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Apple Apps Need Work

2016.02.10 12:08 PT

[ The Verge ] Walt Mossberg:

But I’m talking about more familiar mainstays, like Mail and Photos, iTunes, and iCloud. In ways big and sometimes just small and nagging, I think they too often fail to meet Apple’s self-imposed standards. Sometimes this is on iOS, sometimes on OS X, sometimes on both.

iTunes is a monster: “Now, I dread opening the thing.” That’s Mossberg. Let’s be honest: iTunes is bloated, too complex for most people, and really slow. Look at the name: iTunes. It’s about tunes. Music, right? Sure, there’s music that’s audio and music that’s videos, but if Apple wants to be true to the name, stop being so dang confusing, and start being simple and focused on music limit iTunes to music discovery, buying, organizing, and playback. That’s it. For TV shows and movies make iFlicks, or something. Podcasts? iCast? And take the syncing part out of it. iSync? Yes, bring that back.

Speaking of Apple’s other software apps, Apple Mail is not my cup of tea; I miss Sparrow, which was simpler, faster, and easier on the eyes. I don’t use Photos; haven’t used iPhoto in years. Instead, I use Image Capture — a simple, easy-to-use, built-in app — to copy over photos and videos to my Mac. Mossberg, and I’m sure a bunch of others, is right: Apple needs to apply design simplicity to software. I’m not suggesting Apple simplifies how it looks though that wouldn’t hurt, but more on simplifying how it works, for regular folks like you and me. Keep apps simple and make them simply work.

Just now the Mail app on my iPhone spat out an error message: “Cannot Get Mail. The mail server “map.gmail.com” is not responding. Verify that you have entered the correct account info in Mail settings.” This happens regularly. I guess I need to download the Gmail app.