Home / Apple / Apple in 2019: The Six Colors report card

Apple in 2019: The Six Colors report card

Apple in 2019: The Six Colors report card

Tim Cook

It’s time for our annual look again on Apple’s efficiency throughout the previous yr, as seen via the eyes of writers, editors, builders, podcasters, and different individuals who spend an terrible lot of time enthusiastic about Apple.

This is the fifth yr that I’ve offered this survey to a hand-selected group. They have been prompted with 12 completely different Apple-related topics, and requested to charge them on a scale from 1 to five and optionally present textual content commentary per class. I acquired 65 replies, with the typical outcomes as proven beneath:

Since I used largely the identical survey as in earlier years, I used to be in a position to observe the change in my panel’s consensus opinion on all however one query in comparison with earlier years. The web adjustments between 2018 and 2019 surveys is displayed beneath:

Read on for category-by-category grades, developments, and commentary from the panelists.

The Mac

Grade: B (common rating: three.6, median rating four, final yr: B-)

The Mac’s rating rose over final yr, and also you’d assume that our panel would have given Apple credit score for introducing the 16-inch MacGuide Pro with a scissor-switch keyboard. But its reward for that transfer was coupled with an entire lot of reservation and a way that the job’s removed from performed.

Charles Perry stated, “Apple really rescued their 2019 with the release of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.” David Sparks stated, “I’m so happy to see a new more reliable keyboard making its way into the line with the new MacBook Pro.”

Carolina Milanesi stated, “They should have sorted [the keyboard] out faster and also should have been more transparent about the issue.” Christina Warren stated, “This [keyboard] is a black mark Apple will not be able to easily overcome.” John Siracusa stated, “We can no longer take the longterm reliability of Apple’s laptop hardware for granted.”

Shahid Kamal Ahmad stated, “My happiness at Apple appearing to listen to its customers was tempered by a feeling that all they’d done was lifted their boots from our faces.” John Moltz stated, “You shouldn’t get much credit simply for fixing your long-term mistakes.” Andrew Laurence stated, “It took far too long to fix the polarizing disaster of the butterfly keyboard.”

Dr. Drang stated, “It was a painful detour. I was a decidedly Mac-first person but could not bring myself to buy a new Mac laptop and began testing iPads as my most-used computer.”

John Gruber stated, “None of the other MacBooks have that keyboard… if you buy a MacBook Air today — the best-selling, most-popular MacBook — you are not getting a good keyboard.”

After promising it in 2017, Apple shipped its all-new Mac Pro late in 2019, and a few members of the panel gave the corporate credit score for that, whereas others felt that it was a misfire.

John Siracusa stated, “The Mac Pro is a bright spot in Apple’s 2019: a long-expected party for high-end Mac users. Apple has listened to its customers that can always use more power and expandability—and are willing to pay for it.” Adam Engst stated, “The Mac Pro’s industrial design is another example of how Apple can listen to its customers when it wants to.”

Paul Kafasis stated, “I know I’m not alone in wishing that Apple would bring back a Power Mac style desktop, with higher end components and expandability, but a more reasonable price in the $2500-$5000 range…. neglecting the ‘middle class’ is at the very least a missed opportunity.”

Then there was macOS Catalina and different applied sciences rolled out at Apple’s 2019 developer convention, which have been met with lots of skepticism.

Marco Arment stated, “The hardware is much better than the software.” Rob Griffiths stated, “I think the new hardware has been really good… Catalina, on the other hand, is a mess.”

Charles Arthur stated, “Catalina and Catalyst are really uninspiring.” Steven Troughton-Smith stated, “Apple fumbled the start of their next major platform transition with Catalyst and SwiftUI with a poorly documented, barely-ready rushed debut for both technologies.” Stephen Hackett stated, “Apple needs to be clearer about what it thinks the future of Mac applications should be. Mac Catalyst and SwiftUI feel like they were on separate, parallel and secret paths within the company, just to end up crossing the line into the public at the same time at WWDC 2019.”

Glenn Fleishman stated, “Catalina was a disastrous release.” John Siracusa stated, “Apple has not done a good job communicating the benefits of Catalina, an update that… comes with more pitfalls than the average macOS update.” Joe Kissell stated, “Catalina was, and continues to be, a real downer in terms of missing features, bugs, and overall quality.” Andrew Laurence stated, “For the first time in my career, this IT professional warns users away from the new macOS, and took action to prevent users from installing it.”

Catalina’s modified strategy to safety particularly got here underneath hearth.

