The Mac App Store (update)

Apparently now i can update Xcode.

Xcode update

Although teoretically evey App is updated.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 00 20 42

This were pictures taken with a second apart. And i have restarted the App Store a couple of times before just to make sure it wasn’t a small temporary malfunction.

And did you know that for every small update of xcode i have to download 4,5 GB of (this is really what is going on folks…) an “install xcode” application that will install Xcode and i must keep on my Application folder so that the App store can keep if i have xcode installed! This is absurd. over 6 Gb for the Xcode itself and another 4,5 GB of an install app that i must keep permanently on my Application folder?

I thought the all purpose of the App Store was for “easy” application finding, management and updates…

The Mac App Store

Works really well… ((huge sarcasm signal here folks…))

Screen shot 2011 04 14 at 23 33 14

Until now i have managed to hate the update process, the root ownership of the apps, the lack of option to choose where i want them installed and the garbage that accumulates on your “purchase history”.

This litter is created from every single free app that i choose to download, try out and erase if not useful or the quality i was looking for. With every other app i would download, try, delete the app and the dmg file and there was no more. But not with the App Store. It keeps them there, if i ever want to download 10 different solitaire games again. I might you know?. And the ones i paid and actually want to install again ? i need to look in to all of the garbage to find it, as i can’t simply selectively erase the “purchase history”

Add to that the absolute moronic behaviour in computers with more than one user and different apple accounts, and for me the app store is done. Either they change radically that crashing train or i’m not on board anymore.

When i started thinking about this blog my main point was to alert to the dangers and faults of a company run like ” a small boutique” by an all controlling maestro, that mainly only controls what he thinks is interesting or stimulating, while at the same time all of the other “boring” stuff, day-to-day corrections and consumer care are being neglected and simply exhausted of man-power.

I have no idea of what goes on at Apple. But i do know that you can’t run a company with over 40 K employes that has over 50 millions consumers/users (in the Mac world alone) with a small 100 person A team so that Steve can memorise its names… (( I read that info on a very interesting interview by John Sculley to Macworld i think.)) It’s unheard of and simply it’s not working. Either Apple gets more folks and start having a “regular” enterprise structures (even with all of the unfortunate bloat that carries), without concentrating everything on a small enlightened leader or the big step forward Apple has taken in the last years will be followed by a big client drain as soon as possible (by any other option).

This kind of mess, the mess represented by the idiotic, poorly thought out and completely rushed to the consumer App Store, is just one of the many signals of the deteriorating quality control and attention at Cupertino. You don’t have to be Ballmer to run a company to the ground. Any leader that doesn’t know when it’s time to change gears or pass the ball to another kind of leader, can do that too.


Used to be a very tricky thing at Apple’land.

Apparently with the launch of the new ipad they just managed to got it right?

Screen shot 2011 03 02 at 19 40 38

Thunderbolt & SSD

If Thunderbolt port has data flowing at 10 Gigabit per second and the current Serial ATA interface only outputs at 6 Gigabit per second, doesn’t that mean that is actually better to have my data on a external disk with Thunderbolt? ((granted that that hard disk has a Thunderbolt connector inside and not SATA->Thunderbolt converter))

So the better solution for the current Macbooks is to have a small SSD drive inside (64 or 128 GB) for system and apps and a larger standard disk outside for everything else?

It appears that by doing so you completely eliminate the hard disk bottleneck.

And can the next Macbooks generation come with Thunderbolt connector for everything inside?

Happy Birthday Steve


Yep, definitely today ((Rumor is that they are launched specifically today as it is Steve Jobs birthday. But as all Apple related rumors, there is no actual base of information to say that. )) that the new Macbook Pro are launched. The Apple Store is already down. So let’s see what this “Thunderbolt” port can do!

Apple as Carrier

To be perfectly clear i would be ok with Apple current proposal of terms of service and the App Store lockdown if:

  1. Apple would offer the iOS device locked to the Apple Store and with the 30% cut of every in-app purchase for 50% of the “regular” price
  2. Apple would offer the iOS device unlocked to the App Store and without the greedy in-app purchase cut for the regular price it is now charging.

You know, like a carrier! Either you pay the full price for the phone/device and it is yours to do as you please, or you buy it from us and play in our walled DisneyWorld.

Apple currently wants to own the best of two worlds. You pay full price AND you have to play in their walled AppleWorld where everything you do gets them a piece of the action.

You can’t always get what you want, as Mick would say.

Whose backyard?

“Rules change when you play in someone else’s backyard — it sucks, but if you are smart you can still be wildly successful. The 30% cut isn’t great (though it does look great from a strict consumers view), but it isn’t the end of the App Store — I bet it only makes the App Store better by ridding it of more junk apps.”

