2015: Apple’s year in beta

“All of Apple’s products this year were just fine. You could settle yourself totally within the Apple ecosystem and use Apple Music and Apple News on your iPhone while taking Live Photos and you would be just fine. You wouldn’t have the best time, but you wouldn’t have the worst one, either,” Nilay Patel writes for The Verge. “It would just be fine.”

“And that’s really the issue. We’re not used to Apple being just fine,” Patel writes. “We’re used to Apple being wildly better than the competition, or sometimes much worse, but always being ahead of the curve on some significant axis. But what we got in 2015 was an Apple that released more products than ever, all of which felt incomplete in extremely meaningful ways — ways that meant that their products were just fine, and often just the same as everyone else’s.”

Patel writes, “I would go so far as to say every new Apple product or feature released in 2015 was essentially in beta.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes. Basically, exactly what we warned about a year ago came to pass. Canaries in the coal mine. Chirp, peep, trill.

Bottom line: We long to again be able to confidently say of our Macs, iPhones, and iPads: “It just works.” — MacDailyNews, January 5, 2015

Steve Jobs would not have tolerated the parade of mediocrity that Apple displayed throughout 2015. Why does Tim Cook?

We pray that Apple can irradiate the insidious cancer of diminished expectations before it metastasizes too far.

​Apple’s dirty little secret: Sucky software – why Apple’s entire UX/UI team needs to be fired – November 19, 2015
What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot – November 18, 2015
Alternatives to Apple’s bloated iTunes – November 17, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro debuts with forced reboots, missing Apple Pencils – November 16, 2015
Apple’s perplexingly incomplete launch of the iPad Pro – November 16, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
Apple’s major problem is Tim Cook – November 16, 2015
At Apple, it seems as if no one’s minding the store – November 13, 2015
Houston Chronicle’s Silverman reviews new Apple TV: This cake needed more baking – November 9, 2015
The new Apple TV has more rough edges than a sack of saw blades – November 3, 2015
Apple Music one month later: Not loving it, but I’ll be subscribing to it – August 10, 2015
The tragedy of iTunes: Nothing ‘just works’ – July 28, 2015
Apple Music, both on iOS and OS X, is an embarrassing and confusing mess – July 10, 2015
After many of complaints about Wi-Fi issues, Apple dumps discoveryd in latest OS X beta – May 27, 2015
OS X 10.10.2: Wi-Fi problems continue to plague some Mac users – January 30, 2015
The software and services that Apple needs to fix – January 14, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. The question is one of comparison – Did Apple simply not meet our own expectations or did they execute less well than their industry competitors?

    The rub – many expectations are as limitless as science fiction.

    1. Wrong question. Forget about comparisons with half-assed rivals. That’s too low a bar to set for Apple.

      The question is: Did Apple delight their customers in 2015?

      Sadly, in too many cases (Apple Watch, iOS, OS X, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Smart Keyboard, Apple TV, Apple Battery Case), they did not.

    2. You weren’t a fan of TC from the start so dont try to kid anyone. Your rant would be so much more interesting had you not for the humpteenth time regurgitated that dumb shit pertaining to sexual preference. Lay off of that or step out of the wardrobe and let the world know you’re gay, dont be ashamed, in fact it’s okay.

      1. And you think Tim Cook’s homosexuality has no bearing on his behavior? If you get life wrong on big issues, you usually get it wrong on smaller issues, too. Cook isn’t confident in his masculinity (for whatever reason) and has taken Apple into a detour through fashion land. Why would a tech company head do that? Is that a good idea? How do such decisions get made? In the mind of the insecure man, fashion and ultraluxe are things that make him feel good. It’s a pretty common correlation, like it or not. I am concerned that Cook is simply using Apple to fete his lifestyle and cover up his insecurities to the detriment of Apple, Inc. I think he’d rather play with sparkly things in beta than put in the effort to make things that are insanely great.

  2. Apple executed less. Steve Jobs, for instance, had cracked the code of the TV a few years before he died. Fast forward to years later… to today… and Apple is a ship on a wayward path without a solid leader.

    I have nothing against Tim Cook personally. But he’s not getting the job done. As Jobs said in his bio, “He’s not a product guy”. Without that product guy at Apple, this is what you get.

    -I gave up on Apple Music.
    -Apple Watch is useless to me.
    -No 4k and no Apps as channels with a solid programming subscription package on Apple TV means it’s dead to me as a product.
    -12″ MacBook horribly slow. Gave up on it.
    -Apple News is so plain and boring I’ve forgotten about it.
    -Never used Apple Pay. It’s only now available in Canada and only for AMEX.

