A brief guide to everything that’s annoying about the Guardian’s brief guide to everything that’s annoying about Apple

The gloves are off! Apple is doomed again! And with it, we get tech writers giving the company a right hook with a boxing glove of stupid, but cunningly following up with an occasional uppercut of truth, because balance. The Guardian’s A brief guide to everything that’s annoying about Apple is an excellent case in point, offering 26 examples of how bloody annoying Apple is! And if you’re thinking 26 examples doesn’t make for a brief guide, I’ve news for you: despite the title, this post probably won’t be brief either.

1 The passwords

Yes, the Guardian leads with passwords being the big evil. Clearly, Apple is the only company to have you sign into things. No other companies do this. SO ANNOYING. Well, apart from Apple making things easier with Touch ID, and the security that comes from passwords. BUT WE SHALL IGNORE SUCH TRIFLING THINGS. ONWARDS!

2 The product launches

Half a point here, Guardian, if only because Apple last year slipped into dad joke city and events that lasted approximately eleven days. But the most recent one, where Tim Cook mostly talked about health, privacy and the environment? That’s only annoying if you’re a tech journo on a deadline rather than an actual human.

3 The endless hardware upgrades

If Apple didn’t upgrade its hardware often, number 3 in this list would have been ‘the lack of hardware upgrades’. Plus, again, isn’t it SO ANNOYING that Apple is the only company that endlessly upgrades hardware and obsoletes certain connectors? No other companies in the history of history have ever done that. BAD APPLE.

4 The Green Eggs and Ham approach to software updates
Install now? Turn on automatic software updates? Remind me later? Try in an hour? Try tonight? Would you update them in a box? Would you update them with a fox? You do not like software updates, so you say? Try them, try them and you may!

CHOICES ARE BAD.

5 The U2 album

I’m not going to argue over this one. Mind you, nor did Apple when it specifically created a ‘wipe U2 from the face of your iTunes’ tool.

6 The price

BLAH BLAH APPLE IS EXPENSIVE BLAH. The Guardian writer notes that in the UK you can “buy a basic mobile phone for as little as £10”, because that’s totally like an iPhone. (And if Tim Cook went crazy and decided the iPhone 7 would sell for a tenner, you can bet people would still find something to whine about.)

7 They’re too cool for tills

Agreed. This actually is annoying. Guardian hit rate: now two and a half out of seven. Almost as good as Apple rumour websites.

8 The ubiquitous ringtone

Because you can’t change ringtones. (Also: not as bad as that sodding Nokia one.)

9 iPhone repairs
No matter what’s wrong with your iPhone, or how tiny, it costs at least £200 to fix. Dodgy home button? £200. Won’t restart? £200. Cracked screen? A bargain at £100.

Guardian breaks the laws of maths as ‘a bargain at £100’ equates to ‘at least £200’. Did anyone even read this back before it was published?

10 The rip-off accessories
Need a new power adapter because that magnetic bit on the end broke when it got bent back too much? How much, Apple Store? £65! Plain black phone bumper that you could get down the market for a fiver? £25!

Another Billy Half a Point! Apple does sometimes take the piss here, but the bumper whinge? Just no. If you don’t like the bumper, it’s not like it’s mandatory. Unless Tim Cook passed some kind of new law while I wasn’t watching.

11 The constant iTunes revamping

SO CLOSE! The revamping isn’t the problem. The fact it’s still bloody awful is the problem.

12 The utopian demos

This is true. Apple should in future have demo videos that feature people looking miserable on a grey, rainy pebble beach while a seagull poos on their head and steals their chips. People can aspire to that.

13 The Apple Watch
It sucks and Apple won’t admit it.

“It’s so annoying when I have an opinion about something and the company that made it doesn’t publicly agree, even though doing so would be unbelievably stupid.”

14 Apple TV
“The future of television?” Also known as “Another expensive box that does nothing all your other expensive boxes can’t do already, but has an Apple logo on it.”

Hmm. I have to agree with this one, on the basis that the ‘future of television’ argument was bone-headed. But the Apple TV itself is really good. So there.