Stephen Hackett stated, “I can’t help but worry about Apple’s on-going tightening of the screws when it comes to macOS and the apps that run atop my OS of choice.” Benjamin Mayo stated, “Catalina’s privacy features were not fully designed and make for a pretty terrible first boot experience on updating to the new OS.”

John Gruber stated, “Catalina clearly bends too far in the direction of security. By design, it’s just too inconvenient… why in the world is the desktop treated as some sort of sensitive location?… There should be a single switch for expert users to toggle to effectively say ‘I trust all of the software on my Mac.’… I don’t know a single expert Mac user who is not seriously annoyed by the heavy-handed security design of Catalina… I genuinely fear for the future of the Mac as a platform for serious computer users…. Not one thing about Mac software got better in 2019 and everything that did change made it worse.”

The iPhone

Grade: A- (common rating: four.zero, median rating four, final yr: B+)

It’s good to be the king, and Apple’s iPhone 11 stored it driving excessive.

Rich Mogull stated, “The new models are home runs.” Dave Hamilton stated, “Deep Fusion and Night Mode are truly fantastic, almost overlooked, features.” Federico Viticci stated, ” the iPhone 11 Pro digicam has made me fall in love with taking footage on my iPhone once more.” Shahid Kamal Ahmad stated, “The latest model does everything with the swagger of a Bentley GT.”

Marco Arment stated, “iPhone hardware has never been better…. The iPhone 11 camera system isn’t just a great phone camera — it’s a great camera, period.” John Gruber stated, “I love all the iPhone 11 models. I’ve been an avid hobbyist photographer for 20 years and I happily shoot over 95 percent of my photos using my iPhone.” Shawn Blanc stated, “I think that they are making the right choices about what to incorporate and what to focus on: Battery life! Cameras!”

Carolina Milanesi stated, “The strongest portfolio yet… I particularly liked iPhone 11 being their mass market option, aimed at younger users as well as more price-conscious ones.” Casey Liss stated, “I cannot overstate how impressed I am by this camera.” John Siracusa stated, “The iPhone is at all times good, however these are nice.”

Now the dangerous information: iOS 13’s tough roll-out took some the shine off of the iPhone.

Glenn Fleishman known as iOS 13 “a minor disaster.” Dan Provost known as it “shockingly buggy.” Paul Kafasis cited an “incredibly sloppy, bug-filled roll-out.” Benjamin Mayo known as it “a big fumble.” Dr. Drang known as it “an embarrassment.” Sean Heber stated, “I don’t think I’ve ever had to reboot my phone as often as I have this year.”

Stephen Hackett stated, “I’m not sure what lessons Apple needs to learn over the release, but I hope that we won’t see another cycle like this one.” Casey Liss stated, “As an engineer, this smells a lot like marketing and/or management not listening to the rank-and-file engineers asking to take a breath.”

Charles Arthur stated, “The software has been an utter goatf—. Quite how Apple went from the stability of iOS 12 to the mess of iOS 13 should be a business study, if only someone would tell us about how it happened.”

(There’s way more on iOS 13 in the Software Reliability part, beneath.)

Finally, a number of panelists talked about the concept that Apple wants so as to add a smaller telephone to its portfolio. Philip Michaels stated, “If Apple comes out with an iPhone SE successor in the next year, all will be well.” Adam Engst stated, “Maybe we need to start mocking Apple’s designers as being incapable of designing a top-notch iPhone in an iPhone SE form factor.” And Paul Kafasis complained about “the continued lack of a smaller-sized top-of-the-line phones.”

The iPad

Grade: B+ (common rating: three.9, median rating four, final yr: A-)

The panelists have been massive followers of the unfold of Apple’s iPad choices, however (as with the iPhone) that enthusiasm was tainted by points with iPad software program.

Josh Centers stated, “The base-model iPad is a fantastic value, especially now that it supports both the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.” Kirk McElhearn stated, “The iPad has a full range of options for everyone.” Shahid Kamal Ahmad stated, “I was pleasantly surprised by the iPad mini 5… It’s light, fast, smooth and always available.”

Devindra Hardawar stated, “The new iPad is a tremendous deal, it’s getting to a point where every gadget geek should own one.” Adam C. Engst stated, “The iPad was the one place where Apple has managed to introduce hardware that offers entirely reasonable specs and keep the price low.”

But John Siracusa needed extra: “I’m ready for an OLED screen,” he stated.

In 2019 Apple determined to name the variant of iOS working on the iPad “iPadOS,” which acquired reward from some panelists.

