Ditching Apple

I started using Apple computers on an almost daily basis during my time at the Poly of Wales. As an 11 years old our class had had a go on an Apple 2 and it was underwhelming. The dad of a lad I knew had a Sinclair Z81 and he let me have a go. That was when I became addicted to computer programming. I got a Spectrum that Xmas and barely saw daylight for then next few years.

The great thing about the Mac Lab at the PoW was that it was underused. There were always computers free and for someone who’s spelling is terrible - MacWrite would put a squiggly red line under the word, I could click and add the word to my dictionary or simple change it to the correct word. Not only did I have a 3.5 inch floppy for files, I had also copied MacWrite on to it in case the Mac I sat at didn’t have the software.

The PC’s in the other 4 labs were all running MS-DOS and if you wanted to print you had to get up out of your seat and change the switch box next to the printer. With the Macs you just selected print and it printed over the network.

Apple was already in decline by that point, I left the PoW for the world of work and it wasn’t until early 2005 that I got back on board. The big selling point was security and that actually getting stuff done was simple - the computer didn’t get in the way, there wasn’t a need for constant reboots and with each OS release the computer actually got faster.

None of that is now true. MacOS and iOS are buggy and more time is spent trying to get them to do what I want them to do than actually doing the things I need to do.

For example I have a 64GB iPhone X. 37GB of the storage capacity is given over to “System Files” - these are caches or some other crud that I can not remove except by deleting and re-installing apps at random in the hope that I manage to hit the right app that is not deleting its caches. iOS is asking me to “off load” my apps so I can save 3.7GB!! And until I delete something I can’t use the built in mail.app and the phone runs incredibly slowly. I’ve removed all the images and videos from WhatsApp and that kept me going for awhile. I’ve deleted all the apps that I don’t use or need anymore - plus a few I do need just in case they are the System Files hogs.

I got the use of my phone back for a while until the System Files decided to steal the free pace.

So I might as well be using Windows 95/98 - spending hours trying to get things working, deleting and re-installing apps. I only had a 14.4kps modem in 1995, at least with full fibre to the door I can find the answers quicker. I decided that I needed to go down the nuclear option - backup the iPhone, reset it and then restore.

Not as easy as it should have been because although I have a 500Gb hard disk in my MacBook - I only have just over 72Gb of free space. And that is not enough to back up my phone as seemingly it backs up the crap as well, although it won’t restore it if the article I read is to be believed. So I spent a good few hours looking for and deleting files I didn’t need any more - after moving those that I did onto external hard disks.

This process, although infuriating, is so much more - because it exposes Apple’s lies when it comes to the Apple App Store. Apple maintain that they must be gate-keepers to what is and isn’t allowed on the iPhone to stop misbehaving apps - be it bandwidth, fraud, privacy or just spraying the storage with files and never cleaning up afterwards.

Apple consistently repeats the lie that those who don’t want to create apps can simply create a web version - Apple has deliberately crippled Safari on the iPhone and iPad. The 30% cut when Apple launched the their App Store was actually a good deal - Apple created a streamlined way to take payments and were taking all the risks. This is not true anymore and hasn’t been for a long long time.

Ian Hislop described Apple as an international tax avoidance racket that made the odd phone and computer. And that really is the crux of the matter - silly me for thinking that the odd phone and computer would be any good.

PS The extra crap is down from 37GB to 4GB and my phone is usable - and I’ll keep using both my iPhone and MacBook until they either break or become unsupported. My next phone will be a Fair Phone and I’ll install OpenBSD on the MacBook Pro.