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Apple has lost the functional high ground

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Jeremy Garchow
Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 5:39:16 pm

Marco Arment ( former lead tumblr developer, created instapaper, etc) says so right here

How long does it take to "build the future"? And do you feel he is right?


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 7:09:23 pm

I don't have any personal experience with 10.9 or 10.10 so I can't comment on whether or not the bugs being talked about were really all that problematic or more of the tempest-in-an-Internet-teapot variety (
10.8.x is the most recent OS I'm running and one of my machines is still on 10.6.8!).

I wonder how much the annual OS X upgrade cycle has to do with the annual iOS upgrade cycle? Mobile devices (especially ones on contracts like phones) need an annual hook to keep people locked in and if you want to keep expanding the functionality between mobile and desktop then I guess you need to keep the desktop OS on a faster update cycle too.


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 11:58:05 pm

[David Mathis] "Side note, I have been considering jumping to Linux. Problem is, which flavor? Just my rambling tangent and two cents, carry on!"

Curious... for what? All of my personal data servers are Linux. I run CentOS. RedHat has gotten goofy IMHO on their Fedora releases. I use to like KDE but now find the desktop next to worthless. For a server I want stability and reliability. I don't need gee-wiz interfaces. CentOS is built on Red Hat Enterprise releases. They are quite stable and if you doing anything with LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) installation is a snap.


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground AGAIN?
on Jan 7, 2015 at 7:05:16 pm

Again with this?

Not even a week into the new year and somebody has to post the obligatory piece indicating that Apple has "lost it" and that their history of constant improvement and business success is all just a passing thing.

I was trying to remember just how many times I've read virtually this same story since the early 90s. 50 times? 100? 300?

The same story comes around again and again and again, always written by someone who presume to know the industry at some level that escapes us mere mortals.

And at the end of a few years, while Apple is still cruising along making interesting new stuff and doing what Apple has always done - the pundits shut up until they figure it's time to come back with yet another "Apple is losing their magic" story. Someday, it will very likely be true. And someday, maybe a UFO will land. Neither event will affect my day to day life.

Can Apple lose their magic? Sure. And they have plenty of times. But aways for short stretches and they seem to actually CARE about working hard to get it back

I think Tim Cook was precisely the right guy to inherit the mantle from Jobs. Because he seems to understand that it's not the money or the metrics - It's the inspiration that matters. You get the best people by allowing them to be themselves, inspiring them, and then giving them the resources to be great.

I'm still reading stories about how Apple software (absolutely including FCP X) inspires people to do exceptional work.

I'm still not seeing those stories from the other NLE software vendors vendors. At least not at the same level of passion. Don't know why. Maybe those stories are out there - but if so, The one's I've seen are NOT bubbling up organically from excited users. But coming out of formal PR machines.

Perhaps it's because those companies continue to concentrate on their business metrics first. And everything else way later.

Apple with insanely strong business metrics can afford to work on the inspirational stuff, perhaps?

But Pffft. I've read this all before over and over and over again.

It's the stopped watch.

But historically instead of being accurate twice a day - this stuff hopes to be accurate every few decades.

And only for a while.

Who has time?

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground AGAIN?
on Jan 7, 2015 at 7:19:21 pm

[Bill Davis] "I'm still not seeing those stories from the other NLE software vendors vendors."

And I assume you go looking for those stories as intently as you go looking for people talking about X? Like I mentioned in the previous thread you said this up in, people have brought up Avid and PPro in this very forum on multiple occasions. Some people take part in the discussion and some people dismiss the discussion, but the discussions are going on even if they don't show up on your radar.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground AGAIN?
on Jan 7, 2015 at 11:37:11 pm

[Bill Davis] "Not even a week into the new year and somebody has to post the obligatory piece indicating that Apple has "lost it" and that their history of constant improvement and business success is all just a passing thing. "

I didn't interpret the article as saying that Apple has lost it or even as predicting failure -- just cautioning that their priorities may be "poorly weighted."

I think the criticism is constructive and has some validity. See my examples of the real-world effects in our industry of this big and fast OS dev cycle in another post below.


[Bill Davis] "I'm still reading stories about how Apple software (absolutely including FCP X) inspires people to do exceptional work. I'm still not seeing those stories from the other NLE software vendors vendors. At least not at the same level of passion. Don't know why. Maybe those stories are out there - but if so, The one's I've seen are NOT bubbling up organically from excited users. But coming out of formal PR machines. "

Well, you do mainly hang out with FCP X users, right? Every piece of DCC software I can think of with a user community has at least a few really passionate people doing -- and discussing -- exceptional work.

You want to see innovative and exceptional work? Join those user communities. Or just swing by the Adobe, Autodesk, The Foundry, MAXON, Quantel or SGO booths this year at NAB, where you'll see working artists showing off the cool work they did in their own preferred products -- and often showcasing work that would have been more difficult to do on any other product.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Charlie Austin
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 7:18:43 pm

"...an OS riddled with embarrassing bugs and fundamental regressions."

Well, that's specific. Be nice if he maybe noted what he was talking about...

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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John Davidson
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 7:43:29 pm

[Charlie Austin] ""...an OS riddled with embarrassing bugs and fundamental regressions."

Well, that's specific. Be nice if he maybe noted what he was talking about...
"


That's what I was thinking too. I find Yosemite to be much more tightened up than Mavericks was. This point last year we were still having IMAP issues and all sorts of fun stuff. This year Yosemite has been surprisingly stable. Just the SMB upgrades alone were worth it.

Do you think this has something to do with annoyance at having to rewrite Instapaper's safari plugin?

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 7:48:23 pm

Arment hasn't owned Instapaper for a few years, so probably not.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 9:09:24 pm

I feel very strongly that this is true:

"The problem seems to be quite simple: they’re doing too much, with unrealistic deadlines. We don’t need major OS releases every year. We don’t need each OS release to have a huge list of new features. We need our computers, phones, and tablets to work well first so we can enjoy new features released at a healthy, gradual, sustainable pace."

But it's not just about users -- it's about developers, too [link]. IMHO, an OS should above all be a stable platform for development, but when third-party developers are forced to spend extra time on QA to keep up with fast OS changes, it takes away from feature development. When the OS developer is focused principally on new features, it takes away from their ability to resolve OS bugs reported by developers.