Casey Liss stated, “iPadOS is definitely a step in the right direction.” David Sparks stated, “We just need Apple to keep the gas down on iPadOS improvements.” Federico Viticci stated, “Time will tell whether having a separate iPadOS will pay off for iPad aficionados craving annual updates to the tablet’s OS.” Lory Gil stated, “iPadOS made 2019 the year of the iPad.”

Steve Troughton-Smith stated, “It was so good to finally see some big ticket items that had been missing — like multiple windows, external storage support, a download manager, contextual menus, and even mouse support.”

But there have been lots of powerful phrases for the present state of the iPad software program expertise.

Dr. Drang stated, “Despite years of urging from iPad users, Apple still doesn’t seem to understand how much we want to do ‘real computer things’ on this device.”

Lex Friedman stated, “iPadOS still feels hacked together.” Michael E. Cohen stated, “The new multi-tasking iPadOS features are welcome but seem clumsily implemented.” Dan Moren stated, “The more I use it, the more I find the spots that really don’t work for me, chief among them the lackluster multitasking support.”

Benjamin Mayo stated, “My expectations for iPadOS were high… and I don’t think Apple quite met the hype. I fear it will be another two years before we see more changes in this department.” Alex Cox stated, “The iPad hardware continues to blow me away, but the software is still disappointing.”

Aleen Simms stated, “Swipe gestures on iPadOS are still baffling to me. They’re undiscoverable and not intuitive.” John Moltz stated, “Multitasking is still a mess.” Marco Arment stated, “Multitasking remains unintuitive.”

John Gruber stated, “To say that I’m not a fan of iPadOS is an understatement… Getting the split-screen and Slide Over stuff to work is utterly unintuitive… It’s madness. I’m glad Apple started branding iOS and iPadOS separately. One of them is very cohesive, the other is incoherent.”

Federico Viticci stated, “There’s still plenty left to address – from refinements to multiwindow and the Files app to bigger questions that are looming large over the iPad’s role in Apple’s ecosystem. Will the iPad continue to be ‘just a tablet’ with an optional keyboard in its second decade? Will we see Apple move toward a more hybrid approach with features inspired by and modeled after laptops? Something else entirely?”

Carolina Milanesi stated, “I think the new iPad Pro models are held back by how basic the keyboard is compared to the Surface keyboard.”

Apple Watch / Wearables

Apple Watch: Grade: A- (common rating: four.1, median rating four, final yr: A)

Wearables: Grade: A+ (common rating: four.6, median rating 5)

(Since I like to take care of continuity between years, I continued to ask the panelists to charge the Apple Watch. But since Apple now tends to speak about Wearables as a class—together with each Apple Watch and AirPods—I’ve determined to additionally ask about Wearables. This will enable me to match the panelists’ views on wearables starting with subsequent yr’s survey.)

Panelists have been nearly totally constructive about Apple’s efficiency in this class.

Charles Arthur stated, “In wearables, Apple has really got everything working just right: it’s really firing on all cylinders, with the timing just right and the updates nicely chosen.” Federico Viticci stated, “Apple has only cemented its role as the leader in the wearable revolution.”

AirPods got here in for nearly common phrase. John Siracusa stated, “AirPods are now officially a phenomenon.” Josh Centers stated, “I think it’s impressive that Apple is selling out of $250 wireless earbuds.” Dan Moren stated “AirPods Pro is… the closest for me that a recent Apple product has come to capturing that indefinable ‘magic.’” Steven Aquino stated, “AirPods Pro are without a doubt my favorite Apple product of the year.” Peter Cohen known as them “lightning in a bottle.” Jim Dalrymple stated they have been “the best thing to come out of Apple in a while.” Marco Arment known as them “fantastic, with a better fit for many people (like me) who AirPods didn’t fit.”

Gabe Weatherhead stated, “AirPods Pro is a device that redefines my expectations.” CGP Grey known as them “a masterful product that, with its transparency mode, made me feel like I had the first taste of augmented reality from an unexpected place.”

Christina Warren stated, “AirPods Pro are an incredible upgrade in almost every single way and are a great example of quintessential Apple refinement…. Apple is at its best with its wearables.” John Gruber stated they have been his “favorite headphones ever.”

But Rich Mogull provided a little bit of warning together with his reward: “I upgraded to the Pros and they are exceptional…. The only downside is the limited battery lifespan and replacement options. This is a long-term problem for Apple.”

The Apple Watch additionally was extensively praised, as you would possibly count on.

