 2000, back to WinXP in 2001-2002, Mandrake again from 2003-2004, XP again in 2005 but with Ubuntu running under VMWare, switched to mostly web-based apps from 2005-2007, but ended up going back to OS X Leopard (but again, with mostly webapps) in 2009. I had a System76 laptop running Ubuntu from 2013-2015, and of course all my workstations have been Linux (usually Ubuntu) since 2005.

I still have a soft spot for KDE circa 2003. It was as pretty or prettier than OS X, and also featured "No malware", but even moreso. Amarok is still probably my favorite music player ever, much better than iTunes. People in this thread say that Safari was one of the best browsers available when it came out in 2003 - well, it got that way by forking KHTML. Stability kinda sucked, but it was very usable.


Twice a year (after finals each semester) I would make a ritual of spending a day or two trying to install and use linux because I believed in what they were trying to do (also, package manager!). Every single time, without fail, within those first couple days I hit some sort of show-stopping bug. Sometimes the installer wouldn't work and I'd spend that time cycling through different disk tools / CDR drives / images. Sometimes the installer would run but repeatedly lock up at a certain step. Some times it would corrupt the partition map and never boot into the new install. Some times the installed OS would freeze on boot. Some times it would boot but I could only use external keyboard and mice. Some times linux came up but wifi, sound, or sleep were broken. Or the screen was locked at full or zero brightness. Or the UI was dirt slow because the graphics drivers were crap. Or... the list goes on. I'd find threads in forums filled with dozens of people with the same issue, trying increasingly desperate measures to work around them, almost never with any sort of success or even conclusion.

I never managed to get a non-VM linux install fully functioning. Once I graduated the end-of-semester ritual faded into the past and I stopped trying. I've recently had good experiences with bootable USB images, maybe I should give it another chance one of these days.

> KDE circa 2003. It was as pretty or prettier than OS X

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Desktop_Environment_3#/media...

http://www.guidebookgallery.org/pics/gui/desktop/full/macosx...

I can't say I agree, but I'd still have used it if I could have gotten it working.


My usual counterpoint is, I've been installing Linux on a wide variety of hardware, desktops, random laptops, etc., for a long time with virtually no problems, but I'm a little particular about the distro I use...

Since Mageia broke off from Mandriva in 2011, I've used them exclusively (and I used Mandriva before that, since 2009).

I'm not sure how they do it, or what the magic is, but they have been absolutely flawless for me. The last several laptops I've bought, I've dropped a Mageia CD and everything just works. No futzing with command lines ever.

I've forgotten nearly all of my old arcane linux knowledge. I wouldn't know how, for example, to fix pulse if I had to, but you know, I've literally never had to!

If you are even a little curious about Linux anymore, I'd suggest downloading the Mageia KDE livedvd and giving it a go.


I have the same experience but with Bodhi Linux (starts as Ubuntu but with an E17 DE fork now called Moksha).

Old Thinkpad uses the legacy non-PAE version, no set-up or install problems, newer hardware uses the current release, VM in VB for server work at work, again no problems.

The Enlightenment/Moksha DE has a lot of the features OS X is praised for, like alt+esc to open a Spotlight type app, plus a lot of other features which are useful; click anywhere on the desktop for start menu, visual scaling of the entire desktop which is handy when using a laptop with a high-res screen, eepDater - a GUI updater etc.

To anyone looking for a stable OS X-like experience from Linux, without it feeling like a 2nd-rate OS X clone, give Bodhi Linux a try. Geoff Hoogeland has excelled himself with Moksha and Bodhi. As you can probably tell, it has turned me Linux-vigilante. My only regret is not being able to help the project more than I am able.

/advertising&promotion


I bought an Intel NUC two years ago, and it refused to boot Linux without a firmware update, which was not easy to apply. After installation, its IR port didn't work, and its HDMI output had tearing, which I was able to fix by editing xorg.conf. Based on my experience, Linux still needs a lot of fiddling before it works properly.

I didn't try Mageia. Alt distros are intimidating since most technical advice is for mainstream distros, and it's unclear whether it applies.


Mageia is the best spin (it used to be redhat v5-based), but is not as stress-tested as others, and has (slightly) less support than you'd find for Fedora/Red Hat/SuSE.

Just run Redhat or Ubuntu. You are looking for a "just works" experience, so stick with the binary sandbox those distros give you. You can even pay them money in order to get the better support experience you definitely need.

If anyone tells you to switch to something different, know it will require you to hand-tweak scary text files. if that sounds fun, dive in. Otherwise, run away screaming. You want a stable (read: long-term support) release of software.


It usually fine on hardware that has been available for more than a few months. Brand new stuff can be hit and miss.


Linux hardware support, particularly on laptops, has come a long way in recent years. You should give it a go. Start with Ubuntu or Mint.


Maybe it's you?


>truly awesome platform-specific-at-first apps (subethaedit, quicksilver, textmate, coda),

I've had the same thought in my head for a long time now but haven't been able to put it the way you did; completely agree. There was also a time when OSX supported things like .psd previews, built-in *.iso mounting, and unzipping capabilities right out of the box when Win XP didn't.

This is part of what initially got me to become a big Mac fan, but as time goes on it seems that there are fewer of these unique advantages as modern Windows becomes more competitive. This also makes me all the more disappointed to see Apple's apparent lack of OSX advancement and shortfalls in reliability/usability.

The interesting thing for me is that I never would have thought that Windows would ever be competitive with Mac again for my attention, but the feel of sloppiness in Apple software is slowly moving me back in the other direction. Once Windows has things you mentioned like better platform-first apps, emacs bindings, and a better shell, I think I might fully commit to that switch.


I recently got 2 boxes running Windows 10 after exclusively using Macs for a decade or so. One is an Alienware Alpha and has been a pleasure to use. Everything kind of "just worked" out of the box and didn't come with the typical bloatware one gets with a mass-consumer grade computer. Daily usability of the box was great as well.

With this positive experience in hand, I decided to build my own rig and many of the annoying memories of why I switched to Macs in the first place came back. Windows 7 on the Skylake box was a pain due to driver support. Windows 10 installed without much hassle, but there was a minor engineering effort tweaking the bios fan settings to be silent, installing low-noise fan adapters, collecting and installing drivers for the new chipset. Obviously, this comes with the territory of building a computer, but it was a small reminder of things dealt with.

Gotta say though, Ninite does make the initial installation of software a breeze.


Okay, so Windows sucks (big surprise). What about GNU/Linux? I've been using it for more than 5 years full-time and I've never had any show-stopping problems or problems that couldn't be solved with a 5-minute Google search.


Oh man... for the last 2 years I've been running Linux servers, I have tried and tried and tried to run Linux on my desktop, but... I have just never had a good experience.

For instance, when I tried Xubuntu, my GPU was running at a constant 90 degrees Celsius for no real reason. Found out it was because it was also rendering another 5 screens in the background. Deleted them, after 3-4 days they would come back. My screen was 1920x1080, but it liked to change my resolution to 1024x768 every 5 or so boots.

Tonnes of small problems, like the "settings" program emptied itself. Then the Windows key would stop bringing up the menu thing. And icons liked to disappear from my desktop.

Then when I tried Debian, I could install it fine, but couldn't boot. Pretty sure this was also to do with the GPU.

Then when I tried Linux Mint, it worked okay for a day, then apparently I didn't have permission to change wireless networks, and I had to plug in a PS2 keyboard to decrypt the volume on boot (though this was easy enough to fix, just had to find the right Logitech USB Keyboard module to put into the initramfs). Again, many small issues that escape me right now.

The only distro that has worked well, with no bugs (that I didn't introduce), was Arch, but Arch is a real mission. Only thing is my wifi speed is slower than it is on Windows/OS X (~600kB/s down from ~1000kB/s, not a huge deal). Arch is great as a project IMO, but if I have to write an email or do banking or something, I really don't want to have to mess around with config files.

I love Linux so much, but that's why I'm currently an OS X user.


thats lot of edges cases. Ubuntu has been main desktop OS for last 5 years. No issues till now. I even play Steam games. But my MacBook Pro has been regressing. It used to be that evey install of Ubuntu i would need to tweak it. Now i do that on every install on Mac OSX. Ubuntu even runs faster on the laptop then El Captiano. If not for the touch pad issues Ubuntu would have been my default laptop OS.


If you need to run servers, wouldn't it be best to use Ubuntu server, rather than trying to press a desktop edition into use?


That is... so far from my many encounters with native desktop linux as to be almost unrecognizable.


> no-additional-cost professional-grade IDE since 2003

You paid for that by spending $XXX more than a PC on your Mac. (posted from a mac but I make no delusion that I didn't pay for XCode)


That's exactly why I used the awkward phrase "no additional cost" rather than "free." Even if I hadn't chosen my words carefully, "delusion" would be a strong word for attacking something that I didn't explicitly claim.


MS has had express editions of their IDEs available for quite some time....


Express edition used to have crippled (non-optimizing) compilers.

The original free command line tools for VS2003, that got cancelled with first Express edition, and all Apple compilers were uncrippled.


Every Apple user paid for that, so you're getting subsidized heavily by iPhone/iPad users.


Why compare it to windows ? Compare it to Ubuntu or Chrome OS. You have Aptana, textmate, emacs, and web based IDEs. Ubuntu's "one button search" works better, it's called /usr/bin/locate.

If you're buying hardware devices that linux can't support well then you're doing it wrong. Support open standards and eschew manfacturers that don't support open source.


Sorry, locate is not even comparable to what Spotlight does. Do a search for mdfind(1) to get an idea of what is does. Recoll is the only thing I found on Linux being actively developed that comes close, but it's definitely not as polished or flexible. I'm primarily running Arch these days, but there are some things that Linux just has no good equivalent for.


But the opportunity cost is never having a true enterprise class file-system. If you look at Linux, OpenSolaris (and it's derivatives), BSD and yes even modern Windows in terms of core technology and performance their file-systems are generations ahead of OSX. What shocks me is that given the BSD lineage of OSX that is hasn't switched to ZFS yet given how Apple prides itself on being the "best of the best" of computing world.

But you want your mdfind and Spotlight so you have to be okay with giving up ZFS or another enterprise-class Linux/UNIX file-system!


While that may be a valid point on some glasses-bridge-pushing technical level (certainly Linus has strong opinions on HFS), but so what? In practice, this hasn't been an issue (I spent about 15 years running OSX desktop workstations and laptops, and and also managed a fleet up to 50 OSX client machines in very shady power situations w/o problems) - sure ZFS is technically sweet but doesn't make sense on a laptop (OpenSolaris, BSD on the go? please) and has historically been a PITA on Linux (CDDL).

What other enterprise-class file system are you talking about? btrfs is still immature, anytime I've strayed from ext, I regret it. And NTFS? I've had lots of more problems w/ that than anything else (admittedly, probably due to poor interactions between Windows and ntfs-3g on Linux).

In any case, since OSX isn't a data-center OS, I don't see what "enterprise-class" storage has to do with it anyway.


But at what cost ? What about the mdworker slowdown effect which can quite arbitrarily bring your workflow to a standstill ? On your hardware does mdworker increase the probability of experiencing a "beachball of doom" depending on what else you have running ?


I think I only had a noticeable mdworker problem (stuck process) once in my nine years of using Macs. Maybe I'm lucky to have had SSDs for a long time, but mdworker is something I rarely notice (in contrast to storedownloadd and others).

I think I use Spotlight almost a couple of dozen times each day to find documents, applications, and sometimes e-mails. So the productivity gains outnumber the marginal cost enormously.

Also, there is a healthy ecosystem around Spotlight. E.g., I use Alfred, which allows you to define use/custom workflows.

BTW. If you use Alfred, this is one of the nicest workflows I found recently: https://github.com/bevesce/unicode-symbols-search


Yeah, I've had occasional mdworker issues, which was much more of an issue on battery-life than anything else. I had a bunch of launchctl shortcuts to disable a number of things when in battery mode (especially since Yosemite seemed like a big regression). What finally got me to switch, however, was mostly the out of control explosion network usage. I made a list of the network services that would run unbidden on my system: https://randomfoo.hackpad.com/OS-X-vs-Linux-JlyTLOwSWOG

(Ironically, by far the worst offender was Google's ksfetch - it had a psychic ability to know when I was on an airplane, and start its unkill9able update process (again, launchctl)).

