One more thing

Ap­ple opin­ion

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Free­lance writer Gary Mar­shall lives in the Wild West. Of Scot­land. “It’s like the Old West with Buckfast in­stead of whisky,” he says.

De­spite what we’ve seen in many Westerns, living in the Old West wasn’t much fun. Life was cheap, times were hard and peo­ple didn’t smell so good. I reckon it was par­tic­u­larly bad for the gun­slingers – the good ones, the ones who lived long enough to be­come leg­ends. What a pain in the back­side their lives must have been, their fame en­sur­ing that wher­ever they turned, some hip young gun­slinger would be there to try and take them on.

And even­tu­ally, one of those young­sters would win. The leg­end would have an off day, dis­tracted by a whisky han­gover, thoughts of lusty maid­ens or the kind of se­vere toi­let dis­as­ters you’d be bound to en­counter in an age of poor san­i­ta­tion. A mo­ment’s hes­i­ta­tion, a fail­ure to check be­hind a door or un­der­neath a horse, and some bum-fluff beard in a black hat would pop six shots through your skull. Ap­ple prob­a­bly knows how that feels.

I’m writ­ing this in the mid­dle of an on­line storm about Ap­ple’s soft­ware, with many peo­ple sug­gest­ing that if Ap­ple treated hard­ware the same way it cur­rently treats OS up­dates it’d be ship­ping Mac­Book Airs with miss­ing screws. I’m not con­vinced that Ap­ple’s qual­ity is in pre­cip­i­tous decline. Hasn’t it al­ways been pretty ropey on the soft­ware side, es­pe­cially when that soft­ware con­nects to web-based ser­vices? Mo­bileMe, any­body? But there have been plenty of high pro­file prob­lems with OS X and iOS.

If the best its com­peti­tors could come up with was Win­dows Vista and Black­Ber­rys, then that wouldn’t be a prob­lem. But while some ri­vals are still pulling their guns and re­peat­edly shoot­ing them­selves in the foot – I’m think­ing of some­thing be­gin­ning with “W” and end­ing with “in­dows 8” – oth­ers are get­ting bet­ter at what they do. Take An­droid, for ex­am­ple. Five years ago the OS was a mess and the phones a joke. Not any more.

Maybe it’s that Ap­ple is try­ing to do too much. Or maybe it’s that Ap­ple’s pop­u­lar­ity and click-wor­thi­ness means mole­hills are be­ing blown up to moun­tain size for traf­fic. Ei­ther way, I’m re­minded of our griz­zled gun­slinger. Ap­ple re­ally can’t af­ford to have an off day any more. Be­cause while the com­pany still makes the best stuff, the al­ter­na­tives have got an aw­ful lot bet­ter – and they of­ten cost an aw­ful lot less too.

Nowa­days Ap­ple is the leg­end that every­body wants to take on, and some of the young­sters hid­ing be­hind horses and sa­loon doors are pretty good shots.

Ap­ple is the leg­end every­body wants to take on – foes are hid­ing be­hind horses and sa­loon doors

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.