iOS9 Makes Tim Cook Look Exciting

by Colin Berkshire

IOS9 is out. This is the latest and greatest iPhone and iPad release from Apple. It was part of a “monster” announcement Apple recently made.

The benefits of IOS9 are pretty negligible. It’s Apple’s most boring release, ever!

You still can’t print to a PDF file, so you can’t create a PDF for many apps, like mail which can print. It is possible to create a PDF file in a convoluted way in a limited number of apps by using the “Share” menu and then sharing with iBooks. A PDF will then be in your ibooks. But the iPhone mail app can’t “share”. Sorry.

The right-side app fly-out is almost good. It lets you open and use a second app. So, while composing an email you can pull up your photos and browse for one of them. This is a seriously flawed feature because it works only in some apps. And, once you have found a photo you can’t just drag it or paste it into the main app (like an email.) What were the Apple folks thinking…that I would want to browse for photos in my sidebar and NOT want to paste the one I found in?

They moved the “show as desktop” feature, but it still doesn’t work. This is the feature that requests that a website not show you the mobile view, but to use the full desktop view. That button is now buried under the “Share” sheet (where nobody would think to look.) But that’s OK because I haven’t yet found a website where this feature actually works.

The new Notes app is nicely flawed. The new Notes app lets you paste in photos and draw things, which is nice. But you can’t use the “Markup” feature on a photo. And, you can’t sort the list of notes by title nor can you arrange them in the order you please. Perhaps nobody at Apple uses Notes, so they don’t care.

The calculator is unchanged. It would have been nice to have a calculator that could do financial calculations or a square root. Or, perhaps, that ad a memory. But then, Apple may feel it is better to make me waste 30 minute of my time shopping for a third party calculator. I just want a reasonable calculator without having to do that.

Siri dictation is erratic. It now often leaves a space after your dictation, so if you fill in web forms by dictating your name or email address there will be an error caused by that hidden but real extra space. Sometimes, the dictated text will be left highlighted, so when you dictate the next paragraph the last one is overwritten.

Trackpad mode is not on the iPhone. I like the new trackpad mode on the iPad where you can move the cursor and highlight text by using two fingers on the keypad. Why didn’t Apple implement this on the iPhone? I just hate the inconsistent behavior between devices that is ever increasing. Likewise, using iPad’s trackpad you can pause on a location and drop a selection pin and then move to the next location. That’s great. But why can’t I do the same thing in single finger mode? Again, it’s another frustrating inconsistency.

Inconsistencies abound. The way you move notes from one folder to the next is completely different from the way you move one email to a different folder. Why? They should be the same, consistent way. The trash works differently. Every app seems to invent some new, and inconsistent way of doing the very same things from all of the other similar Apple apps. Is nobody in charge of software consistency anymore?

The lightning connector lives on. The lightning connector—which serves no useful purpose beyond what a simple USB connector does—continues to live on. It’s an insult to Apple users, and a costly inconvenience. I cannot think of one single benefit that the Lightning cable gives over a USB (and preferably a USB-C).

Apple reminds me a lot of what happened after the death of Walt Disney. A capable, intelligent, but uninspired management just don’t maintain the quality, consistency, drive, and creativity that Walt had. They continued to do more of the same thing, but the luster was lost. Within five years it was clear nothing new was happening. Within 10 years Disney was dreadful. And, eventually the hatchet men wanted to take-over the company and sell the pieces off.

Tim Cook is a nice person. But I get the impression he expunges the drive for perfection out of his company in favor of calm, employee happiness, and mediocrity.