#NEDJ Week 1 Monday: Introductions
I very nearly made Comparative Blogging Platforms my topic this week, as I am making some behind-the-scenes changes to foppishdrunk.com that will enable me to not want to chew walls every day because Blogger is so poop. And also of course leverage synergy and all that kind of cool digital media tomfoolery (of which, very much more later). But no, I thought it might be best to get a bit of distance between me and my technical demons before I start writing about them, added to which I’m not actually very good at any of it so would probably fail the technical questions post coming in a few days.
Instead, this week my specialist subject will be (some of you will be so shocked to hear this that you will need to clutch at a passing G&T for support) the gadgetry of Apple Inc. Yes I’m copping out and playing to type. But it is also quite timely as their Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) begins next Monday, wherein the next versions of both operating systems will be previewed as well as, more than likely, new mac hardware. So maybe along the line this week I will put forth what I’m hoping for out of WWDC and then almost immediately afterward I can be shown up to be the ill-informed plank that I actually am.
So then, Apple
I love me some Apple. Always have. I first started using them when I went to big school aged eleven, a sickening twenty-two years ago. I joined the Cult of Mac in the Wilderness Years between the two reigns of Steve Jobs. I started using macs when they were beige and clunky and the names had numbers in them and almost nobody thought they were cool. I was there when Apple was pushed so close to the edge of bankruptcy its employees were making their peace and preparing to switch off the Iron Lung. I was there during the triumphal return of l’enfant terrible, Steve, a miracle unlooked-for that I think steeled our resolve to ensure the business was never brought so low.
I have witnessed much in my twenty-two years. Horrific lows and jubilant highs, direct hits and own goals, wonder and confusion, bountiful gifts and heartfelt loss. But always there have been the toys. Apple makes such wonderful toys! Only occasionally breaking new ground, they have generally contented themselves with looking at a product, working out why people hate it, and then taking most if not all of those reasons away. Always trying to be simpler. Always trying to be better. Sometimes the vision has led the reality, sometimes for several years, and it hasn’t been until recently that technology has been able to more fully provide the expression of that vision.
You see, the thing that I love about Apple is that they are one of the few companies who make their products because that is what they have to do. It’s their passion and their joy, not just their jobs. For many engineers, they are driven to do their best work there. And yes they make potloads of money now but even when they didn’t, they still did what they did because of the love of it. They genuinely believe what they are doing will make things better for people. Not all people certainly, but they learned a long time ago that trying to please everyone is a fools game and that they should just try to please the people they are good at pleasing: normal people who can’t be arsed fiddling about with their devices very much. People who want things to just work. Now, until telepathic links come along no technology is going to be hassle-free, but it’s been dramatically proven that people use their Apple devices, especially their iOS devices, more than any other, even if they don’t outsell. You only have to look at the most-used cameras on exceptionally photo-sharing site Flickr for that:
So yeah, I like Apple stuff. Recent Android phones have been exceptionally tempting, but Apple still (for the time being) has my heart. And with another release of the iOS being previewed next week, enough months after a quite seismic shake-up of the company for the new executives to have had serious play time in their new roles, and with new hardware and new hardware categories coming down the pipe in the next few months and calendar quarters, my fun is just beginning. The future is awesome and I’m glad Apple is part of it.
But is there something you’ve always wondered about Apple that I could try and answer for you? Why they do something a particular way, why they don’t do something a particular way, what could be coming, what I think they could do better? Please leave a question in the comments below or tweet me or try smoke signals or whatever, I love comments and if I get enough (legitimate) questions I may even do a special Q&A blog post that was never part of the plan!