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Has Apple lost it?
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Feb 2, 2014, 05:19 AM
 
When was the last time we saw a jaw dropping device from Apple? The Mac Pro is not a consumer device and so doesn't count - I am underwhelmed. Where is the iWatch? Where is Apple's 'glass'?

Years ago Apple posted a vision of the future and we ain't there yet.

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Feb 2, 2014, 05:22 AM
 
Why do some people think that innovation can just happen on demand?
     
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Feb 2, 2014, 09:24 AM
 
1984, 2001, 2007, 2010. Plus the 2011 MacBooks Air, which defined a market.

How often would Apple need to drop your jaw for you to be impressed?

Also, FWIW, the Mac Pro pretty much qualifies as a bit of a revolution.
     
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Feb 2, 2014, 11:56 AM
 
^^^ Not to mention the fact that the only thing more common than a new Apple innovation is the insistence they've lost it.
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Feb 2, 2014, 01:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why do some people think that innovation can just happen on demand?
This.

And when was the last time we were impressed by innovation from Google, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Nokia, Samsung? I'd say it's about time we start asking questions about their track record.

Also, IMHO, i think as far as hardware Apple is at the top of its game. While the software is adequate, i's like to see the next 'Apple revolution' in its software (especially iOS).

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Feb 2, 2014, 01:29 PM
 
I don't get these cries for innovation: we only see those visible paradigm shifts very, very rarely. And people seem to value the initial breakthrough product much higher than subsequent iterations. Nobody complains that there is no disruption by innovation in the car industry, after all, they still have an internal combustion engine (almost all of them), four wheels and need a human to be operated. Nevertheless, a car from 50 years ago is primitive by today's standards.

Also, these breakthroughs only get really useful after iterating on the hard- and software. The fact that the current iPhone is about 50x faster cpu-wise than the first iPhone should tell you something about how fast Apple and other smartphone makers are iterating.
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Feb 2, 2014, 11:13 PM
 
What would drop my jaw is an iOS which isn't half chewed garbage.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 12:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What would drop my jaw is an iOS which isn't half chewed garbage.
I'd like an iPad Air with Kit Kat. Hey, what if Apple ditched iOS and went 100% Android, made their own skin and really dolled it up? They could focus on making the absolute best hardware and let Google pay out of pocket for the software development, while reaping the rewards. The Apps store could switch to being a direct Play competitor, only Apple apps would work better on their hardware since they hold to more rigid standards with their product lines. No one would see this coming.
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Feb 3, 2014, 01:06 AM
 
That cure is worse than the disease IMO. Both companies need competitive pressure, and we have room for multiple OSes.

Likewise, I'm generally happy with the choices Apple makes, and I'm happy not having to make them for myself. The only real issue I have with iOS 7 is it's a public beta being billed as finished product.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 01:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I'd like an iPad Air with Kit Kat. Hey, what if Apple ditched iOS and went 100% Android, made their own skin and really dolled it up? They could focus on making the absolute best hardware and let Google pay out of pocket for the software development, while reaping the rewards.
Apple sees itself as a software company, not a hardware company.

@subego
I don't think iOS 7 is as bad as people make it out to be. I've had no major problems with the release, and while some design choices don't align with my taste, my worst criticism, namely that it feels too sterile and lacks the whimsy, is a complaint on a very elevated level.
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Feb 3, 2014, 01:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What would drop my jaw is an iOS which isn't half chewed garbage.
You should update from 6.0 to 6.0.3 at least. It's a lot better.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 02:17 AM
 
Using "half-chewed", while pithy, unfortunately didn't clearly explain my issue.

I'm fine with almost all the choices Apple made with iOS 7. The only thing which is a major step backward is the notification system.

The problem is it's not finished. Hence "half-chewed". iPhone Safari specifically, is a total mess. It's constantly reloading pages when it shouldn't. It crashes all the time. This matters to me because I do all my posting on the iPhone. Having it crash in the middle of writing a post isn't tolerable. On top of that, the text selection system is just bad.

To paraphrase Steve, if you have to copy your half typed post, go to the task manager, kill Safari, restart it, paste your post back in to the quick reply box and start typing again... then you blew it.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 02:36 AM
 
Yes, there are bugs.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 02:44 AM
 
Yes. Very bad bugs for months and months, because they push out monolithic updates.

Which was fine, when the 1.0 releases were close to finished product. Now it's not, so it's not.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 04:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by simonjames View Post
The Mac Pro is not a consumer device and so doesn't count.
IMHO, that alone makes it more awesome. A workstation wasn't that cool since the heyday of Silicon Graphics.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 06:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Yes, there are bugs.

ooooh yes. Especially what was one of the revolutionary features of the original iPhone, visual voicemail.
VVM in iOS7 is massively, fundamentally and appallingly broken. Unusable. And no sign of a fix.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 07:22 AM
 
It works well here most of the time.

