At some point in recent years, Apple decided that it really wanted to give services a shot. Since then, things like the stock Maps, Mail, iCloud, and a variety of other offerings from Apple have seen their fair share of attention, gripes, and praising. Nothing is perfect, but when it comes to Apple it seems like if any company is supposed to get as close to it as possible, its the Cupertino-based brand.
Recently there have been a few pieces published that articulate why Apple has fallen by the wayside when it comes to that expectation. As Apple has focused on launching services, the need to tear them apart to find out what’s wrong with them seems just as voracious as it was for the hardware back in the day.
Unfortunately for Apple, finding issues in the software these days doesn’t take that much digging.
Apple’s software and services have been taking a beating for awhile now, especially when you think back to how long iTunes has been around, and how many times we hear people say they don’t want to use the software at all, for whatever reason they might have. Apple may not have a ton of software available for its platforms, but the company has never updated all of it in one shot. There are a lot of teams working on these services, and sometimes Apple focuses its attention on other things in a given year, letting those teams work on fixes and new additions even longer — but at the same time letting the software that may have issues exist out in the real world even longer.
This is something that I’ve experienced off-and-on over the years, and even recently with Apple Music. I know there are people out there still using the software, and I’ve got friends that actually like it, but it was a mess at launch. It would have been a mess for any company to launch Apple Music in the state it was, but it was an exceptional case considering who actually launched it.
But Apple Music made me realize that most of these issues, the problems with Apple’s stock apps, don’t impact me in any meaningful way anymore because I just don’t use them. Which is a strange situation, because the ability to not use Apple’s apps was made possible by Apple and its App Store. Apple has stock options for things, like a calculator, or an alarm clock, or a way to take notes, or check up on the weather — but developers have the tools to create even better alternatives.
I’ve tried to use Apple’s stock apps, and sometimes I’ll go back to them just to try it out, but by then it’s already too late. I’m using a different app, one made not by Apple, and one I’ve probably paid for to use. And that’s funny to think about. Apple gives me free options out of the box (after I buy the phone, of course), but I’d rather spend even more money (in some cases) to get alternatives that, I believe, are better.
Apple probably has an app problem, and if it does I don’t have any doubt it’ll get fixed in time. But I’m also aware that I probably won’t even notice it, because I’ll still be using other apps instead.
What about you, though? Do you use Apple’s stock apps? If so, why? Or have you traditionally used third-party alternatives? Let me know!