Of course, there are costs for running Linux on the desktop as well. My original Ubuntu setup had many problems (its kernels were not Skylake friendly last year) and eventually apt got into a crazy situation with some ppa's (never a problem on my servers, since I run LTS exclusively). I ended up switching to Arch, and got it working how I liked, but not without a literal month of yak-shaving. I documented it here: https://paper.dropbox.com/doc/Arch-Linux-Install-Uf1RAzNYBU3 I've been poking around with Linux since the mid-90s, but even I can't help but shake my head at some of these things.


> If you have used Windows all your life, you have taught yourself to live with a lot of BS.

Since Windows 3.x.

Macs were too expensive for Portuguese purses vs what Amiga, Atari and PC systems were asking for.

Also as a gamer I could never convince myself to pay more for less technical specs.

As for better drivers, Apple's OpenGL and OpenCL support leaves a lot to be desired when one is into graphics programming.


A lot of what you're saying is true, but arguing that MFS and later HFS is better than NTFS is just plain wrong. NTFS was a part of Windows XP (i.e. since 2001), and it was, and still is, vastly superiour to HFS.


> It was there because you need apps to bootstrap a platform and attract enough users to attract developers. But you can't really expect a consumer electronics company to have the best application for a given niche once the niche has been identified and attracted companies that really want to make it their bread-and-butter.

I have a hard time with this. Apple products tend to lock you into apple software. If you want to develop software, then you are pretty much stuck with XCode. If you want to send email on iOS, then you are stuck with the built in mail app (at least if you click an address from Safari, or Contacts). If I ask Siri to play some music, it launches the built in Music player. So if what you say is true, then why can't I set a default app made by a third party company?


Oh, I certainly wish Apple would allow you to set third-party programs as defaults for integration. But unfortunately that's not my call. I just suck it up and manually launch the programs I want to use, because I like using them better.


Were this Windows, there would be a 3rd party app...err application... that would let you change the default launch app. Why not on OSX?


OS X lets you set default apps. I had Chrome set as my default browser for a while.


Try changing the app that launches when you press play/pause on the Mac keyboard. Go ahead. I'll wait.


Seems to drive Spotify on my OSX without me doing anything special... ?


Once it's running yes. But if you close Spotify, pressing the play key will start iTunes. It's quite infuriating.


Also try clicking a mailto link. I'm sure that about once a day I see the dialog asking me to add an account into the default mail app.

Basic integrations between MS Office apps also seem to be missing, I'll be damned if I can find the menu to send a copy of the document I'm working on in Word to a contact in outlook.


Mailto links open chrome with a gmail tab for me.


I just successfully changed it, but it was a janky experience. Until I added an account to the mail app, the preference used to change the default email reader remained greyed out because I was being prompted to add an email account. Only once I added a fake account did the preference option become available and let me change the default mailto handler. Removing the fake email account caused the preference to become greyed out (but it retained Outlook as the default).

Here's another example: Try and change the right click -> search with google menu option to 1) not open in Safari and 2) search using another search engine.


I did it this way by accident : I installed chrome and logged into gmail. Chrome asked me if I wanted to make gmail the default mail app and I said yes.

I would have NEVER discovered that this would be even possible any other way. I don't know if it works on other browsers but it's cool that it works.

On right click in chrome I have two "search with DuckDuckGo" options and one searches on a new tab and another on the same tab. I don't know why.


This kind of thing has actually improved over time, though. It used to be (back in 10.6, at least) that the play/pause buttons always affected iTunes, even if you had, say, VLC running. It would just also affect VLC.


Have you tried Bowtie or BeardedSpice?

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/mac-users-heres-control-streami...

I use Bowtie for a few things, but haven't really tried it for this purpose as I pretty much just use iTunes as I have several decades worth of music I've bought in it.

http://bowtieapp.com


I just had to look down ... and yep there they are. I had no idea these were on my keyboard. Never used 'em.


For a long time, me neither. Didn't trust those weird "media keys" and indeed expected them to just pop up some default app I never use. Until I accidentally hit them on Linux and it turned out they do exactly what you'd expect. Now I use them all the time :) In particular the play/pause and volume buttons.



Can do that with any number of keyboard macro apps.


If VLC is launched, then that's what starts playing.


And it even supports handoff from iOS Safari.


Is that just Safari with a Chrome chrome?


He's talking about OSX (desktop), where Chrome indeed is the Chrome you'd expect.


Of course... Thanks


In Windows you can change the setting quite easily using a first party settings dialog. Or were you talking about having a 3rd party application as an option in that dialog? Or the part where some applications let you associate the file type when you install the application, or in some cases the settings pages inside the application?


There's some confusion in the above posts. You can do all that easily in OS X (Apple's desktop OS). It's only iOS (the mobile one) that's locked down.


Android lets you do that as well. There are loads of third-party launchers for Android; one of my former coworkers made several million selling one of them to Yahoo.


Aviate was brilliant.

Until Yahoo turned it into a less intelligent Google Now wannabe anyway. Sigh...


it's more of an iOS thing, OS X is pretty customizable.


> If you want to develop software, then you are pretty much stuck with XCode

There are like nine different versions of Emacs for OS X...


I don't have any experience developing iOS or Cocoa applications, but I imagine that you need to use at least some of the XCode toolchain to make those things happen.


You need the compilers/toolchain from Xcode, but there are third-party build tools, such as e.g. Buck[1] that combined with an decent editor, let you pretty much avoid the Xcode GUI for a lot of the development cycle.

[1]https://buckbuild.com/


you said "a lot of the development cycle", as someone who hates Xcode I worry that won't be enough (not making anything requiring compilation on mac at moment, so not particularly worried)


If you don't use Interface Builder, you can actually avoid Xcode completely.


Everyone I ask says that using Emacs for ios development is impractical. If anyone knows different please share the details.


Well, if you're willing to buy RubyMotion:

http://www.rubymotion.com/


I made an iOS app using vim and Lua (via wax - https://github.com/alibaba/wax). Obviously needed the xcode toolchain for compilation and libraries but always from the CLI / scripts.


Getting the code building with M-x compile should be fairly straightforward.

For deployment + debugging, you could try this: https://github.com/phonegap/ios-deploy

Looks like it runs lldb itself, but perhaps with a bit of work you could get it to interact with gud-mode?


But no software even close to Visual Studio, that's the point.


what?

jetbrains.com (intellij, appcode, pycharm,webstorm, rubymine etc)

sublime text atom vim emacs eclipse


Not even close to Visual Studio on Windows, that's the point (I know I'm repeating, but it's sad that I'm having to do that).


Intellij eats Visual Studio for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Twice. Every day.

To make VS somewhat usable, you need Resharper - made by the company, that makes Intellij.


Intellij is amazing. Note that jetbrains built resharper to de-suckify Visual Studio. And many of the refactorings that we all take for granted were invented by Jetbrains.


Intellij is fairly close as an IDE to Visual Studio on Windows. It's sad you are not seeing it.

And that without mentioning ReSharper which enhances VS quite a bit.


Quite a few people would respond to that by saying:

> There are like nine different versions of Emacs for OS X...


Is there anyone preventing anyone from making something 'close to Visual Studio' though?

I don't think Apple is blocking that. If you're looking for something for iOS/Mac dev, all the build tools are available as command-line interfaces.


No one is stopping 'in theory', but may be because there's no IDE close enough to Visual Studio for making something close enough to Visual Studio stopping people? ;)


Tried to buy a Visual Studio license for porting our game to Windows Phone last year. Ended up paying $2K for a version that was able to build WP apps, but not allowed to release them.

VS + VA used to be fantastic, today it's just a piece of ... overpriced crap.

But maybe expecting more from $2K+ software (VS) than from FREE software (xcode) is wrong.


Not sure what you are talking about. Visual Studio Express allows Windows phone development for free. Of course, for releasing they charge money (much lesser than what Apple charges).


No, you're not locked in to using the default Mail app anymore. Since iOS 8, mail app developers can write a share sheet extension and you can access their mailer wherever you can access system share sheets.

And you're not really stuck with Xcode anymore than you're stuck with Visual Studio on Windows. You can use the command line tools to do everything yourself, it's just more difficult. You can also obviously write apps in Java or even Electron, which is very popular these days.

As for Siri not using your custom music player, that's unfortunate. But integration often comes at the cost of extensibility, and while Apple has the former nailed, they are still clearly working on the latter.


There are plenty alternatives to XCode. AppCode is one high quality one. Setting up your own custom llvm toolchain is also an option.


Note that iOS and OS X are very different systems. On OS X, you can replace everything with your preferred software just as easily as you could in Windows or Linux.


> If you want to develop software, then you are pretty much stuck with XCode.

GNU/Linux and *BSD are probably the only OSes where there is no such thing as an OS vendor SDK.


Clicking on an address defaults to fucking Apple Maps... Let me say that again: Apple Maps...


Apple Maps' reputation is much worse than it deserves. These days it is better than Google Maps, in my opinion: Better map pins, better graphical performance, better rendering style, better search.


Someone clearly lives in the US... Probably in the Bay Area.

edit: just tested Apple Maps with a couple searches I did in Google Maps yesterday. Searched for the carrier shops for the two biggest carriers in my country. First search took me to Australia. The other ones found nothing in my city (there are probably at least 10-20 of each carrier in this town) and zoomed out to country level. Still completely and utterly useless.

That said, I'm no big Google Maps fan either, they have a lot of data issues as well. I tend to use a local app which works much better for public transit and car navigation, and has a nice category drill-down for POIs which works around a lot of the issues with free-text search


According to this article http://fortune.com/2015/06/16/apple-google-maps-ios/ Apples maps is used by Apple iPhone users more then Google Maps. So it's hard to believe it's as bad as you claim.


Hardly surprising, given it's installed by default. And that clicking on an address (say, on a website or a text message) leads up Apple's Maps by default.


It's not hard to believe user preferences can be different from the market share of pre installed applications (i.e., I.E.).


Apple Maps over Google Maps on a phone every time for me, and I live in Norway, not in the US.


iOS makes it intentionally much easier to just use Apple Maps and deal with the badness than to use another map App.


> Apple Maps' reputation is much worse than it deserves

I haven't used it since launch, so can't comment on its current performance, but AFAICT its reputation is due to how poor it was at launch. I tried it with three locations that Google Maps handled fine (small sample I know, but enough to put me off trying it further), and had problems with all three results (my house: low-res satellite imagery; my College: wrong website address; Cambridge Union Society: correct details, but location was about 50mi out).

Hopefully its now better, but that initial impression is hard to shake.

Edit: initially -> initial


It's not that hard to shake your initial impression, actually. It's called actually using the product at any time in the last 3 years, for 10 minutes or so. Try it. You might be surprised.


Yes, that's what I was referring to — the launch was terrible, but it has now been improved to the point were it's surpassed Google Maps in usability. I use it every day on my phone.


Apple Maps, in many ways, is more usable than Google Maps when it comes to directions / heads up on turns and such. Unfortunately, it's still missing a glaring feature for me where I can't get it to ignore toll roads or highways when calculating directions. Even if I manually jigger it to avoid the road I want to avoid, it still "corrects" and tries to send me on that road.

They need to get some more of the driving GPS features figured out and I'll switch over entirely.


I agree that Apple Maps is currently better, but I attribute that mostly to the quality of Google Maps severely degrading in recent years.

It has gotten so bad, that I've dusted off my old stand-alone GPS and keep it in my car's center console. Google Maps no longer has reliability that I can count on for a road trip.


"I attribute that mostly to the quality of Google Maps severely degrading in recent years."

Seriously? I can't see how that would happen unless you're living somewhere prone to dramatic road rebuilding. Or do you mean the quality of the Google Maps interface?


The interface and apps. Accurate maps aren't worth a damn, without a reliable way of accessing them.


FWIW for Berlin, Apple Maps draws the transport lines and stations far better and nicer. Google draws the lines very imprecisely and doesn't show you tram lines, for example.


In my city, Google Maps has NO transit, NO satellite images since 2004, NO map data since 2010. Here maps has satellite and transit, and Apple Maps even has full 3D buildings.

Following is a set of complaints I compiled last year when a Google employee asked me on reddit to post them more detail about my maps complaints.

The usability of any Google product outside the US is a total disaster, and it’s a wonder how Google is able to keep any market share with their quality of service.

NONE of this has been addressed since we started complaining in 2005 (!), except for one thing: that connection between two streets, which is closed with a fence, has been marked as closed. So now we have less people standing there trying to get through.

> https://www.google.com/maps/@54.3559928,10.0734304,18z

> http://imgur.com/a/DyRBT

> The map data on top is from the municipality, the map data on bottom from Google.

