Dear Apple

Just some selected letters to my favorite consumer electronics company…

December 2006

Dear Apple,

The family’s had shuffles and iPods for a while and I finally bought a 30 GB 5th generation iPod for myself. I love it! Awesome product. Brilliant engineering. Love the click wheel. Keep it up!

Signed,

A true fan

P.S. Have you thought about making another computer? That Apple II was pretty good, but I notice that you haven’t made anything since. That’s too bad, because the Wintel platform could use a little competition to spur innovation.

 January 2007

Dear CrApple,

I’m sick of iTunes. Don’t you guys know how to write decent software?

Fortunately, I found an awesome replacement: Anapod Explorer. It does everything I want and syncs my music perfectly.

Signed,

Not so much of a true fan.

January 2007

Dear Apple,

Sorry about that last letter. I was just upset with your clunky software. I understand why it doesn’t work too well. I found out that you wrote it for something called OS X and iMac(what is that?) and converted it for use on real computers. As an old coder, I know bugs are to be expected. If you need any advice on decent coding, you know how to reach me.

Signed,

A less disgruntled fan

 February 2007

Dear CrApple,

I take back my generous words on your iTunes mess. I had it open on my computer and plugged in my iPod to add a song (I’d planned on using Anapod, of course) and your damn piece of crap started syncing automatically and corrupted the entire database!!! I couldn’t figure out how to fix it and ended up wiping the iPod and starting over. As you can imagine, I was not happy. Bad on me for not seeing the check box for automatic syncing.

It’s unchecked now, but I’m keeping my eye on you.

Signed,

Less of a fan

June-ish 2009

Dear Apple,

My wife just got an 8GB iPhone 3G. I thought I was happy with my simple flip phone…until I saw that iPhone! Lots of “whoa” factor!

She was immediately unhappy that she ran out of room (she uses her phone for music … silly her…I’ve still got that iPod for my music), so she bought a 16GB and gave me her 8GB phone. I love it! That Angry Birds is pretty awesome!

Signed,

A renewed fan

Something-ember 2009

Dear CrApple,

Hi. I guess you decided not to make any improvements to iTunes. I’m not sure why not. Seriously thinking about jailbreaking this phone so I don’t have to deal with that PoS software.

And…we got new computers in the house with 64 bit Windows 7 (sorry to rub it in…I know you’ve been wanting to make computers again since that Apple III and Lisa debacle). Not your fault, but I can’t use Anapod anymore. Fortunately, Winamp still works with my iPod. And Media Monkey can fix those occasional database corruptions.

Too bad Steve Jobs is so paranoid about third party help – he could really use some smart people when it comes to software. Especially that iTunes. Really isn’t that friendly when you change computers, is it? Crappy concept for the library. No way to change the pointers to new drives? What’s up with that? Even when I get the music source drive mapped to the same letter as before, iTunes still thinks all of the songs are missing.

Fix it. Or buy someone who can.

Signed,

A de-newed fan

Summer 2010

Dear Apple,

Hey, hey, hey! How’ve you been? Guess what? My wife got an iPad! She’s really happy with it. And I’ve discovered I can read books on my phone – with cool app called Stanza. Of course, I had to get used to flipping seven e-pages to read one book page, but that’s pretty awesome.

Oh, by the way…I don’t suppose you’ve given any thought to making computers again. Too bad. That Apple II was a keeper and you’ve shown that you can do some things well enough with that iPad. iTunes still sucks though. Might consider dumping it and starting from scratch.

Signed,

iPad Envious

Spring 2011

Dear Apple,

I’m up to an iPhone 4 now – first time I haven’t had a hand-me-down! Wife is now the one who’s envious.

Oh, I almost forgot…lucky me! Wife upgraded to the iPad 2 and I got her old 1st gen! I like reading books on it a lot more than the phone. Nice job! Bummed that I can’t play Machinerium on it though. Oh well…beggars and choosers.

Signed,

An iPad user!

A Short While Later in the Spring 2011

Dear CrApple,

Well, that experiment failed. Silly me for thinking that the iPad could be useful in a business setting. No freaking arrow keys???!! What the hell?! Who’s idea was that?

And no easy way to transfer files. Smart people like thumb drives. Or at least SD cards. Hell, you can’t even share information within your OS! I’ve got multiple copies of books and PDFs as I try to see which app renders them better. Can’t just point the app at the common repository…nope. Sure, music files can be accessed by different apps, but why not books? Or other files?