There is a fairly harmless graphical bug that will white out some areas when you tap on an individual message, though touching the areas where the buttons WOULD be still works.
I've had to fix it by force-quitting the phone app a couple of times.

Haven't had the bug in weeks now.

Heck, the Safari-losing-all-iCloud-Bookmarks bug that required you to force-quit Safari was never fixed in iOS 6.

I also remember OS X 10.5/6/7/8 all being "Apple's Vista".
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 08:25 AM
 
iOS 7 is driving me bonkers on the new iPad Air. Specifically Safari, which crashes constantly and seems to half-load pages all the time. WTF?
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Feb 3, 2014, 08:38 AM
 
I think, like with all innovative thinking, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But even if it fails, it's still innovation and pushes things forward.

Apple's iCloud solution, for example, while hugely innovative in the way it treats documents, just doesn't work for those users who prefer to have access to a visual representation of their virtual filing cabinet. If iCloud would be accessible in the way that dropbox is, and if the iWork online edition would work as well as google docs, chances are we would have stayed with Apple for these services.

I used to be a die-hard Apple fanboi, but recently I am finding that I am looking for solutions elsewhere, more and more often. We now buy Chrome Books for those of our staff who's job consists of researching and writing, at $300 a piece rather than $1200. We use google docs instead of iWork, and for those of you concerned about privacy, the paid for enterprise option is as private and secure as anything else available in the cloud.

I don't necessarily think that Apple has run out of steam, I think at the point we're now it'll be harder and harder to truly innovative without throwing out the entire user experience as we know it.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 10:48 AM
 
Safari has never crashed for me on two iPhones and an iPad. It does reload pages rather needlessly though.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 12:57 PM
 
Do you open tabs? I generally surf with 2-4 open tabs - about 99% guaranteed for Safari to crash-and-reload every session, and in normal use tab pages often keep reloading to the beginning of the page (incredibly annoying when reading longer articles), or do not actually load until you open the tab - which would seem to negate the point of using tabs in the first place, if they will not load in the background!

I've read that the 1gig of RAM in the iPad Air may be the problem due to increased RAM requirements for 64-bit architecture...but having a hard time believing it's this bad?
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Feb 3, 2014, 02:37 PM
 
Oh yeah. The "Apple can no longer innovate" thread has morphed into an "iOS 7 sucks" thread.

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Feb 3, 2014, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Safari has never crashed for me on two iPhones and an iPad. It does reload pages rather needlessly though.
The opposite for me on my phone. Crashes once every two days at minimum.
     
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Feb 3, 2014, 06:41 PM
 
I use Chrome on my iPhone. I try to give Safari a fair shake from time to time on OS X, but Chrome just seems like the more stable browser to me, with the better developer tools to boot, and on iOS accessing my same bookmarks is nice so I just stick with using Chrome.

I guess this post is pretty useless to most, unless you weren't aware that you can get Chrome for iOS.
     
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Feb 4, 2014, 12:01 AM
 
The problem with Chrome is Apple makes it impossible to make it the default browser, and it's not going to play as well with iCloud.

Which I'm fine with, as long as Safari can be raised above the "sucking a giant bag of dicks" level. As I said before. I'm happy with Apple choices, it's the execution which leaves one wanting.
     
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Feb 4, 2014, 08:38 AM
 
Probably an obvious statement, but FB on iOS7 had been clunkety at best. Click a link out of a post, video begins spooling... crash. Different posted link, engage, crash. I finally quit all running applications and had another go -- VOILA! Much smoother experience. Sorry, but never an issue in previous iOS iterations and while there may indeed be a host of reasons for this, it wasn't a FB app update that resolved the issue for me.

I also don't recall having to play "beat-the-clock" to answer a call with more deliberation required in the swipe motion to open phone. Swipe -- almost, swipe -- almost, swwwipe -- almost... DRRRRR!! ssssswwwwwwwipe OKAY!

I can also imagine within two years the iOS UI will return to employing more design in their design. All the folks that had to convince themselves they actually prefer the new Windows 97 clipart design strategy in iOS7 will have to reacquaint themselves with the quality of the retina display by iOSX.
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Feb 4, 2014, 10:06 AM
 
"Has Apple lost it?"

"it".... while the OP defines "it" as innovation in new consumer product categories, i'd like to consider a different angle...