> As you see, the street "Beim Bauernhaus" is completely missing, the "Kellerkate" is missing half the street, the connection between "Beim Bauernhaus" and "Kellerkate" is missing, the "Kl. Koppel" is missing parts of the street.

> You currently have data from 2010 for this specific area.

> The data you currently have access to from GeoBasis-DE is this: http://i.imgur.com/67TQeP8.png

> At least the connection between Steinberg and Nienbrügger Weg is now marked as service path, until recently it was marked as street and people tried to get through there (there’s a fence making that impossible).

> I won’t get too much into satellite data either, because yours is from 2004, too:

> https://www.google.com/maps/@54.3530178,10.0703569,529m/data...

> https://www.here.com/?map=54.35308,10.07028,17,satellite

> And the unavailability of Public Transit data for busses, etc. on Google Maps – which is available on Here.com – makes it unlikely that I, as a student using public transit all the time – am going to switch back.


TBH you can blame that on Germany alienating Google Maps

https://gigaom.com/2014/12/05/googles-cars-return-to-german-...

"Google started automatically blurring faces and number plates, it was forced to give Germans the option of having their houses blurred out as well – something hundreds of thousands of people took the firm up on.

However, this was a costly business, with Google needing to hire temporary workers to manually blur out selected buildings. It also didn’t stop people trying to sue the U.S. company over alleged privacy infringement. So, in 2011, Google said it was giving up on Street View in Germany – the pre-existing images remain online, but they haven’t been updated in three years."


This only affects Street View which Google has abandonded in Germany.


I know that google uses street view to determine street addresses by OCRing the numbers on the side of houses. Maybe even more of their mapping relies on it?


That concerns street view.

But Google has bought access to the government map data (GeoBasis-DE for Germany, I posted a screenshot of what GeoBasis-DE shows for the area above).

Google has bought the mapdata, can use it, but doesn't.


Conversely, Apple Maps still has no transit in Tokyo, rendering it completely unusable in one of the iPhone's largest markets.

So don't extrapolate your city to the rest of the world.


Conversely, Google Maps is lame for transit everywhere in the world, whereas at least Apple Maps is making rapid progress here.


I visited a dozen+ countries in 4 continents last year - GMaps did a pretty decent (often great) job with public transit. In the cases where there was no/bad data, it usually had more to do with the transit authorities being jackasses than anything in Google's control (Melbourne in particular stuck out as being just terrible).


Well, that doesn't solve the question with the cities where here.com and bing maps have full transit data, and where the data is available via simple REST APIs, but where Google still doesn't have data.

BTW, the Android-App "Öffi" has full support for Melbourne, as Melbourne provides a simple to use API, and has for the past years.


After neither GMaps nor CityMapper having transit for Melbourne I just gave up and stood at the stop. :(


Yeah, I couldn't believe how bad it was, especially since Sydney has been fine for years. Apparently the root of this was their transit agency's longtime refusal to open up their data: http://m.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/melbourne-pub...

Some data was finally released last April (promised as part of an election reform campaign), but as of October there were still GMaps integration issues: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/victorian-g...

I was involved in a lot of (too many) geo/transit/open data conversations in the late 2000s, and sadly, this kind of short-sighted/nonsensical thinking was all too common, and I'm sure persists in many of the places where people lay the blame on GMaps, when it's actually due to stonewalling bureaucrats.


Just use Öffi, Öffi has support for almost every city globally, including Tokyo and Melbourne.

But the UI is ugly.


Essentially, Germany made it clear that they didn't want Street View. So Google took the hint.


Not defending the behaviour, but Apple Maps has vastly improved.


And? I use it on a daily basis and I have no problems with it whatsoever. Sure, some people had issues with it when it launched, but like anything else in tech, those issues were way overblown.


Apple Maps performs much worse for me on tmobile network in minneapolis. It takes me to wrong locations, locks up frequently, etc. I only use google maps now - much more stable and always takes me to the right place.


You can always copy the email address with a long press or a force press.


I have a hard time taking anyone's opinion seriously about Xcode when they spell it with a capital 'c'. ;)


Could you please express your opinions without using the term "brainwashing"? I think Safari and iMessages are vastly superior to Chrome and Hangouts and that doesn't make me an idiot.


Well, one thing about Safari is that upgrades seem to be tied to the OS. As a web developer, this makes testing things on different versions of Safari a bit difficult. Also, you have to upgrade the entire OS to get a new version of Safari, so if you were holding out on an OS upgrade you might be forced to upgrade if you need to test things on the latest version of Safari.


Did I miss something? I run Yosemite and the latest Safari, including point updates, runs fine. http://www.macworld.com/article/2987211/software-web/apple-r...


The alternative is that I need to have 30 versions of Chrome laying around because they update every week or two.

Surely there has to be a middle ground. :)


Well, Chrome tends to be ahead of the curve on a lot of things. For example, you need to upgrade to El Capitan to get true flexbox support in Safari (or iOS9 on iOS devices). This coupled with the fact that Chrome users don't need to do an OS upgrade to get the latest version means that you don't need to do as much heavy testing on various versions of Chrome (in my experience... though it's not in a locked-down corporate environment).


> Well, Chrome tends to be ahead of the curve on a lot of things

True. Memory/CPU/Battery-usage ist painfully high.

Better Performance? Even scrolling on bigger websites is sluggish at best. The only point of having chrome installed on my machine is because of it's DevTools... but I'm playing a lot with firefox Dev-Edition lately which seems to be superior here.


Many, perhaps most mobile Chrome users do not run the latest Chrome, and there's many differences among vendors. See http://www.quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2015/02/chrome_conti...


Mobile chrome users are almost exclusively on the latest chrome. There are a lot of other chromium-based Android browsers using out of date chromium, but if you touch a chrome icon to get to the internet its probably real, up to date chrome.

And at least on my site, most android users do seem to be using chrome rather than an OEM browser.


I have a three year old MacBook. I would like to use Chrome, but it brings my laptop to a crawl. Almost unusuable. I just figured it was my 4 gigs of RAM, and everyone was having a problem with Chrome?

You guys run Chrome with no problems? You must have more ram?


2010 Macbook Pro, 8 GB RAM, Chrome runs just great. Never believed I'd get this kind of longevity out of a laptop.


I have an old MacBook 4,1 (w/ Core 2 Duo), 4 GB RAM, lying around with the latest version of Chrome on it. It's usable, but not snappy, and you can't have dozens of tabs open or it will get sluggish fast. You have to clear the cache and restart Chrome too often.


My MacBook Pro is from 2012, but I have 16GB of RAM in it. I regularly have something like 10 windows with about 15 or so tabs in each. It can get bogged down at times, but generally works fine.

Chrome wants RAM, so I think that's the real blocker in your case.


Yes, I learned my lesson of thinking 4GB was good enough.

It's better to have 8GB minimum, but best of all to get as much ram as possible on a machine.


The extension "The Great Suspender" works wonders here; suspends tabs in the background when they've been idle, but you don't lose your place. It has singlehandedly made Chrome usable again for me, while simultaneously enabling my 40+ tab habit. 90% of the time you don't need the tab to be active, you just want it there so you can revisit later. (For me anyway.)


Another vote for The Great Suspender. It's literally a must-have for Chrome users.

I'm a tab maniac - 421 tabs open now. This wouldn't be possible without TGS (and 32GB RAM), and another extension called Tabli to index them all.


General computer buying rule: always buy as much ram as you can afford even if it seems like an insane amount at the time! One thing that drives me nuts about phones and tablets. I want to pay more money for more, more ram. Nothing impacts your devices life span more than the amount of ram.


I've found recent versions of Firefox to be surprisingly much zippier than Chrome and w much lower memory usage as well (especially w uBlock Origin).


I'm not an Apple user myself, but isn't what you describe something good for web developers as it ensures that your users can only have one version of Safari, as opposite to lots of older versions of Chrome, Firefox and IE?


No it's pretty bad for web developers - everyone stuck on old versions of Safari just since they don't want the new os (or sometimes are on services that aren't supported any more). Whereas there's not much difference between someone on chrome 43 and 46, and chrome auto updates aggressively so we can ignore anything < 40 easily.

Safari and IE are basically in the same boat of users being on old oses also being stuck on aging browsers. It's just that IE has been so much worse that we haven't had time to start complaining about Safari, but don't worry, that's coming very soon.


I hate ios safari with passion. Last release crashes a lot and it has the balls to blame the web page, so I have to run trough a lot of bogus crash bugs from users instead on working on real things.


I use iOS Safari all the time and have no crashes and it works just fine.


it's getting better now but still common enough. here's what it looks like

http://www.appledystopia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ios9...


I'm aware of all those things. I have different priorities than you. This does not mean that I’m worshipping at the altar of Jim Steve Jones Jobs and lost the ability to think for myself.


How do I iMessage or FaceTime someone on an iPhone from my Android device? Do you just drop any friends that don't buy apple hardware?


As for FaceTime I think you're SOL. As for iMessage, you can just SMS/MMS text and it's well integrated into the Messages app on both my phone and Mac. My messages to you just appear green instead of blue.


Nice friend. You end up costing me money if you SMS/MMS me while I'm not in your country.


Receiving SMS is usually free, even while roaming


I'm assuming you'd like me to reply. That reply will cost money. Checking AT&T they want a extra $10 a month to send 100 International SMS messages or $0.25 a message

https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/international/long-distanc...


There are ther messaging apps. I usually switch my green bubbles to skype or google hangouts


You install WhatsApp, like a billion other people.


you use one of the many alternatives


Chrome might not be the best, but Safari is very far behind.

http://nolanlawson.com/2015/06/30/safari-is-the-new-ie/


Thank you I completely agree. Chrome is garbage and I wouldn't trust google with my photos or calendar data.


You're missing out. Google Photos is a revelation. But condemn the company for a product because absolutes are the best way to think.


> From my perspective, their application software has always sucked.

I think the main problem is not the application software (aside from iTunes and Apple Maps) - the main problem is the OS level software.

During the "golden age" of apple, apps would just work. Didn't matter if it you were using Apple-provided software or "better" 3rd party stuff - crashing, lagging, stuttering was minimal.

Now, many users are seeing much more lag, beach balling, and kernel panicking than before, across all of their applications. [1] Combine this with some poor decision making in the UX/UI department of certain Apple apps and you get a lot of people who are unhappy with their entire software stack.

But the app is the closest piece of software to them, so instinctively it makes more sense to blame declining app quality, when it's actually more a function of OS stability.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11034071


When was this golden age?

I've been a Mac user for about 10 years and it was never better than now, probably the opposite. Every edition had bunch of bugs I hated. Before then I regularly tested Mac for local computer magazine and it didn't look better either. I even managed to freeze Mac OSX 10.1 with first mouse click when it arrived in our lab.

Before then we had lots of fun looking at ways you could hang by that time absurdly obsolete old Mac OS....


My experience with the MBP + iPod Touch/iPhone since 2009. Using apps like iTunes, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Garage Band, and Logic Pro.

So the golden age for me has been 2009-2015 from Snow Leopard -> Mountain Lion (trailing off steeply w/ El Capitan) and from iOS 1 - 7, w/ iOS 8, 9 introducing issues.


I'll second this. I started with the beta of OS X (2000?) after several years with Red Hat, and the period of Snow Leopard through Mountain Lion was the best. Especially Snow Leopard. I recently reinstalled it on an old Mac Mini and a 2006 MacBook Pro and was amazed how fast it was compared to Mountain Lion on a 2011 MBP.

I rue the days I upgraded my iPhone and iPad to ios9. Both are slugs now and they don't sync with Messages on the MBP anymore.


I have a feeling you have new Apple products.

I have a three year old MacBook, and I believe, a four year old Ipad2. I want to believe it was just the iPad and too much JavaScript, but my laptop is not what I expect from a three year laptop. That wheel is spinning way too much. Chrome brings it to unusuable, but figured it was my fault. I only have 4 gigs. Actually, I though 4 gigs would be enough?

I do not believe in buying a new computer every two years.

I always though if an evil dictator ran Apple, they could force us to by new product, but they would have to do it sly. Just enough wheel spinning, to make us buy. If Apple does that; I'm gone forever.

Actually, I've been done with new Apple products for awhile. I will just repair my older products. I still believe in the company though. I hope they don't get cute?


Interestingly, I have an MBP that's eight years old now. It has maxed out RAM about where you're at (4GB) and an SSD... and it's running Snow Leopard. And I get beachballs less often than I do on some newer machines running higher releases.

