For example take my recent article, Risk Averse: Will iOS Become Apple's Windows XP?, which was published at readwrite on February 22, 2013. It is an innocuous article about the perceived need for Apple iOS to change while maintaining the love of the installed user base. It is a challenge that Apple has handled well before in bringing users along to OS X and even the Intel processor world.
There are no dire predictions that if Apple does not handle this well that the company will go out of business. The article closes with the following thought.
All things point to Apple making significant changes in iOS in 2013. Most Apple iOS users will follow wherever Apple goes - but that is only half the battle.
It all boils down to two things. Does Apple have the vision to make the next version of iOS a true advance? And even if the next iOS is a huge hit among current users, will it be enough to stem the tide toward Android?
If Apple can pull off this difficult transition, it could find itself set for another 5 years. If not, it will face increasing pressure from many sides.
It seems like the opportunity for a fairly reasonable discussion, and there were a number of interesting comments. Of course all people who write about Apple know that somewhere under a rock is lurking an Apple fanboy.
One showed up late in the day after the article was published. His series of comments started with the following.
If you care to examine and reflect on the circumstances of your tenure at Apple and on your departure I'm sure you will discover the roots of your bias toward the company, it's products and prospects ...
He has not even raised a real point about the article when he starts accusing me of bias. Comments like his are one of the things that make people dislike Apple fans. My article was not a negative article about Apple but through his rosy colored glasses even talking about a potential change that might be a challenge is a sign of bias.
What earthly connection could there be between my career at Apple and even my exit with how Apple might handle revamping iOS and bringing along its very loyal community of users? Of course there is none except in the warped mind of “peto1.” These guys never use their real names because they have as much courage as a bowl of Jello. I do not tolerate these comments so they usually get a flashing sword pretty quickly, but some just refuse to give up.
Folks like our fanboy have sparked a number of articles but my favorite is the one on TechCrunch by John Biggs, The Agony of the Fanboy. I specifically referred “peto1” to point three in the article. I think it addresses the situation perfectly.
In spite of the idiots lurking under the rocks, Apple is a company which does not tell us much about what they are going to do so it is easy to try being an armchair quarterback. In a world where people cannot get enough information about their favorite brands, writing about Apple brings traffic to sites. While writing about my friend Frank 29x is of interest only to me, maybe three Egret ecologists, and a few close friends, a story about Apple will bring traffic. This most recent one had 334 tweets and 40 comments the last time I checked. The story about government IT which I think is more important to us all only got two comments and 160 tweets.
Like any products, I enjoy the ones that work and curse the ones that have problems. I had some serious problems with my iMac and not a lot of fun setting up my Mac Mini. Those two experiences have a lot more to do about how I view Apple than my career there which ended in the summer of 2004.
When you are writing about a company, you try to be objective though it was hard when I was using my iMac which would die in the midst of things. Things are much better with my Mac Mini. The system that I have created for myself works exceptionally well.
It is unfortunate that you cannot write about Apple without worrying about when the next fanboy will crawl out because there are some really valid concerns about the company and its direction. I agree with what Joe Wilcox has written in his article, Chromebook Pixel is Microsoft's worst nightmare come true -- and Apple's, too.
The cloud is all about context. Content follows users everywhere, independent of device. Your music is available anytime, anywhere, on anything. On the airplane, there is no HDTV, but you want to watch a movie. So you start on a tablet and finish on the big screen at home. The content remains the same, but devices and locations change, as does the context.
I think Google is on the right track with content or data that isn’t tied to a device. Apple is always trying to tie content to a few Apple devices like the dead Mac that was bonded for life with my original iPod. Apple’s fixation with controlling things goes beyond reasonable on some of the new iCloud policies.
My favorite is that you can only save to iCloud with an Apple application or one that you bought through Apple’s app store. That takes controlling data to whole other level, but it gets worse. Even if you do manage to save to iCloud with these third party apps purchased through the app store, you cannot see those files like you can see the files created by Apple’s apps when you log into iCloud with a browser. Just to add insult to injury, if you do save those non-Apple app files to iCloud, finding a copy of them on your Mac is like looking for a needle in haystack. Heaven forbid you should want to open one of those files with another app.
I think these are big issues, but I can only hope that no fanboy sees that I have brought them up today.
Not all people who love Apple product go crazy about them. Most in fact are reasonable human beings who found a tool that they like using and it just happens to be an Apple product. I just bought a new MacMini myself. Apple makes some very good products, but here is where the trouble begins. Apple is not perfect. In spite of what some users think, Apple is just a company and has made its fair share of mistakes over the years. It hasn’t cured malaria nor has it invented the electric light bulb or even the personal computer, MP3 player, or smartphone.
Yes Apple has made popular some very unique innovations including the iPod, iTunes, iPhone and the iPad. Those are wonderful innovations. However, Apple biggest innovation is becoming a huge cash machine capable of parting consumers with a lot of their money for products with functionality that can arguably be had for a lot less money.
And that is the view from desk on this rainy day when I would love to be chasing blue skies here on the North Carolina coast. It is so quiet this afternoon, I might just take a nap and dream of some summer skies.