Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Apple products' cries for attention

I don't know why but Apple seems to make their products very whiney. I don't own a Mac, so I'm not going to say anything about them, but I have used iTunes for years and an iPod Touch for about 7 months.

First up, iTunes.When you open the info page on an item that has the things like "Artist" and "Album" and then switch to another program, iTunes will steal focus, reminding you that the info page is open. And I do mean steal. Not flashing the taskbar, oh no. It will grab you away from whatever you're doing to say "HEY. PAY ATTENTION TO ME. Are you done editing with this item?" And it will continue to do that until you finally close the window. You want to look up some lyrics to a song? Nope, iTunes needs attention. You want to see how Paramore prints the title of "RIOT!"/"Riot!"? Nope, iTunes is calling. It's unnecessary and completely annoying. It really puts off an air of snobbishness to me, but maybe I'm reading things in. It seems like Apple is so convinced that their product is amazing that they assume you'll be solely working in iTunes, not multitasking.

Anyway, on to the iPod Touch. If you've owned one, you know of the super annoying "This accessory is not supported" message. Now I understand the message, that's fine....when you first plug it in. But instead, Apple decided to have the message pop up every few minutes to remind you that the accessory you have had plugged in did not magically transform and become compatible.

First off, it's annoying. Secondly, it will wake up your iPod, not only to show you the message, but also for however long you have set in preferences before auto-lock kicks in. When I first got my Touch, I left it in my Insten Dock all night, and after my computer shut down, it stopped charging. "That's ok," I thought, "It's fully charged, it's already ready for tomorrow morning." I grab it as I'm heading out to work the next morning to discover that the battery is low. Why? Well, my guess is, that stupid error popped up every 4 minutes all night long, every time waking the screen (and probably the wifi as well) and draining power. I didn't see that coming. I suspected it would show you the error once and then shut up about it which is the logical thing to do. But instead, it cried "Mama" till it literally killed itself.

Of course, this is all before iOS 4, in which they very well could have fixed this problem. But the fact remains, even in a 3rd generation iPod Touch, did any Apple employee use the prototype for an extended amount of time and realize "God, this is really freaking annoying"?

Go cry to your motherboard iStuff,

 [UPDATE 7-18-10]
I also forget to mention how iTunes will randomly show the pop-up telling you to update, which will steal focus, even moving you several workspaces away.

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