May 18, 2009

Five Things Apple Screwed Up

I switched to Mac 3 years ago, and it has done a world of good to me. No more crappy Windows viruses (although there are Mac trojans, which are different and come from torrents), not as much crashing and burning, and awesome software out-of-the box to boot.

But I'm not here to shower praises on the Mac nor Apple again, I'm here to make some small, subtle, personal issues about the company that did it all (or to the other people who use the "it came from Linux" argument, much of it).

1) The Trash has no "Restore"
One of the best things about the Windows Recycle Bin which I've long taken for granted was the "Restore Deleted Item" option. What did this option do? It put a deleted item back to where it belonged before it was even deleted.

The Mac doesn't have this option right now, which makes it weird since past versions had the counterpart "Put Away". Instead, it only has "Empty".

2) Quicktime + iTunes
I have issues with both of these apps. Why are they bundled together though? Well, iTunes is dependent on Quicktime as much as an addict is dependent on drugs/alcohol/The Sims.

I think Apple was going for a "seamless" approach like the iLife suite, but the only reason that iTunes is dependent on Quicktime that I can see is that Apple didn't want to build the video playback feature inside of iTunes. As a result, one will be required to download Quicktime then iTunes. Otherwise, the video part of iTunes wouldn't even work at all!

But let's just say that downloading two 60MB apps ain't so bad because of a really fast connection. I'm fine with that, but the annoyances go beyond that.

Why is it that iTunes (and Front Row) can view video in Full Screen but Quicktime can't without paying 30 dollars? Why is it that Quicktime has to have the user pay 30 dollars for such a basic feature? If Quicktime were offered for free with this basic feature enabled, there wouldn't even be any need for trouble.

And why the hell does iTunes have to be such a resource hog? Music playback shouldn't be so CPU-draining.

3) (Old) MacBook chargers
The build quality of the MacBook charger I'm using right now is just crap. It's unnecessarily huge, the prongs fall off (and break into two) easily, and as a result, no one seems to have the courage to plug it in the outlet anymore. It always induces a lot of sparks, it always crackles, and it even falls off by itself at times!
The worst thing about it is that it has to cost sooooooooo much to replace (which is why it hasn't even been replaced... yet), as in P4000+ for a plug!

Might as well use that money for a shuffle!

4) Keyboard Shortcuts
While a lot of the OS is relatively user-friendly, the keyboard shortcuts that are shown within the menus make it rather counter-intuitive.

Imagine having to decipher hieroglyphics without any knowledge of the process... it's like that on a Mac.

The workaround to this is to simply add the symbols to the keys themselves! For a few months, I thought that up arrow symbol was just the Up button when it turned out to be the Shift button!

5) iChat and Mail
OK, I'm cheating because not only can't I think of a fifth issue, it involves the stubborn-ness of many companies. I can tell you that setting up Yahoo! or Windows Live accounts through these apps can be a pain, though.

In Mail, Windows Live is compatible because it offers free POP3, but Yahoo! Mail users have to pay for a Plus account to be able to sync to Mail. Somehow, it's a bit of a screw-up for Apple because they let free Yahoo users access their mail in the iPhone's version of Mail, but not in OS X's!

iChat requires a bit of a laborious process to make it work with Yahoo and MSN accounts. I've tried it a dozen times but it never works for me! I'd like to be able to use much of the cool features it offers if only Apple made iChat support Yahoo and Windows Live in the first place!

And these are my major annoyances with Apple hardware and software, but I can't say that I'm not grateful for being able to actually get a taste of the world outside Windows despite deficiencies.

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