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Apple’s 2013 Scorecard (hypercritical.co)
44 points by ingve on Jan 2, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 46 comments



Chalk me up as a user for whom Messages seems to function as advertised. Most people don't take to the air to shout about how something as mundane as text messaging works fine for them.


Do you use messages across several devices? And do you have group chats?

If I use Messages just on my iPhone, it works just fine. However, when I use it between 2 macs, an iPhone, and an iPad, it just breaks.

Sure, it's an edge case use - most people use messages just on their phone - but it's a pretty basic feature.


Yep, to the first one. No, to the second one.

Works fine for me across the board. My only issue with it is how it's eating ~2gbs of disk space on my phone for attachments. I haven't figured out a way to get rid of it without going through and purging all my messages or formatting my phone.


I use it across an iPad, iPhone, and Mac -- works fine, and I have an abundance of group texts.

The only odd behavior I get is that, occasionally, the desktop client will take a moment to catch up to the other devices, or be missing chunks of a conversation. That usually sorts itself out in under two minutes or so, though, so I assume it has to do with the time it takes iCloud to respond.

EDIT: I'm still on 10.8, if that's relevant. I intentionally lag a point version behind because of audio software (the latest and greatest always breaks audio).


I use it across group and individual messages on multiple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac), it seems to work fine.

Occasionally there is a hiccup where a conversation thread is not immediately synced with the other devices, but that seems to be happening less and less.


It works fine on iPhone, but the client for Desktop Mac has had all sorts of weird problems.


I've had two big problems with Messages and all my friends have the same problems. First, typing anything in the Search box would beachball the app indefinitely until Mavericks. Second, there are issues with messages not being sent and having a red exclamation point by them – that has happened so much we have a backup Skype chat for when Messages is acting up.

Also Mavericks removed the ability to disable graphical smileys :(((((( (Is there a workaround or fix anyone knows? please tell me!!)

I mostly use Messages on Mac but use iOS some too. There's a huge problem on iOS which is scrolling to the bottom when people type stuff, which prevents you from catching up on conversations until everyone stops talking. That's super frustrating.

(Auto scrolling to the bottom when you talk, on Mac, is also annoying. I want to read through chat I missed, reply to things as I go, and not lose my place. You have to open a second copy of the window to deal with this.)


I don't think Messages.app converts emoticons into graphical smileys on the recipient's side. It's that the sender's text is autocorrected into emojis (which can be cancelled out of).


FWIW I've found that it worked for me just fine as well. Used it up until a few months ago when I transitioned to a Nexus 5.

Hangouts is pretty good too, although a few nitpicks - the emoji icons are ugly as sin (I'm willing to bet that some sort of copyright/patent law is to blame here), and it's gotten a few messages stuck (to be fair I can't say the same thing hasn't happened to iMessage).

Strangely, both Hangouts and iMessage are better than plain SMS though, even with just sending plain text messages back and forth.


Yep, totally agree with that sentiment about hangouts / iMessage being better than SMS. Although, I've found that with a really shitty cellular connection (1 bar), SMS still performs better, probably since nothing else is competing for data.


iMessages is completely broken for me across devices. Group chats just miss messages entirely on my mac. I need my phone around to use iMessage on my mac, in case I get a message that doesn't make it to the mac somehow somehow.


My biggest hope was: Make iTunes (mac) not suck. It's on a short list of the worst software I use every day. Just bringing down the spinny beach balls after every action would have gone a long way. I don't blame the vast majority of people who seem to be avoiding it altogether, I'll have to follow shortly.


It still makes no sense to me why, on the Mac, everything is glommed into a single app. For years I've been hoping that Apple breaks it apart into separate music, video, app store, and device syncing/management apps. Why should I be locked out of playing music or a video just because I'm restoring my iPod, and iTunes decides that it wants to present a modal progress bar until it's done?


I've been hoping that they might roll the iOS app store into the Mac App Store, and consolidate it all under the App Store banner.


Its kind of amazing that just 2 years ago iTunes was one of my most used apps, and today its not even in my dock anymore. The combination of the horrible design/implementation you describe alongside the conceptually poorer model as compared to spotify means I literally never use it.


