Tag Archives: Apple

Why I Now Hate Apple (Hint: Chatbots)

In a famous Monty Python sketch, John Cleese tries to return a dead parrot to the shopkeeper where he bought it. However, the shopkeeper is impervious to reason and claims the clearly dead parrot is still alive.

Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch

I just had a “dead parrot” moment with iTunes support. Their support used to be excellent, but the humans have now been replaced by imbecilic chatbots. This is a serious miscalculation.

What really annoys customers is when they are not listened to, and not listening is the one core competency of today’s chatbots. Being served platitudes about “we understand you are unhappy” doesn’t make me happier…

If you are considering chatbots for some aspect of your operation, make sure to offer an option for the customer to give feedback. Apple doesn’t, and Tim Cook probably thinks their support is brilliant. It isn’t.

Too Productive? Try a Smartwatch

I love gadgets at least as much as the next tech guy (or girl), but I have a hard time finding a use case for smart watches like the Apple Watch. If you have spent any time at all investigating productivity, you will have found that interruptions are the bane of efficient work. It’s bad enough that we have laptop, tablet and phone to constantly beep interruptions – why would I want a fourth device to do this?

I’ve carefully disabled notifications on my mobile devices and run my Mac in “Do Not Disturbmode. I can’t see any reason to strap a device to my wrist whose only purpose is to disturb me.

Fortunately, it seems that many people are wising up to the fact that the Apple watch is a solution in search of a problem:


I challenge you to come up with a reasonable use case for wearing a smart watch all day.

OK Watch, What’s the Time?

While we’re waiting for the mythical iWatch, Google has already released Android Wear, and the first two Android Wear watches are here.  And they’re ugly.

If I’m going to wear something like that on my wrist, I need a really compelling usecase. I’m not sure that getting even more notifications and reacting 0.8 seconds faster is what I’m looking for.

When my latest Nike FuelBand eventually dies (they seem to last about a year, which is possibly why Nike fired the entire FuelBand team), I think I’ll pick up a Withings Activate. It does activity tracking like my FuelBand and has a new, innovative user interface not seen on a smart watch before: It looks like a watch.

Winning the game by changing it

There was an interesting article and graph on Business Insider on how Apple has beaten the Microsoft monopoly.

In 2008, 28% of Windows users had an Apple product. In 2013, that number was up to 70%. Seven out of every ten Windows users have an Apple product today. Apple could not beat the incumbent monopolist in the operating system game, so they changed the game. And now Apple is worth around 500 billion and Microsoft at 300 billion is trying to keep up.

If you are faced with a hopeless obstacle, look for ways to circumvent it. IT people tend to have very linear minds, but there are always options to change the game. Make sure you have someone on your team who can generate creative ideas.

On a Mac everything “just works”? Think again!

Lured by the ads that the new Apple 24″ LED Cinema Display was “made for the Macbook Air”, I brought one home. But it is not made for my 4-month old MacBook Air – only for MacBook Air from November 2008 and later. Even though Apple needed another display connector like a moose needs a hatrack, they decided to give the 24″ LED Cinema Display only their own Mini DisplayPort. By publishing the spec, this Apple-only interface has magically been turned into a “standard” – used by exactly three notebooks in the universe. And my 1st generation MacBook air has a Micro-DVI port, not a Mini DisplayPort.

So is there an adapter? No. Can I have the old 23″ Apple monitor to go with my “old” Macbook? Sorry, Apple has discontinued those.

Pleased with my MacBook Air (awesome, even the 1st gen), I was ready to set up an iMac at home. But now it’s abundantly clear that the time when everything “just worked” with Mac was before Steve Jobs went on sick leave…