Of course, the flipside is that rapid OS development with piles of high-level features and libraries is good for new apps which are well-positioned to exploit them -- but eventually, they will become "legacy" apps, too; then, see above.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 6, 2015 at 4:12:13 pm

Nice Boris review. I use it all the time, though mostly RED/Avid FX, these days.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 1:25:49 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Jan 7, 2015 at 4:04:25 pm

[Walter Soyka] "But it's not just about users -- it's about developers, too"

What I find interesting is Arment's comment is generally from a developer's perspective. While he doesn't go in to detail, I would imagine it probably feels a little like being an Apple user that relys on the consumer services for business (like a lot of us here). Everything right now feels like it's in flux, not that it is broken or incomplete, but simply moving really fast towards....something. The only problem is that we, as consumers and developers, don't have a clear roadmap to the destination. That should not be a new feeling. If we take a good look around, it's happening everywhere.

I would imagine the AppStore model to be a frustrating venture. All at once amazing yet also limiting.

I also think that Apple is pushing technology boundaries. We all know and have discussed that Apple isn't going for the biggest and fastest, but I do feel like they are releasing as powerful machines as they and their technology partners can muster, while also being very efficient on many different levels, but mostly power and materials. There are inherent trade offs to this approach. And of course, the interaction of OS X and iOS and all of the services that Apple is building is probably where most of the problems stem. Perhaps these functions are taking longer than expected? Maybe there's trouble in development land? Maybe these things really do take this long? Maybe nobody knows what they are doing anymore? I don't believe that last one.

Does this mean that Apple has to move as fast as they are so that they can get everything "merged" as quickly as possible? Or is this a fools errand, and they should move more slowly, stall bigger plans, make sure everything works before moving on? I don't have these answers.

I've been traveling a bit for work. A few of the flights has in flight entertainment with DirectTV and swipe a credit card and plug your headphones in to the chair and make sure your elbow doesn't change the channel becuase the controls are right where your elbow rests on the arm rest. It's expensive, doesn't look that great, the hardware design is frustrating, and if your wallet is stowed with your carry on above your head, you can't pay for it. My flight yesterday didn't have any screens anywhere. Not on the backs of seats, they didn't drop down from the ceiling, they didn't have a safety video. But, they did have in flight entertainment where you connect your device to the internal wifi (for free) through the airline's app, and in there are free movies, lots of free movies; even good free movies! I thought this was a major shift in thinking. At first glance, you felt that this was an older plane (which it wasn't) or that the airline was doing everything it could to make your experience worse to charge for "premium" upgrades (article). As it turns out, it was one of the smartest technology moves I have seen for in-flight entertainment. I'm sure it will cost something some day, but for now, I'll enjoy the free beta testing stage.

So, is this why Apple is making reduced price software? They know that things aren't quite good enough to charge the consumer more money? Is this rapid pace of development an effort to get to a more stable platform that includes and integrates every single Apple device a consumer owns? I don't have these answers, but that's what it feels like to me.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 3:28:35 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So, is this why Apple is making reduced price software? They know that things aren't quite good enough to charge the consumer more money?"

That doesn't sound like Apple to me. I think they sell cheap software as an ecosystem play: the value comes in the system and you pay most of that upfront.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Is this rapid pace of development an effort to get to a more stable platform that includes and integrates every single Apple device a consumer owns? I don't have these answers, but that's what it feels like to me."

I agree with this sentiment of ecosystem inclusion and integration, except that I don't think there's a "stable platform" endgame. Apple has made themselves synonymous with ground-breaking innovation, so if they want to keep making money, they can't just release a string of awesome products that people love. They need to release a string of ground-breaking awesome products that people love.

Apple sells hardware, and ground-breaking new hardware needs ground-breaking new features to entice you to buy. If hardware is the dog, software is the tail. I think we'll continue seeing this rapid software churn to support and move the new hardware.

Aindreas had this great line [link] (in a slightly different context) a while back: "Apple are like this amazing public swan - they peddle like maniacs underwater."

I'm truly not trying to revive the "Apple doesn't care about professionals" argument, but their current actions seem more highly focused on consumer sales for their ecosystem (and my IRA says, "Keep it up!"). That's where you see the swan.

Third-party application developers and users occasionally see some webbed feet, kicking furiously.

(This post about dogs and swans is a gambit to bring Franz out of retirement.)

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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James Ewart
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 4:16:16 pm

Apple has made themselves synonymous with ground-breaking innovation, so if they want to keep making money, they can't just release a string of awesome products that people love. They need to release a string of ground-breaking awesome products that people love.

I think what was groundbreaking about FCP Legend was just the price no? For a long time it "did the job " just. DV quality to start with and then some people started making third party hardware and cards.

So Isn't this the same story? Exactly?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 4:39:39 pm

[James Ewart] "I think what was groundbreaking about FCP Legend was just the price no? For a long time it "did the job " just. DV quality to start with and then some people started making third party hardware and cards. So Isn't this the same story? Exactly?"

I don't think Apple was in the ground-breaking business in 1999.

I could be persuaded otherwise, but my first thought is that iTMS was the inflection point between where we were then and where we are now.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 6:06:03 pm

[Walter Soyka] "my first thought is that iTMS was the inflection point between where we were then and where we are now."

Functionally, perhaps, but in practice, it was the introduction of iTMS on Windows. You can see it in both the revenue charts and the stock price charts.

I think that's one reason why the ecosystem play is way off the mark. People may tend to drift a little more toward Macs because of their iPhones, but you know what? They mostly don't. The majority of iDevice users are on Windows, and Apple will live a long and happy corporate life just taking people's money for devices and apps.

In fact, they'll do ANYTHING to AVOID the implication that you have to use a Mac to use an iPhone. That's too much friction.

Also in fact, the furthest I've seen an ecosystem play push is that Apple TV is better than Roku because it plays back stuff you bought in iTunes. THAT'S IT.

Otherwise, there's the actual ecosystem inside the physical Apple store, but only 20% of iPhones are sold in brick and mortar Apple stores. Best Buy and Walmart are both in that vicinity, and phone stores aren't that far behind.

Nobody NEEDS an ecosystem play, and again, the more you pitch an ecosystem, the less success you'll see. I don't want to buy a Mac to use a phone, and I don't want a second-class experience on Windows. Right now, neither is the case at all. That's how it should be.

TIME FOR A CAR METAPHOR.

