The throwaway design of the products should downrank environmental to a C. I'd give them a D but they show real efforts in recycling and ethical material sourcing.
iPhones are getting too expensive. They give memory size options they can use to upsell, rather than what customers need, and there are no options for people who want smaller handsets other than buy outdated devices or switch to Android. They don't ship features like Smart HDR on their 1 year old (!) device, to create artificial USPs.
Even the D on the Macs seem generous when you consider they still act like they did nothing wrong with the Macbook keyboard, the Air/Mac Mini price increase mirrors the iPhone's and we've never heard again of the new Mac Pro, while they STILL sell the trash can.
The watch is fine, should've gotten an A imo.
Apple has gotten better with services, but a B is undeserved. Apple Music is still worse than spotify, iCloud is OK at best and Siri still sucks.
Apple could rule gaming but for whatever reason choose not to. That should've been graded and get them a C.
I have a lot more points and nuance, but these are the points just came to my mind.
Doesn’t the fact that the iPhone 5s from 2013 still getting updates in 2019 kind of contradict that? You can still get battery replacements and screen repairs for it.
iPhones are getting too expensive
Apple sells more than just the $1500 512GB iPhone XS Max. You can buy an iPhone 7 for $450 and still have a faster phone than most Android phones and probably get updates longer.
the Air/Mac Mini price increase mirrors the iPhone's and we've never heard again of the new Mac Pro, while they STILL sell the trash can.
The $499 4GB Mac Mini that Apple sold was a computer that no one should have ever bought. $699 was the cheapest of the former Mac Minis that anyone should have bought. The $799 Mac Mini has an extremely fast SSD hard drive, thunderbolt 3 ports, etc.
Apple said during their round table that the Mac Pro wouldn’t come out until this year and they reiterated that when the iMac Pro was introduced.
As I said I could've written a more nuanced criticism, I just wanted to point out that Gruber was too generous. I'm inclined to say he didn't do a proper job.
Filled an office with them, they’re totally great for team members that don’t have heavy data or graphics needs.
I get that as a trivia and knowledge service it's pretty sucky, but as a voice assistant it's doing a good job
When I ask Siri to show me the route to somewhere, she'll invariably send me to a place hundreds of kilometers away, because the place in my city wasn't an exact match or something.
The only thing that works reliably is setting timers.
Definitely seems like they could use some context here to improve contact selection (time of day, message regularity, name similarity)
The only reason to actually type a message on an iPhone, instead of voice dictate, is if you're in a place where speaking will bother other people or violate your privacy. Otherwise, press the microphone button and dictate what you want to write!
It's also completely free, for unlimited use, which is worth keeping in mind.
My family members – whom I do the obligatory Computer Support for – are all asking me for years about those two issues: why does my iPhone always say this backup thing is full/cannot take new photos? I wanted to buy a new iPhone, is it still ok to buy this SE or is this outdated – it’s not so big as all the other phones. Same to questions for years.
Also why can’t they offer on site service for a £10,000 desktop? Lenovo can do it.
It really seems like they just don't care all that much.
There is no perfect pasta sauce, just perfect pasta sauces.
The iMac has driven me crazy since the day it was introduced, way back when the display was still a CRT. What is the point of integrating a computer and a monitor in the same enclosure? These two products have completely different life cycles. The iMac forces me to replace them together for, what, aesthetics? Bah.
So, like every laptop?
I value aesthetics more than you do, and I’m entirely comfortable with the amount I’ve spent on these machines over the years.
It’s a good display bundled with your computer, which is an appealing option to many because it’s one less thing they have to worry about.
If I had a separate monitor, I'd only have at most two or maybe even only one cable running to each display which would be easy to tuck away within the mounting arm. I'd be able to have most of my cables tucked away instead of the exposed mess of cables I have with the iMac.
To make things worse, they don't offer Target Display Mode like they did for a short while, so I can't use the iMac's 5K display with any other machines (e.g. work laptop when I work from home).
If I were buying today, I'd get a Mac Mini (and maybe an eGPU if I ended up unsatisfied with the built-in GPU), and just use my old 30" 2560x1600 monitor or get something like a huge 38" ultra-wide display (the 27" 5K is very nice, but HiDPI isn't a game-changer for me). In 2017, the 27" iMac appeared to be the best desktop Mac option (user-replaceable RAM up to 64GB was a huge factor), and I don't regret purchasing it, but the integrated display with no Target Display Mode is a massive disadvantage.
What kind of reasoning is that? Of course if you use it in a way that it's not intended for it's not delivering on it's original purpose?
If you put a storage box on top of a Porsche, add off-road tires and hook up a trailer it doesn't delivery on it's promise of being a sports car either.
