Apple doesn’t always have the answer

If you think Apple always has the answer to an Apple problem, you are mistaken. They do not. I have several problems with my iPhone and even after extensive troubleshooting by myself and an Apple Genius they continue to occur. Here is the list.

1. Keyboard doesn’t rotate properly in texting or other apps. Keyboard shifts to unusable positions and you can’t type anything.

2. Error messages when plugging in a valid Apple store charging cable. It says this isn’t a valid charging cable.

iphone six plusSo they replaced my iPhone once but the problems continue to occur. I called and was told my ticket was being escalated to engineering and then its been two months and an OS update and nothing has happened. I have given up on getting this fixed. I will not be buying any iPhones in the future however.

It is disappointing when Apple just drops support for their customers and there is nothing you can do. Besides this failure, I also had an iPod failure which was very disappointing. Apple just said “well its a first generation product so what can you expect?” What I expect is a product to work that has been paid for.

Apparently this issue doesn’t just affect me, but has happened to lots of people. It’s clear that Apple continues to have bugs that allude them for years despite their efforts. For example, Apple just recently changed its DNS from a new way to the older system they used to use. Ever since they changed their DNS Apple has been difficult to work with in enterprises and businesses. It doesn’t act consistently in regards to DNS. It is quite telling actually. For a system that was built on network connectivity that Unix was the foundation of the Internet, for Apple to mess with this is quite surprising. Apple tries to simplify things but at times they are too aggressive and for that their customers suffer.

Apple pushes hard on the technology envelope and for most things I agree. There are times however, when they push too hard and they just make things unnecessarily difficult for everyone. For example, removing ports. No one wants to carry around adapters, so Apple is counting on reselling things so that people don’t need to carry adapters. What is even more amusing is that often when you go to the Apple store to get an adapter, they don’t have them. Has anyone tried to buy a USB to Ethernet adapter recently? I did and the Apple stores I went to didn’t have them. That is not cool. That is basic functionality for a computer. At the very least, every apple needs a built-in Ethernet adapter. I don’t care how they have to engineer it, but that should never be an adapter. Wifi doesn’t always work, and it isn’t always available. Apple designs for a first world environment, but even in the US, we don’t have first world conditions everywhere.

I guess that is one of the reasons why the iPad frustrates me and I don’t use it. I will not use a dumbed down product that has very little external connectivity and very little capacity for modification. I appreciate that Apple always wants to make things easy, but there is a point where removing adapters and essential software makes the product less useful. I think Apple has crossed the point from making an intuitive easy experience to reducing functionality.

Returning to my iPhone concern, if you can’t fix the product and make it functional then you need to slow down and make it work first. It does not work when the keyboard rotates and you can’t type on it. If not responding to customers means Apple is going back to its 80’s mentality of “if you don’t get it from us it’s not going to work” that is the wrong way to go. If this is a sign of things to come Apple, then I will be forced to go open source. It won’t be just me, but your strongest supporters who encourage people to buy and who support Apple technologies in the workforce. Supporting Apple is my choice, but I wonder if I’ve made a mistake here.

Giving Linux another chance

I have used Linux off and on for years but it always seems more trouble than it is worth. I am trying Ubuntu 14.04 today to see if it is any better.

800px-Ubuntu_10.04_screenshot1The problem with Linux is that it just doesn’t support the hardware that people have. When I last tried to use it the support for the iPhone was terrible, I did a quick search and found some support for it. Still the average person doesn’t want to search and troubleshoot software. I think that Linux is probably Apples long-term competition. Microsoft keeps making mistakes and eventually people are going to wise up about the wasted money they have spent on Windows.

The installation was pretty great even with some difficult hardware. I used a USB installer so I didn’t have to burn a CD, and it was very smooth sailing. I will find out how the hardware support is, but since this laptop is ancient that I am using it should have pretty much everything supported. One of the downsides of using unsupported software is that it often causes issues with things like touch-pad, or battery life. Still since this is just to see how the software has progressed, it isn’t going to be a deal breaker.

I had an old PC laptop donated by a friend and I am going to donate it to a non-profit once I make sure that Linux is usable on this. Surprisingly many non profits don’t care if they have a Windows computer or not. They seem happy to have any computer that can connect to their network and be used on the Internet. It is interesting what a change this is from a decade ago. People used to say that Macs were bad because they didn’t have software, but the Internet makes that a moot point.