The existence of Prius has no impact on anyone buying or not buying a Corolla or a Lexus. Toyota actually goes out of its way to make sure NOBODY thinks about one brand when they're looking at another. Ecosystem plays are bad ideas....

...unless you're selling ecosystems. Avid, yes. Apple, absolutely not. There's simply no FUNCTIONAL advantage to owning a Mac for an iTMS customer. Anything that y'all Mac addicts point to from your EXPERIENCE will look like noise to a Windows user, whose experience as an iUser on Windows is just fine thanks.

Which is exactly how Apple wants it. They'll sell everything they possibly can, to everyone they possibly can. Yes, they'll be delighted to sell you a computer, but nothing in their business model, their development model, or their actual products says that it's all that high a priority for Apple relative to you buying a device, an assload of apps, and maybe some headphones.

Which, by the way, work just great when plugged into Windows computers and Android phones.

This is also why I think it's NONSENSE to pick an either/or when talking about Apple's primary business of selling consumer devices has any meaningful impact on professional software development, or for that matter, corporate ethics. Good companies do more than one thing, each with the appropriate level of focus. They do it every day. It's not that hard. Apple is a little better than a "good" company.



[Walter Soyka] "I don't think Apple was in the ground-breaking business in 1999."

Interesting to me is that the one thing that Apple has only marginal success at is selling Macs.

Mac wasn't the best-selling product line in the company, or the one with the biggest marketshare, when it was axed. It simply represented the direction that Apple wanted to pursue for its own vision of its future. (Sound familiar?)

Steve was long gone by then of course, but the company spent most of the 90s circling the drain as they simply didn't do very well as a computer company. In 2003, Apple's stock barely crept out of single digits. Even with relative successes like iMac, investors weren't convinced that Apple was going to return enough on their investment to make it worth their while.

Until iTMS showed up on Windows, and now Apple could sell iPods to virtually everyone with a computer.

Another reason the ecosystem argument falls apart? Nobody who's playing to win is playing solely on Mac. Sure, a niche company can make a very nice living servicing that niche, but not even Apple will pin its future to a customer base that's solely Mac. It's critical to their success as a company that most of their customers NOT be on Mac.

Not that they're not playing to win in computers. I think they are, and I think it's a little ironic in context that they're doing it better now than ever. I think that having Jobs out of the way will make it better still. (You know that the previous record quarters for Mac sales were when Cook was acting CEO for 24 months, right?)

But Apple is not selling computers based on how easy it is to use an iPhone. Because nobody playing to win in the mobile space is focusing only on iPhone either. Apple will take your computer money without forcing you to buy a new phone, too.

No kidding. If you're not using a Mac, your view of the ecosystem is your phone and iTunes, and it's no more or less stupendous or exasperating with Windows than it is with Mac.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 6:26:19 pm

Tim, I think you disagreed with me, but I think I mostly agree with you.

For me, the 2015 "ecosystem" idea isn't about selling someone every piece of kit you make. It's about hooking them on some critical aspect of your platform. To paraphrase Mr. McGuire, "I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Services."

This isn't just Apple's play. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all want to do the same thing.


But here we do disagree:

[Tim Wilson] "This is also why I think it's NONSENSE to pick an either/or when talking about Apple's primary business of selling consumer devices has any meaningful impact on professional software development, or for that matter, corporate ethics. Good companies do more than one thing, each with the appropriate level of focus. They do it every day. It's not that hard. Apple is a little better than a "good" company."

My argument is that the OS you want for tying your ever-evolving, ground-breaking mobile devices and cloud services into your desktop experience is going to be at least somewhat fluid. The OS you want as a development platform for a complex, demanding niche application needs to be stable.

Given the added constraint of a preference for avoiding system bloat from legacy support, these are opposing design goals. The fact that they've been managed as well as they have shows that Apple is in fact a little better than a "good" company.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 6:48:40 pm

[Tim Wilson] "In fact, they'll do ANYTHING to AVOID the implication that you have to use a Mac to use an iPhone. That's too much friction.

Also in fact, the furthest I've seen an ecosystem play push is that Apple TV is better than Roku because it plays back stuff you bought in iTunes. THAT'S IT. "


But that's a pretty big incentive to buy an AppleTV is it not? If someone had a decent library of media from the iTMS that they wanted to stream to their TV why wouldn't they buy an AppleTV when shopping for a set top box? And while you can have a perfectly fine experience not having Apple hardware end-to-end you don't get all the bells and whistles that way. For example, AirPlay, Continuity and FaceTime are all Apple only.

My Xbox is the hub of my media center which means I don't get movies/TV shows from iTMS because there's no way to get them out of Apple's ecosystem. For music streaming to the home stereo I had to break down and buy an Apple AirPort because I'm already heavily invested in iTunes for music and there's no way to get my iDevices to talk to my Xbox.

Apple certainly knew that tethering the iPod and iTMS to Macs was restricting it's growth potential but Apple still is in the hardware business which means you need to buy Apple hardware to get the most out of Apple's offerings.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 10:25:07 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "But that's a pretty big incentive to buy an AppleTV is it not?"

Not if you don't buy TV from iTunes. Do you? I don't buy TV at all. I get it from some combination of Netflix and Amazon.

I do in fact have Apple TV -- it came with the house, because the previous owners didn't use it. I set it up (a PITA, btw), and have used it once or twice to stream music from my iPad, but still not as efficient as the combination of Spotify and Amazon. The more closely tied to the iTunes ecosystem it is, the LESS useful it is.

Indeed, it simply reinforces my desire to not use iTunes for getting my TV content, or using Apple TV for either video or music distribution through the house. Every single device I have works better.

Don't be acting like I'm alone in that. LOL

And hey, let's say I ONLY get my media through iTunes. Fine. This raises the value of Apple TV, but does NOTHING to raise the value of Mac as a computing platform. Nothing.

Pushing me to buy a Mac to enjoy Apple TV and iTunes helps ensure that I WON'T buy ANY of them. Buying a Mac doesn't relieve my pain, or answer a single need for distributed media via Apple TV. None.

I think you guys are conflating device OS -- yes, I want a good experience across my devices -- and computer OS. I want to spend as little time thinking about that as possible, and Mac or Windows are value-neutral for that.

