Micro Mart - - Specialists -

An­other Ap­ple cock-up bites the dust. Craig Gran­nell wishes bad Ap­ple jour­nal­ism would too

Most of the Calendar ap­point­ments I get are rather mun­dane: re­minders from my wife that we have a den­tal ap­point­ment; some­thing about tak­ing the dog to the vet; a hint that it might be a good idea a week Fri­day to pick up the in-laws from the air­port, rather than leave them stranded at Gatwick’s South Ter­mi­nal. (Be­lieve me, that is never a good start to a visit). Re­cently, though, I was rather sur­pris­ingly sent an ap­point­ment that sug­gested I buy a pair of ‘Ray Bans‘ for “only $19.99”. That seemed pretty cheap; per­haps it’s the hy­phen in real Ray-Bans that’s the ex­pen­sive bit.

It was only the lat­est of – well, if not many, then cer­tainly 'some' dodgy in­vites. Ev­ery now and again, I’ve been get­ting them, usu­ally from a sender with a dis­tinctly Chi­nese name. It’s ir­ri­tat­ing and irk­some, and, you might be think­ing, I should just delete them. The tiny snag is that Ap­ple didn’t think to in­clude such an op­tion.

When re­spond­ing to a Calendar no­ti­fi­ca­tion, there are but­tons for Maybe, De­cline and Ac­cept. There’s no Delete or Spam or Rain Down Hell­fire On This Mas­sively An­noy­ing Buf­foon. So you can ei­ther leave the no­ti­fi­ca­tion lin­ger­ing like a bad smell in Calendar or de­cline, thereby alert­ing the spam­ming spam­mer of spamville that the ad­dress they were us­ing is ac­tive.

Only, that’s not en­tirely true. You can in­stead jump through some hoops. You can nip on to (al­though only on a Mac or PC, mind, not an iOS de­vice) and click a few set­tings to set event re­quests to be sent as emails rather than no­ti­fi­ca­tions (for rea­sons known only to Ap­ple engi­neers – and per­haps not even them – this is not a pref­er­ence set­ting in the Calendar app it­self). You then have to go through a con­vo­luted rou­tine of creating a new calendar, mov­ing the spammy in­vites to said calendar and then delet­ing the calendar, hop­ing all the bad­ness goes with it.

At this point you might be ask­ing why Ap­ple’s so rub­bish at deal­ing with this kind of thing. What we got was si­lence, fol­lowed by ru­mours Ap­ple was look­ing into the prob­lem, and then a brief apol­ogy and note that Ap­ple was dou­bling down on weed­ing out dodgy senders – weeks af­ter peo­ple first started com­plain­ing. Which sug­gests Ap­ple is, well, nor­mal. Hu­man. Not staffed en­tirely by time­trav­el­ling ma­gi­cians.

And that’s the crux of it, when it comes to writ­ing about Ap­ple. You can be­gin a page of text like this seek­ing to slam the firm and shake your fist in the air, as if it will some­how make good ev­ery­thing that is wrong with the world that hap­pens to be en­cased in some me­tal with an Ap­ple logo em­bla­zoned on it. Or you can, in sun­nier times, praise the com­pany to the high heav­ens about some­thing amaz­ing (and plenty of gen­uinely amaz­ing things have come from Cu­per­tino, from the orig­i­nal iMac through to Re­searchKit), as if some­how the en­tire tech in­dus­try will turn on a dime and be­come bet­ter – and that even in­cludes Ap­ple it­self.

Per­haps the event tech­nol­ogy jour­nal­ists should put in their own cal­en­dars is one that starts today and con­tin­ues un­til the end of time. It should read: think a bit more; write a lit­tle less; and stop con­sid­er­ing that ev­ery lit­tle thing that hap­pens within sight of an Ap­ple logo is the worst tech dis­as­ter in his­tory or the sin­gle best tech thing that’s ever been seen. Even if ei­ther of those things does some­how hap­pen to in­volve some­thing to do with sus­pi­ciously af­ford­able knock-off sun­glasses from the Far East. Craig Gran­nell Craig @craig­grannell

I don’t think so, Spammy McS­pam­face. *click* Good­bye

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