> * conceptually poorer model as compared to spotify*

What, you mean the model where you actually own your music, and artists make money when you buy more? As opposed to Spotify where you own nothing and artists make no money?


Yes, that's the model I mean.

Sorry if it's not working for the other side (I have no idea since I am the consumer, not the producer), but its clearly (to me) an easier to use system than "purchasing" music:

1. I don't need to worry about "backing up" my purchases or buying increasingly bigger hard drives to store content that I am usually only using ~1% of (which while arguably not a problem in desktop land, is certainly an issue in mobile land). iTunes match was kind of too little too late to finally solve this issue (And on a recurring fee ends up defeating the purpose of the whole "own your music" trope). Not to mention the absurdity and waste of millions of people keeping the same data over and over again.

2. Discovery is greatly facilitated when the friction of a purchase is removed. iTunes Radio, et al don't come close to just seeing a friend listening to something, trying it, listening to it on repeat 10 times, then deciding to listen to more from that artist.

3. If I'm not at my computer I can still log into Spotify website and listen to "my music" no matter where I am.

4. I can send songs to my friends without paying for them again.

Go watch some young kids. They go to YouTube for their music. Whether you like it or not this is the model of the future.


Seems like a fair tradeoff to trade actually owning 8 songs a month for access to millions of songs to me (obviously this is a matter of personal taste). Spotify seems more fair to me than iTunes when it comes to the actual model of the business. With Spotify, the artist is paid according to how much I listen to it, so a song I play constantly is rewarded more than a song that I listen to once or twice. With iTunes, these songs would be rewarded equally. The actual money seen by the artist may tilt towards iTunes currently, but that could just be inertia as the music industry is changing.


I think he means that Spotify is a better model for him.


I had to give up on iTunes. I liked its default look from 10 years ago. Right around the time that Apple decided to crash-land iPhone synchronization functionality into iTunes they started changing the UI... seemed like they would make it look a little different every release. For a while it was easy enough to make it look like it used to, but a few releases ago I just threw my hands up and switched to beets + mpd.


Maybe you have a huge library, or maybe some other problems. Either way, I'm not experiencing beach balling so much (except when connecting devices to sync them) and I use iTunes exclusively as my audio player.


Yep, the syncing devices is where the beach balling usually happens for me as well. Sometimes 5-10 seconds.

Also when updating the metadata on songs.


I don't want a BIGGER iPhone, I want a SMALLER one. Am I the only person that doesn't need a semi-tablet? I miss the days of the old tiny flip phones.


The market has spoken I am afraid, and people like you and me are out of luck. I personally like the form factor of Moto X, minus the infuriatingly off center screen (in landscape orientation).


If you've never used a larger-screened phone, you may not see the benefits immediately. I went from a 4s to a Lumia 1020. Initially, I thought it was way too big, but the supple, thick, curved edges and ergonomic design of the 1020's case made it much easier to hold and I acclimated quickly. Going back to a 4s seems quaint and stupidly tiny now.

> I miss the days of the old tiny flip phones

This is progress. Either get with the times or get left behind. Use cases for mobile devices have completely changed, and now there are serious, tangible benefits to a large screened device that no one except an extreme minority is protesting. Note that this doesn't mean they all have to be tablet-sized; anywhere from 4 - 5" is what most would agree on as the perfect range for devices. The iPhone 5s/c isn't even 4". It's 3.997" if we want to be pedantic, which is too small for everything we use smartphones for now.


>This is progress. Either get with the times or get left behind.

In some areas. I'll tell you what: my "old tiny flip phone" never froze up, refusing to make phone calls, end phone calls, or respond to user input at all. That's pretty important when you really need to make a fucking phone call.


My Galaxy Nexus never did that either, and I used it for a good two years. Which phone do you have that works so badly?


Motorola Droid RAZR. I don't know if it's just a lightweight phone, or I've just put too much shit on it, or what, but the thing gets quite slow and unresponsive.