And unified device OS is independent of iTMS. I want my use of NETFLIX to be unified, which it most certainly is not, but it's certainly not a dealbreaker for accessing it through any device I have access to. Ecosystem, schmecosystem.

Maybe you need to be a hardcore Windows iOS user, of which there are multitudes. I'm married to one. I can't tell you the last year she went to iTunes except the app store on her phone, and the sun will go nova before she touches a Mac. And she's doing something or other on her iPhone like 15 hours a day. LOL This is commmmmmmmmon outside the COW, I assure you.

Don't be acting like I'm alone in that perspective either. LOL Apple feels the same way, or they'd be acting differently....and they'd be losing marketshare if they did. "Ecosystem" ends at the app store, and on your phone, it doesn't even requires iTunes.

iTunes is an obstacle. The desktop is an obstacle.

No ecosystem. None. Just a cool device with cool apps.

[Walter Soyka] "To paraphrase Mr. McGuire, "I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Services."

This isn't just Apple's play. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all want to do the same thing."


Except Apple is the company for whom that's the LEAST true. Who's going to buy an Amazon phone to work their store? Nobody. That product is walking dead. The Play store IS useless apart from Google services, which is why it's a non-player.

Microsoft has a pretty cool set of phones (have you seen the HTC M8? Gorgeous), and a nice tablet but again, their message is far more "real Photoshop and real Office" than anything else. Their commercials are all about the software, the pen, the touchscreen, and usability. NOT the ability to tie it to the desktop. Why they do THAT? Yeah, there's a lot more Windows desktop users than Mac users, but I don't get the hurry that any of them are in a hurry to extend that experience to the devices. They want devices that do cool stuff. The end.

(BTW, I do think they're pretty well locked in to Windows users. Mac people dislike MSFT a LOT. I would imagine that the percentage of Mac users using Playstation is far less than the proportional mix of computers to game consoles would lead some people to guess.)

So yeah, Apple is selling the same thing as the other guys to the extent that there's iOS syncing with contacts, cloud storage, etc. But NONE of those requires a computer. You can live a long, happy, productive, adamantly ardent iLife without ever touching a Mac.

I'd argue that the less you touch a Mac, the better it will be. Which is also why Apple has been adamant that Apple will never merge the OS and iOS. There's just no point. It's not going to win them a single customer, and it's not going to keep one.

NO ECOSYSTEM, apart from the phone and the apps. None.

Look, I swear you guys are overthinking this because you ARE all-Apple. It's not necessary, it's not important, and taking people OFF the device, and putting them ON a computer is BAD.

This market, of course not. People need computers. Which is why I have no worries about Apple's ability to make and sell computers. They're doing it well. Better than ever.

And their success with devices depends on keeping computers out of the message. Apple computer people don't need the message anyway, so I'll bet you a real pony that you'll never hear Apple even HINT at this.

Until they're streaming Beats music over Bluetooth, which is far more a killer app than Apple TV, because Apple wants to provide the best possible experience no matter how few devices they use. They're not going to pitch you Apple TV or Macs when all they really NEED from you is to help them monetize Beats....which I think will be a slam dunk, but that's another story....

No ecosystem. More ecoystem beyond the device itself becomes an obstacle to the majority of Apple's customers.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 11:14:12 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Not if you don't buy TV from iTunes. Do you? I don't buy TV at all. I get it from some combination of Netflix and Amazon."

Right, which is why I prefaced my statement with "If you have a big media library from the iTMS..." ;)

I feel like we are talking about similar yet different things. Can the various hardware offerings from Apple (AppleTV, Macs, iDevices) exist as standalone units? Of course. A notable exception will be the Apple Watch which will act as an extension of your iPhone (not smartphone, iPhone only here). The ecosystem isn't all or nothing, but it certainly exists and it certainly rewards uses for using Apple hardware across the board by giving them features that aren't available on non-Apple hardware (like the previously mentioned iTMS media streaming, AirPlay, FaceTime, Continuity, etc.,).

Whether or not these are compelling reasons for users to buy the hardware depends on each user but even if you don't find them compelling they still exist.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 9, 2015 at 12:53:36 am

[Tim Wilson] "So yeah, Apple is selling the same thing as the other guys to the extent that there's iOS syncing with contacts, cloud storage, etc. But NONE of those requires a computer. You can live a long, happy, productive, adamantly ardent iLife without ever touching a Mac.
"


You can, but that is pretty recent, where you don't even need a computer to run an idevice.

I agree with you that Apple doesn't need to sell the ecosystem. You can work with iOS without OSX, but I would not agree with you that the ecosystem doesn't sell computing hardware. So, Apple doesn't need to sell the ecosystem, but the ecosystem sells the multiple Apples.

For many many many people worldwide, their first Apple device is an iDevice. They are going to need more than that, and they go to the Apple Store and buy a laptop. You won't, your wife won't, but many will. I know a of people will, and now with Apple being even more present in business they'll probably sell more as they are, finally, starting to infiltrate corporate IT departments.

Apple doesn't need to sell the ecosystem, but they are in a huge farking race to build it. Your car, your TV, your music, your work, your communications, your photos. Any Apple device, should you choose to buy more than one, will more or less, and especially with Yosemite, allow you to connect and share what you need to, and its all pretty easy and straight forward. Google has some of this, but it's not as easy or as functional, at least it isn't for me, and I can't run an NLE or other specialized software on the Google quite yet. Microsoft has some of it, but the experience isn't as good (or maybe it is, thats all subjective). But to say that the ecosystem doesn't mean much to Apple isn't correct. Apple IS the experience. The corporate leadership reminds us that every time they take the stage.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 9, 2015 at 1:23:06 am

[Walter Soyka] "That doesn't sound like Apple to me. I think they sell cheap software as an ecosystem play: the value comes in the system and you pay most of that upfront.
"


That only works if everything is working. I have problems with Apple software. Nothing catastrophic, but I understand Arment's comments. The lead is often yours to lose, and the Apple experience, my Apple experince, isn't as smooth as it used to be. The OSX side is running well, but the IOS side is a little weird. Again, nothing catastrophic, but it does make you wonder about what's going on.

And from a developers perspective, the AppStore model is going to drive the good ones away if the pricing model doesn't allow for upgrades. Who wants to keep programming software for free when Apple is moving as fast as they are with all of these updates?

