I miss Steve Jobs. The tech world is so boring. So beige. Things haven’t been the same without his show-and-tells, him slamming people left and right, or his email replies in the middle of the night.
Apple hasn’t been the same either. And, wherever he is, Jobs probably doesn’t like some of the things that have been happening or are about to happen in Cupertino. Here are the 10 things that would have probably made him shout his classic “this is shit!”
According to his authorised biography, Jobs really never tried Siri. He was handed the iPhone 4S at the last board meeting he attended, just before he resigned. According to Walter Isaacson, he appeared puzzled and less than impressed after playing with it briefly. Not surprising. Siri was and is a beta product. And a broken one at that. Apple treats Siri as the main reason to buy the iPhone 4S, even though it’s really a gimmick that people rarely use. Had he known its problems, it’s hard to imagine that he would have approved its release in a final product.
2. 16:9 4-inch iPhone screen
If this rumour is true, the ghost of Jobs wouldn’t be happy. He really hated the idea of a 16:9 screen for both the iPhone and the iPad. He mentioned it publicly and in his biography. He believed Apple already had the perfect format. According to his own words, the company worked for years on finding just the right ratio, and they found that 3.5 inches was the optimal and most comfortable size. The one and only size. He even joked that 4-inch Android phones looked like skateboards.
3. Supply execs and managers in engineering meetings
According to Apple engineers, things are changing inside the company: there is a “growing presence of project managers and supply chain execs” within the company. They are present in every important meeting, which didn’t happen when Jobs was at the helm. He would have never allowed these external executives to interfere with the genius of his engineers and designers. Jobs believed that the creation of Apple products had to be free of any compromise.
4. Negotiating with Google-puppet Samsung
Jobs vowed to stop Android no matter what. For him there was no room to negotiate: Android phones were shit facsimiles of Apple products. He repeatedly said that Apple put a lot of effort in creating the iPhone, patented the hell out of it, and was going to defend it with all its arsenal. He believed that Eric Schmidt betrayed him and Apple, and he didn’t want their money or a settlement of any kind. He just wanted them to stop using Apple’s ideas in Android. He would have never sit down to negotiate with who he thought were thieves.
5. That shitty Apple TV user interface
Jobs hated the current Apple TV user interface. According to an Apple engineer, he rejected it five years ago. And when he rejected something, it’s because he really hated it. But someone at Apple thought it would be good to put it back in the Apple TV now that he’s gone. He’s probably thinking “those cheating clowns! this is bullshit!” every time someone cranks up the set top box with his company’s logo on it.
6. Making products with worse specs
That new iPad’s thickness is 0.37 inches and weighs 1.44 pounds, compared to the 0.34 inches and 1.34 pounds of the iPad 2. All while the battery life has decreased to 9 hours vs 10 hours using it. These differences are not dramatic, but they are a step back in Apple’s star product. They represent compromise, and compromise is for b-players, something that Jobs hated. He constantly pushed engineers and suppliers to get the product he wanted.
7. Supporting charities
This was a huge no-no for Steve Jobs, who repeatedly denied giving charities anything. The only time Apple teamed up with anyone during his tenure was with Red, the non-profit AIDS-fighting organisation supported by U2′s Bono. Jobs wasn’t convinced about it, but he went along with it because it was a marketing win for Apple to get U2 to support the iPod. But now Apple is actively giving to charities without asking for anything in return. $US50 million so far. Cook is even giving Red space on Apple’s home page with no product marketing tie-in, something that Apple’s have only done when a major catastrophe — like the Haitian earthquake or the Japanese tsunami — hit. That’s not saying charity is bad! Just that Jobs never approved of it.
8. Giving stock dividends
This was another no-no for Steve Jobs. Obsessed by Apple’s near-death experience when he returned to the company, Jobs hated the idea of giving a single cent to Apple’s shareholders. Every analyst and investment company knew this. He wanted his war chest to keep increasing, to invest back in the company and to have at the ready to make strategic acquisitions. That’s why Apple never gave dividends, even while they were able to do so for a long time now.
9. Company leaks, like the ones with Apple TV and Foxconn
Nobody would have dared to talk about a future product when Jobs was alive. Nobody. Much less the CEO of its biggest supplier. Although it was later denied, this is what happened with Foxconn’s boss and the Apple TV set. I’m sure Steve would send undead ninjas to kill this guy if he could.
10. User interface details
This skeuomorphism thing is getting out of control. And there are a thousand little details that Apple is now fucking up in their user interfaces. Something that Jobs would have never allowed, with his obsessive attention to detail. When he was alive and in full strength, Jobs reportedly went through even the most minute details of every product.
Perhaps someone should get Steve Jobs’ soulmate on the top job.
Yes, I’m talking about this guy. [Thanks Blakeley!]
Seriously? This is shit!