This is one of the things that makes me think the OS is declining.


Clear Chrome's cache every two weeks, and restart Chrome every night. There. Done.


YMMV, but I had to manually delete Chrome cache files. Clearing from prefs took a long time, but the files remained over machine restarts.


I don't. My MacBookPro is late 2011 and my iPad2 was inherited from wife.

Both work fine although iPad is indeed more slugish than it was.

But I also use an old iPod which is still on IOS4 and that isn't great either (skips certain songs/podcasts...).

I could complain about all of them, but my point is that the same was true in any previous year.


> I do not believe in buying a new computer every two years.

It wouldn't help anyway, because that damn ball spins even on new computers.

I keep getting told I'm "doing too much". Apparently a $2500 laptop should be confined to no more than a handful of concurrent Apple-approved applications and nothing more... ? (and even then, you'll still get those beach balls).


I have a 2014 retina MBP and I run VMWare daily with Windows 7 and allotted 8 cores and 8 GB of RAM, leaving the same amount for the Mac side, and I never see a beachball. I always have at least two browsers with a few dozen Windows, outlook, slack, and a ton of software in the VM, and still don't have an issue. YMMV.


that's the danger in posting this sort of ancedote. there's always someone who's "never seen a beachball". It's not that I truly don't believe you, but I think you're in the minority. I see beach ball behaviour on pretty much every mac user in my coworking space daily.

Personally, I'm on my fourth mac over the last 8 years, various models, had both spinning disk and SSD, 4, 8 and 16gigs of ram. Wife has had various macs going back to ... 2002?

I can't recall a working day go by without pauses, hangs and beachballs. And... I've had the equivalent behaviour on Windows models and Linux machines going back to at least the late 90s. :(


If you haven't installed an SSD in your machine I definitely would.


"During the "golden age" of apple, apps would just work."

nope. Ive been using apple software for 20 years.

apple software has ALWAYS been crap. its just also been less crap than the opposition.

hell, before OS X, a crashed app would force you to restart the entire computer....

I still remember long afternoons debugging a CodeWarrior application, and having to restart after every successful replication of the problem...


You just reminded me of the time when IIS extensions (ISAPI) executed in kernel space and I was tracking down a bug...


The last 2 versions are the worst for old systems. Before Yosemite beach ball was a rarity. Now its a daily occurrence.I have tested El Captiano on newer systems and its silky smooth. They are kind of forcing me to upgrade. But this experience has made be wary of buying Apple products.


Really? This sounds way too empirical... And: have you ever used the first versions of OS X? Have you ever heard about MobileMe?


My thoughts after reading through this thread from 5 days ago on Apple's declining software quality: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11034071

I had actually never heard of MobileMe before reading that thread...somehow I was busy/oblivious enough not to have ever used it.


There was a time during Windows XP when apple software was very well done. They were on a roll. OS X was a lot more stable, safari was introduced and was one of the best browsers at the time, etc. The 64-bit transition was flawless, the ppc to x86 was flawless. Safari was an excellent browser when it was first introduced. Mail.app used to be just as good as thunderbird (if not slicker). Itunes was THE app that everyone finally started using to organize their music in a proper database.

It's only since the "App-store" that apple seemed to screw things up. It's quite amazing that so did microsoft and so did linux desktops. I feel like the golden age of desktop computing ended with the dawn of the iphone.


Agreed. I don't think Apple creates their applications for power users though. We switch to VLC because we handle a wide range of file formats, QuickTime is "good enough" for the average user (perhaps not anymore considering MKV files are very popular amongst pirated videos). Photos, Calendar and Safari are "good enough" for users who don't use a lot of third-party extensions/Developer Tools, or sync their Calendars across multiple non-Apple services.

XCode is a necessary evil for a lot of developers, FaceTime depending on your situation is also a necessary evil for users. iMovie is the best of a bad bunch for the average user.

However the OSX interface is still very slick in comparison to *nix, requires hardly any maintenance and still supports "all the things" because developers love the hardware and the UX and have built the applications needed for it.

I've always turned away from Apple because "you are paying for a brand" - however since being given a Macbook to play with I've really enjoyed using it for dev and personal use. I've uninstalled and removed pretty much all the "bloat" that people like us have a preferred alternative for, but the average user simply doesn't give a damn.

I still run away from iOS however. The requirement to find an exploit in the firmware to do what I want is a PITA.


There are some Google products that I like, but I don't think I've ever had a good experience with Hangouts. Maybe it's rose tinted lenses, but it seems like multi-person video chatting with screen sharing has been getting uniformly worse ever since iChat AV.

More recently, there are online alternatives like https://appear.in/ that I've been happy with, and which don't require you to install a browser plugin like Hangouts.


The primary feature of messaging software is "all my friends are on it". As an ex-Googler, all my friends are on Hangouts.

I think that on a technical level, WhatsApp is the best messaging software on the market. It at least features reliable message delivery, something that both Hangouts and iMessage have yet to get down. But its usage is largely limited to my Indian friends here in the U.S, which makes it of limited use to me.


I think the Hangouts development team is dead or something.


Agreed. I'm unfortunately forced to use the Hangouts app on android since Google Voice was smushed into it (losing 90% of its best features in the process, like being able to mark voicemails as spam). So now I'm stuck doing my texting shoehorned alongside this other chat app that none of my friends use except by accident when they meant to send a text.

Now Google's decided to split SMS back out into a separate SMS app, so god only knows what's going to happen to Google Voice texting in that transition. I think the Voice team got merged into the hangouts team and shortly reassigned, and then everyone who was left on the hangouts team was moved a month or two after that.

Next time I replace my phone I'm just going to bite the bullet and port my phone number back out to a real carrier. It's a bummer, since this is the only Google product that I've ever paid them actual money for.


> Agreed. I'm unfortunately forced to use the Hangouts app on android since Google Voice was smushed into it (losing 90% of its best features in the process, like being able to mark voicemails as spam). So now I'm stuck doing my texting shoehorned alongside this other chat app that none of my friends use except by accident when they meant to send a text.

You can go into hangouts settings and turn off google voice handling.


The problem was actually that once you'd migrated a GV account to using hangouts, there was no way to go back. Did a bit of looking and this is no longer the case: http://i.imgur.com/qtxfYGP.png

So I guess I can go back. I'd miss the better voice calling integration (the one improvement that "hangouts dialer" brought) and I'm not sure how well maintained the GV app is these days, but I may give it a go.


For a data point of one: I refused the popup and never switched and things work the same as ever for me. The only annoying thing is that you get that dialog every single time you visit the website. The app is virtually the same as it's been for years, for better or worse.


Western messaging apps are a joke compared to their international counterparts. If you want to see some fierce competition and cutting edge features, you need to look towards LINE and WeChat. (For US messenger apps, I actually like FB Messenger the best but it might just be because the Pusheen stickers are so damn amazing.)


The whole point of buying an Apple device was that it was an alternative to Microsoft Windows PCs. It was supposed to be better and easier to use.

When iOS got invented Apple got into mobile devices. Microsoft has been making Windows Phones (way back to Windows CE) longer than Apple has been making iPhones, but the iPhone sells better.

Apple has sort of gotten into a trap they got into before bringing Jobs back, problems with software quality. Jobs solved it by merging MacOS and NextOS together to make OSX. Then OSX spawned iOS.

Apple got focused on bringing out new hardware, to have users upgrade every once in a while to keep the profits going. They focused on the hardware more than the software. That is the mistake that Apple once made during the PowerMac Era before Jobs came back to fix it. They were working on project Copland to fix it, but never finished that project.

It is not that Apple Fans are brainwashed, they like Apple because it is not Microsoft. They've been burned by Microsoft too many times and went to Apple as an alternative. But now Apple is starting to make mistakes like Microsoft did in their software. Apple Fans are starting to take notice of that.

Apple just needs to focus on software quality for a while, fix the bugs and CVS exploits. Instead of releasing new features, just fix the bugs and make the OS and apps stable. They've done it before and they can do it again.


> Chrome, Google Photos, Hangouts, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Maps

> Perhaps I was just less brainwashed than most Apple fans

I'm not quite sure who of you is the brainwashed one ... ;)


> But IMHO anyone who used the whole integrated Apple software suite and never looked elsewhere has been missing out on some seriously nice features this whole time.

I've looked elsewhere but I stick with Apple's software because I like the simplicity and privacy it offers. I don't want more than a handful of basic functions in my calendar app. I don't want a half a dozen new features to help me avoid reading e-mails. I don't need to install Google Maps to avoid driving off a mountain because Apple Maps works fine for me. I don't want to type the wrong thing into a Google app and see ads about it for the next 3 months.


What about office apps?


While on OS X you can replace everything easily to craft the experience you need, on iOS, it's not as much of an option, sadly.

Also, I don't really like Google's desktop offerings - or the lack of them - everything is a webapp, and they just don't work as well as proper desktop software would have. I am so annoyed by the random reloads Chrome apps do, and the utter disrespect they have for multiple desktops.


The most frustrating part for me is that CMD-Tab'ing to, say, Hangouts will show me the Hangouts window. Now if I try to CMD-Tab to Chrome, it stays on the Hangouts window even though they are trying to treat them as separate applications (it's own application icon in the CMD-Tab bar, and a separate application menu from Chrome). This frustrates me on a daily basis.


The problem is that hangouts is still chrome.app. So the cmd+tab switcher groups it with chrome..

I've been using hyperswitch as my cmd+tab replacement for a while, and it is much closer to the windows implementation. I find it better..


But Hangouts injects its own icon in the CMD-Tab bar and the Dock. I feel like it this really shouldn't happen unless the app can truly be treated separately or else things start breaking or behaving in ways that the user does not expect ("it doesn't work like everything else" as does in this case).


Same on Linux. Google really needs to get a grip on that.


You make a fair point, you can mostly avoid bad Apple software.

The one choice you can't make is iTunes. Being forced to use that dreadful piece of software is why I gave my first iPhone away after little less than one week. It's abysmally incompetent as a music player. You could probably count the number of codecs it supports on one hand - a core feature of a music player is, well, playing your music. Last time I used it, it still didn't have a media library and dumped tens of thousands of songs into a flat list. You have to have that garbage installed on your machine if you own an iPhone. Not interested.


"Last time I used it, it still didn't have a media library and dumped tens of thousands of songs into a flat list."

In the "Advanced" tab, which I'd expect any self-respecting HN denizen to go to first, there's a checkbox for "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" which explains that it will "[place] files into album and artist folders, and [name] the files based on the disc number, track number and song title". Mine is a very hierarchical structure - and I've had it for a decade. No flat list here.

"You have to have that garbage installed on your machine if you own an iPhone. Not interested."

Not true, either - hasn't been true since the advent of iCloud in 2011.

As to the codecs - it does do MP3 and AAC, which probably covers 95% of available content, though it doesn't do Ogg Vorbis, Quo Vadis, or various others. For that sort of thing there's VLC.


> hasn't been true since the advent of iCloud in 2011.

Assuming I'm using AIMP3 as my media player of choice, how would iCloud play into getting my song library onto an iPhone? Like Winamp and Foobar2000, it allows you to treat a removable drive as a media player.

> For that sort of thing there's VLC.

That's a non-starter. Even Windows Media Player, which is probably used by a total of three people, can be extended to support any arbitrary audio codec using a documented API. I don't get phone calls from my 90y/o father asking how to get media to work, the codec pack that I installed guarantees that almost any codec under the sun will work with almost any Windows application (notably excluding iTunes).


iTunes has had a media browser since I started using it in the 10.3 days.

You haven't needed iTunes to use an iPhone for several years now. I still plug mine in once in a while for a local backup but I can't tell you the last time I've needed it. Apple's cloud backup is pretty good in my experience.

Don't get me wrong... iTunes is definitely getting worse. The media browser is too hard to find in the new version and the new default views don't handle large libraries very well.


The first version of iMovie was brilliant. Sublime, and easy to use. I used it on a Mac Cube and loved it. It has gotten worse with every new iteration.


> Perhaps I was just less brainwashed than most Apple fans

And yet you use Google everything, despite privacy concerns...


I figure I have none anyway. My working assumption is that every major government on earth could access all of my net activity with a few keystrokes, my devices are already pwned, all of my credit card numbers have already been stolen, and pretty much anyone could pretend to be me with little trouble.

The only thing that prevents this from being a massive pain in the butt is that they have also stolen the personal data of 300 million other Americans, and by the time they work their way down the list (my last name starts with 'T', after all), all that information - credit card numbers, operating system installs, addresses on file, net habits - will have changed anyway.