Lex Friedman stated, “I love the Apple Watch Series 5 so much. My favorite feature is the time. It tells me the time, all the time.” Paul Kafasis stated, “I’m not sure what more to ask for when it comes to the Watch hardware.” Dan Provost stated, “The significance of the always-on display cannot be overstated.”

Stephen Hackett stated, “The always-on display on the Series 5 has brought me back. It fundamentally changed the way I think about the Apple Watch, for the better.” Charles Arthur stated, “The new watch is terrific… The Watch has reached a solid plateau where it’s hard to figure out what else is needed.” Benjamin Mayo stated, “Always-on is essentially playing the Joker. That feature alone was enough to make the Series 5 a solid product.” John Siracusa stated, “The always-on Apple Watch screen is the next big leap for the product.”

Carolina Milanesi stated, “Apple owns the smartwatch category… Apple Watch is no accessory.”

Zac Hall stated, “Also important: Apple Watch Series 3 remained in the lineup from $199, matching the price of less impressive Fitbits.”

Still, there have been a number of points.

Casey Liss stated, “As the owner of a 40mm Series 5, I can say that the battery life is… lacking.” Marco Arment stated, “watchOS continues to be fine, but not great.”

CGP Grey stated, “Let’s not even talk about watch faces: five years on and nothing really actionable is being done with all the health data it has.”

And Steve Troughton-Smith stated, “Apple made it clear that SwiftUI is the only future of watchOS apps, so the developer platform is dead to me.”

Apple TV

Grade: D+ (common rating: 2.7, median rating three, final yr: D+)

For my cash, there’s no sadder grade than the D+. The Apple TV has been residing in D+ land for a few years, and our panelists discovered little or no to get enthusiastic about.

Sean Heber stated, “I feel like Apple TV is just coasting.” Brett Terpstra stated, “Most of the software updates seemed like lateral moves.” Lory Gil stated, “It’s still a hobby to Apple, even though it’s much more important to me.” Adam Engst stated, “Talk about an ignored technology.”

Steve Troughton-Smith stated, “This year was the first time the TV app was brought to my country, in preparation for Apple TV+, but what a horrendous user experience it is. The TV app on tvOS, now the default homescreen, feels like a minefield.” Gabe Weatherhead stated, “I watch all TV through an Apple TV and I hate it. It’s my most used terrible device.”

Marco Arment stated, “The TV app changed, but is still an unintuitive, buggy mess designed like a magazine instead of usable software, fitting in nicely with the rest of tvOS.” Rich Mogull stated, “The Apple TV app itself really needs a usability overhaul.”

Zac Hall stated, “tvOS’s long-requested multi-user feature might as well not have shipped.”

Carolina Milanesi stated, “It feels like people forgot about Apple TV as a hardware play and it’s really more about an Apple TV experience through different devices and apps on TV sets.” Casey Liss stated, “I’m wondering what place the AppleTV has in my in-home device lineup…. So much of what the AppleTV does, my new TV can do natively.”

Benjamin Mayo stated, “Apple TV hardware is too expensive for what it offers in 2019… The tvOS experience is better than competing streaming sticks, but nothing is worth a 4-5x price premium.” Christina Warren stated, “The competition has not just caught up to Apple, it has surpassed it.”

A pair panelists thought Apple TV’s consumer expertise delivered to thoughts a unique firm with a decidedly completely different set of priorities. Josh Centers stated, “The Apple TV app feels like something Amazon would have shipped, catering to the needs and tastes of Apple instead of the user.” Rob Griffiths stated, “More and more, they feel like Amazon devices, as they’re interested in getting you to sign up for their services.”

Finally, CGP Grey stated, “The jellyfish screensavers are a living nightmare.”

Services

Grade: B (common rating: three.7, median rating four, final yr: C+)

2019 actually was the yr of Services, with Apple launching many new ones. Peter Cohen stated, “It’s hard to imagine a more impactful year for Apple Services than 2019.”

Despite a reasonably uniform dislike of Apple News+, the panel dramatically raised the Services grade. Full credit score to Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, I suppose, in addition to a common feeling that iCloud is much extra steady than it was.

Carolina Milanesi stated, “the weakest link in the services portfolio is News+.” Glenn Fleishman known as it “a damp squib.” Josh Centers known as it “a dud in every possible way.” Allison Sheridan known as it “bit of a yawn.”

Rob Griffiths stated, “Apple News+ took the best magazine app reader out there and just destroyed it.” Benjamin Mayo stated, “The News+ UI is still cack-handed… the News+ content offering is uninspiring.” Zac Hall stated, “Apple News+ needs a major year-two upgrade. Despite tons of minor improvements, it’s just not a good deal for anyone.”

