When I purchased my first iPhone back in 2008, an incredible, abrupt, and dramatic transformation apparently occurred. According to friends, family, and random people commenting on forums, I had become an Apple fanboy. A slave to the cult of Jobs. I had been lost to all reason and common sense. This is a change that I suspect many people feel like they have gone through when they purchase their first Apple product.
Of course, to begin with, I would protest loudly and with increasing aggravation. I would point out that I had (and still have) never owned a Mac or even an iPod. In fact, in my entire life, I have only owned four Apple products, three of which were iPhones. Unfortunately, such was the depth of the pit of mindless frenzy into which I had apparently thrown myself, my protests fell on deaf ears. I might as well have moved to Cupertino.
Over time, I started to consider whether they were right. Had I sold my soul to Apple in exchange for a shiny, but ultimately empty, box? I didn't feel like I had. Even today, when I consider the list of electronic gadgets that I have owned, I seem to have sold myself to Microsoft far more than any other company. Yet no one was shouting at me that I was being brainwashed by Bill and that I should escape before it is too late. And so this leads me to question why am I typically branded an Apple fanboy?
I suppose part of it is that I am very supportive of what Apple have done with consumer electronics, and I am quick to defend my phone when others sneer at me for owning such a pretentious product. Even when I wholeheartedly agree that their HTC or Samsung or Nokia certainly has some superior features, but gently point out that they might not have existed had Apple not already paved the way, I am shouted down for having misguided and clouded judgement. My attempts to make people believe that I genuinely welcome a free and competitive market for the benefit of consumers are essentially pointless.
In the aftermath of Apple releases, when the anti-bandwagon is in full throated bloodlust at the sight of an allegedly underwhelming product, I find myself even more besieged than usual. The iPhone 4's antenna, the iPad 2's lack of retina display, and the 4S's 4-ness were all thrown down as conclusive proof that Apple had lost the plot, was selling snake oil, and anyone who purchased such trash was clearly deluded. In dealing with the detractors, I was always diplomatic and, as far as I could tell, fair. I accepted the drawbacks, but felt obliged to point out the lack of competitors' innovation in their own products. The conclusion reached was that I had firmly been taken hostage, and was suffering from acute Stockholm syndrome.
So, in one final, last ditch attempt to distance myself from the true, hardcore Apple slaves, I shall list a few of my lingering irritations with the two fruity products I own.
- iTunes is a daily bane in my life. It feels slow and clunky, it takes an age to find things on the store, and it makes any change of computer or device a nightmare.
- My first generation iPad is showing its age. New apps tend to crash it, and every time I handle the new model it feels like a slap in the face.
- As much as I personally applaud Apple's insistence at keeping firm control over what can and cannot be done with its products, I have to admit some frustration with some things. Chief among them is why can I not create folders within the camera roll on my phone? Or at least add tags to the pictures. Scrolling through thousands to find the one I want is an easily avoided nuisance.
- When can we have some updates to Siri? I was impressed with it, but I also pointed out what it is missing. It has now been four months. Get on with it!
So there we go. See, I can't be an Apple fanboy can I? I listed several negative things about their products and business practices. Isn't that enough to distance myself from the Jobs cultists? No? Well then, I am out of ideas. Best I accept my fate, and slope off to look at the new MacBook Pros.