Ben Brooks

Ben, and a lot of other bloggers and anonymous commenters, seem to interiorize every new restriction put on the iOS app store with the same basic idea: “It’s Apple’s backyard” “they are the ones who build and maintain the app store…” “A lot of blood sweat and tears (not the song) went into these wonderful devices. ((yep. someone actually said this. you can check that in the comments section of the current Apple Pravda )) ((I actually waste an incredible amount of time reading the comments on most news sites. It gives me insight on the “horde” thinking. Sometimes there is actually a commenter who has something of value to be said, but usually is just a incredible window on what the “real masses” outside of my circle are saying. ))

But the point is that is not Apple’s backyard. It’s my backyard! I paid for the iPad, or the iPhone or other iOS device. ((For the argument sake let’s just assume that i actually have paid for one and possess one ok?)) Apple didn’t subsidised it, didn’t gave it away for free. No! They made the consumer pay for it. And a significant amount of money ((which amazingly still is a lot cheaper than all of the iPad killers out there.)) too.

So Apple sells a device to consumers and restricts consumers from installing apps from other sources than her own store. OK. I can live with that. As long as Apple then surrenders any kind of “moral” control or censorship. Because there should only be only two options on the table.

  • a) Apple allows other sources in a sub-sub menu hidden in Settings and as such she can restrict and control what she wants in the App Store.
  • b) Apple doesn’t allow other sources and as such doesn’t restrict, beside the technical and security issues, what apps can i buy.

Right? No. There is also a third option which shouldn’t exist:

  • c) Apple doesn’t allow other sources of apps and heavily restricts what i can or can’t install on my device, including issues of moral (my personal issue not Apple’s), dubious legal issues (wikileaks anyone?) or “where’s my cut?!” issues (the current 30% issue).

And this third option is where we are standing today. Does it make sense that I, the consumer, am not allowed to watch porn ((Freedom from porn they say. I’ll take my liberty with a little of racy flavour thank you so much.)) on my device when i already pay my taxes, live my life alone and am usually considered by everyone else an adult?

Or that I can’t buy magazines and other in-app purchases at the price that the publish or developer believes is right? Hasn’t he already paid an Apple iOS subscription? Is he not selling to me, the consumer who already paid for his iOS device, an extra content, whatever that may be, that doesn’t involve Apple service or servers? So why should Apple get a cut on this? Their cut was the 499€ the ipad costs here. (( A quick guess: is that more or less than 499$?))

Apple is going on a wrong path here. A path that it already had started before when the Single App Store model was implemented but which has been turning for the worse every day. Why should wikileaks app be banished but Le Monde, El Mundo, the NY Times, Der Spiegel and every other major newspaper that publishes and treats the wikileaks data not? And why should it be banished at all if no legal action has been put by the US government on the wikileaks org? And why should i, an european, living in europe, be subject to “abide” by american laws to which i have no contact?

I’m not sure if this is a matter of anti-monopoly regulation but it definitely should be looked upon by the consumer rights regulator authority. Because that’s Apple focus right? The consumers?

I agree with most of the advantages Ben and others indicate. The privacy, the convenience, the quality control of Apple Store. That’s all ok and i would probably prefer it anyway. I just don’t consider the loss of options ((freedom was a too strong word here.)) as an advantage.

Skype 5

I’ve tried the last Skype 5. It took me as long to try it as the beta, back in November or so. 30 minutes. I then reverted back to the previous version.

It’s beyond description what they have done to the User Interface. It’s huge, disproportionate, confuse, it has contacts in CoverFlow (Seriously? why would i want that???), i can’t hide offline contacts, i can’t understand how to close individual chats (without going to the menu bar) and they just accumulate on the sidebar, etc, etc.  It’s an über-mess.

What’s even more amazing is that they had exactly the same type of feedback on the Beta, yet managed to make no major corrections whatsoever. Sometimes i really don’t understand what’s going on in some companies.

Numbers? Who uses Numbers?

“This entire article is nice and all, but left me with this one thought: Does “Mr. Spreadsheet” use Excel or Apple’s own Numbers program? It’s got to be Numbers right? But then, really, Numbers?”

Ben Brooks

Yep. Who uses Numbers? I would really like to check out the numbers of sales of at the App Store in 6 months time.

From my experience, the only valuable application in the iWorks suite is Keynote. Pages is, at best, on par with competition text editors and only within a restricted type of usage. And Numbers is totally irrelevant. Why it exists is beyond me. I would prefer that iWorks would come with something like Bento in the suite.

About Customer Feedback

And the way Apple eschews them, Macworld has an interesting flashback of some of those moments.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses,” said Henry Ford. Like the automobile pioneer, Apple has long eschewed focus groups and popular opinion in determining how make its products insanely great, focusing instead on making its own design decisions without soliciting its customers’ prior approval. But even Apple and CEO Steve Jobs may not always know best. Sometimes, the company has revisited its decisions in light of user outcry—though certainly there are times that user complaints haven’t spurred any Apple changes. Here are some examples of each.

An interesting read, if not only to check out some of the insanity that sometimes takes over Cupertino. Of course it really didn’t had to be this way. Apple could still take bold and daring steps into the future and unknown areas and then insert the customer feedback into the decision loop of corrections and updates or new products. But that seems farfetched for the small jewelry boutique Steve wants.