15 Mac lag
Our old MacBook takes longer to wake up every morning than we do.

Either Guardian writers spring out of bed in an instant, someone’s telling porkies, or there’s a MacBook in some serious need of help. Poor MacBook.

16 It is more controlling than Prince was
We know we’ve paid for the entire Prince back catalogue at some stage, but iTunes won’t let us listen to it without negotiating an assault course of synching protocols, passwords, user settings, menus, helpdesk chatbots and, finally, Googled explainers.

Or, if you’re already signed into your Apple account, clicking on some cover art. Exaggeration. So annoying! Perhaps that’s number 17 in the list!

17 Wet fingers

Oh. Wait, what?

17 Wet fingers

Apple has wet fingers? That’s annoying? Also, what?

Having to wait for 20 minutes after coming out of the shower before our iPhone fingerprint scanner recognises us. Like the clean you isn’t the real you.

Which suggests either Guardian writers set up Touch ID when covered in grime (and/or are usually covered in grime), or they spend so long in the shower that they emerge wrinkled to the point even the dogs on this article would recoil in horror, barking “TOO WRINKLY! SEND HELP!”

18 They have turned into The Man

Apparently, Apple is now Big Brother, while trying to fight the US government over privacy. Got it.

19 Their hatred of ports

The Guardian, presumably also still angry Apple dropped the floppy drive from the iMac. Although the reasoning on this one is weirder than you might imagine. If you were expecting a perfectly rational and sensible argument about the new MacBook only having one USB-C port, well…

Apple’s eradication of USB ports from iPads just rendered all your accessories obsolete

That’s right: Apple’s giant iPhone doesn’t have USB ports, and that is the source of annoyance. (The USB dongle is, naturally, waved away as a money waster.)

Just like their sealing up of the DVD/CD slot rendered your collections of both obsolete

What, on the Mac?

It is now easier to hack the US defence system than get a DVD on to an iPad.

Oh, on the iPad. Right. I can count the times I’ve wanted to play a DVD on my iPad on the invisible finger I’m not holding up right now.

20 The ‘Smart Battery Case’

Apple selling people a battery case to make their iPhone battery last longer. SO ANNOYING.

21 Their format dictatorship

This is true. Apple has a dictatorship based on formats! Annoying! Wait, what?

You take a picture with your iPhone. You import it to iPhotos.

‘iPhotos’. Do you mean ‘iPhoto’, now cancelled? OK, that’s being picky. Let’s not quibble about details!

Now you try to attach it to an email. Ha! You can’t!

Actually, no, let’s quibble about details. Ever heard of drag and drop?

The only way to do it easily is through Apple’s own Mail application, otherwise known as BlackMail.

Ah, I see. “I use Gmail in a browser, and can’t drop photos on to it from Photos.” Actually, that is quite annoying. Hard to know who’s to blame for that one. Still, half a point!

22 Their wealth

Apple makes money and is profitable. So, so, so very annoying.

23 Their contempt for humanity
Bill Gates uses his fortune to cure malaria, Apple uses its fortune to … make bigger fortunes.

This is true. Apple does literally nothing to help the world.

24 Error 53
How many corporations possess and wield the power to criminally damage their products – your products – after they’ve sold them to you? Apple’s notorious “Error 53” punished users for the offence of going to “unauthorised” repairers by effectively shutting down their iPhone 6 handsets – a practice known as “bricking”. When a class-action lawsuit threatened, Apple got scared and backed down – a practice known as “bricking it”.

You appear to have mis-spelled ‘messed up’ as ‘got scared’, but, well, we’re 24 items in now and there was probably a word count to hit, a train to catch, and your fingers were getting awfully tired.

25 They’ve taken over the music industry

As evidenced by the lack of competition from the likes of Spotify and Google Play.

iTunes paved the way for the low-priced digital music revolution, where artists get a minuscule share of the profits and Apple gets a much larger cut. It wiped out high-street record shops, crippled the music industry, then extracted a ransom from artists to put their music in its virtual shop window.

Fortunately, before Apple came along, the music industry was doing brilliantly, due to people downloading music for free on Napster.