[Walter Soyka] "Apple sells hardware, and ground-breaking new hardware needs ground-breaking new features to entice you to buy. If hardware is the dog, software is the tail. I think we'll continue seeing this rapid software churn to support and move the new hardware.
"


If this is the case, and software continues to languish, then Apple is shortsighted. You can't sell hardware when the software is shite. I don't think Apple is shortsighted, that should come as a total shock to everyone here, I'm sure.

[Walter Soyka] "Third-party application developers and users occasionally see some webbed feet, kicking furiously"

Hence Arment's post. The Swan won't look very good for very long as consumers have so many options and are so fickle, and developers will only work so much for free, that Apple will further snuff themselves out and lose their constituents not because another entity is necessarily doing anything better, but becuase they failed to keep the experince working well for them.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 9, 2015 at 1:49:31 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "And from a developers perspective, the AppStore model is going to drive the good ones away if the pricing model doesn't allow for upgrades. Who wants to keep programming software for free when Apple is moving as fast as they are with all of these updates?"

Panic (makers of software like Transmit and Coda) put up a year end blog post that's a pretty interesting look at the state of things from a developers point of view. They talk about the good, the bad, and ultimately why they are pulling their apps from the Mac App store.

http://www.panic.com/blog/the-2014-panic-report/


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 11, 2015 at 6:43:39 pm

That's a great link, Andrew. Thank you.

I am not a coder, but I want a job with those guys/gals. The enthusiasm is infectious.

What is interesting to me is their pie chart of sales to revenue. Most sales on iOS, most money on OSX. They know that they need to raise their prices on the iOS side, especially becuase they understand their market. I sincerely hope it works out for them, and sets an example of how to do it, which is to charge appropriate prices for the appropriate products.

Also, are sandbox limitations part of the Apple plan? Is Apple security going to allow sandboxed to sandboxed operations at some point? It seems like they would have to if they want to encourage the professional and business sectors to keep developing for iOS and OSX. Of course, I feel like it will happen some day, but that's more of a world view than a reflection of anything Apple is doing.

Also, with X2Pro now, you can set an FCPX output to X2Pro, which automatically launches x2pro which then grabs an fcpxml from FCPX and imports it in to x2pro. I thought that was a violation of sandboxing, but I'm not sure as I don't quite understand all the intricacies of sandboxing, and maybe that sort of scripting doesn't fall within the sandbox agenda.

If this is the case, it seems any app would be able to write in this capability, provided it accepts fcpxml.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 12, 2015 at 10:06:27 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Is Apple security going to allow sandboxed to sandboxed operations at some point? "

That's actually what the new "Extensions" in Yosemite are (more or less) for, yes. Essentially the same functionality as what you see in iOS 8. I'm surprised how FEW have actually taken advantage of this in OS X so far.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Also, with X2Pro now, you can set an FCPX output to X2Pro, which automatically launches x2pro which then grabs an fcpxml from FCPX and imports it in to x2pro."

I read about this, but have yet to figure out how this works. Meh. But it's apparently (from what I can see) not via an extension, so until I can figure how it's even done, I couldn't tell you what they're using. Because theoretically speaking it would be crime against sandboxing, but then it wouldn't be allowed into the MAS.

- RK

____________________________________________________
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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 12, 2015 at 2:50:35 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "'s actually what the new "Extensions" in Yosemite are (more or less) for, yes. Essentially the same functionality as what you see in iOS 8. I'm surprised how FEW have actually taken advantage of this in OS X so far."

If you read the blog that Andrew linked to, they talk about that even with the new extensions and extensive Apple help, they couldn't Sandbox Coda.

http://www.panic.com/blog/coda-2-5-and-the-mac-app-store/

[Robin S. Kurz] "I read about this, but have yet to figure out how this works. Meh. But it's apparently (from what I can see) not via an extension, so until I can figure how it's even done, I couldn't tell you what they're using. Because theoretically speaking it would be crime against sandboxing, but then it wouldn't be allowed into the MAS."

It's easy, you set x2pro as the "open with" app on a duped share master file preset. A dialog box comes up that says "looking for helper application" or something similar. X2Pro opens grabs an XML from fcpx, and waits for further action. It works well.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 12, 2015 at 4:36:49 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "they talk about that even with the new extensions"

Actually I don't see any mention of Extensions anywhere. In neither post relevant to the matter (nor in the comments). What am I missing? But either way, I'm pretty sure that Panic of all people will know about them and have good reason's for why they won't solve their issues. Bummers. That's pretty much the textbook kind of case I would have hoped and thought would be remedied with Extensions. As well as make for a Send to style option for all kinds of apps (in particular Apple's own of course) in FCP... but who knows what's cookin' for the next update. And I'm no dev, so I have no idea to what degree that is even possible the way one would want/need it.


[Jeremy Garchow] "It's easy, you set x2pro as the "open with" app on a duped share master file preset. A dialog box comes up that says "looking for helper application" or something similar. X2Pro opens grabs an XML from fcpx, and waits for further action. It works well."

Ah... very cool. Thanks. That's actually the way I considered doing it! But figured I'd just be getting a movie file, not an XML. I'll have to give it a shot. Cheers.

Very odd that I couldn't Google anything on the matter nor find anything of any real value on their site. It's very minimalistic to say the least. If anything is actually there, I sure couldn't find it. I can't even remember where I even read of it to begin with. :D

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 12, 2015 at 7:30:53 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "Very odd that I couldn't Google anything on the matter nor find anything of any real value on their site."

I would think, from what sounds like direct Apple interaction, that extensions would be a healthy part of the discussion.

[Robin S. Kurz] "Very odd that I couldn't Google anything on the matter nor find anything of any real value on their site. It's very minimalistic to say the least. If anything is actually there, I sure couldn't find it. I can't even remember where I even read of it to begin with. :D"

http://www.x2pro.net/Pages/sharing-directly-from-fcp-x-to-x2pro.html

It's under the "Help" menu in both the website and X2Pro app.

Jeremy


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 12, 2015 at 7:36:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I would think, from what sounds like direct Apple interaction, that extensions would be a healthy part of the discussion."

I was referring to the X2Pro direct export thing.

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's under the "Help" menu in both the website and X2Pro app."

I'm officially going blind.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Charlie Austin
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 12, 2015 at 4:11:49 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "I read about this, but have yet to figure out how this works. Meh. But it's apparently (from what I can see) not via an extension, so until I can figure how it's even done, I couldn't tell you what they're using."