Is it just me or does it seem like Apple isnt the media darling it was, say in 2010 when the iPad launched? I've kinda noticed that there are fewer articles on Apple in general across the tech web. It almost seems like a contraction of excitement. Obviously a huge factor was the passing of Steve Jobs. But i also think the constant leaking of upcoming products to the general lack of (and downwards trend of) excitement in Apple.

If you have been an Apple user for more than 10-12 years, this isnt an entirely new thing, obviously.
     
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Feb 4, 2014, 10:20 AM
 
It's also impossible to change the world every two years. It just can't be done.

The average user also doesn't see the huge improvements that happen gradually, and in the background. Much has changed in the last five years, but because it wasn't a radical change it gets less noticed.
     
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Feb 4, 2014, 11:36 AM
 
IMHO that's the beauty of Apple: compare OS X 10.1 to 10.5, the changes are massive. But users always saw small, incremental changes. In the same time frame Microsoft released XP and Visa which were also very different from one another, but it is widely regarded as a failure. Smaller, incremental updates are better for users, because Apple can undo unpopular or bad decisions after one year.

On average, the tech press is a very bad indicator for how well a tech company is doing. Why are journalists even expecting miracles every so few years? Other industries, e. g. the automotive or pharmaceutical industries, are not held to the same standard. Microsoft has prospered for years without any iPhone-like consumer-facing innovation.

On the other hand, half-baked things like the various smart watches and Google glass are hyped to no end. (Google Glass for me is a research project to me, not a finished product.) I'm not saying that there is nothing in these markets, but analysts and tech press alike expect these markets to be huge rather than maybe initially niche. (For instance, Google Glass makes sense to me as a way to help people make repairs in hazardous environments, I've seen solutions in research labs to that effect 10 years ago.)
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Feb 4, 2014, 03:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Apple sees itself as a software company, not a hardware company.

@subego
I don't think iOS 7 is as bad as people make it out to be. I've had no major problems with the release, and while some design choices don't align with my taste, my worst criticism, namely that it feels too sterile and lacks the whimsy, is a complaint on a very elevated level.
They need to shift that. Obviously Android is now handing them their ass, in terms of quality and innovation. It's not like their fight with Windows, which has always been mostly inferior. Like they did with Intel, they might as well get on board.
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Feb 4, 2014, 03:12 PM
 
To be fair, I think a lot of the iOS issues at the moment are because they're laying the groundwork for resolution independence. The next gen iPhones are supposedly going to have larger screens. Apple is trying to deal with the iOS 1 legacy resolution.

Android worked better up front with multiple resolutions, but it took years for it not to look like shit. Apple didn't have that issue because they pinned the screen size, but are now paying for it by having to rebuild from the ground up.
     
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Feb 4, 2014, 05:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
They need to shift that. Obviously Android is now handing them their ass, in terms of quality and innovation. It's not like their fight with Windows, which has always been mostly inferior. Like they did with Intel, they might as well get on board.
No, if Apple becomes yet another hardware manufacturer, I'll most likely jump ship. And I don't see how this is in Apple's DNA. They build their own hardware to leverage integration of hardware and software.

I don't see how Android is supposedly winning in anything but market share numbers. Apple's profit share is doing well which means Apple can finance further development for the foreseeable future.

I think your suggestion makes no sense to me. Apple is and always has been a software company first and does hardware to maximize integration between them. Apple would sooner license iOS to handset makers (which has a greater chance of happening, even though I don't think that's ever on the table). I think the handset makers would be all over that.

Moreover, I think Android as an ecosystem has far more problems than iOS, because the only company making money selling Android handsets is Samsung -- which is being disrupted from below. Apple's main problem is market saturation: the high-end phone market is pretty much tapped out and the iPhone 5c not cheap enough to compete. But as long as Apple turns a profit selling iOS devices, I don't see a reason for them to stop. It would be interesting to know whether Google can sustain Android development solely on its licensing fees. (Keep in mind that Android flavors not endorsed by Google, e. g. Amazon's or those used by the ZTEs of the handset world, do not contribute to Android development.)
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To be fair, I think a lot of the iOS issues at the moment are because they're laying the groundwork for resolution independence. The next gen iPhones are supposedly going to have larger screens. Apple is trying to deal with the iOS 1 legacy resolution.
That's a very good point: as you have noted, they are laying the ground work now (e. g. using auto layout). Apple is catching up slowly here, and I hope that they will eventually be able to introduce iOS devices of the same family with different resolutions. The iPad Air should have more pixels than the mini in my opinion, ditto for a larger iPhone when it eventually surfaces -- after all, that's the way it works with computers. (Although the 14" iBook did sport the exact same resolution as its 12" brother back in the day.)
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