1) It's easier for customers. No need to think about which display to get -- you know the integrated display will just work, and it will be very high quality.
2) Tighter integration: the built in display wakes immediately when the computer wakes, you can adjust brightness via keyboard, and you won't have trouble connecting the display and fidgeting with a crappy OSD to set the picture settings...
Dealing with external displays is extremely frustrating -- there's always something that doesn't work right. The display doesn't wake up, refresh rate is limited if you use the wrong cable, colors look different depending on brightness setting of the monitor, ...
If you just want one computer and one display, an iMac saves a lot of time and frustration.
Now we have Thunderbolt 3, so in theory 5k displays shouldn't be an issue, but there are only very few options available, and from what I've heard they are plagued by bugs and compatibility issues. So it seems that it is somehow difficult to make external displays that work well.
And one thing we haven't talked about yet is price: getting a computer with an integrated display is almost certainly cheaper than getting a computer + a good display. The iMacs have always been pretty good deals if you consider how much a comparable display would cost.
I switched to an iMac after I realized that every time I tried to upgrade my desktop, everything was incompatible with the new stuff, forcing me to effectively upgrade everything at once and build a new computer. This kept happening every 4 years.
I could have avoided this with incremental upgrades, but who has time for that?
It might help that I use Linux and as such am spared from forced upgrade trajectories.
Also, RAM, and hard drives are usually not a problem to upgrade at all.
I have a 2009 iMac that I still use daily as an external monitor. I haven’t used the computer portion in years, but it’s still a great screen.
> Why are they still selling iMacs with hard disks rather than SSDs?
Because the average user likely to buy an entry level iMac doesn’t care that much.
> What is the point of the iMac Pro when they have a Mac Pro?
The Mac Pro is trash and they haven’t updated it in many years. The iMac pro is a stopgap while they design the new Mac Pro.
> Why is the new MAC Mini so expensive, it used to be the budget option.
It’s still cheaper than an iMac so it is the budget option.
> There doesn’t seem to be much of a strategy around their desktops, it’s as if nobody is in charge.
I think what you mean is that you don’t like their strategy. Mac sales are still good.
> Also why can’t they offer on site service for a £10,000 desktop? Lenovo can do it.
They could, but they don’t want do. It’s a lot of effort and far more important for a company like Lenovo that lives or dies by their enterprise offerings.
The number of people who buy desktops is minuscule especially low end ones. The people who buy Mac Minis are doing all types of specialize things. I welcome the high end Mac Mini.
The “budget” $499 4G Mac Mini was always something to be avoided.
I should probably add that I don't even think Apple is capable of making good online services which is one major reason I switched from iPhones to Nexus/Pixels in 2013. Sure you can use Google services with iPhones but for things like Google Photos they will always be better integrated with Android.
iCloud works excellently as a backup and sync service now.
iCloud photos is as good as Google Photos.
Apple’s service chops have really improved, as evidenced by their rollout of Apple Music which had no service related complaints (the complaints were around policy) AFAICT.
iCloud Photos really isn't as good. The AI features, face recognition, free backup is all better on Google Photos.
Let's look at Apple Maps for example, do you ever think it will surpass or meet parity with Google Maps?
Look at icloud.com services with the online office suite, calendar, etc. Will that ever come close to Google Docs?
The "put things into a folder to share with other people" aspect isn't really mentioned which would be the Dropbox or Google Drive use case you are talking about I guess.
Personally I think it works just fine, also as a Dropbox equivalent if you don't need to share it with other people. As soon as you want to share something it gets annoying pretty quickly though in my experience.
Once I setup iCloud on my parents’ iOS devices, I’m fairly confident that if something goes wrong, they won’t lose their data, especially their photos. This is in sharp contrast to the early years where I would have to constantly remind them to backup their phones to their computer because iCloud wasn’t reliable.
I actually remember an early WWDC where someone from the leadership team, I think Bertrand Serlet, demonstrated exactly this with an iBook. It was a pretty big deal at the time, so it used to work.
For me, the biggest complaint with the new phones is that they're all way to big. The XS is the smallest, but I don't really want to spend on the flagship when it's a compromise for me.
If they'd add a slightly smaller XR, that'd probably be the ticket. Or a high end SE/X... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m glad he called out the shopping experience in stores. I thought roaming checkout would be convenient, but it’s maddening having to comb through the store just to find an available sales associate to buy a small thing.
Apple used to have dedicated checkout plus roaming checkout. Now they only have roaming checkout.
That's a common sentiment on Hacker News.
In fact, Gruber is regularly criticizing Apple, often quite harshly.
Just not on HN's pet peeves.
And the replacement is always a refurbished phone which is usually terrible in its own way, and comes with a terrible warranty.
This really hurts Apple’s service, which I guess would fall under retail.