26 Their business model is The Circle
Dave Eggers’ dystopian novel details a utopian-sounding tech corporation whose ambitions extend to every aspect of people’s lives, anticipating, fulfilling and creating their every desire, to the extent that people never need to step outside the closed loop of control. Then find they can’t even if they want to. Apple has done its best to dispel such comparisons by building a massive new headquarters – in the shape of a circle.

That is perhaps the most annoying thing I’ve read this month, although not because of Apple.

April 28, 2016. Read more in: Apple, Humour, Opinions

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The top three Apple products ever, as decided by a toddler

It turns out that tiny humans are fond of Apple products, too. Our own particular tiny human (21 months at the time of writing), has expressed preferences for specific hardware in certain ways, most notably by gleefully smacking it with baby paws, or wailing in an eardrum-splitting fashion when it’s suggested that said Apple hardware is, in fact, someone else’s.

Here, then, are the top three Apple products, should the company want to directly target the next generation today.

1. Apple keyboard. 

For some reason, keyboards are like catnip to tiny humans. SMASH SMASH SMASH. This is especially so when a keyboard happens to be connected to a Mac on which daddy is doing work while on deadline.

2. Apple TV remote (pre-Siri).

Our living-room Apple TV is a third-gen, and mini-G decided no-one else is to be trusted with the remote (to the point when daddy accidentally stopped Peppa Pig, said remote was snatched away and hidden beyond reach). The only tiny snag is mini-G’s current usage, which is CLICK BIG BUTTON UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS. (Often: playing an entirely unsuitable trailer.)

3. Daddy’s iPhone. 

We had a knackered old iPod touch knocking about, and that became mini-G’s, loaded up with kiddie apps that run in iOS 6, and music for sleeps. But it turns out that daddy’s iPhone is SO MUCH MORE FUN. Cue: evenings where daddy watches Peppa Pig while mini-G quickly switches between Novation Launchpad, Endless ABC, and My Very Hungry Caterpillar, in a manner that makes daddy’s head spin.

March 31, 2016. Read more in: Apple, Humour, Television

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Predictions for Apple’s event later today

With no tea leaves handy, I have looked out of the window at the decomposing leaves in the garden, and here’s what they had to say about today’s Apple event. All rumours guaranteed one hundred per cent accurate.

  • In a drive towards honestly in marketing, the new smaller iPhone will be called the iPhone Upsell.
  • Tim Cook will perform a rap about privacy, which will carry on until: The FBI stops bugging us / Otherwise we will continue to cuss. Them. / It’s not about one iPhone, it’s about precedent / And you should know that, Mr. President.
  • Apple will hurl an iPad Pro at the temple of any journalist who’s written about the iPad’s sales decline, knocking them out cold and thereby stemming worldwide criticism.
  • The ‘loop’ in ‘Let us loop you in’ will refer to a new tether that keeps an iPhone attached to your wrist. Permanently. The loop can never be removed.
  • A new Apple Watch strap will periodically give you a small electric shock, thereby jerking your arm and making the watch’s face turn on, saving you having to perform a magic arm twist yourself.

Oh, all right, then. There will be a new and smaller iPhone that will be called MAGICAL, and a new and smaller iPad Pro that will be called MAGICAL, and Jony Ive will probably still be locked in a white room. MAGICAL. HAPPY NOW?

March 21, 2016. Read more in: Apple, Humour, Technology

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Apple to close down, because the company is just so sick of analysts

Tension was in the air yesterday as Apple announced its financial results for its fiscal 2014 first quarter, ended December 28, 2013. “We posted record quarterly revenue of $57.6 billion, and sold 51 million iPhones,” said Tim Cook, angrily adding: “But we could have been responsible for every smartphone sale worldwide and made $200 billion in profit, and it still wouldn’t have been enough for those analyst jerks.”

Cook said Apple should have been happy with its 4.8 million Macs sold, record iPad sales, and monstrous profits of $13.1 billion, resulting in Apple’s cash mountain reaching unprecedented levels. “The thing is, we know thousands of hacks worldwide are already smashing their heads against their keyboards, ham-fistedly trying to spin our success into failure, and say that—yet again—Apple is doomed,” fumed Cook. “Fuckers,” interjected Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, kicking his chair out of the window and storming out of the room.