Don’t mistake my disappointment for a condemnation. I do like my iPad. I just wish it was more useful for work.

Signed,

One step forward, three steps back.

December 20, 2011

Dear Apple,

My condolences. I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s bio of Steve Jobs. Fascinating. Wow. What you had to endure. Almost makes me feel bad for you. But…you did invite him back. just sayin’

Maybe now you can put those arrow keys in?

Signed,

Hopeful

Spring 2012

Dear Apple,

I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch. How’re the kids?

So, my wife upgrades to the iPad 3 and I get her iPad 2. Nice! Almost makes me regret all those bad things I say about you.

Keep up the good work.

Signed,

Me

 Spring plus 3 days 2012

Dear CrApple,

Well, that was a mistake. How can you make a product that discharges while it’s plugged in!!?? Sure, she was using it, but that discharge has me scratching the old noggin.

And hot? Holy fiery pits of hell, Batman! Something was quite wrong with your engineering.

Maybe she just got an anomaly, but we took the thing back and got a new iPad 2 for me (I had already gotten used to the difference during the three day reign of terror.)

BTW, I know I haven’t talked to you about iTunes in a long time, but I just wanted you to know I found a major flaw in it (other than the entire package itself): I do like ebooks now, and I prefer your iBooks app over the others. My wife likes the Kindle app, but I don’t. Anyway, I happened to open up the information about the book (in iTunes) and noticed that you use the song template in your database. Really? How hard is it to code for an ebook? It’s embarrassing to see “Album Artist” for “Author”.

Losing points again.

Signed,

Frustrated me

 Fall 2012

Dear Apple,

You dodged a bullet this time. Wife’s iPhone 4S battery was crapping out – wouldn’t hold a charge longer than a couple of hours. Fortunately, there’s a great web site (ifixit.com) that not only sells replacement parts, but has detailed tutorials on how to do what you don’t want people to do. AND they sell the tools and new teeny-tiny Philips head screws to replace those proprietary pentalobe things you have. A few quick steps and voilà ! Bob’s your uncle!

Nearly abrogated the Maker motto: if you can’t take it apart, you shouldn’t be buying it.

Lucky you,

Self-satisfied Me

October 2012

Dear Apple,

Thanks for having me answer your survey on iTunes! That was thoughtful. I hope you aren’t offended by my honesty, though. I pointed out several shortcomings.

Signed,

Excited About the New Version Coming

December 2012

Dear CrApple,

Did nothing I said register? iTunes still sucks! You’re on version 11 and ebooks still have “Album Artist”!

Plus, I still can’t select an album to synch if that album is a compilation (think movie soundtrack – multiple artists does not mean multiple albums…at least not in the real world).

Signed,

iTunes Anti-fan

 January 2013

Dear CrApple,

Hoo-boy…no small amount of consternation here. You probably hadn’t heard but my hard drive crashed in December. Not your fault. And bad on me for not backing the thing up. Irrecoverable. And because it wouldn’t spin (Okay, it did spin, but it cut a groove), I lost thousands of songs and ebooks. At least my photos and book database survived. Small victory.

No, where you get both barrels is that damned iTunes again. I found a couple of apps that could extract the data (songs, books, etc.) from my iPad…no thanks to your paranoia there –had to go third party to pull the stuff off that I put on…so that I could start rebuilding the library. So what to my wondering eyes should appear? New iTunes install on the new hard drive wants to wipe my iPad because the iPad (and phone and pod) was synced to another library. Wrong answer, bucko! It took a bit of detective work to find a workaround, which I wrote about here, but after six discrete steps and a couple of third party apps, I was able to make the new iTunes think it was looking at the old iTunes library (which was virtually empty now) and wouldn’t wipe the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch on connection.

You’re welcome.

Restrained from going postal,

Me

 January 2013

Dear CrApple,

Brilliant coding, that iTunes of yours. Brilliant.

So, as I said in my last letter, I make the iTunes not wipe my iPad. I extract all the ebooks and songs to repopulate some of the library and a week later finally get the nerve to sync it. Some bloody brilliant “programmer” has iTunes replace all my ebooks with copies of themselves! Oh, and it gets better…all my “shelves” I had my books sorted to? Gone. I had to manually re-sort 600 books, thank you.

WTH? Is it because of my nickname for your company? I’ll apologize, but you know it won’t be sincere.

