The unfanboying

I can’t remember a time that I’ve been less excited about the future lineup of Apple products. Part of it is changes to my own esthetics and values. But that’s not the whole story.

First about Apple.

A lot of things don’t just work anymore. I find that there are noticeable bugs, delays, and things that are just off on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Even things that should be simple aren’t, like letting my wife use my headphones. Still haven’t figured out how to do that.

The information architecture of the System Settings on all three devices is in shambles. I usually just end up searching.

Notifications are a headache, and I really don’t want to have to set up increasingly complex custom focus modes. In short: I’d like Messages to send notifications when it’s open on my Mac and not when it’s closed. Same with Mail and other system apps. The exceptions are Calendar and Reminders, which makes sense. But now it feels like even with everything closed, my Mac is a notification machine.

Conversely, I’d like more more specific and granular notifications for my Watch. For example, I’d like to get haptic notifications only when my wife sends me something and I don’t have Do Not Disturb set elsewhere. So the watch becomes either a nuisance that’s constantly buzzing or it’s a paperweight. I have a feeling this will be my last Apple Watch.

What’s interesting is that I’m not alone. Pixel Envy has similar complaints, that are best summed up as:

I routinely see graphical inconsistencies, hanging first-party applications, Siri problems, and insufficient contrast across all Apple devices I use.

My expectations are not that high. I only wish MacOS, in particular, would not feel as though it was rusting beneath the surface.

And about me.

I’m simply not excited about any of the new things on the horizon. Actually, I’m horrified at the prospect of a Vision Pro world in the next decade, wherein half the people sitting in a cafe have goggles on, family gatherings are just people zoned out in their own virtual realities. At least now the people staring at Instagram and TikTok come up for air every few minutes and make eye contact with other humans.

I see three possible futures:

  1. The goggles are too cumbersome and expensive to really catch on.
  2. It takes about a decade, but the goggles are ubiquitous. This is obviously pretty dystopian.
  3. We come to our senses and have some sort of Luddite revolution and burn all the devices. I don’t think 3 can happen without 2, so I guess 1 is the best option.

On the whole, I’m not sure the smartphone lifestyle has been a net positive. A case in a point: my sister went to study abroad in Germany long before either of us had smartphones, actually before I even got my first mobile phone at the ripe age of 19. Yet we still talked frequently enough. We’d just use email to coordinate times to meet on Skype using our computers.

More and more, my phone stays inside a downstairs closet, charging away. At this rate, I have years left before I need another phone to fulfill the same purpose of being a reasonably good enough camera, a few authentication and banking apps, and then being locked away.

I also think this will be my last iPad. Even though I read important” content with it, all the same drawbacks are there with having a phone around the house. So I’d rather either do a proper task with my computer or not have a device. An iPad is sure a lot of money to basically read email newsletters and RSS feeds.

With all that said, every time I take a peak at non-Apple stuff, it’s either the Ad and Spy-ware infested Windows or the hassle or getting Linux to actually work. Yes, I know 2024 is going to be the year of Desktop Linux, but trust me on this, it’s not easy for non-tech people to use and if you are the default system admin of the family, Apple is still the way to go.