I don’t really want to have a pop at Apple. I loved my trusty 4th generation iPod, I love the 5th generation iPod I was bequeathed when the wife got her iPod touch (generously provided by me for Christmas, and that’s a fine piece of kit too), and I sometimes look enviously at the offspring’s new iPod nano which for something so compact is an amazing item. Unlike Ports I like iTunes, and if I had a Mac I bet I’d love that as well. So what’s my beef?
Issue number 1 – the wife’s laptop has the most unreliable WiFi adapter I’ve ever encountered, and I have said several hundred times “if you don’t agree with the idea of spending a few hundred quid on a new one don’t keep moaning about that one”. The suggestion to buy the iPod touch software update, the one containing an e-mail client, was met with a little bit of scepticism – but in the end she agreed. She could pick up e-mail anywhere in the house. Great. The e-mail client supports POP3, so I thought it would be a doddle to set up. Hmmm…
The actual process should have been easy – type in the server names, user name and password, and press ‘Done’. However, I encountered more than a few error messages about it not supporting secure connections. After a while I worked out that if I ignored these and retried the setup I could get past the errors, and then in the final piece of the setup tell it not to require a secure connection, it actually worked. Fine, but I’ve been in the computer industry a good few years and I know about this type of stuff. For the average layman this process would have been baffling and probably wouldn’t have ended in success. Did Apple perform any usability testing?
Issue number 2 – unlike the wife, I don’t have a problem with the fact that I’m prompted to install a new version of iTunes almost every time I launch it. But I’ll tell you what I do have a problem with – I like a clean desktop, uncluttered by icons, so it really annoys me that after every iTunes update I have to clean up icons from the start menu, the desktop and the bottom launch bar. Yeah, okay, many other application installs don’t give you that option, but I really don’t need QuickTime shortcuts. If I use QuickTime, it’s always through clicking on a movie file. Apple, please add an install option for not adding icons all over the place.