New blog, so lets get it started with something that’s been bugging me for a while.
12 years ago I bought my first Mac. An iBook. A woefully underpowered machine, but in just a few weeks it was the only computer I wanted to use. I never bought another PC (except where I needed to for work).
Almost 10 years ago I bought an imported iPhone, jailbroke it and had it running on the Orange network in the UK months before it become available in the UK on the O2 network.
These devices made me switch my career from Research Scientist to Developer. I loved the experience they provided, the friction they removed, the potential they promised.
Recently Apple seems to be changing and it worries me. Design has always been important to them, but design in service of helping people do their work. Design now seems to be in service of design.
It used to be that if you wanted a powerful machine, you would buy the Pro device. It would be thicker and more expensive, but you would be able to bend you your needs. If Pro for you means developer; fine. If Pro for you means being a video editor; fine.
The definition of Pro has used to be wide. Unfortunatly it seems to be narrowing.
Take a look at the much neglected Mac Pro. No internal expansion or upgradability. Why? Because the design does not permit it. But the design does not support the user in their goals.
The old cheese grater Mac Pros were a beautiful design on the outside. Open them up and they were a beautiful design on the inside. A design that made expansion a joy.
The new Macbook Pros. Beautifully thin. This is a device that developers, video editors and writers toat and type on for hours everyday. The keyboard is designed to enable thinness and the battery life is worse than before.
I’m sure Apple knows who their current customers are, but I worry that in pursuit of the larger consumer market, they’re upsetting the people who use their devices most, care about their devices most, talk up and talk down their devices most.
If this continues the people who are the foundation of Apple success will go elsewhere. Once the foundations are gone the ecosystem will collapse.