Applescript I believe. ProVideo Asset Management suite, open the X2Pro dictionary to see the commands.

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Peter DeArmond
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 5, 2015 at 10:51:09 pm

Some additional perspective on this is offered at John Gruber's blog: http://daringfireball.net



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Helmut Kobler
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 6, 2015 at 8:45:24 am

I was saying the same thing a year ago in the last few paragraphs of this article: https://library.creativecow.net/kobler_helmut/Mac-Pro-review/1

And the bugginess seems even worse now, not better.

The one thing I can dispute about this new blog entry you brought up is where the blame goes. I say it goes directly on Tim Cook, who has been at the helm while Apple slowly but steadily squandered its most valuable asset: reliability and ease of use.

I can't help notice that as soon as Jobs died, Cook began creating a "kinder, gentler" Apple -- one with longer vacations for employees, with matching contributions to charities, with $20,000 subsidies for egg freezing and with mea culpas to scoundrels and shake down artists like Jesse Jackson during his ridiculous crusade over minority hiring in Silicon Valley.

This has been Tim's unique mark, and it's all been done in tandem with a noticeable drop in product quality. I don't think Tim is strong enough to ride herd over the sprawl that Apple has become due to its growth. Jobs could but Cook can't. And Tim seems too interested in creating a culture that embodies his "progressive" values, instead of having a laser focus on the products themselves and attracting people who have that same focus (as opposed to those seeking a cushy, perk-laden job at a rich company).

-------------------
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Shane Ross
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 6, 2015 at 9:33:03 am

This is true of any software. We ALL want the software to be made stable before new features are released. WE have this talk all the time about NLEs too. We want Avid/FCP/Adobe current feature set to be trouble free, BEFORE we add new ones. Adding new onto the troubled old is just piling garbage on top of garbage.

It's not just Apple, it's everyone. The only way to market ("sell") a new release, to pay for all the work poured into it...is to add new features. If A new version came out that was just a bug fix...companies would have a hard time getting people to pay for that. "What? Pay to have things work like they should have the first time you released it? HA!" Thus why they make a new version...that fixes some old bugs, but has new features to bring in the cash.

Although Apple hasn't charged one red cent for any new release of FCX....beyond your initial buy in. Buy it once, updates forever it seems. And now the OS is free...well, that's covered by the high high cost of the hardware.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 7:01:44 am

[Shane Ross] "This is true of any software. We ALL want the software to be made stable before new features are released."

I think that the OS is a very special case, because it's the software that runs all the other software. Even a small change in how the OS works can have a major impact on how other software runs on it.

In other words, the OS is a unique position to push its problems onto other developers to deal with.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 6, 2015 at 4:17:30 pm

While I would agree that Tim clearly does not have the same focus that Steve had I think it is too soon to tell who's management style succeeds. I worked with Apple a number of years ago as a supply vendor when Steve was there and while I do respect his accomplishments..... the guy was a dick. One could clearly ask a valid question of how much did Apple lose simply because good people left because they could not stand to work with the guy? Have we already forgotten the debacle that was Apple Maps under Steve? How about the initial rollout of Mobile Me? Yes, Apple has had some recent software issues and they are bothersome but it's not like software development under Steve was all rainbows and unicorns either.

With respect to Tim's more charitable outlook on society, I for one am glad to see it. Again, Steve was a jerk, IMHO, especially when it came to charity. He openly said it numerous times. Apple certainly has the cash to afford to be more charitable and I'm glad to see the things that they are doing.


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James Culbertson
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 12:57:15 am

[Helmut Kobler] "And the bugginess seems even worse now, not better.
...and it's all been done in tandem with a noticeable drop in product quality."


What hardware and software versions are buggy/lower quality in your experience?

I have a new Mac Pro and new Mac Book Pro (both using 10.9.5) and everything is working perfectly with FCPX, Adobe CC apps, and various 3rd party hardware, plugins, etc. No problems over the last 6 months. I'd say that Apple's quality control isn't any worse than it ever has been.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 1:05:41 am

Agreed, James. No problems at all on my side either. Not sure what others are doing but I am not seeing it.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 7:45:27 am

Here's just a few from our little corner of the world:

Artifacts with Resolve renders on nMP/D700 [link]. Resolved (rimshot) by using Boot Camp and running Resolve for Windows on the very same hardware, suggesting an on-going GPU driver issue.

Slowdowns in Autodesk Smoke [link] caused by GPU driver changes in Mavericks/Yosemite. Workaround, downgrade to 10.8.5 unless you have new hardware that you can't run 10.8.5 on. Then the workaround is upgrading your patience.

System instability loading more than 400 plugins [link] with Ae CC 2014 and Pr CC 2014, requiring a reboot to recover, under 10.9 through 10.9.4. Resolved by updating to 10.9.5 which includes the bug fix.

John says that SMB is better in Yosemite -- glad to hear that! SMB has been a moving target since Apple dropped Samba in 10.7.

All these problems are likely corner cases from Apple's perspective, but they become huge functional issues for the developers and users of third-party software. SMB aside, I don't think it's fair at all to expect Apple to catch all these themselves in internal QC, so I'm not trying to cast stones here -- computers are really complicated systems and some failure is inevitable.

I just wonder if issues like these could be avoided if the OS X team didn't have a big yearly upgrade imperative.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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James Ewart
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 10:47:00 am

I'm running quite old machines (Imac and Mac book Pro) with Yosemite and never have they been more stable than since I installed th

http://www.jamesewart.co.uk


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Steve Connor
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 11:07:13 am

Me too, I like Yosemite a lot, it's improved speed on my 2008MP


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Tom Sefton
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 3:22:37 pm

From our perspective, the nMP has been a great purchase. It's fast and very good for use with Adobe and RedCine X. The main issues we are having is with external devices being booted off the system for no reason. This can happen whilst being used at random with either USB2 or USB3 hardware, or with thunderbolt hardware too. We also have strange sequences of boot up where the machine forgets that an external sound card is attached. A couple of re-boots and all is well.

Odd..


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Mitch Ives
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 3:34:46 pm

[Helmut Kobler] "I can't help notice that as soon as Jobs died, Cook began creating a "kinder, gentler" Apple -- one with longer vacations for employees, with matching contributions to charities, with $20,000 subsidies for egg freezing and with mea culpas to scoundrels and shake down artists like Jesse Jackson during his ridiculous crusade over minority hiring in Silicon Valley.

