I’ve never been a conceptual fan of skeuomorphism, even when I thought I was a fan of it. I’ve sort of been thinking about it for a while—why I thought skeuomorphism was the way to go, not in terms of technology but in how I embraced it and how that behavior changed my practices. Now I’ve got a replacement iPhone while mine gets its new battery and it’s not my phone, it’s an identical phone with all my data returned, either through local backup or various syncing services. And it feels like my phone. Interacting with it, even with the Touch ID not set right, it feels no different, which means there’s little or no connection with the individual apps. Whereas I can have a pen I have to use or a notebook I have to use or a certain cup for my morning coffee before writing. The phone is functional and there’s no imaginative investment into it. It’s not magic. It’s not even imitation magic. It’s just a limited function device. iOS and MacOS both have their own independent problems. MacOS isn’t fun. iOS is fun but it isn’t powerful. iOS is dependent on some external computer, less likely our own, more likely the cloud. It’s a client. It aggregates cloud services.
I listened to a podcast earlier about how Apple’s earnings prove everyone’s concerns wrong. Apple has been seen having little innovation lately because they’ve had little innovation lately. And, really, it’s since Steve Jobs died. Not because he died, but because personal computing technology had an inevitability about it. It could get so fast, it could get so small. The touch screen interface defined it more than size or processor speed ever did. Anyway, since then, Apple’s basically just done awesome variations on existing products. Bigger phones, bigger iPads, smaller iPads, whatever. They’ve let iPod die even though there’s a market for them. All the other stuff. And there are all sorts of great tidbits lately, supporting what Apple’s doing. But they’re constricting. They’re going into services. They’ve gotten good enough on technology. And iOS matters. It’s why I’m staying with iPhone no matter what. I love the iOS. For when I want to look up at clouds. Games are now cloud dependent. Everything is cloud dependent. Not because it needs the storage, but because it needs the processing. The phones, for all their awesomeness, are just in constant contact with a real computer.
I don’t know why I’m so bitter about it. Oh, wait. Because Apple hasn’t made a computer to be excited about in years. The MacBook Air. The first one, the unaffordable one, just because it was something different. But the current MacBook Air isn’t powerful enough. It’s a nice machine, but it’s nowhere near powerful enough. With the delay between releases and the general lack of innovation—even bad innovation—on hardware and in software, MacOS seems like it’s in danger of becoming too much like iOS. It’s only worth so much of a headache. Do you want an iPad Mini problem, an iPad Air problem, or an iPad Pro problem. But not with the Mac. They’re too expensive for what they provide. The whole point of Apple is they’re expensive, but worth it for what they provide.