I’ve come to own a bunch of Apple hardware. It looks good. It kind of works. But I don’t particularly like it, and I can’t imagine using it daily. In this article, I’ll go over my lists of numerous reasons why it sucks, and the few why it might not be complete rubbish after all.
Remember that Apple’s primary goal is extracting money.
I’ll start with some of the main complaints of Louis Rossmann, who is a qualified repair technician of these devices, and knows very well what goes wrong with them:
The display flex cable is fragile, and/because it is exposed to dirt.
The machines aren’t liquid-resistant at all, and liquid damage is very likely to short the CPU to high voltage power rails. Doing something about this design issue would harm Apple’s sales, so they won’t.
Once the SSD wears out, or otherwise decides to die, you’re plainly screwed.
My personal issues with the laptop are these:
The metal body is fairly sharp in places, such as around vents. It hurts.
The thermal ergonomy is horrible:
When the ambient temperature is low, the metal body acts like a heatsink, and is way too fucking cold to the touch, until you naturally heat up the machine.
When under load, the keyboard can get almost too hot to touch—this is also extremely uncomfortable.
No hibernate-after-sleep option (…standby… in pmset), so if you forget to turn it off, your battery is completely dead in a week. You can set it to hibernate always, which introduces avoidable delays and SSD wear.
While the display is amongst the best ones you could find in a laptop, it has rather miserable angles, getting a blue tint near the edges. This distracts me.
More of a software issue: the mouse cursor can hide behind the notch.
The display has high brightness, and a wide gamut (Apple uses Display P3).
The speakers sound really good, even though it’s all software trickery.
The keyboard is pretty okay, which can’t be said about many other laptops.
This device is generally a disaster:
Again, the edges are too sharp. Very unergonomic.
Dragging fingers over a glass surface is unpleasant. The design relies on you creating a film of skin oil, or perhaps having completely dry skin. The mouse gets dirty.
It requires you to hold it in a very particular way, not laying your palm on it, or scrolling doesn’t work as it should—there will be no scroll inertia.
When it turns on, it doesn’t connect automatically. You have to click it. This is very cryptic behaviour, and akin to shooting a gun without aiming.
Let’s not forget that you cannot use it while it is charging.
Horizontally scrolling through the timeline in DaVinci Resolve.
I’ve obtained one for experimental purposes, and it is bound to forever stay in storage:
The battery life is laughable.
There is no headphone jack, nor a microSD card slot.
It is unergonomically shaped, needlessly fragile, and heavy.
The camera bump is oddly positioned and ridiculously large, making it unwieldy.
I am comparing to a phone that came 8 years earlier, LG Nexus 5X, which I decidedly prefer. By the way, phones aren’t really getting larger, they just got cancer in the form of oversized camera bumps (yet basically all phones still make low quality photos):
At least outside forces finally made Apple adopt USB C, and even Samsung AKG headphones work fine (unlike with my MacBook Pro, see below). These are not competitive advantages.
I do not enjoy a single thing about iPhones, they do not stand out in any
positive way, perhaps unless you want to give your life away, and enter the
prison walled garden. I’ll rather go with Samsung Galaxy Ultra,
which has a stylus, a less awful operating system, and DeX.
Apple software follows three themes that make me want to do something violent upon usage:
Everything animates, and you can’t turn most of it off. It is extremely distracting, and keeps wasting my time. The most you can do is turn on "Reduce Motion", which only makes you not get vertigo and barf all over your prized possession.
It acts without your consent, such as automatically uploading your personal files to iCloud.
If you don’t like how they designed it for you, you can generally go fuck yourself.
Finder doesn’t understand SFTP nor MTP. The Enter key is for renaming, not opening. You cannot skip the trash bin when deleting files. When you select multiple files and enter Quick Look, the order is reversed.
Samsung AKG USB C headphones only randomly start working a few minutes after plugging them in. I’ve also repeatedly seen the kernel panic during CoreML inference.
It seems generally harder to get decent graphical software than on Linux, for example to get SFTP or MTP—what you find often looks very eccentric, as if it was made in the era of Windows 98. Many open source applications refuse successful porting.
It is impossible to set memory limits on a (sub)process, the system rather keeps swapping like crazy and wearing the SSD. There is no OOM killer at all, the most it can do is panic.
The disk encryption password is forced to be the same as user passwords.
The window manager is nearly unusable with the simple tasks, very basic otherwise, and it may not be effectively replaced.
Applications can activate without any window open, which gets extremely confusing.
Setting system-wide environment variables is limited.
Cocoa has a particularly convoluted design, and SwiftUI is bad.
It is technically based on BSD UNIX, making it somewhat familiar to Linux users.
Yet, the filesystem is normally case-insensitive, and I invite you to try out what this does:
$ touch /tmp/test:file $ open /tmp
Quartz is a cool technology.
The global menu is nice. If only it was tied to the concept of windows rather than applications—that would create less confusion.
Shortcat can exist. It needs Cocoa apps to work, but those are the majority.
The touch controls are annoying and difficult to use. I need to repeat many actions. I’ve never had that problem before.
Devices may not be used at all without an Apple account. Which needs a phone number.
There is no real sideloading, and Apple actively sabotaged EU’s regulations aiming to fix it, because it would mean less money for them.
Lens distortion is not corrected in photos. There is no way to get rid of it at all, as far as I can tell. Not even Adobe DNG Converter has profiles to correct it.