Technology and the occasional justified rant


Apple, please take note

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?

appleicons.jpgIssue 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.

…works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, lives in Camberley (Surrey, England), plays the guitar to a mediocre standard, and runs 10 kms and half marathons at an average speed. That’s it really.


Darren Adams • 29 March 2008

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  1. Bruce Elgort 30 March 2008 - 5:23 am Reply

    “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.”

    Almost every time Darren? iTunes doesn’t get updated all that often now does it?

  2. Scott Cochrane 30 March 2008 - 9:43 am Reply

    No it doesn’t. But I bet a lot of folk (me included) use iTunes to update the iPod and then don’t touch it for month or so, probably longer.

    So it might not be that often .. but I feel like everytime I open iTunes it prompts for upgrades.

  3. Darren 30 March 2008 - 7:09 pm Reply

    Bang on Scott. The wife buys some turgid chart pap every week, whereas I buy CDs when something good is released, and then it goes into iTunes. So it can be a month or so before I launch it again.

  4. Bruce Elgort 30 March 2008 - 7:47 pm Reply


    Why not uncheck the box in the preferences to automagically check for updates? That should probably solve your problem.

  5. Darren 30 March 2008 - 9:23 pm Reply

    Hi Bruce… I don’t have a problem with iTunes prompting me about updates – I can ignore or accept them. My problem is the bloody thing spawning icons left, right and centre when I do decide to perform an update.

  6. Bruce Elgort 1 April 2008 - 3:40 am Reply


    I hear you and agree with you :-).

  7. Ports 1 April 2008 - 9:32 am Reply

    I also find the adding of icons irritating and frankly arrogant. As is the attempt to force me to install Quicktime, Safari. It’s bad enough that they force me to use iTunes to sync my iPod.

  8. Tony C 1 April 2008 - 4:20 pm Reply

    You guys!!

  9. Darren 2 April 2008 - 12:02 am Reply

    Woody, I was hoping you were gonna tell us you have a Zune. How does that kiddy manage your music library?

  10. Matt 5 April 2008 - 1:30 am Reply

    I just encountered the dodgy setup process for POP3 email. I was about to rip out what bit of hair I have left, as I kept getting the certificate errors – and then I got sidetracked and left the Touch on the side. I came back to it about 5 minutes later and there was my email.

    Good that it worked in the end, but what a damn pain – enough to frighten most people off doing it – especially after paying £12 for the privilege.

  11. Darren 6 April 2008 - 2:37 pm Reply

    Connected the iPod to the computer this morning just to charge it. iTunes opened and invited me to upgrade to 7.6.2. I have installed, so that’s a .0.0.1 increment. I wonder what’s new.


    So Bruce, yes, almost every time. I ignored it, I’ll wait for 7.6.3. Or maybe 7.7.

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