Daring Fireball: My 2018 Apple Report Card

I think Gruber is too kind.

I give the retail experience an F.

Fun to browse but a pain to check out and getting service sucks and in places like Singapore – where they have a flagship store, they are too busy and always route you to the local repair place. Which frankly is a better service anyway so I go straight there.

In essence – I have no real reason to ever go to the Apple flagship store. Which is kind of silly.

Daring Fireball: My 2018 Apple Report Card:

I’ve disliked the experience of buying stuff at the Apple Store ever since they did away with queues for checking out. I just want to get in line, wait my turn, pay, and leave. Instead, the way to check out at an Apple Store is to wander around until you get the attention of an employee who has one of the handheld checkout iPod Touches. This can be maddening. My wife refuses to shop at an Apple Store for this reason. I know you can use the Apple Store app to check yourself out, but I don’t like it. Part of the reason Apple’s stores are too crowded is that people are wandering around trying to pay for things.

And getting technical support at Apple Stores is terrible now. In the old days you could just walk in with a broken or otherwise problematic device and get an appointment at the Genius Bar within the hour. Now, the Genius Bar is booked for days in advance — sometimes close to a week. In some ways that’s inevitable — Apple is way more popular now than it was pre-iPhone. But inevitable or not, the result is that getting support at an Apple Store now stinks. And frankly, the technical acumen of the Genius Bar staffers is now hit-or-miss.

“Today at Apple” is nice, but the primary purposes of an Apple Store should be shopping and service — and I think both of those experiences should be a lot better.

Apple in 2018: The Six Colors report card – Six Colors

I have an XR. It is the best iPhone ever. Great size and the battery life is amaze balls. I go all day, hard usage, and have battery to spare by the time I get home. That has never been the case for me for any iPhone.

For the screen is similar to my TV complaints – I don’t like LED TV’s. I still have too old, but awesome, Panasonic Plasma TV’s that I hope never die. Always wished I had bought the biggest version of them while they were still around. The colours are just better to my eyes.

Same way I feel when I look at my XR compared to my wife’s X – I like the LCD more.

But service and support is waning. Even with an Apple store in Singapore the service is no better.


We had a new iPhone X break within 2 weeks of purchase. My rule would if any apple hardware breaks within a month you should get a brand new device. Kind of like a lemon law of sorts. Apple, at the official store, refused and we had to get a new screen.

This week the same phone broke and I didn’t get it fixed at apple since it is out of warranty and it is cheaper to fix elsewhere.

The tech who fixed it showed me that apple did a ba repair job and a cable was pinched that broke but you can’t fix these things. Only new screens.

They suck.

Apple in 2018: The Six Colors report card – Six Colors:

There was effusive praise for the iPhone XR, which brought most of the features of the iPhone X to a lower price. John Siracusa said, “The iPhone XR gives us a glimpse of what a few well-chosen trade-offs can deliver.” John Gruber said, “After spending a few weeks using an XR full-time, I honestly question whether its LCD isn’t better than the XS’s OLED for my needs.”

Apple says it’s banning Facebook’s research app that collects users’ personal information – Recode

I see this as a good start to body checking FB but I hope Apple goes further than this.

Mere mortals can do only one thing to escape FB, which is don’t use the service.

However large platforms like Apple and Google could work harder to keep fFB from abusing users on said platforms.

So much for Google being a good actor in any of this :: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/30/googles-also-peddling-a-data-collector-through-apples-back-door/

I hope Apple takes this a step further.

In the meantime – apart from making bank, it must suck to work at FB these days.

Apple says it’s banning Facebook’s research app that collects users’ personal information – Recode

iPhone XR

I have been using an iPhone 7S plus for a while. Everything works so no complaints – especially with iOS 12.

Been waiting for my contract to be up at M1 so I can move to their new unlimited data plans. Which will actually make my phone bill cheaper.

Happened to walk by an M1 shop to check on my re-contract and sure enough it was time to change my plan and get a new phone.

Since the iPhone XR’s are not selling well they have them super cheap right now. I picked up a 256G for 140 SGD – just silly.

At those prices of course I feel like the value is their and for me the biggest impact is the eSim – added my number with the QR code scan but apart from that faceID is just amaze balls.

Of course the phone is fast and the camera all feel improved.


Daring Fireball: On Netflix Pulling Out of iTunes Billing for New Users

Been beating this drum for years – Apple is to closed minded about working with anyone if the choose not to go the normal way.

Personally think this is why they can’t build a base in emerging markets – they basically want a credit card based relationship and many users in emerging markets don’t have a card. 

They were also way slow to carrier billing and still make non official alternative options too hard.

I hate using Android but Google is slightly easier to deal with in this regard.

Daring Fireball: On Netflix Pulling Out of iTunes Billing for New Users

Facebook Removing Onavo VPN From App Store After Apple Says It Violates Data Collection Policies – Mac Rumors

No company is perfect but out of the big ones – I still feel like Apple is trying the hardest around these types of issues.


Facebook Removing Onavo VPN From App Store After Apple Says It Violates Data Collection Policies – Mac Rumors:

Update: Apple provided the following statement on the removal of Onavo: We work hard to protect user privacy and data security throughout the Apple ecosystem. With the latest update to our guidelines, we made it explicitly clear that apps should not collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing and must make it clear what user data will be collected and how it will be used.

The Apple I Knew… – 500ish Words

Totally agree with this one.

I have had 2 new phones that had a issue with a week of buying and both times I had to wait many days and use a loaner phone in the meantime.

Brand new phones. And then I am handed a loaner.

I also get sick of the – we can’t just give you a new phone cause you didn’t buy the phone from apple you bought it from your carrier. Yeah – dumbass. That is how most people get their new phones.

Apple freaking prints bags of money on demand. One would think if I just buy a new phone and it breaks within days that I would much prefer to be handed a new phone rather than wait to get it fixed.

I also know the scale of apple is immense but they have enough cash to solve this.

One suggestion I have is to get off of the 3rd party repair centers and open proper apple repair/warranty offices in each town and keep them separate from the apple store. It’s not the same problem to be honest and why combine it?

Regardless. Apple is a rich company – it’s sad to see them half ass after sales support.

The Apple I Knew… – 500ish Words:

Maybe from a bottom-line perspective it is! But I’m suggesting that there are other things that are perhaps more important than the bottom-line. Some of these things are tangible (customer experience!) some are intangible (customer delight!) — but they all not only add up, but compound to create another insanely happy customer who will never leave your ecosystem. That’s the kind of thing money can’t buy, so I’d imagine it’s certainly worth waiving a $290 repair fee for a device you’re about to deprecate.

Anyway, again, I know I sound a little silly complaining about this. But I also know this is not an isolated incident. And so I’d just implore Apple not to lose sight of their roots here. To sweat the small stuff. To remember that a trillion dollar market cap didn’t just come from people buying $1,000+ phones for the hell of it. They bought them and continue to buy them for a reason. And a big reason is increasingly being overlooked…