Since I purchased my first Apple device, an iMac, the world of technology has seen considerable changes. Back then, macOS (known as OS X at the time) was a revolutionary platform that offered an intuitive, consistent, and impressively well-designed experience. Everything seemed to be in its right place, as if Apple had anticipated my every need. But over the years, something has changed.
The last version of macOS I used was Yosemite, and that was the last time I felt that Apple truly cared about its users. With Yosemite, I began to experience slowdowns, system crashes, and compatibility issues. It was as if the magic had faded.
I don’t want to indulge in the usual nostalgic comparisons, saying, “Oh, the good old days of Steve Jobs…” because I believe there are many talented individuals still working at Apple. However, something has changed in the way Apple develops and releases its products. Perhaps political and economic interests are at play, or maybe the passion for perfection has been lost.
When I began to notice these changes, I decided to part ways with Apple and opted for Ubuntu. This marked the beginning of my journey into the world of Linux, where I actively contributed to the development of elementary OS by creating applications and reporting bugs. I felt fulfilled and rediscovered the joy of being part of an open-source community.
However, two years ago, I decided to give Apple another chance. I purchased an iPhone XR, and initially, it felt like coming back home. The Apple ecosystem promised a seamless user experience. But soon enough, I began to encounter vexing issues.
One of the initial disappointments revolved around Bluetooth. I connected my Xiaomi Pods (because not all of us are wealthy) to my iPhone XR, and everything seemed perfect at first. Music sounded great, and the controls worked flawlessly. However, when a call came in, something peculiar happened. The sound was automatically routed to the iPhone’s speaker. Each time, I had to manually answer and then switch back to the Pods, an inconvenience I had never experienced with other smartphones.
Another persistent issue was with the hotspot. Activating it was always uncertain, as the device seemed to disable it on its own without warning, even when I was actively using it. This inconvenience recurred frequently, and when the hotspot turned off by itself, I couldn’t reactivate it immediately. I had to wait for an undefined period before I could turn it back on. Not only that, sometimes it seemed activated, but it didn’t actually work.
The volume control in iOS seemed possessed. At times, the volume button’s response on the keyboard was at maximum even if the volume was set to the minimum or muted. This led to several embarrassing situations, especially in public settings where silence was necessary.
The performance of my iPhone XR, initially excellent, deteriorated progressively. Even common activities like web browsing became a challenge. Tabs in the browser would sometimes freeze, and there was no way to revive them, not even by reloading the page. They became like lifeless frames on the screen. I learned a workaround for this issue: if a tab froze, I had to long-press the address bar, drag it, close the tab, release the address bar, and then open a new one with the same link. It was more of a jungle than a Safari.
The situation worsened further after an accidental drop of my iPhone from just 5 cm in height. While I should take responsibility for the drop, I was surprised by how the device reacted. Initially, the damage seemed limited: two corners were broken, and two small blemishes appeared on the screen. However, the consequences were much more severe than I had anticipated.
After the fall, the battery life of the phone plummeted dramatically, lasting less than half a day with moderate use. But the problems didn’t stop there. Applications began behaving erratically, often crashing. Some apps could freeze up to six times in a row before they could be used again. In some cases, the screen would freeze completely, with no way to reactivate it or turn off the phone. Even seemingly simple tasks, like sending a voice message via Telegram, became impossible due to the app’s continuous crashes. Even native Apple applications, like the Notes app, were prone to issues, especially when using the keyboard’s dictation feature.
Suffice it to say, even though I acknowledge that I should have been more careful, a device in this price range should be able to withstand occasional accidents without suffering such devastating damage and without causing such a marked deterioration in performance and software stability.
With the arrival of iOS 17, I experienced a new set of problems, including overheating and even shorter battery life.
In conclusion, I admire the Apple ecosystem and its interconnectivity among devices. However, it is essential to ensure that everyday functionalities work flawlessly before adding new features and frills.
Recently, I explored alternatives, such as Android 13 on an older Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, and I am considering a Google Pixel 8. I am curious to see how Google tackles the challenge of developing a complete Android experience. I hope that other companies can compete with Apple in terms of device quality and longevity.
In summary, my experience with Apple has been a journey of love, disappointment, and hope for better alternatives. Who knows what the future holds in an ever-evolving technology market.