I have a tendency to stay on a side too long, to defend something when everyone else seems to see the inevitable coming. For a long time I defended Kanye West. People talked about how he was such an ego maniac, and perhaps a regular maniac, and I would say things like “he’s rude but is that really worse than what anyone else in Hollywood does?” But eventually, it was just so consistent that I couldn’t continue to defend him. He’s an asshole, I think we all know it, and I think even he knows it.
Then there was Taylor Swift. When she first came out people talked about how she was immature, because she talked about ex-boyfriends, and I would counter with the explanation that “people write about their experiences, and maybe she hasn’t done drugs, or battled major depression or abuse,” and I stood by that for a long time, years ultimately. I stood by her when it seemed she might be crazy, or attention crazed, and then there was the audio of her telling Kanye that his song was cool, before ultimately complaining that he rapped about her. That’s when the Taylor bubble burst in my head, and I realized there isn’t a genuine motivation there.
So, that brings me to my latest ‘last stand,’ Apple products. My grandmother gave my sister and I her hand me down Macintosh Classic, which we loved. Then we went to PC’s for a little while, then in 1999 or 2000, my grandmother bought us a brand new iMac, one of the snow white ones, along with iMovie and a video camera. I had wanted to make movies, and in those two devices she had bought me a whole studio’s worth of equipment. I truly fell in love with Apples, and learned iMovie, then Final Cut Pro, and I’m only on my third computer in the 18 years that have passed because they last so long.
Then came the iPod, and my parents got each of us one for Christmas one year (I think 2003 or 2004) and what a wonderful device it was. It held all the music I could want. Then the iPhone, and I didn’t get into the iPhones until the fifth model (I’m now on my third).
When the iPhones came out, they were revolutionary, I worked at a cell phone store (one which didn’t carry the iPhone for a couple of years) and I can remember everyday leading to the release of the iPhone we received internal memos talking shit about it. The other smartphones out at the time were mostly Palm devices, which weren’t very good, and Blackberries which were for securer markets. Neither was really a competitor, and the iPhone came out and made everything much easier and user friendly.
Then within a year, Android devices started coming out, and the anti-Apple forces were thrilled. It wasn’t just corporate, it was many of our customers, many of my co-workers, and all of management. They were thrilled that there was something that was clearly made to compete with the iPhone, but they didn’t have to deal with Apple. And the Androids sucked. Every few weeks a new model would come out, and everyone would get excited, they’d get the new phone, and for a week or two all would be right in their worlds. Then the glitches and issues would begin, and they’d hate the phone, but the next model would come out and they’d get excited that the new and improved version was coming, and the cycle would repeat.
Meanwhile, the iPhone didn’t have as much customization (which I never thought was a real argument) but it also had almost none of the glitches. And for the first few years each time they’d come out with a new model there were significant updates.
But in the last few years (basically since Steve Jobs died), it has become clear that Apple is doing the bare minimum on their updates, and yet the hype and the price continue to increase. Yesterday was the announcement of the iPhone 8, and I’ll be honest, I don’t get it. Harder glass and a ridiculous price tag? And of course, this morning, I see the Apple haters coming out in droves, but for the first time, I’m feeling like they have a legitimate point.
Something else that has driven me crazy in the past few years, something that has lead to my not seeing Apple as the incredible product line I once did. Since the iPods and iPads and iPhones and whatever else have become so popular, I feel like they’ve dropped the ball in their computer creation. The hardware is fine, but they’re not innovating anymore, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s ridiculous that they have everything else touch screen, but their computers don’t even have the option.
More importantly to me personally, a few years ago, they took their Final Cut Pro software, and created Final Cut Pro X. I have used it, and it’ll do the job, but they took this highly specific software in which you used to be able to comfortably edit frame by frame if need be, and they turned it into some iPhone style bastardization. This is not the type of software that needs to be ‘user interface friendly’ it needs to be able to handle very accurate and specific changes, and it no longer does so in a reasonable manner. I even recently asked if there was some way of using the X software with a ‘legacy’ interface, and of course there isn’t.
So, I’m no longer an Apple loyalist, or defender. That doesn’t mean I’m switching away from them, because I do have a shitload of iTunes movies and music, but it does mean that I’m not going to rush to upgrade anything, I’m going to only upgrade when necessary. I should mention, I still listen to Kanye and Taylor Swift, but I no longer defend them when people decide to shit on them.
Do you still defend anything despite knowing the other side is right? Tell me in the comments below.