It's not about your credit card #, it's about your social graph and your existence as a datapoint for anomaly detection.


I do the same.

However, I guess that as Apple grows and attracts more customers outside of tech (especially as they have done with the iPhone), they will have also picked up a much larger share of customers who will use the built-in apps. If it's true that the quality is gong down as they say, well those people will form the opinion that you would expect them too which happens to be the one written about here.

Let's also not forget that the operating system itself has a huge impact on the experience. The difference between the OS and the apps is that problems in the OS don't just affect end users, they often affect app developers too. So regardless of how their apps are, they could easily get themselves into trouble here.


It's all about churn. It's new and shiny. Oh you actually depended on those features? You want document format portability? Those questions don't enter the equation. Eventually they dump everything and replace it with something else. The quality varies from useful to bad, but ultimately it doesn't matter to them, it all gets replaced eventually. Because new is better. Stability, backward compatibility, support for open document formats - these things don't sell in Apple's world view.


An issue might be that many never used pre-Mac OS X software stack.

I loved the fact that they used Pascal as system programming language, but the mixture of Pascal, followed by C and eventually C++ with Powerplant wasn't that nice if I recall correctly from Mac programming manuals.

Also the fact that up NeXT's acquisition Apple's engineering failed to deliver a new OS.


Their software tends to be intuitive sometimes ago, around OSX Lion and iOS 6, which should be a much more important priority than just flashy and shiny.

A lot of 'improvements' made after that, comes with little or none consideration to make things more useful. Rather it seems to focus more on atheistic, which, as a developer, I couldn't care less.


It's not just you. I've been an Apple fan for a long time, but the only Apple app I regularly use is Keynote. For everything else I use alternatives, and that has never been any different.

With the occasional exception, Apple has never been very good at application software.


Apple makes hardware and iCal. Google makes Search and Calendar. Neither company charges for their calendar app. (OK, Google sort of does for Apps)

Is it a priori obvious that which conglomerate would be better at some app than another?


True that.

Plus using third party services is just smart in that it avoids vendor lock-in and makes it easier to switch out of the platform(s) should you choose to do so.


Even ignoring the ad-hominen, your comment is basically pointless, because people who have been complaining about Apple Software usually compare the software to the period before 2009 (whether true or not, Snow Leopard is considered the pinnacle of OSX and so you basically entered once the software got bad).

Since you weren't even using Apple Software at the time, your judgment of whether Apple software used to be good or not is kind of meaningless.


My 2009 MBP shipped with Leopard and I upgraded it to Snow Leopard within a few months. It was on there for a couple years.

My first computer was a Mac LC in 1991, and I was a die-hard Macintosh fan all throughout adolescence. I learned to program with Think Pascal on a Centris 660AV. My whole family continued to use Macs after I gave them up in 1998, so I certainly used them during that decade, I just didn't like using them.


I wasn't talking about the 90s (And I don't think any mac fans complaining about the dropoff in quality are talking about pre-OSX Macs either, other than Siracusa and the Finder). You basically missed the entire era where OSX was really good on its own, improving rapidly, and next-generation when compared to the competition in Windows and Linux. This period was basically (Again, according to the mac fans complaining about Apple's declining software) bookended by Panther and Snow Leopard, so you essentially came in right towards the end.

To be honest, I can only think of 1 feature that was added post-Snow Leopard that I use regularly. Being able to receive/send messages from my mac and that isn't available to non-iPhone users. And better trackpad gestures, but that's closer to hardware (although it requires OS support) than software.


a lot of Snow Leopard's good reputation was about the fixes and about how bad Lion was. The whole "Save As" and alter documents not expressly saved (a behavior Preview continues) screws up a lot of use cases.

That being said, I remember Panther and Snow Leopard after the .0.3 updates to be the best versions.


It's quite presumptious to assume people who don't care about their apps as much as you are all brainwashed. I've always found many of the default apps to be "good enough" that I didn't mind using them, and I know I'm not the only person who thought so. Lately they've degraded to the point people are complaining.

Besides that, the software problems affect their entire software base, including parts that can't (easily) be turned off or removed, like iCloud, Music, the iOs task switcher, etc.


LOL you first download chrome, Dude In my experience of Mozilla and Chrome. Chrome is a memory hogger even if you have 1 tab open it eats the memory and drains the battery read about it its all over the internet. While mozilla can't handle lot of multiple windows and tabs. The only browser i have seen which is rock solid and power efficient is Safari. Also the mail app won't be having much advanced features like other mail apps but it certainly does the Job for people who don't want advanced apps. And i use Fantastical over the calendar app but only because of the UI and AI but also the calendar app on apple is decent and it used to do the job for me before i moved to third party app. Also if you use Pages it is way too much better than Google Docs and Microsoft Word. I don't understand what you like in Google Docs any ways i feel Microsoft Word is much better than Google docs. I used to be a Windows Power user from past 20 years and from last 2 years i have been using Mac and it is amazing. Try to use the Mac apps again i don't know what they used to make in 2009 but certainly they have improved the quality of apps in mac in 2014


It's not just software. While I'm still a fan of Macbooks, I'm getting close to abandoning ship thanks to the increasingly un-repairability of these things. I have a Macbook from ~2008 that's still functional as a media PC thanks to memory/SSD upgrades and battery replacements over the years.

My current Macbook Pro has memory soldered on to the motherboard and a battery glued to the case. The SSD is technically replaceable, but the specs that this laptop shipped with are going to be the specs that it dies with.

When the battery goes, I'll have to either risk destroying the machine or pay way too much to Apple to do the job for me. At that point I'll probably just switch to a brand with a more reasonable user-servicing model, assuming those still exist.


Comparable laptops aren't really any better. The rMBP is a lot more repairable than say the Surface Book (which won't let you even open the case without possibly cracking the display). At least Apple has a battery replacement service at an advertised price--what'll Dell charge you to replace the non-servicable battery in the XPS13 or XPS15? And no other PC laptop hits that right sweet spot of power/battery/display quality. ThinkPads have great power and good battery, but shitty screens.[1] Dells and HPs with gorgeous 4k screens can barely get 4-5 hours out of them.

I almost jumped ship recently because the Surface Book hits a great mix of screen quality/power/battery life, but judging by the forums, it's buggy as hell. So what to do? I'd love a swap-able battery in my rMBP like I have in my T450s, but at the end of the day, I never reach for my ThinkPad when I've got my Mac handy. I'll just go ahead and pay the $200 bucks Apple charges to replace the sealed battery.

[1] My non-technical wife, who has a Mac, recently needed to use my work laptop. Her first reaction on seeing the screen was "wow, your firm cheaped out, huh?" I've got a totally maxed out ThinkPad T450s with i7, 20GB of RAM, and FHD IPS display.


It's a bit of an overstatement to say that the batteries are unreplaceable. They have some tape on them and they require patience to remove, but that's not anything new as far as laptop part upgrades go.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Dell+XPS+13+Teardown/36157


> Surface Book

Man, I love the idea of this thing.

But I recently tried moving to Surface Book. Spent nearly $3k on a real nicely specc'd one. It BSOD'd daily, sleep modes are really confusing, battery drained terribly overnight, it was overall a bit of a nightmare. Granted probably half of my complaints are about Win10 rather than the SB itself, but still. I returned it.

It's SO CLOSE and if it was $1,000 cheaper I may have just dealt with it. Just not quite there.


I have a Surface Book and am sticking through the problems, I've experienced everything you've mentioned. Bought it on launch, things have gotten significantly better with firmware and driver updates, but it still has a little ways to go. Seemingly the majority of the problems have to do with Skylake. At the rate things have been going, I estimate a couple more months before they have the big bugs all ironed out.


S and X Thinkpad lines have considerably improved screens nowadays. Nowhere near Retina, but they get the job done. Also, most of the parts inside are field serviceable, you don't really need more than a screwdriver to fix it.



I'm not sure about the battery, as it's brand new, and I don't have a need to replace it yet, but the RAM and SSD are both user replaceable on the XPS15. The battery looks like it would be a fairly easy swap as well, as long as you could source the new one.


> "as long as you could source the new one"

Thats the most difficult part. Original battery costs a fortune (some of them cost almost half of the new basic laptop). And if you decide to get a third party alternative - its basically a russian roulette, you never know what you gonna get, most of them are just terrible and barely last couple months


The big difference being a lot of the competition's options are at a 30-50% lower price.


>[1] My non-technical wife, who has a Mac, recently needed to use my work laptop. Her first reaction on seeing the screen was "wow, your firm cheaped out, huh?" I've got a totally maxed out ThinkPad T450s with i7, 20GB of RAM, and FHD IPS display.

Oxymoron: tech reasons of how great your computer is; and an argument on why a non technical people don't like it.


I've concluded that spec sheets in advertising are at best excuses, and at worst lies. Most users don't care what the exact pixel count is, they just want enough pixels that everything looks great. They don't care exactly how much RAM or storage there is, so long as they don't run out of it (either "brick wall effect" or discernible slowdowns). They don't care exactly how fast the processor is, so long as it's perceived as "fast enough". If specifications are presented, it's done so precisely to convince the user "this is good enough" ... but if it was good enough, customers wouldn't be looking at those numbers to see if it's at least above some criteria indicating "well, I guess I can put up with it since you put it that way".

That's precisely why Apple doesn't give specifications for as many products as they can get away with. RAM specs are limited to regular computers. Devices with "retina" displays don't list pixel counts any more (or at least overtly so). Given how they're pushing to make storage size irrelevant on mobile devices (iCloud, dynamic app deletion/installation, Photos cloud storage, etc), I expect they'll eventually drop exact local storage specs in most ads (opting for "small/medium/large").


My point wasn't that a non-technical person would appreciate the specs. It's that the screen is so bad that it makes a non-technical person think it's a cheap-o laptop instead of one that costs almost $2,000.


And my point is that the lousy screen is sold as satisfactory because the customer is told & convinced that the specifications say it's satisfactory.


Many business class laptops are modular enough to replace the hard drives.

I swapped the DVD player out on an elitebook for a second 500 GB SSD.


ThinkPad screens have been getting better. I'm actually pretty happy with contrast/brightness of the FHD IPS on my X250 (color gamut definitely could be better, but at least it doesn't do dynamic contrast like recent Dells), but the new screens, like the X1 Yoga's new OLED screen looks fantastic (I believe that'll be a 100% Adobe RGB screen).

Whenever I switch back and forth, I'm always shocked by how many PC laptops do trackpads so terribly when the Macbooks have been out there for years now.


Not sure about the patents that apply to Apple's trackpads, which is probably the biggest reason... the closest I've seen have been on some of the chromebook models, which aren't near as good, but still better than most... then again, it's entirely possible google is paying for the ip licensing.


It may be a pain in the butt to do so, my 2014 Dell XPS 13 it is serviceable - the RAM is still soldered onto the mainboard unfortunately, but aside from that every other component can be replaced. I fail to understand why I can't even replace the battery safely in a modern MacBook without a headache.


Where do a I buy a first-party replacement battery for the XPS 13?


[deleted]


All of those look like "compatible" knock-offs, not genuine OEM parts. Looks like Dell doesn't sell any official replacement batteries for that machine.


You can install OS X on a surface tablet. it's definitely been done.


@[1] that says more about your wife then about the ThinkPad.


There are plenty of serviceable laptops out there.


The parent to you comment also said this:

> And no other PC laptop hits that right sweet spot of power/battery/display quality.

... so I'm going to venture a guess that "the laptop is serviceable" isn't the only criteria being weighed here.


Apple is optimizing for the mainstream of the market, which mostly never repairs things (except using licensed repair outlets or the original store) and values slimness and lightness and appearance above repairability.

They're also locking down the platform more and more. I don't think this is some conspiracy to take away user freedom. I think it's because anything that makes a platform 'hackable' also makes it 'pwnable' by malware. Again they are optimizing for the mainstream of the market, which is mostly users with absolutely zero clue about malware or security. They want to field an OS that apps can't easily trojan/backdoor and conscript into a botnet or crytolocker your files, etc. Unfortunately hacker types are casualties here.

It's very, very hard to remain appealing to the hacker crowd while also targeting the mainstream. You're targeting two very different local maxima and a lot of what these two camps want is in absolute conflict -- e.g. UX vs. "power" and packability. I actually think Apple is doing a decent job all things considered. Macs are still great for development and are hackable enough, and if I want more hackability I can spring for a $30 Raspberry Pi or run anything I want inside Parallels with the bonus of not borking my main host machine if I mess it up. I am worried about the future though. If they overly "iOS-ify" the Mac they will lose me.


