The last release of Mac OS-X showed that Apple were going to eventually merge OS-X (their desktop OS) and iOS (their tablet OS). I was just kinda hoping it would take longer.
10.7 added new and annoying features like auto-hiding the scroll bars of windows, and in fact, initially when they unhid, I had to aim for fucking ages to try and click on the little fuckers. I quickly (but not quick enough for my sanity to keep ahold of itself) found out that I had to click about half a centimetre above or below where the scroll bar actually appeared on the screen. And this didn’t fix the issue when the scroll bar was less than half a centimetre away from top or bottom of the window. Then my only choice was to use the scroll wheel. This was eventually fixed in an update, but I would have thought that got a bit of testing snuck in there before release. More fool me.
The auto-hiding of scrollbars also extended to the horizontal plane, so when a window, like Finder, wasn’t wide enough to accommodate all the fields, a horizontal scrollbar would appear. And it would hide the last row of text. Luckily they thought of that, because it was possible to scroll a wee bit extra on the vertical axis, and that would scroll the window up a bit more, like a kind of buffer zone. But you had to hold it there, hovering in limbo, because as soon as you let go of the mouse, or the fingers on the touch-pad, it’d snap back to the hidden state.
So yeah, I had to scroll down vertically to see what it was thoughtfully hiding on the horizontal. This hasn’t been fixed yet.
And now 10.8 is coming out, as a digital only, mind you — and that’s probably the only thing I liked about 10.7, it was cheap at something like US$35 as a digital download, as opposed to probably $150-odd if I was to buy a physical copy — so now those who want physical copies can’t. You’ll have to make your own recovery discs. And hopefully you’ll do it before your system dies, otherwise you’re reamed.
I think that this is driving home that Apple are probably going to get to the point where their desktops are just throw-away items. Hard drive died? Ah well, no biggie. Buy a new machine.
In 10.8, they’ve also added something called Gatekeeper, a feature which only lets you install apps that are approved by them. In other words, only stuff from the App Store. You can get around this by clicking past all the warnings, but how long before you can’t? You can’t on iOS. It’s App Store or the highway buddy. My prediction is that within the next couple of releases, OS-X and iOS will be one OS, the exact same interface for their tablets, phones, and desktops.
Initially I figured that they did this — and they’re far from the only ones — to save the user from the trouble of complexities of life, you know, like thought. And I always assumed that this could be good for the end users who aren’t “computer people.” But recently, having my Dad use GMail — and my own personal frustrations with all the Google apps and their fucking whitespace for ‘Nam — I’ve found that having only one way to do things IS FUCKING BULLSHIT. Even for the technophobes like my Dad. Hell, especially for the technophobes, for whom when an icon changes or moves 2mm, they are absolutely fucked. Not even just a little rimjob. Utterly fucked. Retraining ahoy motherfuckers.
Seriously, I feel that this new age of dumbed down app UIs not being configurable is a backward step. It’s condescending and it’s elitist. It’s like, hey, we know how you want to use the app, or how you should use the app, so that’s it. If you want to do it a different way, you can just get bent. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s their apps, but when features that make them infinitely more usable are nothing more complex than gorram tickboxes and displaying or not displaying part of an interface, then why do they stick to their guns so diligently?
Hell, even Google succumbed and added features to GMail and Reader that cut down all that whitespace. It was just a drop-down menu. That’s all it takes sometimes. Because you know what the alternative is?
Users walk. Like me. Now that my Mac has an Intel CPU, I’m just going to install Linux on it. Screw Apple, and screw iOS-X. Or maybe they’ll call it OS-Xi. Then it’ll sound like Oh! Sexy when pronounced.
No thanks, I’ll wait for Oh! Usable.