I keep hoping that with all the success Apple is seeing that the company might ease up on the many little things that it does to force Mac users to walk the straight and narrow line of Apple issued software. It does not appear to happening.
I spent a couple of decades selling Apple hardware. At Apple we often criticized Microsoft for selling software that locked users into Microsoft hardware and software. Once Microsoft got mail servers supporting Outlook in an organization, it was very hard for Macs to be good clients on a network.
Plenty of forward looking enterprise CIOs wanted Macs to work well on their Microsoft networks. I attended some meetings with impressive rosters of enterprise customers and I watched them push Microsoft hard to provide better support for Macs.
Another piece of the strong sales message that we crafted when getting Macs into serious computing environments was that with a Mac you could easily craft your own productivity suite and everything would still work seamlessly because you were on a Mac.
I think the Mac has entered a very dark period in its history. Apple is so focused on selling iOS devices and making sure you use Apple's own software that it is tying things together in ways that would likely land Microsoft in court.
Some of you might have read my post, The Chancy Software of Apple. One of the reasons I wrote the post was my extreme frustration with Apple's Mail app. I moved to Postbox and I am very happy with its reliability and much superior search. I was already using it on my Windows desktop so the transition was relatively easy. However, it did not take long to figure out that I had strayed from the Apple way.
The first time I went to share a PDF with preview, I figured out that there was no longer an option to email it directly from Preview since my default email program is now Postbox. I had to save the PDF and manually attach the file.
I rarely use iPhoto but I decided to see what would happen if tried to email a photo. I went to general settings to see if Postbox would show up as a possibility in sending photos from iPhoto. There were three choices, "iPhoto, Mail, and Microsoft Outlook," but no option to use my default email client. Of course this means if I decide to email a photo from iPhoto, it launches Mail.app instead of creating an email in Postbox.
I can also no longer click the share button in Pages to send an email either. All I have to do be able to share by email is change my default email client back to Mail.app and restart Pages and magically I can once again share by email directly from Pages.
If we compare this to the Microsoft world, things are very different. If I want to share a file or a PDF from Word on Windows, Word launches my default Windows email client, Postbox, without any problems. I do not even have Outlook installed on my Windows computer. Unfortunately with Word on the Mac, Microsoft seems to be hewing the Apple line. I can no longer email a file directly from Word on the Mac.
I use Windows Photo Gallery even less that I do iPhoto but it also works fine sending a picture with Postbox. I do use both Picasa and Lightroom on Windows. Picasa gives me the option of sending with my default email or directly with Gmail. Lightroom uses my default email client.
The most telling example is Picasa running on the Mac, it offers me the option of using my default email client on the Mac, Postbox, or directly with Gmail. That would seem to indicate to me that it is technically possible. Unfortunately it must not be that easy because another cross platform program, SnagIt, tells me that Postbox is an unsupported mail client. That is true on the Mac but somehow Techsmith, the makers of Snagit, have figured out how to support Postbox from their Windows version.
As much as Apple disliked Microsoft, it now seems to be favoring Microsoft products. Word is as close as you can get to RTF from Apple's pages. Then there is the whole iCloud fiasco. I recently read that you could actually start putting other documents besides Apple ones up in Apple's iCloud so I tried to have a look from my Windows desktop since apparently it is already implemented on Windows 8 but not on the Mac until Yosemite ships. Turns out that iCloud requires an iOS 8 device in addition to your Windows computer.
I do not have to own a Windows phone to access One Drive nor to do I have to own an Android phone to use Google drive. Apple has made a wrong turn. If you build great software you do not have to force people to use your software, they will use it by choice. People once chose to use iPhoto.
I know Apple likes us to do things their way, but if the price is using sub-standard software like Mail and iPhoto, I think I will pass. I will spend more time on Windows and head out to enjoy one of our great fall evenings on the beach instead of trying to force things to work on my Macs.