News Reviews

5 Reasons We, Um, Don’t Love Apple

Nothing’s perfect. We sure aren’t, and Apple sure isn’t either. To counteract all the love shown shown, here are five ways Apple consistently and often pointlessly makes us downright cranky.

1. iTunes Bloat and Dysfunctionality

Too much of a good thing.
iTunes was once a great music player. But now it’s crammed with apps, movies, TV shows, iTunes LPs, social networking, and even PDFs. All that extra stuff makes it slow, and even worse, difficult to use and organize. Aside from tacking on additional features, Apple unfortunately hasn’t paid iTunes much attention. It’s not very good at basic music functions like catching duplicate tracks or managing the larger libraries of serious music fans. Meanwhile, much-needed features—wireless syncing with iPod touches and iPhones, for one—are still missing. It’s one of the rare cases where Apple is fast asleep at the wheel. (PS: Yes, AT&T exclusivity led this list…until the whole Verizon deal changed that at press time!)

2. Mishandling negative publicity

Apple’s tight grip on information is great for stoking the fires of anticipation, but when bad stuff happens, it also makes the company seem jerk-like to the average person. For example:
No Flash on the iPhone?!? It’s because Apple hates Adobe.”
“Closed-garden App Store?!? Apple is such a control freak!”
“No Blu-ray?!? They don’t understand the market.”

Misconceptions? Sure, at least in part. But they gain longevity because Apple either takes too long to address these concerns or because its explanations sound like a condescending IT guy telling you how stupid you are for wanting them in the first place. History has shown that Apple was right on at least two of these items, but if it had controlled the spin better—or at least didn’t come off like such a bully—these mountains would’ve stayed molehills, and Apple’s halo would have far fewer dents and dings.

3. MobileMe

The dreaded White Screen of Death.
MoMe is great—until it chokes, which isn’t all that rare. You’re left with no contacts on your iPhone, duplicate events in your calendars, and an iDisk that won’t let you have your files back. Why doesn’t Apple just buy Dropbox already? That company has this syncing thing all figured out.

4. Built-in Batteries

We dread the day our unibody batteries bite the dust.
We get it—built-in batteries improve battery life by allowing Apple to use more internal space for the battery. But they still totally suck, and few things are worse than the creeping dread of knowing your MacBook, iPad, or iPhone’s battery life is on its last legs. C’mon, Apple—you’re smart enough to find a way to let us have this cake and eat it too!

5. The iPod Earbuds

The accursed earbuds!
Apple’s included earbuds are every iPod’s tragic flaw. Nearly everybody we know has at least one complaint about them. They don’t fit right. The sound is tinny. The hard shell isn’t comfortable to wear. Luckily, tons of great earbuds can be had in every price range, but it sucks that replacing your ’buds is almost mandatory. Apple’s attention to detail is legendary, but why does it continue to put its stamp on something so lackluster?