It turns out that hardware is not software.
iPhones bend, although not easily, They crack and stop working and some don’t come off the assembly line right. The first iPhone 3G I bought could take five minutes of touches before becoming unresponsive and had to be swapped immediately.
But iPhones do not melt in people’s pockets because the Apple Aluminium service is experiencing downtime or when you, horror of horrors, leave continental USA. If something is wonky you can generally tell just by holding them. Jony Ive and the design team fondle them (their iOS devices, that is) in their hands for thousands of hours before they say go.
Hardware is not easy, but it is simple. It is set in one shape and doesn’t change, except for accessories on the outside and software on the inside. And of hardware and software, only hardware determines the indomitable schedule. Work your asses off to ship what needs to be shipped, and then it’s off to the races with the next product. I’m not going to say that every product is handled like this all the time, but it probably doesn’t help.
Ever since I upgraded (cranks are reminded to add their air quotes here) to El Capitan, dragging something towards the top of the screen is an exercise in frustration, and dragging something to the menu bar in order to cancel the drag is a gesture set in muscle memory that I’m struggling to unlearn. Whenever you get close, Mission Control springs to life. Mission Control is great, if you have five windows open. If you have between 10 or 20 apps open and several of them have state-restoration, let’s-restore-everything, Quit-doesn’t-mean-clean-slate endless amounts of windows, it is an exercise in chugging. It takes half a minute, then you get one frame. It takes ten seconds more for the next. This is a MacBook Pro Retina (Early 2015), so it’s not a 2011 Mac mini with low memory and a slight limp.
This is still better than in various versions since Mountain Lion, where occasionally loginwindow would come crashing down of exhaustion. This. Swiping between full screen windows. Attempting to use full-split-screen. It just doesn’t work. It’s a marquee feature and it doesn’t work if you actually use the thing too hard.
Add to this iCloud Photo Library fucking said library right in the butt on numerous occasions, even though I waited until it was out of beta until I started using it. Sorry, can’t find that file. Sorry, taking fucking forever to upload this. Sorry, here’s a god damn thumbnail the size of a petroleum molecule with body image issues.
Add to this storing all these Numbers documents in iCloud because I might need them one day on my iPhone. Then I do need them, and I open Numbers on my iPhone, and 30 documents start syncing now for the first time, and none of them get anywhere, and there are several duplicates, and I can’t even tell it which to download first, not that it matters because like I said, none of them fucking progress in the slightest.
This is not Haxies. This is not jailbreak. This is not unsandboxed, unencrypted, uncryptographically signed. This is Apple’s own software running on Apple’s own OS, running on Apple’s own hardware, talking to Apple’s own fucking internet services the way Apple pretend it just works if you do. And it just. Plain. Stupid. Fucking. Doesn’t. Work.
I’m not even the only one I know to have half of these problems.
So yes. Hardware is not easy. But apparently, mastering magnetism, CNC machining, sub-millimeter precision tolerances and gold metallurgy is nothing compared to loading up your own software beyond where you think it should be used – or not even beyond sometimes.