There are still loads of glaringly stupid things about using iOS that never get mentioned, so I thought I’d write this. This could be an ever-evolving post, but more likely I’ll get bored and move on so here it is, my stupid list of Apple stupidity.
- “Automatically download new apps” syncs iPhone apps to iPad, which I then promptly delete. Why would anyone ever want to install all purchased iPhone apps on their iPad by default? The mind boggles.
- Just set up your new iDevice from scratch, from the on-screen prompt? You know, like everyone would now do? Well I hope you haven’t arranged all your icons just the way you like them because next time you sync with iTunes, and try and sync apps you’ve previously purchased, you can say bye bye nicely arranged home screen and hello ridiculous mess of unsorted apps, half of which you don’t want. The moral of the story here, that you will come to know well, is that if anything you want to do on your iDevice or Mac involves iTunes, it will probably be a royal pain in the arse.
- iPad movie format support. Actually, using that phrase kind of implies it can support more than one format, which is incorrect. It supports mp4, m4v and mov, and I expect 99% of your movies aren’t in that format. Apart from the ones you bought from Apple. Funny that.
- The Kindle app isn’t allowed a link to the Amazon store, but iBooks is can have an entire bookstore integrated within, just because it’s Apple’s. This completely stinks, and to me is blatant anti-competitive behaviour, if it weren’t that the iPad is, well, made by Apple and they can do what they want. Apple will say it is to maintain a seamless and coherent user experience, which is of course complete hogwash; they are simply trying to push their own platform over a perfectly decent competitor’s. This only bothers me so much because it is detrimental to the user experience for no benefit to Apple at all. If someone wants to buy a book from Amazon, do Apple really think that hiding the store link to Amazon is going to make that Kindle-wielding reader drop everything and buy from iBooks? No, that user is simply going to go to the Amazon website and resent Apple just that little bit more. There has to a be line in the protect-my-ecosystem game, and my gut tells me this restriction crosses it.
- The mute switch. This should be hard to get wrong really – the clue is in the name. Alas, when I enable the mute switch on my iPad, pretty much everything still makes a noise, apart from things I’ve probably disabled anyway like keyboard clicks. So when I start playing a video or game, I have to turn the volume all the way down, despite the thing being in mute. It gets better though, because when I want to hear things again, I can un-mute but I then still have to turn the volume back up to hear anything. Genius. Also, some apps are written to honour the state of the mute switch, but some don’t, just to compound the problem.
- Notifications. They work on a single device, but multi-devices? Complete nightmare. iPhones, iPads, Macs, email, all buzzing away to tell me I’ve got a new tweet or someone else wants to flog me something that I can’t mark as spam in the Mail app (oops, that should have been a new bullet-point). Apple, sort it out, it’s a mess. That said, it is a hard problem to fix – it requires presence-awareness across multiple devices, but I think clever use of Bluetooth/WiFi/GPS and iCloud could make it possible. Notification Centre is also riddled with weird behaviours but that’s a separate blog post!
- You can’t mark messages as spam in the Mail app.
- iTunes. ’nuff said. Avoid it all costs. Use iCloud wherever possible. Buy iTunes Match. Stream stuff. These will all help alleviate the high blood pressure that comes with trying to do anything productive in iTunes. This opinion is true even having tried to ‘do it Apple’s way’ with iTunes – it still sucks.
- You can’t insert a picture into a message, from within a message! Nope, you have to go to the Photos app and either mail it from there or copy and paste it into the message. What century is this again?
- The iPad doesn’t come with the calculator, stocks or weather apps. The latter two are built right in to Notification Centre on an iPhone, meaning you lack the only two bits of interesting information in the iPad Notification Centre.
- The mobile Safari History menu. It’s just awful. It doesn’t show URLs or timestamps and you can only see the beginning of each page title, making it very hard to use.
- There is no way to view your whole iPhoto library on your iPad. Even having adopted Apple’s own rubbish photo management tool, I still can only view on my iPad photos that I directly sync to it, via iTunes. To me this is complete madness, my entire library should be available to view on devices other than the single Mac that iPhoto is installed on. Isn’t this what iCloud was for? There are rumours floating around about iOS 6.0 addressing this with some iCloud updates, so let’s see what the future holds. Fow now, I’ve switched to Picasa (more on that another time).
So there we go. Just a few personal bug-bears. Don’t say I’m a blinded Apple fan anymore!