This is a little different than my previous posts, but it's part of a conversation that I've been having a lot lately. Last year I began the process of ditching my Apple products. When RED's Hydrogen One phone is released this summer I will officially be out of the Apple ecosystem, and to be honest, I couldn't be happier about it. Here are 5 reasons I am ditching Apple and haven't looked back.
1. It no longer “just works”
One of the reasons I loved my Mac when I switched over in 2006 was because everything just worked. In fact, that was one of their biggest selling points. It was a catchphrase used repeatedly by Steve Jobs and Apple fanboys everywhere. And with Steve Jobs at the helm, it was true. He was famously demanding and would make sure that everything was polished and working prior to release. Obviously, it wasn’t always perfect, but overall it was pretty great. And when something wasn’t perfect, it was quickly addressed and fixed.
But now the problems seem to be more prevalent and persist for longer periods of time. The most recent one that drives me crazy is an autocorrect glitch that capitalizes the first letter of any word following words that have an apostrophe. A lot of people had a different texting glitch, which was addressed somewhat quickly, but mine still hasn't been addressed after quite a few updates. And that’s just one example. There are plenty of others, like their recent decision to not let you turn Bluetooth off from the quick access bar. Now you can only snooze it and then it automatically turns itself back on, draining you battery for no reason. Who decided we weren't capable of turning Bluetooth off and back on again when we need it? Another example is the fundamentally flawed Apple Maps. Maps was Jobs’ idea, but there is no way he would have allowed it to go to market in the condition they released it in. The “just works” motto is something Apple no longer lives by, and that becomes more apparent with each generation and release. In my mind, this makes them just like everyone else out there, but with their closed system, you are stuck waiting on them when they screw something up, and I hate that.
2. Their “innovations” have turned into surface level iterations
Prime example: the emoji bar. I get it, emoji’s are fun and are used to convey emotions in our everyday communications. But when this was the big thing everyone was talking about in the 2016 macbook release, it seemed to reiterate how I’d been feeling. Their focus is on being cool rather than making innovations that meet my needs as a creative. Which leads me to my next point.
3. They no longer focus on the creative community
And this is understandable. Apple is much bigger than just creatives these days. They are a pop culture phenomenon and represent everything that is cool in tech. But unfortunately, I don’t need cool to build my business. I need tech that works and can handle my workflow. I had a quad core i7 iMac that I bought in late 2009 that I loved. It did great, other than the hard drive failing on me twice. But hard drives fail and I kept everything backed up, so that wasn’t a big deal.
The bigger issue came when I went to update my computer. After my hard drive failed for the second time in just over a year, I decided I needed an upgrade. So, I went out and bought the most souped up Macbook Pro available. It was just released and the hottest thing going. I was excited about it because I was working on a video edit that my 7 year old iMac couldn’t handle well and this was going to be a big step up in specs. But their brand new, top of the line Macbook PRO couldn’t handle a simple video edit. Even the lowest resolution preview render kept stalling out the program and made it sound like an airplane was trying to take off. After trying to use it for a couple of days, I ended up taking it back and started looking into my other options.
4. They're too expensive
My first thought was maybe I could upgrade to a Mac Pro. But once I started doing my research I saw that these machines hadn’t been updated since 2013 and they still cost over $5,000. These prices have come down some now, but they are still way too expensive for what is now 5-year-old tech. And I already talked about my experience with the Macbook Pro. With the amount of video I’ve started doing lately and plan on doing in the future, I knew the iMac wouldn’t be able to keep up. So I was really left with only one option, and it’s an option I haven’t once regretted taking: leave Apple and build my own computer.
I was ultimately able to build a machine that is generations beyond the Mac Pro for a lower price. I can run full video render previews without missing a beat and my girlfriend has commented about how she hasn’t once heard me complain since making the switch. And you know why? Because it just works.
5. They no longer meet my needs
Ultimately all of this can be summed up in my final point: Apple no longer meets my needs. Their machines are too expensive for the specs they provide, and their primary focus has shifted away from serving the creative community. But I don’t blame them for that. They have become synonymous with cool, and everybody wants in. They now focus on serving the mass market rather than our creative niche and that just makes good business sense.
But it doesn’t change my situation. I still need machines that can handle my workflow, for prices I can justify. Unfortunately, I don’t see that being Apple again anytime soon, unless they drastically change direction. But why would they? They have a much bigger piece of the pie now, so why focus on our niche when they have the whole world at their feet? While some people tell me I’m crazy, I talk to more and more creatives all the time that are feeling this same way.
What do you think? Are you over Apple, or still loving their products? Let me know in the comments.