This.


Had to buy a new laptop to replace a 2009 MBP recently.

Chose the mid 2012 non-retina display. Took out the disk drive and put in my own SSD and RAM. Does everything I want it to do without the slightest complaint. All told I probably paid ~$700 less for a comparably powerful machine with 10x the internal storage of a late model MBP retina, albeit heavier and with a slightly inferior display.

Next time I need to upgrade I'm with you - it's just too painful to knowingly buy into an ecosystem where upgrades and repairs feel like unabashed extortion.

Obviously there's a very large target market of folks that just want their tech to work and will happily drop a few hundred bucks each time they need to upgrade or repair. But it's hard to go back once you've opened up your computer and seen how cheap/easy it is to replace some of these extremely modular components. I imagine my mindset will change as I get older and have less time/more disposable income.


> Obviously there's a very large target market of folks that just want their tech to work and will happily drop a few hundred bucks each time they need to upgrade or repair. But it's hard to go back once you've opened up your computer and seen how cheap/easy it is to replace some of these extremely modular components. I imagine my mindset will change as I get older and have less time/more disposable income.

There is. I'm 33, and do devops/infrastructure. I just want my rig to work. Macbook Air maxed out on ram and disk. To me, its disposable every three years (comes out to be ~$60/month).

Apple is going to have to get pretty bad before I throw away the experience of walking into an Apple store, buying a new laptop, restoring from TimeMachine, and being up and running almost immediately.

As you mention, disposable income and a lack of time changes the equation.


Full stack developer here on Windows, not everything maxed out.

Payed 550€ for my laptop ( 8 gb, ..) 2 years ago, everything is still working fine and it's still enough ( Visual Studio is supposed to be a "heavy" program). = 23 € / month till now and still dropping... And it's hardly game over with my laptop. When i'm at 3 years, it will cost me about 15,2 € / month.

I'll probably use it for longer. But let's say i don't have any costs and sell the laptop for 150 €, that makes it 11,2 € / month.

PS. No repairs required untill date

Edit: You can install Linux on it too or dualboot it ( i did this a long time, but didn't feel the need for it now)


That's great if you're a Windows developer. If you aren't then congratulations your performance is cripped as you have to run everything inside a Linux VM. There are just too many open source projects that stupidly hard core path seperators or rely on UNIX binaries.

Microsoft would really do well supporting a truly great UNIX layer.


> There are just too many open source projects that stupidly hard core path seperators or rely on UNIX binaries.

I wouldn't say stupidly. Open source projects just don't prioritize Windows development.


I recently bought a Thinkpad to try if another platform would work. I first ran Windows 10 and found it unworkable and then installed Ubuntu, did some battery tweaking. It is great; have not touched my Mac since. Especially long battery life, swappable batteries and, for my taste, a better keyboard next to more ports is just better over all for my (full stack) dev.


How did you get great battery life from Ubuntu? I've never been able to get anything close to the runtime I get on OSX. In my experience, OSX gives me the longest batter life, second is Windows and any flavor of Linux is terrible (maybe 3-4 hours on a machine that Windows gives 5-6 hours).


I get 16 hours under my Lenovo with ubuntu with tlp default settings. I have to be careful a bit with browsers (they use most in my workflow) but usually I just use lynx for programming searches. OS X on my MBP is ghastly: Apple replaced the battery and I use the same software as under Ubuntu but I struggle to get 3 hrs. On my Air it was wonderful. Windows I have not used for anything serious in 20 years.


True you need a VM but performance doesn't have to be crippled. My out of office/at home machine is a Dell Inspiron 5558 (Core i7, 16GB RAM). I stuck an intel 256GB SSD in it, took the free upgrade to Windows 10 and do all my dev work in a few Virtualbox VMs (leaning heavily on mRemoteNG for lots of tabbed PuTTy instances!).

Total cost (including the Intel SSD) was £726 or $1049 at today's rate (exc. VAT). So didn't cost a bomb and gives me a lightening fast machine, windows for desktop duties, debian for dev, a 1920x1080 display, easily replaceable battery/ram/disk and no issue driving multiple monitors.


I also think Windows + Putty is better than Desktop Linux. I'm actually going to sell the Mac (can't get used to shortcuts, don't have money to an upgrade here in Brazil) and buy a Windows PC + Intel NUC for HTPC + Linux box.


> projects that stupidly hard core path seperators

It's also stupid to assume that your application will work seamlessly between Windows and Unix-like systems just by making sure that the path separators are OS-agnostic.


Most of the windows APIs support unix-style path separators, I actually get annoyed when I see separator injection needlessly... the bigger differences are default system paths and environment variables as such. (Also, windows-style "drive" letters" of course).


You have some point there, but a lot seems to work fine. The hardest problem i had was with a x64 binary for SQLLite ( Ruby On Rails), which i couldn't fix. Cygwin would be a recommender for anyone using Windows and programming languages other then .Net.

And once you know how the C++ compilation works with VC++, the problems are minimized. ( i mostly come this accross with Python)

It isn't a hassle free road though


This is why most of my *nix work is done on my server at home (since I work from home). PyCharm pretty handily supports remote Python installations, so I can just use my work-supplied Windows laptop to type the code and have it run on a VM in the other room (or across the country if they insisted I use one in the datacenter).


Can you run Docker on Windows yet? We're a Docker/Python/Go stack.


About as well as on Mac OS X.


I can on my Raspberry Pi 2, but Docker should run: https://docs.docker.com/engine/installation/windows/

Edit:. The Pi is just for experimenting, no GUI required ;)


You can run it in a virtual box VM and ssh in. Works fine, at least as long as you have lots of RAM & a fast HDD. It does suck battery though.


Docker is Linux-only :)

There are tools like docker-machine facilitate running Docker under Linux VMs non-Linux platforms though.


I'm 27 and just want my rig to work. That's why I build my own PC, demand mobile phones with replaceable batteries, and have a great 6 year old Lenovo laptop that, besides a slow-ish CPU, is spec'ed pretty well for 2016.


Different strokes. I've got better things to do with my time. I'd rather walk into the Apple store and replace my MBA or my iPhone when I've got a problem. That saves me time for my wife or my hobbies.

Trade money for things that save you time, to spend that time on what's important to you (if you've got the money).


Using non-apple hardware and software does not take more time, nor does it incur more frustration. It generally does cost less money for the same level of performance. It often lasts longer than the apple-branded alternative as well due to the relative ease of repair and upgrade where the apple-branded alternative would have to be replaced.

This saves me time for my wife, my children and my hobbies. It also saves me money. Time, and money, to spend on what's important to me. It also sends a signal to companies: there is a market for upgradable, repairable hardware.


Unfortunately, upgradability is the niche use-case. Most everyone that I have ever known after a couple years of owning a computer, when faced with upgrading or replacing, they almost always choose replacement.

Because of the depreciation curve, a $500 computer is almost worthless after several years while a $1000 computer might be worth a hundred or two hundred dollars. Do you spend $200-300 on your $500 computer for say memory + SSD or put that $200-300 towards a new $1000 computer?

As far as time is considered, engineered solutions are generally read-to-go, Apple or Windows, but the Windows world still seems to be rife with bloat. Navigating the hundreds of models & manufacturers is overwhelming for the non-technical user. For many technical folks, it's much simpler to just say, 'Get a mac' or 'Get a Dell', nut the Dell option will be a small pain with navigating the choices.

Non-engineered solutions (building your own) do cost a little bit of a time investment in research, assembly and tweaking. For the technical folk here, it's merely a couple of extra hours. For the uninitiated, it's a lot of hours for knowledge that may not be readily applicable to them on a day-to-day basis.


> It also sends a signal to companies: there is a market for upgradable, repairable hardware.

I absolutely guarantee you that there simply are not enough of you to make hardware manufacturers cater to the upgradable/repairable market.

The only way upgradability/reparability will continue is if people like yourself form a non-profit or B Corp that makes open hardware that allows for it. The vast majority of people don't care.


> I've got better things to do with my time. I'd rather walk into the Apple store and replace my MBA or my iPhone when I've got a problem.

I don't get the comparison.

It's like apple users think the only options are buy apple (expensive, but "allegedly" rarely needs fixing, works 99% of the time, lasts a long time, etc) and a PC ("allegedly" breaks all the time, requires more maintenance, requires more time to keep up with, "cheap", etc...)

Those are not the options -- it's a false premise. There are laptop PCs which have the exact same performance & reliability as apple, but for a fraction of the price. I've gone through 4 PC laptops since 1996. My first 2 laptops, I admit, I spent a lot of time repairing but that was due to my own youthful tinkering, experimenting and the general instability of earlier OSs (DOS, Win95, Win98/ME, etc).

But my last 2 have lasted me 7+ years a piece. And I only decided to upgrade because they were beginning to show their age (slower compared to newer stuff). You can buy PC laptops with the same "just works" fidelity as apple. More options open up, and you can save yourself a fortune, if people would just eschew their brand loyalty.


> You can buy PC laptops with the same "just works" fidelity as apple. More options open up, and you can save yourself a fortune, if people would just eschew their brand loyalty.

What do you consider a fortune? $1000? $1400? That's about two days of my time consulting. I'm fine paying the premium for what I consider a better experience. It's not brand loyalty, that's for sure. I've had a terrible, terrible time trying to get work done on Windows 7, Windows 10 looks like a train wreck, and there are no Lenovo stores I can walk into same day and get a replacement like I can with an Apple store (which is in every major metro I visit).

Build a better experience, and I will gladly pay for it. Until then, Apple (grudgingly) gets my dollars.


I've had a lot of PC and Mac laptops, my first one being a Powerbook around 1994. But the --only one-- that ever died catastrophically was an Early 2011 Macbook Pro. Its problems are legion on the Apple support boards, and Apple wouldn't admit that the problems existed.

It wasn't until after I bought a new replacement laptop that Apple finally acknowledged the issues and started a repair program. I wasn't able to just walk into my Apple store to get it fixed (I live in a major metro), so I ended up going to a local authorized dealer instead.

It was basically the last straw for me. I'm happily on Windows. I don't miss the OSX Terminal because I've got CMDer, and just about everything else I was using on Mac for work is either available for Windows or has a decent equivalent. Windows is not the wasteland it was when I switched back to Mac a decade ago.


> $1000? $1400? That's about two days of my time consulting.

On my home country people get paid 1000 euros a month!


> (comes out to be ~$60/month)

Even phased like that that is a lot of money.


Not for a tool contributing towards six figures of income for me annually. That's an insane ROI.

EDIT: I know people who spend more than that on Starbucks each month.


That's not a realistic comparison... My acculated sum of every webapplication i use is (outside of my business ofc):

- 9 € / month ( Google Play Music)

- 3 € / month ( Netflix shared with 3 other people)

- 3€ / month for Google Apps ( actually, this is business... But i also use the mail for private use..)

= 15 € / month.

If i'm not mistaking, you're OS X device costs you 4 times more every month then the sum of every online webservice i use.

( this is another comparison than yours.. Some people just throw out money, others don't :) . Earning a lot of money doesn't automaticly mean you have to waste all of it )


>If i'm not mistaking, you're OS X device costs you 4 times more every month then the sum of every online webservice i use.

Well.. you need something to run those things on


Well, my laptop costs 11,5 €/ month on the end of life ( cfr. other post) and i pay my ISP 25 € / month. So i still have less to pay with the sum of my webservices / laptop and ISP together then his 'power horse' :)

Is that any better? ;)


No. Your last line completely invalidated any point you might have had.


Just about everything starts to look cheap when you stack it up next to a daily Starbucks habit...


Actually, it makes me realize how little money it is. I pay about that much for home internet access, and about that much for a cell phone plan.

It turns out I spend far more on internet access than I do on hardware, and I wouldn't have thought that to be the case.


And I don't even get that much value out of my home internet access, since I'm at work the majority of the day and anything I absolutely need >50mbps for is already on my local network (Steam streaming, for example). Still, I'd feel even more ripped off paying for 50% of the speed at 80% of the price. Or 10% of the speed at 60% of the price.


Is it? As a software engineer, I leverage those $60/month into $8000+/month.

I think that's more than worth it. Why the hell haven't I bought a backup machine yet just in case this one breaks?


> I think that's more than worth it. Why the hell haven't I bought a backup machine yet just in case this one breaks?

Because you're leveraging credit in the event of a failure! No need to let equipment languish when you can simply pop into the store!


