Thursday, January 12, 2017

Six Colors’ 2016 Apple Report Card

Jason Snell:

“Apple TV has effectively stood still in 2016, despite needing significant attention in UI and remote design, performance, bugs, and reliability,” said Marco Arment. “Third-party apps and games have mostly failed to materialize, with Apple making no meaningful changes to address this.”


“I’ve been using Apple computers since 1980, and this is the first year where I feel like Apple is just another company rather than the computer that delighted me through all these decades,” said Brent Simmons. “It feels like Apple is no longer the company for people who make things.”

“This is a company that has lost touch with its users,” said Kirk McElhearn. “They’re harming their reputation with long-time users, they’re killing themselves in the ‘pro’ sector, where Apple used to be the main provider, and even ‘average’ users are starting to question whether it’s worth buying Apple products.”

Unlike much of the panel, I did not see a software quality improvement in 2016.

Previously: Apple’s 2016 in Review, Six Colors’ Apple Report Card.

Update (2017-01-12): Nick Heer:

From my perspective, Apple’s 2016 was uneven, at best. Unlike the panel, I thought the iPad had a pretty poor 2016: the 9.7-inch iPad Pro was introduced in the spring, and then it seemed like they forgot all about the iPad’s hardware and software for the rest of the year. My Apple TV gets lots of use, but mostly as a Netflix and YouTube box; very few streaming services are available in Canada. The Mac story is frustrating, and software quality is still rough. Over the course of many of the products and updates introduced this year, I’ve also felt that Apple has struggled to establish clear narratives and compelling rationales.

On a positive note, the reliability of Apple’s cloud services have noticeably improved, iOS 10 fixes many of my biggest complaints — while introducing some new ones — developer relations seem improved, and the company’s commitment to privacy is a particular highlight.

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