This has been Tim's unique mark, and it's all been done in tandem with a noticeable drop in product quality. I don't think Tim is strong enough to ride herd over the sprawl that Apple has become due to its growth. Jobs could but Cook can't. And Tim seems too interested in creating a culture that embodies his "progressive" values, instead of having a laser focus on the products themselves and attracting people who have that same focus (as opposed to those seeking a cushy, perk-laden job at a rich company)."


I've been lamenting the same thing for some time now. If he would put as much effort into product perfection as he does with social issues, the company would look like the old Apple.

Last year when I was over the 3 month mark and still waiting for my BTO new mac pro I wrote him an email and asked him if he could stop writing letters to sovereign states with social policies he didn't approve of and instead fly to Austin, rent an apartment and stay there until he could figure out how to fix the problem delivering their product.

When my iPhone 5 power button stopped working, Apple was no help. They claimed they had not seen this before, only to issue a free replacement recall one month after forcing me to buy an expensive replacement. When I brought this to their attention, they assured me that they would make this right. I gave up after 7 months of being passed around. Every time someone was making progress they were suddenly no longer with the company. In the end, AT&T, understanding customer service far better than Apple, stepped in and offered to make it right. I declined. Why should AT&T suffer financial loss when they had nothing to do with the piss poor customer service policies at Apple?

As a customer, these days dealing with Apple feels a lot like dealing with Microsoft. But, hey it's okay, as long as Tim has time to march in parades and jam his views of social policies down our throats. I mean it's not like he's supposed to be focused on better products or a satisfying customer service experience, right?

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 4:04:51 pm

Oh boy.

Let's keep this on topic. I am deleting my original "PS" line.


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Mitch Ives
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 5:02:14 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Oh boy.

Let's keep this on topic. I am deleting my original "PS" line."


You don't see the two as related? I do...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 8:12:58 pm

[Mitch Ives] "You don't see the two as related? I do..."

No.


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Steve Connor
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 5:12:46 pm

The glory of the free market is that if you're not happy with the products that a Company is making you can always go elsewhere.

The suggestions that Tim Cook's social focus and charitable activities are somehow harming the quality of Apple products are frankly ludicrous.


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Mitch Ives
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 5:19:16 pm

[Steve Connor] "The glory of the free market is that if you're not happy with the products that a Company is making you can always go elsewhere.

The suggestions that Tim Cook's social focus and charitable activities are somehow harming the quality of Apple products are frankly ludicrous."


The Glory of free speech is that you are allowed your opinion...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Steve Connor
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 5:54:02 pm

[Mitch Ives] "The Glory of free speech is that you are allowed your opinion..."

Yep!


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Mitch Ives
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 6:52:47 pm

Of course it goes without saying, that I am not only accorded the same right, but the same weight as well... or do you disagree on that?

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Steve Connor
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 8:21:55 pm

[Mitch Ives] "Of course it goes without saying, that I am not only accorded the same right, but the same weight as well... or do you disagree on that?
"


Your right is unassailable, weight, however is an infinitely variable factor for everyone when discussing opinions :)


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Mitch Ives
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 9:00:05 pm

[Steve Connor] "Your right is unassailable, weight, however is an infinitely variable factor for everyone when discussing opinions :)"

Well said Steve... I was hoping for something witty from you. Well done...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 7:11:18 pm
Last Edited By Andrew Kimery on Jan 7, 2015 at 8:17:33 pm

[Steve Connor] "The glory of the free market is that if you're not happy with the products that a Company is making you can always go elsewhere.

The suggestions that Tim Cook's social focus and charitable activities are somehow harming the quality of Apple products are frankly ludicrous."


I feel like many people have rose colored glasses when it comes to Apple's previous track record. Some of these have been previously mentioned but just off the top of my head but things like the Mobile Me failure, Ping, antenna-gate, Titanium Macbook paint pealing, Mac Pro 1,1 GFX card recall, iPod Nano scratches, uneven backlighting on MBP displays, excessive tolerance in mobile device displays (some very blue, some very yellow), 2010/2011 MBP GFX card failures, iMovie '08 being so horrible that Apple started giving away iMovie '06 for free, etc.,.

Yes, I probably have spent too much time on Mac-centric forums but my point is there was never a time when it was all sunshine and lollipops under Jobs. If anything I would expect there to be more complaining now than in the past because there are so many more people using Apple products today than, say, 15 years ago. Also, didn't Apple stock hit a record high late last year?


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Helmut Kobler
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 1:16:46 am

Well, Steve, a free market of ideas also means that I'm able to criticize overrated operations officers like Tim Cook when I want....and begin drawing attention to his core failures and talking about getting him replaced if he doesn't improve.

By the way, I see a very strong correlation between his social focus and Apple's decline. He's the CEO, and he sets the tone for the whole company. I think burdening Apple with the perks and the social engineering interest is definitely distracting it from a focus on product quality. It's certainly taking some of Tim's precious time that he could spend making Apple's products better. It also attracts new employees that are more likely to be there for the perks instead of making great products.

Mitch and I aren't the only ones who feel this way. Steve Jobs didn't feel the need to do that either, and he's clearly the man that made Apple what it was in its heyday.

-------------------
Los Angeles Cameraman
Canon C300 (x2), Zeiss CP.2 lenses, P2 Varicam, etc.
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 6:26:33 am

I would think that such a huge corporation with so many employees and sub contractors, particularly in third world countries should be socially aware. If Jobs success was at the expense of social philanthropy, then I would consider Apple to have been a lesser company under his leadership.

As film makers we so often deal with the inequities of life. Lauding the shareholder return or the look of a beveled edge at the expense of our fellow humans seems to be the antithesis of what we so often strive to show in films and documentaries.

Stay with the moral high ground please Tim. Apple are still making shirt loads of cash.


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Steve Connor
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 7:44:50 am

[Helmut Kobler] "Well, Steve, a free market of ideas also means that I'm able to criticize overrated operations officers like Tim Cook when I want....and begin drawing attention to his core failures and talking about getting him replaced if he doesn't improve.
"


Of course you're free to criticise, no-one has said you're not!

