Apple Stumbles Remind Us No Tech Is Perfect

First Apple sent out a bunch of corrupted apps for iOS and Mac users. Then it emerged that an app containing malware had found its way into the App Store despite Apple's apparently rigorous . The lesson? No matter how great a technology is, something can always go wrong.

Picture by Quinn Dombrowski

I make this point purely because the "it just works" comments is one of the frequent slurs that hardcore Apple fanatics throw at anyone experiencing issues on other platforms. It's an annoying meme, and it's one that experience will always demonstrate to be wishful thinking. Macs and iOS devices run software. Software can always have problems.

Equally, those problems can be fixed: Apple has begun work on sorting out the corrupted apps issue, and it has already withdrawn the malware-laden app (as has Google; problems happen everywhere). Gloating over them is pointless, but pretending they never happened means you never learn anything.

Neither of these recent glitches mean that the average Apple device owner isn't going to continue to be extremely happy with their purchases, or that the high level of enthusiasm for Apple's gear is going to wane. Aiming to make products that are powerful and easy to use is a fine ambition for the company. But jumping from "I like this" to "This can never go wrong" is a step customers should have grown out of by now.


Comments

    I have been using a Windows 7 based machine for 3 years and i havent had a single problem.
    I agree that the "it just works" thing is complete rubbish.

    I think the "it just works" is due to the fact that it (generally) does what it is supposed to do and I do not think it means that it is bulletproof. Thinking that a technology "will just work" is being plainly naive and ignorant.

    As one of the "It Just works" crowd, coming from a Apple sucks, i will never buy a mac , ipod (i was a proud owner of a Rio Karma) or iPhone. After using a Windows Mobile 6 on a HTC 8525 TyTn and constant crashes and the like i eventually went iPhone 4 when it came out because it was almost good enough and "it just works" compared with WM6 (and i didn't like any android phones at the time). I still refuse macs or ipods for myself (though i use the ipod function on my phone now).

    As yannick has stated, "it just works" isnt blind faith it just means you dont have to screw around to get it working, you dont have to worry if apps are going to work or not, if they have minimum HW requirements its just a matter of does it need 3G, 3GS , 4 or 4S and/or iOS #. Not how well does it work on this screen resolution etc.

    As what others have pointed out before me, the "it just works" phrase refers more to usability of the product than a magical unicorn that powers your ios device. I had an iPhone 4 and switched to a galaxy nexus, though nexus is a great phone, I still miss my iPhone 4 because it just worked.
    Call me stupid but I had a tough time in setting up contacts on my nexus because Google thought that I wanted all my zillion gmail contacts on my Phone, without even asking me. Trying to sync your exchange calendar, you would think "sync my calendar setting would work yeah? Well not according to google, apparently you have to go and fiddle around with some other hidden settings.

    So yes, on an ios device, it just works.

      When you add your Google account to your phone it asks you what to sync. If the Contacts box is unticked they won't sync.

      On the other hand, when I got my first Android phone, I was delighted to find I didn't have to set up my contacts -- my meticulously maintained Gmail contacts were already there. I didn't have to do anything, It Just Worked™.

        Exactly. I love it when people complain because it brought in everything in their account regardless of how messy their account is. This is expected functionality but you can actually pick which contacts are shown in the contacts app too if that is your problem.

          My Google account is incredibly messy. All the services overlap, all the contacts from my phone copied to my gmail contacts and my gmail contacts to my phone. My gmail is mostly just a hub of internet promotions and shopping. The friends I added on Google+ sometimes carry across but mostly not. The way they maintain their accounts being a big decider on how my contacts look.

          Google is messy. It is a messy clump of services. I love those services individually but I fucking hate having everything overlapped. I dont my picasa albums on Google +, and I dont want photos I take to go into my Picasa albums.

          I dont want to have to create a Picasa album to set a Google homepage background.

          I dont want a Google + account at all anymore, but I also dont want my google account to look incomplete and anonymous.