Hehe, that's why I don't have a replacement machine yet.

Also because it has so far only died about once every two years. Every time due to human error (spilled things). I can afford a two day outage every two years :)


Christ, you earn 3x / month what I do. What have I done wrong?


Specialize in something (pick 2/3) new, hot, or rare. Be willing to move. Apply to lots of jobs. Ask for quadruple whatever you think you're worth. Chances are, something will pan out.


Don't worry, I spend half of it on rent.

And mind you that just two years ago, I had the same kind of reaction to that sort of comment. It's not that hard to step up a few pay grades as an engineer these days.


And you couldn't possibly do that on a Linux / Windows laptop?


It's irrelevant. A top of the line laptop that's reliable costs about $3k regardless of manufacturer. At least last time I checked.

And no, not on Windows because in my experience it's the most terrible system for developers. Might've improved in the last 15 years.

And no, not on linux. In my experience it requires constant tinkering with the system. According to my friends still on linux, this hasn't changed in the last 3 years.

So yeah, I guess only mac is left. Which often still requires too much tinkering, but feels like less than linux. And I honestly haven't used windows in earnest in 15 years so hard to say.


Rubbish. It make take a little more tweaking to get set up, but once its done it Linux distros don't require constant tinkering these days.


I would try to save some of that 8k+/month. I hope things stay good.


It's unlikely that you'd have to buy a new laptop every month though.

Then again, it's cheaper than a month of rent for a 1-bedroom in this damn city (San Francisco).


Yep. That was the last Macbook that I would consider to be "adequately repairable". I handed one of those down to my kid after replacing the optical drive with an SSD (creating a fusion drive) and loading it up with RAM. It's still very usable as a desktop/gaming Mac. I've even replaced the battery in it once (IIRC it was glued in, but in a way that was reasonably simple to extract).


There was an article about how that MBP model is still very popular: https://marco.org/2016/01/04/md101ll-a

HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10840227


I've just bought the computer you have and have maxed it out as well. It does what I need, and it will last me for a few more years, but I don't know what I'll do when I need a new computer. I've always chosen Mac, and I have no idea where to look for a good, high-performance Windows laptop.


I run OS X on a ThinkPad T420, and this unholy combo is an experience I am honestly enjoying a lot.

I like having a 9 cell battery, I like having >1TB of storage, the ThinkPad keyboard and TrackPoint, and I like being able to take the thing apart.

At the same time, I also like OS X. I get UNIX underlyings, yet can continue to use software like Photoshop. And there's just a big bunch of subjective things that IMO OS X just does better, like scrolling and font rendering.

Still, the device is growing older, and I honestly have no idea what to replace it with once the time finally comes. The strange combo I have doesn't really have a modern equivalent. Do I sacrifice modularity to stay with OS X? Do I go to Windows or Linux to keep modularity with a modern ThinkPad (which are getting too close to the way modern MacBooks are, sadly).


I thought the licence terms disallowed running OSX running on anything other than Mac. Of course, I always clicked 'Agree' without reading the licence terms.

I have been thinking of something opposite: run ubuntu on Mac.


Single button trackpads are a pain in the arse, if you like middle click to paste.


I had the unfortunate experience of owning an early 2011 MacBook Pro. The graphics card broke down multiple times (three, iirc) requiring a 500€ logic board replacement. This was a widespread issue, and we, the affected users, repeatedly asked Apple to recognize it and run a repair program.

By the time (two years?) they decided to roll one out I had already bought an Asus laptop, which was comparable in most ways and costs about half of what I paid for the MBPro.

I don't think I'll be buying Apple hardware for a while. Their increasing push towards planned obsolescence troubles me deeply.


Don't forget about the regular Mac Pro - I recently purchased 3 of them for my design team thinking a desktop should be better than a laptop - 2 of them have had a failure, 1 requiring a replacement graphics card the other needed a system reinstall - both took a couple days to get sorted out. I doubt our next round of funding will go towards Mac products - we can buy a Dell just as powerful with same day business support for WAY less - but to tell the truth none of the Dell Precisions we have bought in the last 3 years have had any issues.


There is an Apple repair program for that issue http://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/06/late-2013-mac-pro-video-...

Good luck!


Yep, agreed, it's a bit of a worry. But as another commenter pointed out, these $2000-ish laptops are costing us around $2 a day over about 3 years, so I use my MacBook as my primary machine and replace it around the 3 to 4 year mark, and have a couple of Core2Duo laptops (one running Windows and one running Linux) in the house also. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee, here in Australia you can't get a coffee for less than $3.50.

I put a 128GB USB3.0 SanDisk Ultra Fit[1] in my MacBook (these things are tiny), to supplement the SSD. Currently on sale for AU$74. Plenty fast enough for storing media, and I'm wearing my SSD less now too.

Not to sure what to do when the SSD wears out, probably boot of the USB stick, but that's a while away and I'll sell the laptop before then anyway.

1. https://www.sandisk.com.au/home/usb-flash/ultra-fit-usb


Unfortunately Apple values looks over functionality. Apple just keeps making changes for thinness, almost at any cost. And soldering wasn't the first example, I'd argue that removal of the ethernet jack on the MBP was a sign of things to come. Essentially everything started going downhill with the 3rd generation MBPs way back in 2012 (the original "Retina").

The 3rd gen removed: Ethernet, Firewire 800, Superdrive, Kensington lock, and nothing is user replaceable eventually... All for what? To save 0.93 pounds in weight and 0.2 cm in thickness (13" model).

I don't care if the "Macbook" and the MBA want to go this route of maximum thinness/lightness; but what irks me is that they ruined their supposed power user machine for these cuts. Give me the functionality back. It wasn't like the MBP was heavy or large even before 2012.


For me, and for nearly everyone I know, thinness is far more functional than an ethernet port. As is weight, a pound is actually a lot!

Ethernet ports are easy to add as a dongle, you can't do the same with thinness. I really only need ethernet in fixed locations, and where there I already have power, and that's the case for most people.

It's totally cool that you have different needs, but it's not cool to misascribe that to "looks."


For me, the lack of an ethernet port is a dealbreaker, because most of the on-site work I do at clients requires it. The last thing I need is to forget a dongle.

I myself gave up on Apple after my 2011 MBP bricked itself last year.

That was too bad, because I really liked the discontinued unibody form factor. If I was spending money on a new laptop, it wasn't going to be a two year old 2012 unibody or one one of the newer thinner, less user-serviceable models.


So buy an adapter.


Let me reiterate: "The last thing I need is to forget a dongle."


I could be wrong, but my impression is that Tim Cook is trying to position Apple as a lifestyle/fashion brand that happens to do consumer electronics and maybe a bit of software, and not as a consumer technology company that happens to be so cool it became a lifestyle/fashion brand by default.

His idea of better seems to be all about size and superficial design, not user satisfaction. Which would be good if size was all about the user experience - but it's not.

Jobs fucked up regularly (who remembers OS X 1.0?) but he still had a laser-like focus on the overall experience and he could rely on that to keep Apple on track.

Cook doesn't have that, and it's not clear that anyone else at Apple does. He's had five years of significant product launches now, and most of them have been okay-I-guess sidesteps - smaller, thinner, bigger, a different colour - or outright duds.

Also, U2.

Opportunities have been missed. Apple could have opened and owned whole new markets - user generated music and video, health devices, home automation, the power user high-end. Instead we got a watch and a a TV hardly anyone cares about, the promise of a car that will probably be late to the party, a music streaming service that streams music just like all the music streaming services do, and AI something something something maybe one day.

The money may still be flowing in, but the stock is going to get hammered if nothing changes soon.


Ha, I love the 2012 models and still have my 2012 15" rMBP. Save for the bullshit ghosting issue (three screens later I finally got my non-ghosting Samsung screen – oh, first gen woes) that was handled awfully by Apple at the time I love this device. Oh, and rubber feet falling off after four years suck, but, eh.

All the things they removed are things I never ever used. Or used rarely but didn’t really need. Exactly all the things you mention. All the rest (the performance over the Airs, the gorgeous screen over the Airs and previous Pros, the lightness, compactness, extremely solid feeling stability of the thing), it’s all just there.

Just accpet that not all people have the same needs as you. I think the 2012 models are a pitch-perfect demonstration of striking exactly the right balance (for most people). I love ’em to death. And things got only better from there, albeit incrementally.


While I agree with you, when your current Mac is older and relegated to media PC duty, are you going to need more than the 8 or 16GB of RAM it shipped with? As for batteries, it's almost the exact same price to buy a battery a replace it yourself as it is to have Apple do it, and you don't have to deal with proper recycling (hopefully you would.) I'm hoping we see a reverse trend but who knows.


If and only if you live near an Apple store. Otherwise you might be without your machine for a week or two during that period: that is a serious cost for many people in our profession.


That's certainly a valid concern; I have never been in that situation so yeah that could be trouble. Aren't there typically local repair centers that do authorized repairs? If not that's a huge oversight even if they only allowed battery swaps. That said, I have a 2006 MBP that is ancient and still works when wired to power even though I can replace the battery it works fine as an email/web browsing headless with a monitor.


That doesn't apply if you're relegating the previous system to media-center duty though.


If you live in the US. In most countries in the EU last I checked it is far more expensive and harder to come by.


Who would ever need more than 512kb of RAM…


I guess you've hurt feelings with sarcasm? But I agree. Virtualization is a bad joke with 8GB of RAM today, so I decided to assume 16GB max isn't enough lifetime for a new system and wont be consuming in the current market.


Yeah, I feel the same way. I just upgraded a 2011MBP's HDD to and SSD and replaced the battery myself, and from start to finishing up the OSX install was about an hour. My 2013 MBP is nearly unrepairable. Which is too bad because I really like the hardware. Luckily other manufactorers are closing the quality gap quickly and functionally to me linux and OSX are nearly interchangeable.


As much as I liked Mac OS X, I recently jumped ship from my early 2015 retina macbook pro to a dell xps 13 and i am super happy. Windows 10 is definitely not the same but it is much much better than how windows 8 used to be. The biggest factor that got me to switch was how locked down the hardware was and i couldnt even replace the battery if i wanted to. And i got the 128gig version thinking there would be aftermarket storage upgrade option down the line but it doesnt seem like that is happening.


> couldnt even replace the battery if i wanted to

Just take it into an Apple Store and pay the $129 to replace it. I've replaced a battery once on my 2012 MacBook Pro so would not consider this to be a reason to pick one platform over another.

> aftermarket storage upgrade option

I agree this sucks. But personally I am happy for Apple to focus on I/O performance at any cost even if it means no aftermarket upgrades. I just find that with so much being in the cloud and the size of USB drives increasing there hasn't been a need for a large internal storage drive.


>> I've replaced a battery once on my 2012 MacBook Pro

If you've got the unibody (2012 was the last year), it's got an end-user replaceable battery. You can buy a third party battery from Amazon, MacSales etc and swap it pretty easily.

The experience is not quite so convenient with newer models.


Yeah saw that you could do it at the apple store, but it is $200 to replace. And if your computer has other damage like a bit of dent or if you replaced the display etc with aftermarket one, or if there are even tiny signs of liquid damage, they straight up refuse service.



Non-user-serviceability buys smaller and lighter form factors. I would expect the story to be similar for hardware with similar size, weight, and battery life characteristics.

EDIT: and most importantly, more battery chemistry per weight. Safety requires that serviceable batteries are enclosed in rather substantial cases whose internals are non-user-serviceable. Apple "cheats" by making this case the entire laptop, rather than a specific battery module.


Anyone who wouldn't care about having the battery glued to the chassis also would not care about the 1mm difference between making it removable or not.

I also think on at least the Android front Samsung has consistently demonstrated the ability to make phones with both SD cards and removable batteries for years without compromising form factor. The S3 / S$ / S5 and Notes 2 - 4 were all extremely thin profile despite supporting removable batteries.

This is just misdirection to try to persuade people its a good thing to remove choice. It is not, it costs basically nothing in manufacturing or size to make the battery / ram / hard drive removable, and the only reason Apple / Dell / Samsung (now) / every other Android phone manufacturer does it is either to rip you off on overpriced battery replacement or drive planned obsolescence to make you buy more shit you really wouldn't need if you could just replace your damn battery two years later.


So, it's probably wise for Apple or any other company to keep a model or two that are modular to satisfy the geekier crowd. It would be expensive, because with larger-numbers, the razor thin laptops will be cheaper due to scale.


Apple does have such a model, at least for now:

https://marco.org/2016/01/04/md101ll-a


I can't upvote this enough.