    On and on.

    Apple has both lost its magic and its step without Jobs. It’s design by committee now folks, with a leader who’s more concerned about gay rights and status than he is about fixing his crap products, creating amazing products, and signing deals to get the job done.

  3. I think everyone is being a bit harsh on Apple. My assessment of their 2015 products is:

    Apple Watch – Not having worn a watch for 20 years, I’m not sure why I need it. Interestingly, I took my wife to check one out before Xmas and her assessment was that it was not quite ready for prime time. So she didn’t get an Apple Watch from Santa.

    El Capitan – A 5-start operating system. The Snow Leopard of the 21st Century. Polished, smooth, fast, consistent. What more could you ask?

    Apple TV – While the remote is cool, not enough new features to replace my existing Apple TV.

    MacBook – I still don’t understand why this is needed. Steve Jobs created the four quadrant grid of computers. Two desktops and two laptops, one each for professionals and normal users. The Macbook doesn’t fit into the grid. WTF?

    Apple Music – For $10/month I get everything I could possibly want in music. Plus, the playlists seem to be created by real people and they allow me to discover new music. I don’t understand what all the bitching is about.

    Apple Pay – Jury is still out on this, since I just got a new iPhone at Xmas that finally allows me to use Apple Pay.

    All in all, not a bad year. No terrible screw-ups like the initial Apple Maps. Plus most products are continuing to improve like Maps. Also, the Apple ecosystem is becoming even more integrated and better.

    So if you are really unhappy with Apple, replace your Macs with Dells, trade in your iPhone for an Android, toss your Apple TV and install a Roku, listen to Pandora, pay with your credit and debit card, and slap a Timex or Fitbit on your wrist.

    There, are you happy now?

    1. In the “Mac” category, I think that Intel has held up a number of models. I think the new Macbook Pro’s with Skylake processors in 2016 will be impressive . . . The chip in the 2015 Macbook was underwhelming, so hopefully the next generation will be better . . . Finally, no more 5400rpm drives in iMacs — it’s 2016.

    2. Nope, not happy with El Capitan. Still a horrible, non-ergonomic UI, which can’t be skinned. Comparing this to Snow Leopard (a visual delight) demonstrates an inability to understand why people loathe El Cap and the whole flat fad.

    1. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist. But let’s not forget some of his own failures: remember Mobile Me? Remember antenna gate with the iPhone 4? Remember the Macbook Air being so underpowered and over priced, like they say about the new MacBook? Remember the Cube? Remember how the original iPhone was only 2g, and lacked copy and paste?

      This is really getting tiresome, how all of a sudden everything Tim Cook does sucks, but everything Steve Jobs did was perfect? Get real. Those do not match the facts.

      1. The Cube was awesome. LOL about copy/paste – small potatoes. Nobody is saying that Jobs didn’t screw up. What people are saying is that Jobs did release some amazing stuff and did so consistantly. I haven’t seen the same level of performance from Cook.

  4. Yawn. Same old complaints. Take the Macbook for example. The exact same type of criticism was said of the MacBook Air when Steve Jobs released it.

    Apple Music: I love it; no problems. That’s the way it is for most people.

    Apple TV: the first real breakthrough in TV in a long time. And just because some writer says that Steve Jobs “cracked the code” on how to do TV…that means nothing. We don’t know what that meant, or how close to reality that was.

    The iPhone 6s/6s Plus is anything but a beta product, but a really wonderful iteration that gets pretty much everything right.

    El Capitan gets it right. iOS 9 gets it right.

    1. Except that the MBA has more than one port.
      The iPhone 6/6s is one example of Cook getting it right. I’d argue another is the retina iMac. However, do you see the trend? Those are far and few between, and certainly not revolutionary.

      El Cap sucks rocks, if you care about ergonomics and visual aesthetics. iOS9 has the same problem.

  5. As far as software goes, I have experienced more glitchy, unstable, inconsistent, and error prone OS X and iOS issues than ever before. Apple needs to clean up the software, period.

  6. To be honest Apple’s online services sucked throughout Steve Jobs’ tenure as CEO.

    Jobs’ “Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?”
    An employee volunteers an answer.
    Jobs “So why the fuck doesn’t it do that?”

    Apple – from iTools to iCloud has been less than it could- or should- be. Given Apple’s money and pool of talent the products should be much better.

    Apple Music is an abortion- a back alley coat hanger abortion. I have an extensive library and also subscribe to iTunes Match- yet my mobile music experience is far better on Spotify than on iOS with music I own. This should not be.

    I think Apple has intentionally fucked up iTunes on iOS to drive people to their rental music scheme.

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