Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Why Are Apple Media Apps So Terrible

Reddit user heyyoudvd replying to a thread on Why do Apple’s media services apps suck so bad?:

This was the single biggest fear I had with Apple getting into the content business, and it’s coming to fruition. When you become a services company, you are financially incentivized to sell your services. You’re incentivized to put your content ahead of your end user experience.

That’s why the Music and TV apps feel like giant ads. Instead of providing you with tools to organize, arrange, and sift through your content, these apps are built like giant billboards, advertising the next movie and the next album that they want you to consume. It’s not about what you want to watch or listen to; it’s about what content they want to push on you.

The surprising thing from this thread is the fact that so many people don’t realise this. It’s the reason that most things from Apple are average at best and no where near the level of innovation they were in the past. When you reach a certain level of revenue and have overwhelming responsibilities to share holders, your outlook becomes much wider than it once was.

As Seth Goodin would say you have to start making “average products for average people”. You are no longer interested in creating great products for your fans, but need to look at larger and larger audiences and as such become vanilla.

Apple no longer makes iPhones, Macs, iPad, apps and everything else for you. It makes them for everyone.

The service example used here is a perfect one, there is no incentive to make the best app on the market any longer. If you’re Apple there is a huge incentive to make one that pushes its wears in your face. Apple no longer even conforms to its own rules for apps, and only upholds its App Store rules for some companies and not others. All in the pursuit of income and you, as users, should not be surprised.

Users hold up revenue figures and ridiculous numbers of iPhones sold as a badge of honor and then are surprised when it comes back to bite them in the ass. You don’t get it both ways I’m afraid.

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