> Make Messages work correctly

I've had no problems at all with Messages over the last 6-8 months. Multiple devices (iOS/OSX) all messages synced, in the right order no less, and unread badges updated.

> Make iCloud better

IMO iCloud Documents is a lost cause until the document silo problem is fixed. I can't even consider using it knowing that my data may end up being inaccessible on different devices. I don't like having my data locked into a specific application. I think Apple should just throw in the towel here and let other cloud service providers plugin to iOS. Maybe they should just bring back a revamped iDisk for power users.

> Resurrect iLife and iWork

They should have prioritized iPhoto/PhotoStream.

> Reassure Mac Pro lovers

They need to do the same for Mac Mini & iMac lovers next year. Desktops are just going to become more and more of a niche product in the future. I don't know if Mac desktops can continue to exist if they are just MacBooks in a different form factor. What's the point? Apple should be targeting them towards the hardcore desktop users left. For the iMac that's obviously a big Retina display and for the Mini it really needs a discrete GPU option again. It would give people a reason to actually buy Mac desktops again.


I feel like the TV thing is such a thorny situation. TV is a cartel run by media companies and I think they already saw how Apple turned the Music Industry on it's head. These media companies are trying to hold onto the last bastion of hope that makes them relevant: Live sports. Without that, I feel like a physical TV or set-top TV box won't really be able to really compete with what you get with cable.


People said the same thing before the iPhone. However, I agree about live sports. Apple needs to go directly to the major sports leagues and get them on onboard.


"I’d call that a solid year."

... I wish everyone else would and give Apple a break.


I guess iCloud still ain't usable on platforms other than Mac OS X / iOS, which really limits its potential and appeal.


They should at least have a web UI as a fall back option. It's hard to trust in any cloud storage that presents roadblocks to accessing your own data. I want to know that worse case I can get at a very important file from any computer with a web browser.


My girlfriend's photo stream syncs right to her Documents folder on Windows.


That would be using an application developed by Apple I guess? Cause as far as I know there's no API (RESTful or otherwise) available for other platforms than iOS / Mac OS X for third parties.


So you would have preferred apple to give you nothing more than a shitty api and a "good luck" ?

You do realise that not everyone is a programmer right?


No, but it would be nice for 3rd party developers to have an API available to implement into their own products. Since Apple doesn't provide an API for platforms other than Mac OS X / iOS, I'll likely use the Dropbox API in my next product, since I will be able to use it on an Android phone, for example.



iTunes is starting to show its age. Can't stand it any more, would much rather just use Pandora or Spotify. It's just so... clunky in comparison. Needs a meaningful re-work. Not just the BS "hide the bar you actually use" kind of a re-work like they did this year or last.

Also missing from the list... "Give us another cool new thing." Everything they did this year was just a minor upgrade. I'm fairly technical and I can't tell you what OS X Mavericks did that the last one didn't... or for that matter what any of the last 3 revisions have really added... all I know is that Office on a Mac still sucks, and Pages doesn't let you work on and save Word files as Word files without jacking them up. Someone please make it so I can use Word docs correctly on a Mac and I'd be happy. Basic basic functionality...


> Also missing from the list... "Give us another cool new thing." Everything they did this year was just a minor upgrade.

But they produced two very big new things:

- Mac Pro, a completely re-imagined workstation with some extremely clever engineering and a push for future GPU computing using OpenCL

- iOS 7, a very big change to their most popular OS

You ask for a "cool new thing" but then you complain about a lot of minor, iterative issues ("Office on Mac still sucks", "Pages doesn't let you...", "Basic basic functionality...").


I'm surprised Apple hasn't scooped up Nest. If they intend to eventually make the home their next "platform" it seems like a decent place to start.


I think Honeywell is more likely to buy Nest than Apple.


But integrating that kind of smart device control into iOS and OSX is the kind of crazy shit I expect from Apple.

Well it's the kind of stuff I want to expect from Apple...


Half their team including the CEO has already worked at Apple. They want to be the next Apple, not part of it.


Fix Mavericks--I wish I never installed it. Oh yea--still don't understand why you screwed with ibooks?




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