          Arghhhhh, I need to sit down and figure the google shit out, I know. But its so daunting, and theres so many services I've used at one time or another that makes it a near impossible job. Its frustrating to think about the state my Google profile/account/photos/contacts/social page looks like.
          Its fucking terrible.

    ^It is a little difficult to set-up, but trust me it is much better than iOS when you get everything set-up.

    I think Windows PCs and Android are perfect for people who like to be free and tinker a little. I love my Windows based PCs, and I really love my Android based devices. I had an iPhone when the craze struck, and as a standard phone it was OK, but the phone was much better when I jailbroke it.

    All Apple products are locked down so even the most naive person can't break it, so they are perfect for people who are not tech savy, plus this is also how Apple has become so rich, if you want something you have to pay for the privilege.

      Dennison; "I think Windows PCs and Android are perfect for people who like to be free and tinker a little." That is so not true. You are having illusions of freedom.

      Windows was not designed to let you be "free" and Microsoft produced many and many proprietary protocols, ignoring the standard ones. This is where the hatred against IE started. It is only because Windows has been around a long time and people know how to "hack" it. As for Android, if it were so free, why does it come "unrooted"?

      Either rooting or jailbreaking (technically the same thing?) comes at the cost of reliability.

        An unrooted Android phone provides 10000 times the freedom that an unjailbroken iPhone does. I can't use an iPhone that isn't jailbroken. It's far to restrictive. A rooted Android phone provides slightly more freedom, but the phone is still perfectly usable without doing it.

          I only became satisfied with my Galaxy S2 when I locked it down to one page, got rid of widgets and clocks and all the messy shit, put the icons I actually use on the front page and that is it.
          I much prefer not having all these half baked services to change fonts and the way I can display a clock and change what icons look like. It ends up looking messy, shit and unusable. I know that's my fault but I'm always going to blame the phone for it.

        A phone doesn't come pre-rooted, because it gives too much responsibility to a person. They could easily delete something from /system and screw their phone over.

        My Google Nexus came locked and unrooted, but I was able to unlock (officially) and root it (semi officially) with ease.

        You do have valid points, but even something as simple as theming, changing launcher/home feel and look, or even at one stage even just homescreen wallpapers to an iOS device is/was not allowed.

        Jailbreaking and rooting have never posed a issue of reliability at all, but then again I know what I am doing and I know how to fix things if a problem ever arose. The funny thing is my three Android phones are rooted and running different ROMs from standard, and they all are actually performing better than factory. With my iPhone, when I had it jailbroken, I was using Cydia Apps that would allow functions that were only adopted in later firmwares (Like QuickSMS).

        As for Windows, yes the it has a lot of things that are "locked down" but it doesn't take to much to unlock certain aspects of functionality. IE is not really a core component to Windows functionality, and it can be easily replaced by another substitute (that's the sort of freedom I was referring to), the selection seems a little slim with Apple in comparison.

        I'm not having a go at Apple or it's users (We are all Fanboys of something), please do not take offence, as it is not intended.

          Dennison; No offence taken :) I am not comparing the phones; everyone has a preference and that is fine. Our past experience also affects how we look at it. For instance, my Android phone was a bad experience but I respect the choice of other people using Android.

          If you have good sysadmin practices and know what you are doing, any system works fine. I was just using IE as an example to illustrate how corporate giants try to lock its users. Microsoft always imposed its own technology, Google keeps extending its range of services, and Apple keeps preventing customisation (for example, the new Macbooks have the RAM and SSD soldered). It comes down to what you need and which company you dislike the least.

            Thanks for understanding I'm not a troll! :-)

            I didn't know that Macbooks have their SSDs and RAM soldered. But I guess its a good idea so dodgy tinkerers don't totally stuff everything up by swapping components, blowing their machine up, and then try to claim warranties, and if they don't get it they start bagging out everything from that brand.

    Really? Google Calendars through exchange took me around three minutes to set up on my iPhone.

    Though I agree that the first time you use google contacts (I've been just using that on my phons since it came out) is a pain, but after that it works pretty flawlessly.

    If you ever thought Apple was perfect, you are an idiot.

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