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Apple Innovation? Innovation My Eye!

Apple Innovation? Innovation My Eye!

by , 9:00 AM EST, February 19th, 2002

OK, that's it! If I hear the word 'innovation' associated with Apple one more time I'm going to lop off my right hand and feed it to my neighbor's rottweiler, Fang. Lula Mae, my neighbor, would probably appreciate that, but she'll have to save her appreciation until after I finish typing this.

The forum posts and article comments dealing with anything new from Apple are replete with declarations of Apple's 'innovative' prowess. It's bad enough that the Apple Choir chimes in every time Apple brings out a new thing or a piece of software, but now the press is joining in. I can't flip a page or scan a tech Web site without seeing something about Apple's supposed innovativeness. It's getting down right ridiculous. Mainstream press is all but gushing over the new iMac. Once die-hard PC fanatics can't seem to get enough of the iApps, and now, UNIX groupies are turning their upturned noses towards OS X. And everybody is claiming innovation!

Bull excrement!

If Apple was so damned inventive, why is it that my sticky notes on my Mac are less convenient than real sticky note? Huh? Where's the friggin innovation there? Why don't I have sticky notes in my Word session, where I need them? Why don't I have sticky notes in iPhoto? Where are the stickies in iTunes? That's right, iTunes. I should be able to pull up a sticky note in iTunes, quickly type in an idea for a compilation CD, for instance, and be able to find that note whether iTunes is running or not. There's some innovation for ya!

How about the Notebook app, where the innovation there? I should be able to have a collection of notebooks, set them up like journals, make it so that one click or one key brings it up for journal entries, then disappears like rain in a stream. Do that and then come talk to me about innovation.

What about the OS X Mail app? Just what is up with that? Yes, it works, but give me some more integration, why don't cha? Make it so that the Address Book app knows about the Mail app. Make it so that I can fire off a note from, say, Word, and the document I'm working in gets attached with a click of a button.

Speaking of the Address Book app, how much more useless can an app be and still be considered an app? Gimme a break here, Apple. There is absolutely nothing innovative about the Address Book app, except maybe how un-useful it is. Would it be too hard to make it actually work as a pop-up, for instance, so that I can scan for a name if I need it in, say, iMovie? Hey, maybe I want to include a name and address from the address book in iPhoto. Try doing that with the current setup. I'm telling you, Apple's innovation is grossly overrated.

"Vern's flame-baiting," you say. Mayhap I am, but if you all could stop staring at the shiny apple for a moment you'd see that I'm not just blowing smoke.

Apple has done an admirable job with OS X. I remember back about a year or so ago, many of you were saying that you'd switch to OS X when Apple pried your copy of OS 9 from your dead, festering fingers. Now, those same people claim OS X is the best thing since beer and pretzels. Of course, these folks are right, but let us not lose sight of several things. Even Apple will tell you that OS X is only as good as the application that run on it. You get a sucky app and people get a bad taste in their mouths. You get too many sucky apps and people will find another OS to play with.

I happen to believe the 'built-in' apps are every bit as important as the much-touted iApps. There is absolutely no reason for Apple to give us bad built-ins, not now anyways, and make no mistake, the built-in apps are bad. Imagine how much cooler OS X would be if you had stickies that were available no matter which app you happen to be using? Think how cool it would be to then go to the sticky note app and get a list of notes and which app the notes were created in. Oh wait, did we just organize sticky notes like iTunes is organized? My gosh, I think we're innovating here.

I think we have overlooked the little stuff long enough. OS X works and works well. The iApps are all out and everybody loves them. There's new hardware for people to ogle and poke at, and new OS X savvy software appears on a daily, almost hourly basis. Time for Apple to stop farting around and clean up some of the mess they left while getting OS X out the door.

OK, I'm done. I wonder if Fang likes dark meat.

Vern Seward is a frustrated writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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