I'm also free to disagree with your thoughts, there are a large number of reasons why Apple may be losing the functional high ground, I just happen to think a CEO trying to make a decent and more moral company isn't one of them.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 8:18:24 am

[Helmut Kobler] "By the way, I see a very strong correlation between his social focus and Apple's decline. "

Is there something about this decline that can be quantified? I ask because in the last few months the iPhone 6/6+ became the best selling smart phones of 2014, Apple posted record profits, a record stock price and the American Consumer Satisfaction Index ranked Apple as #1 in the personal computer category.

Is Tim Cook Steve Jobs? No, and I do wonder how Apple is going to do long term without Jobs and his RDF but it's like the Bulls losing Michael Jordan, there is just no replacing someone that unique so you have to find a new way to win. And so far Apple is winning. Maybe Tim's actions are endearing the Mac faithful & general public to the brand at a time when corporations are being vilified & consumer electronics are trendy and disposable?

I think the watch is going to determine the company's course over the next few years as I don't see anything iPod/iPhone/iPad-like in their inventory other than that. AppleTV? Nope. Beats music streaming service? That's just to offset the ground iTMS is losing. I'm sure once the watch is released though it will sell like gangbusters for a while even if the reviews aren't awesome.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 6:02:35 pm

I'm with Gruber on this one...

[John Gruber] "if they’ve “lost the functional high ground”, who did they lose it to? I say no one."

As well as with Daniel Jalkut, "with a healthy reminder that we’ve seldom been lacking for serious complaints regarding Apple’s software quality": http://bitsplitting.org/2015/01/05/the-functional-high-ground/

[Daniel Jalkut] "And now it’s 2015, and in the immortal words of Kurt Cobain: “Hey! Wait! I’ve got a new complaint.” Don’t we all. A company like Apple, moving at a breakneck speed, will undoubtedly continue to give us plenty to obsess about, both positively and negatively. I’ve been following the company closely since my hiring in 1996. Since that time, the company has consistently produced nothing short of the best hardware and software in the world, consistently marred by nothing short of the most infuriating, most embarrassing, most “worrisome for the company’s future” defects."

- RK

____________________________________________________
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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 6:23:28 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "I'm with Gruber on this one...

[John Gruber] "if they’ve “lost the functional high ground”, who did they lose it to? I say no one.""

Gruber seems to equate losing the "functional high ground" with losing market share, and argues that since they are not losing market share, they have not lost the "functional high ground."

Apple is doing a lot of cool stuff -- but so is Microsoft, and so is Google. I wouldn't even argue that Apple leads on design anymore.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 8:37:21 am

[Walter Soyka] "Gruber seems to equate losing the "functional high ground" with losing market share"

Nowhere does he mention anything about marketshare, nor is it even vaguely about that. Complete misinterpretation imho. Nor do I know what design has to do with this or how it is relevant.

They're talking about the, as the title itself says, the FUNCTIONAL advantages that they've been so well known for.

[John Gruber] "It’s not that Apple has lost the “it just works” crown to a competitor, but rather that they’ve seeded a perception that Apple’s stuff doesn’t work, either."

- RK

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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 2:05:51 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "Nowhere does he mention anything about marketshare, nor is it even vaguely about that. Complete misinterpretation imho."

The lack of a change in marketshare is explicity cited by Gruber as evidence that Apple has not "lost the functional high ground" as the headline says.

John Gruber says, "if they’ve 'lost the functional high ground,' who did they lose it to? I say no one. Marco’s cited example of Geoff Wozniak switching back to desktop Linux is an outlier, not part of any significant trend... Apple hasn’t (yet) lost any ground in the market, but they’ve created an opportunity for that to happen, because they’ve squandered a lot of trust with their users."

But I suppose I could be completely misinterpreting the phrases "significant trend" (referring to users switching away) and "ground in the market."

I read the phrase "functional high ground" as a play on on the phrase moral high ground [link], which Wikipedia defines as "the status of being respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodness."

That's why I think the market share reference is orthogonal. It's not a question about winning or losing in the marketplace, or delighting or disappointing your customers. It's a question about this notion that you are universally regarded as doing functionality well.

I'd contend that any user of any major platform right now, desktop or mobile, who doesn't acknowledge that there's at least room for debate on the topic of who holds the "functional high ground" has a very myopic view and can't see past the edge of their own device.


[Robin S. Kurz] "Nor do I know what design has to do with this or how it is relevant. They're talking about the, as the title itself says, the FUNCTIONAL advantages that they've been so well known for."

Design enables functionality. How can you meaningfully separate the two from the users' perspective?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Herb Sevush
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 8, 2015 at 6:52:40 pm

[Walter Soyka] "That's why I think the market share reference is orthogonal."

Had to look that up. Nice usage, thanks for that one.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
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nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 7, 2015 at 6:14:41 pm

I'd also recommend the follow-up:

http://www.marco.org/2015/01/05/popular-for-a-day

Fortunately I don't see Jeremy's name in there. ;)

- RK

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Craig Alan
Re: Apple has lost the functional high ground
on Jan 20, 2015 at 4:39:41 am

Apple's reputation for an interface that was functionally better for creative applications was rooted on the one hand by a more graphic (user friendly) design and on the other by allowing users to do things the way they wanted and leaving many decisions up to the end user. This did not mean that days didn't go by in which an apple user spent way too much time getting the damn thing to work vs getting work done. But often as a result you'd learn even more how to control your computing environment.

Because of the quick Progression of updates and the direction it has taken, it's harder to keep up. And apple's approach is both more evolved and less open, less facilitative and more a benevolent schoolmarm. Unless you tell me not to, the spelling suggestion will be used in place of the one you typed. Do you want to update now or tomorrow. How about bug off till I'm ready. Of course there are workarounds if you've kept up with the latest version of the os update. Windows used to piss me off when without asking the PC would reboot in 30 seconds to do an update and I didn't get a veto option. Much worse.

On the one hand, I like to know when a text or email comes through, but I find myself constantly interrupted by them. Yes I can turn off the feature but I don't want that as much as control over it.

Finding my open Windows in safari is way harder not easier. Thank you for allowing command-tab to still do it's magic with apps even though this does not work the same in IOS.

Fcp x needs to allow custom layouts mapped to shortcuts. Easily. Not harder than Fcp 7.

On the other hand, it just works a whole lot smoother than it used to. And since my layout looks like everyone else's , finding help is a whole lot easier. Yes, mam.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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