Signed,

Not too happy right now

 February 2013

Dear CrApple,

Well, that bullet you dodged last year when I replaced my wife’s iPhone battery? Think ricochet. Duck!

My son’s 4th gen iPod Touch battery had gone so bad that he only had 30 minutes of listening time on a full charge. I’m thinking, “I’ve done it before…I’ll replace the battery.”

Jeez…25 steps just to get down to the battery. Not as elegant as your iPhone 4S. Not by a long shot. And who the hell was the brilliant twit who soldered the battery to the PCB? Three micro-tiny pads. I had to use two magnifiers just to be able to see what I was de-soldering and re-soldering! And then, another 23 steps to back out.

I did it, but killed the display on the way out. Not sure how, but the guts worked and the screen didn’t. Bad on me.

Signed,

Unimpressed with your engineering

 Spring 2013

Dear Apple,

My wife (an artist) bought a Mac Air. Nice try. Took it back five days later. Unituitive interface. Clumsy, unfriendly apps. And that was her assessment. She’s a lot more forgiving than I am.

Keep at it. You’ll make a computer again someday.

Signed,

I could have told you

 Summer 2013

Dear Apple,

My wife convinced me to trade out my iPad 2 for a mini. Nice.

Signed,

Okay with the Smaller Format

P.S. iTunes ebook info is still messed up.

 August 26, 2013

Dear Apple,

I just finished reading iWoz. Now I know the brains behind your computer. I bet you wish he was still working for your engineering section.

September 19, 2013

Dear CrApple,

iOS 7.

‘nuff said.

Signed,

Really Unimpressed

September 20, 2013

Dear CrApple,

Why? Why would you keep pushing an upgrade at me on my iPhone 4? I relented.

Big mistake. After the “upgrade”, it took six seconds for text to appear after keying it. Really? I know your goal is to keep people buying the latest phones, etc., but it’s quite unfair to foist an ugly OS on a platform that can’t handle it.

Lucky for you, I found instructions on how to go back to version 6. And I did…

…and lost everything in the process.  Not exactly sure what’s up with your iTunes (ahhh, my nemesis again). I made a backup and that PoS iTunes wrote a new backup after reinstalling the old OS! Yep. Wiped the phone to do a factory reinstall and then backed up nothing! Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t restore anything! Oh, the backup was there…iTunes just couldn’t see what it had done, and only showed me the latest (that “nothing” backup, remember?)

Lots of lost data. Thanks.

Signed,

Not Happy…again

 October 4, 2013

Dear Apple,

I just learned something new about iTunes! If you right-click an ebook, you can add it to a playlist! You can even “Get Album Artwork”!

You…you…you guys!

Signed,

Amazed Yet Again

 October 29, 2013

Dear Apple,

Okay. You broke me. I got an iPhone 5S. The fingerprint sensor is nice. And I like Siri.

Signed,

Your OS 7 is Still Ugly

October 31, 2013

Dear Apple,

Can you please change the colors? Please? I can live with the ugly interface, but those colors have got to go.

Reeling,

More Shell-Shocked Than Clark Griswold’s Christmas Neighbors

November 3, 2013

Dear CrApple,

I asked nicely. Three updates so far and still garish.

I am now,

Manfred Mann

 November 6, 2013

Dear CrApple,

It’s me, just checking in. I haven’t heard from you…have you been screening your calls? I left you some messages.

And speaking of messages, did you fire the guy who thought of white letters on lime green background? I hope he can get another job on some reality show or as an assistant for Damien Hirst. I know it takes a lot of talent to come up with something so hideous. And your software team has a lot of talent. A lot. But they’ll do fine without him.

I downloaded your latest update, but in case no one has mentioned the Emperor’s clothes, the OS still looks ugly. Do you think you’ll have the the colors of the calendar, icons, messages, phone and the icons and buttons on Safari fixed in time for your next update?

My family is starting to laugh at me because I’m stubbornly holding out for decent software. I think it’s sort of like the old gentleman who listened to Pavarotti sing in concert. When Pavarotti was done, the man, sitting in the front row, cried out, “Encore!” After another song, he yelled it again. And again. After the fourth encore, Luciano Pavarotti leaned down to the man and said, “I’m deeply flattered but I can’t sing anymore.” The man shook his head, “You’ll sing it again until you get it right!”

Keep singing.

Your friend,
You Know Who I Am

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3 responses to “Dear Apple

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