By Alex Mouravskiy, LaptopMD+ Online Marketing
It seems that in certain fields and among certain demographics, Apple products reign supreme. Among 20-somethings who work in “creative industries”, you’ll hardly find a single machine or gizmo without a shiny apple plastered somewhere on the case. Nevertheless, despite fitting squarely into that “20-something creative type” category, I refuse to own an Apple product. It’s not because I’m trying to buck a trend, or because I want to stand out from my peers. Really. It’s because when you look at it, there are very few positives to owning a Mac, iPod, iPad, or iPhone. Here’s my top 10 reasons why I personally will never (or at least not in the foreseeable future) own an Apple product (in no particular order):
- Price: The cheapest current generation Mac available is the 11″ MacBook Air with the 64gig hard drive and 2 Gigs of RAM, which retails for $999. If you slide over to Dell, meanwhile, you can buy a 14″ Inspiron 14R with similar specs (actually, you get a processor almost twice as fast and twice as much RAM, a hard drive that despite not being solid state is 10x larger, not to mention those extra 3″ on the screen) for $599.99. Sure, you loose out on the form-factor and the ultra-lightweight portability , but I hardly think the extra 2.5 lbs of the Dell will kill you. And besides, I for one am of the opinions that hipsters could stand to get a little more exercise. If form is an absolute must for you, for $699.99 you can get the Dell 14z and still have $300 left over, which is enough to pay someone to follow you around for a day telling you how awesome you are. And that’s not even counting building your own machine from scratch.
- Options: You can pick any Mac you like…so long as it’s the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. They come in a wide range of colors, ranging from “aluminum” to “metallic” to “kind of silvery” to “shiny grey”. That’s TWICE as many colors as are available for the iPhone. And don’t forget the wide range of configurations! You can chose from 2 or 3 different hard drives, RAM configurations, and graphics cards. For a company whose motto is “Think Different!”, their options all look surprisingly the same. I understand that that’s sort of the point: simplicity. Just as an adult who is not completely ignorant of computers, and recognizing that my computing needs are not the same as a million other people, I would like some choices in my hardware, thanks.
- Chicklet Keyboards: This is a personal pet peve of mine, and I understand some people actually enjoy this setup. These are usually people who type hesitantly with one finger and think that the internet is piped into their house through a series of tubes. This wouldn’t bother me all that much, except that for whatever reason, other manufacturers have decided this is a great design decision and have taken up the chicklets. When will the madness end?
- Back-seat device owning: Hey Apple, remember how people pay you in order to get one of your fancy iPhones? Remember that part? Well, generally, the way that works is that after they hand over their money and you hand them their phone, the phone is theirs. If you want to decide what apps should and shouldn’t be loaded on it, you are more than welcome to pay for an iPhone yourself. And yet Apple insists on micromanaging every possible interaction their devices have with the outside world. And most people seem completely ok with it. I shouldn’t have to jailbreak and unlock my phone, putting the hardware at risk in the process, to be able to load home-brew and non-approved apps on a device which I supposedly own. Period.
- A thief, by any other name…: More on the topic of approved and unapproved apps, Apple is quickly developing a string of allegations that they use the App Store development community as free R&D for Apple products. Take for instance this case, in which apple purportedly took an idea for an app from the app developer and filed for a patent, using a virtually identical mock-up of the app’s interface to demonstrate their patent. Or the case of Camera+, in which case the app in question was banned for giving users the option of using the volume buttons to take a picture, a feature that Apple conveniently unveiled in it’s updated self-released camera software.
- Apple thinks I’m stupid: Ok, this may be an overreaction, but must everything be dumbed down to the most basic functionality possible? I know some users prefer the simplicity and ease of use of Apple products, but I like getting to the heart of my computers and devices. I liked being able to set obscure setting on my first Creative MP3 player. I LIKE messing with my registry files. I thoroughly enjoy having a hundred and one toggles, switches, and slides in my control panel. Again, that’s just me, but so is most of this article.
- iTunes: I absolutely can’t stand being forced to use proprietary software to do things that open standards software is capable of doing. Why should I have to use iTunes to load music on to an iPod? What’s wrong with dragging and dropping from file explorer? Also, why is all my music tied one device? Let’s say I have a home computer, a laptop, and a work computer. I want my music collection to be on all three, so why can’t I transfer songs from my home computer to iPod to laptop to work computer? Who is Apple to tell me what I can and cannot do with my music collection?
- Tethering: Why does a wireless device need to be connected to a computer with a cable every time you need to update it or transfer media or sync contacts? It’s called wireless for a reason. I shouldn’t have to pull out my cord every time I want to do anything more complex than data tethering.
- Proprietary Connectors: ‘Nuff said. The rest of the world somehow manages to do everything that needs doing with a micro-usb. Get on board, Apple.
- Apple Users: Technically not a problem with Apple itself, but they certainly foster a particular culture. A culture that seems to defy all logic. Here is a computer built to be ideally suited to suburban soccer moms who can’t be bothered to learn how to operate their devices, and don’t quite “get” the internet, and yet it’s being adopted by otherwise tech-savvy youth. It’s as if the entire population of Williamsburg traded in their fixies and Vespas for Rascall Scooters. It defies all explanation. The only thing more puzzling is how anyone can have the energy to be so smug all the time.
Personally, I own a machine running Chrome OS and one that dual-boots Ubuntu and Win7. The combination does everything I could possibly want to do, and each system has it’s own strengths. This, I think, is the main reason I will never own an Apple. Apple’s only real strength, simplicity, does not appeal to me in the least or fulfill any compelling need. If it does for you, by all means go ahead and by a Macbook. Just don’t feel the need to tell me about it. And drop the “Mac’s are better for visual artists” shtick. That hasn’t been true since at least the time when Apple switched to Intel processors. In fact, most major creative suites benchmark better on windows machines. So there.