“I’m just so sick of it,” seethed Cook, “and so we’re shutting the whole thing down. As of tomorrow, no more Apple. I’m going to spend my time hiking and getting to grips with whatever piece of shit Android I’ll now have to use—and you’d best get used to that too. I’m done here.”

Analysts reacted positively to Cook’s statement, noting that while, in the short term, Apple shutting down entirely was not a positive step, it would finally provide plenty of room for meteoric growth should the company decide to reopen again at some point in the future. In after-hours trading, AAPL was up 37 per cent.

January 28, 2014. Read more in: Apple, Humour, Television

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Breaking: Apple financial results news piece from Q1 2014 falls through wormhole in space

My computer went a bit nuts earlier today, and I thought it was Time Machine going screwy. But it turns out my entire Mac briefly turned into a time machine, enabling me to log on to the web and access a news piece about Apple’s Q1—from 2014, next year. It makes for interesting reading…

 

Apple today announced its financial results for its fiscal 2014 first quarter ended December 28, 2013. The company generated record quarterly revenue of $63.2bn for the period ending 28 December, its highest figure to date, and a marked increase on the $54.5bn generated during the same quarter the previous year.

Apple enjoyed profits of $16.4bn, another record, although this was countered by the company’s average selling prices continuing to fall, and Tim Cook finally losing it and ordering “all the analysts to be shot or maimed in some horrible manner” shortly after the call.

For those paying attention to the figures, there was plenty of good news. iPhone sales rose from 47.8m to 62.2m, largely due to the phenomenally popular iPhone 6, although this fell dramatically short of analysts’ average prediction of 427 billion iPhones sold. iPad sales also rose, from 22.9m units to 36.1m units, spurred on by an across-the-line revamp that saw the iPad mini get a Retina screen and the iPad shed almost half its weight. However, in the wake of Samsung’s recent release of 700 new tablets, covering every possible screen size between one-inch and seventeen feet, Apple’s product line is, according to analysts, looking “very tired”. Additionally, there was disappointment that Apple’s average selling price for the iPad was well done on Q1 2013. “Apple’s just not making enough profit. It’s also pretty clear Apple doesn’t know how to compete—at the very least, Apple should be knocking iPad prices down by 97 per cent across the line,” said Alan Lyst, CEO of Bullish Wealth Management, without a hint of irony, reportedly prompting Cook’s call for the eradication of analysts.

Mostly, though, analysts, pundits and the market alike were spooked by the bad news, which one noted “rolled off of Tim Cook’s tongue a little like rancid butter off of a rusty knife”. Mac sales remained flat, with Apple only managing to sell 4.2m units, and iPod sales continued to fall, with only a single iPod being sold somewhere in Wales. The Apple TV refresh also disappointed the entire world, including members of undiscovered tribes in the rainforest, with the new $99 unit merely doubling in power, adding approximately 300 content partners, and providing the means to install apps, rather than being a massive new standalone television unit. “I’m totally bummed,” said Lyst. “I was hoping to spend all my money on a new TV, but all Apple did was iterate on an existing device. Steve Jobs would never have allowed that.”

Wall Street was unimpressed with the numbers, despite Tim Cook noting Apple had $137 billion in cash reserves, which it was planning to spend on buying “California”. In after-hours trading, AAPL fell to $152.11 per share, and analysts argued Apple was “done” and “doomed” and “failing to innovate”. They argued the company should “be more like Samsung, Microsoft, Google and Amazon,” especially noting Amazon’s “exciting manner of not actually making a profit, which shows they are doing something, rather than rolling around naked on $50 bills all day, which is how we imagine executive meetings at Apple to be”.

In a rare move for Apple, Cook within hours announced and broadcast an impromptu web keynote, unveiling a new product. “You want something new, eh?” snarled Cook, his lip visibly quivering. “Today I’m proud to unleash iNinja, a chip that can be implanted into anyone’s brain, turning them into crack assassins. We’ve already secretly placed these chips inside every Apple Store employee,” he added with a cackle and a “mwahaha”. Analysts were excited to hear Apple had “started innovating again”, shortly before deranged Apple employees in blue T-shirts kicked their faces off.

January 24, 2013. Read more in: Apple, Humour

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