A year ago, I wasn't sure how much longer my ancient (but still functioning!) 2008 MBP would be going on. So I went shopping. Found the same tradeoffs Marco mentions here: I didn't like the sealed nature of the newer offerings (and also, AFAICT no screen density can make up for the inexplicably missing matte displays).

I ended up buying a used 2.6Ghz i7 8GB 15" matte MBP instead of anything new from Apple, though.

About the only complaint I have is that Mavericks seems neither as stable or as well-performing as Snow Leopard, which seems to be the last time Apple released an OS that was a strict improvement over previous releases. Too bad it's no longer safe to run given the state of updates.


I still have my late 2008 MacBook Pro--the first 15" unibody design with a Core 2 Duo. I just spent about $250 for 8 GB RAM upgrade and a 500 GB SSD and did a clean install of El Cap.

It actually runs faster now than it did with the stock HD and Mountain Lion! Granted, I'm not doing a lot of heavy computing with it. For web surfing and the basics it still works great.


geek satisfaction probably isn't valuable enough to go against their entire design history


Which is why they lost me, and other posters in this thread as customers. Functionality >> design.

Which is a shame because OS X is a nice operating system. I would like to use it.


And much faster performance.

The drives in the new MacBook Pro are blisteringly quick compared to just a stock standard SSD.


They probably just use NVME over m.2.


I feel as though this is comparing two different orders of magnitude. Apple users are, in general, getting upset about software user experience. A subset of users have always been upset about repairability of apple hardware, though admittedly it's gotten worse with its laptops in the past years. The subset that wants to do what we want to do with our hardware here is much smaller and thus not who Apple is trying to sell to. In the end, the users buying macbooks want lighter, thinner machines and are willing to sacrifice basically anything to get it. Personally I've given up laptops because I'm not willing to make this tradeoff, even with "pc" hardware.

Edit: There are even some people in this thread, who I assume are "power users," that are willing to sacrifice previously sacrosanct things like ethernet ports for mobility. Personally I'm not willing to do so but I also don't have a pressing need for a laptop.


I have to agree... When I got my current rMBP(late 2014), I actually had to return my first purchase when I found out I couldn't upgrade the ram or ssd myself. Even though you can technically replace the SSD, the interface Apple is using doesn't seem to be common at all, so you're stuck with mostly costly options in a sea of cheaper SSD components.

The display isn't the best, but close... the touchpad is bar none the best in any laptop, but I might be willing to sacrifice that when I need another laptop... I haven't been doing iOS native, and my work issued laptop is an rMBP as well, but may just create a build server for cordova out of a used mac mini if/when the need arises.

I never bought into iOS devices, mainly because of early ties to Apple, and I'm somewhat entrenched in Android's ecosystem. The poor software updates, broken SMB/CIFS support and a host of other issues has me more than concerned.


I agree. I've had three different top of the line MBPs and they don't feel as solid as my 2007 macbook. The solid states are unreliable, the battery life never comes close to what's promised and that damn fan won't turn off. Sure, I'm a power user but isn't that why I'm paying 3500 for this?


It does suck the repairability is next to none but they have the best looking hardware out there. I have yet to see any other manufacture come close to what Apple can do hardware wise. A metal laptop enclosure is basically unheard of outside of Apple sadly. I would like to see someone step up.


I am typing on a $500 Asus flip that is all aluminum with a glass touchscreen. It is very nice, but I regret the OS (Windows 8.1,locked in place using the hosts file to avoid MS upgrades).

The issue I see is that the other side of the fence is not so sweet either. You cannot release a buggy OS that leads to my laptop bricking itself 3 times, and then jump right into another one with a hyper-aggresive update cycle, and expect me to follow along. Never. I risk losing massive amounts of work and significantly impacting my revenue at the same time.

I still have not decided if I will accept the sunk cost of Apple or a user experience downgrade to Linux, but hopefully I can put the decision off for a number of years like I did migrating away from Windows XP.

The entire modern tech ecosystem is rotten:

My drivers don't work. My OS doesn't work. The official development software for my target OS stinks. The official emulator to run it is dastardly. The api and functionality of the OS itself is pathetically broken, and less productive than battling bugs in php ten years ago. It all looks pretty from top to bottom if you squint, but the emperor definitely wears no clothes. 2016 is massively frustrating, and I long for the time when the basic premise of a computer being a tool that needs to function effectively was the norm.


I feel you. This is why I stick with Apple, however.

They may be declining, but they still have an overall "least frustrating" experience, especially when I have to help my family members with Windows 8 or 10, or need to Futz with my nephew's Linux setup.


My Dell M3800 has everything a MBP has, including the aluminum enclosure and Thunderbolt port, and more, such as 15.6 4K touchscreen and multiple USB ports. Oh, and it's also repairable.


It looks very nice! How's the battery life? This review seems to indicate it sits at under two thirds of the MBPs:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2458699,00.asp

Also, just for clarification, do you mean self-repairable? The review said it, like the MBP, has non-standard screw heads making repair difficult. Thoughts?


I don't know about self-repairable...yet. Mine's still under warranty, but that's almost up and I haven't had to use it.

I do use it plugged in most of the time, but I suspect that the review is spot on with the battery life. I maybe get a little more since I don't do much in the way of video, and I have my screen dimmed and my CPU in passive cooling mode.


You can buy whatever screwdriver you need for a few dollars. It's an annoyance, but not a real obstacle to repair.


Maybe not important for you but crucial for me; the M3800 has dismal battery life. And probably with Linux that is even worse.


I'm running an M3800 with Mint Linux 17.3. I can squeeze 2 hours out of the battery if I really need to; suspend/hibernate is currently completely broken, requiring that I cold boot the machine each time I open the lid; bluetooth has never worked properly, even after extracting the proprietary firmware from the Windows drivers.

And this is on a machine that shipped from Dell with Ubuntu 14.04 installed, so supposedly all the hardware is open-source friendly.


I could never accept ~2 hours on a $2000-ish machine.


I get 5-6 hours with Windows 8.1. I have a dimmed screen and passive CPU cooling when on battery, and I don't do much video.


Do you buy hardware based on what it looks?


Actually, yes. Given my computer is always on display on a desk or table in my home, I consider it to be a piece of furniture. Therefore aesthetics are as much a consideration as they are for anything else I buy for for my home.


People are entitled to do that.

Just like people buy cars/homes/clothes/cellphones just because of how they look.

I'd argue they should look at the overall "package" when purchasing, but if looks are important to someone that's absolutely fine, and there is nothing wrong with valuing looks.


It's certainly a factor. I also like that it's way more rugged than 99% of the other PCs out there that use cheap plastic.


Kind of. I'm willing to put up with some non-repairability for an ultra thin metal laptop with tight tolerances. ymmv.


That case could do double duty as an axe in a pinch. It's incredibly solid. I really wished the hardware was more standard there is no way I'm going to be using OS/X.


Metal doesn't flex. Plastic does. It's not just about how it looks although they do look great.

I was still using a MacBook Pro 17 from 2011 up until a few months ago. It is still rock solid with no creaks or wear/tear.

And let me ask you do you buy a car based on how it looks ? How about clothes ?


> Metal doesn't flex. Plastic does.

That's the benefit of plastic for portable, droppable, devices.


No, it's not. Plastic cracks and breaks when you drop it. Trying to sell this as a benefit ain't flyin.


Try installing ubuntu on a 7.1 macbook air and feel some pain. You're right though, nice enclosure. Of course I really should have known better but the places that I shopped at did not have anything at all that came close in stock.


I would say that some of the recent Dell, Microsoft, Asus and Razer designs are pretty nice, and there are plenty of metal laptop enclosures out there if you look.


The extra annoying part is that Apple's total lack of reputability is starting to spread to competing products - a lot of Android phones have dropped user-replaceable batteries, for instance, and a sizable amount of good Windows ultrabooks are about as repairable as MacBooks.


> extra annoying part is that Apple's total lack of reputability is starting to spread to competing products

Oh, please. Apple has nothing to do with that problem. The problem is we're a throw away society hell bent on buying the latest greatest thing. If it's anyone's fault, it's our own.


Spot on. There are sufficient players operating at comparable scale to Apple in these markets that we must conclude that trends like this are significantly driven by the demand side.

That's not to say that this trend isn't convenient for the supply side, and that this doesn't play in, it's just to say that it's self-evident that you are correct - the average consumer does, in the end, prefer hard-to-repair and therefore shorter-lived devices, with the advantages they bring, to the alternatives.

If this wasn't the case, there's a HUGE amount of money on the table, and one of the other players would certainly have grabbed it from Apple, instead of mimicking their approach.


The fact that Apple has been able to get away with it certainly has encouraged others (Samsung).


Well, I didn't mean "this is Apple's fault" as much as "serviceability problems traditionally associated with Apple devices are now common industry wide" - and are now hard to avoid even if you look at other brands, as the person I was replying to said they would. I do understand that, ultimately, companies are just delivering what most consumers want.


Apple is part of the karma, is sorta what you're saying! :)


I have one of the last MBP from that era that still has replaceable memory, hard drive and optical drive. My machine is maxed out on memory, SSD and swapped the optical for a backup HDD.

I love the thing and had the fried graphics card issue fixed some time ago instead of opting to replace the MBP with a newer model.

This old thing is struggling to keep up with El Capitan these days though and I'm now mulling a Thinkpad with OpenBSD as a replacement. I kind of wish I could get this same body with updated hardware and OSX 10.6 but that's not in the cards.


I worry that the higher end ultrabooks are going to end up as repairable as the MBP.


Regret is a strong word, but I'm definitely beginning to miss the ability to switch out the battery in my Asus Zenbook (which is soldered in).


It's probably a transition. Apple doubled down on engineering and integration feats due the the mobile ecosystem and marketing lever (mind you MS is taking that road too if you look at Surface tech talks and ads). So things were standardless (non-disk-form-factor SSD), some things were soldered. Unless it never profitable again to have pluggable boards (let's say if simpler to just tape a new SoC and access cloud data) it will come back. Modular cell phones projects exist, tiny usb3 sockets that can be used for almost any device, etc etc I'd bet we will have gumstix like modules in laptops. Might also help durability since you don't have to avoid breaking a big motherboard full of surface mounted components.


This lack of repairability is actually not a recent thing at all. For example, I worked a support job in the late 90s where a high proportion of Applecare complaints were resolved with "replace the motherboard." With PCs we just replaced the offending part, which was rarely the motherboard.

The worst part of this is that Apple's success has dragged the rest of the market toward things like non-replaceable batteries.


The real problem is that lithium-ion batteries suck in every dimension except energy density. They're fragile, can blow up, don't allow many charge/discharge cycles, and charge slowly.

There are other battery technologies, such as lithium iron phosphate, which have much better lifetimes, but you give up some energy density. Sealed units should use one of those technologies.


> The worst part of this is that Apple's success has dragged the rest of the market toward things like non-replaceable batteries

I think that statement is only half right. Apple may have pioneered the move towards non-replaceable batteries, but I think it's only a symptom of increasingly integrated and small devices. If an inch thick device is thicker by 1mm because the battery is easily detachable, that's much less of an issue than on a 10mm laptop.

They may have done it in an egregious way first (gluing/soldering in components), but we probably would have gotten there before long anyway.


I've used Apple products since the early 90s. Replacing the MB is the only option since almost all components are on the MB (sound, GPU, modem, network). In contrast PCs had everything highly compartmentalised according to the PC/AT spec. Sound was ISA/PCI, video was AGP/PCI, modems were ISA, 10/100baseT PCI.

While I agree I know very few people that actually replaced their battery. Usually, when the battery died is about the time they replace that laptop anyway.


This is more of a business decision than technical. The industry should avoid going into this trap. Co should give users a choice and keep the ports open.

I bought a T550 minimal configuration, for $600 upgraded the RAM to 16G & 500G SSD for $200, after using MBP for 7 years.

Though the MBP is still kicking ass with an upgraded 8G RAM & 500G SSD.


I upgrade every 2 years. It costs me about $1-2K for the "next" model's difference (after selling the old one on Craiglist/Ebay), however averaging the usage out over those 2 years I'm still getting really good bang for buck without hardware fault issues.


> When the battery goes,

... it may be too late: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&sa=1&q=macbook+air+ba...


Yep same issue with 2013 MBA. The 4GB RAM is becoming a bottleneck but it's soldered in so I'll be forced to upgrade within a year.


The EPEAT fiasco is my favorite here.


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