Apple TV+ reactions have been combined. Paul Kafasis stated the “foray into original content is needless.” Devindra Hardawar stated, “Apple TV+ is off to a rough start, but it’s nice to see that Apple is actually committed to original content.” Philip Michaels stated, “I wouldn’t watch any of these Apple TV Plus shows if the actors came to my house and acted them out in my kitchen.”

Steve Troughton-Smith stated, “I’m all for Apple’s push into better services, and have really enjoyed Apple TV+’s launch lineup.” John Siracusa stated, “Apple TV+ is the surprise of the year. It’s flagship shows are all good, with definite moments of greatness.” Benjamin Mayo stated, “I think Apple TV+ had the strongest content debut that anyone could reasonably hope for.” John Gruber stated, “They mostly nailed it…. the [one free year] promotion is just what the doctor ordered for a new service with a very limited library of content.”

James Thomson stated, “Apple Arcade is an aggressively-priced service with significantly more good games on it than I have time to play.” Benjamin Mayo stated, “Apple Arcade is the opposite of News+, strong content with a solid 1.0 interface.” Josh Centers stated, “Apple Arcade is probably the best of Apple’s new services, and the price is good, but the selection is still pretty limited.” Federico Viticci stated, “Now they need to keep up the pace and show us why we should continue to pay for new games each month.”

Apple Card bought a few considerably constructive mentions. Dan Moren stated, “Apple Card has been…fine. Not as revolutionary as could have been hoped, but also about what was expected.” John Gruber stated, “I’m still wary of Apple entering the credit card business, period, but I use my Apple Card for all Apple Pay purchases.”

And the panel remains to be complaining a few “feature” of iCloud that has been round longer than this survey: the free 5GB of iCloud storage per Apple ID. Charles Arthur stated, “We’re approaching an entire DECADE where [5GB] has been the base amount, and it’s ludicrous.” Casey Liss stated, “iCloud storage tiers and pricing are still insulting.” Roman Loyola stated, “C’mon Apple, you can do better than a free 5GB.”

Joe Kissell stated, “iCloud’s free tier is still limited to a ridiculous 5GB of storage, and iCloud Drive folder sharing—something I could really use—has been delayed twice.” Michael Tsai stated, “iCloud Drive did not deliver the promised new features.”

But a minimum of there’s this: Dr. Drang stated, “iCloud Drive has become as reliable as Dropbox, so I will not be resubscribing to Dropbox.”

HomePackage/Home

Grade: C- (common rating: 2.eight, median rating three, final yr: C-)

A C-minus grade is best than a D-plus, I suppose, nevertheless it displays the panel’s total lack of enthusiasm for Apple’s total smart-home efforts.

Steven Troughton-Smith stated, “Apple’s Home efforts seem to be coasting.” Charles Arthur stated, “HomeKit seems like an utter backwater.” Rich Mogull stated, “HomeKit is still… meh.”

Shawn Blanc stated, “Apple is so far behind in this category — it’s very frustrating.” John Gruber stated, “If you haven’t even really looked into it yet, I’d say you’re not missing much.” Allison Sheridan stated, “I want to love HomeKit, I truly do. But in my mind it’s not only not progressing, it’s slipping.”

Carolina Milanesi stated, “I’m nonetheless amazed how a lot Apple is struggling to develop Siri right into a platform and in 2019 it felt like they’ve given up all collectively “

Marco Arment stated, “The Home app is still an over-designed, form-over-function, unintuitive mess.” Gabe Weatherhead stated, “I’m still baffled by the Home app.” Federico Viticci stated, “The Home app continues to be affected by an awful design that makes it way more difficult than it should be to quickly manage your accessories and see the status of your home at a glance.”

Stephen Hackett stated, “HomeKit continues to move at a glacial pace… I tried HomeKit Secure Video, and it’s nowhere near ready.”

However, Josh Centers cited Apple’s transfer to construct a brand new smart-home commonplace with Google and Amazon as a constructive: “These developments are promising for the entire field, and I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Hardware Reliability

Grade: B+ (common rating: three.9, median rating four, final yr: B+)

Apple typically continues to get good marks for reliability, although that butterfly keyboard…

Dan Provost stated, “Continue to be overall best in class. Point deducted for continuing to sell butterfly keyboards.” Christina Warren stated, “The keyboard decisions for the MacBook Pro will continue to haunt Apple for many years to come.”

Steven Troughton-Smith stated, “With the Mac keyboard issues addressed properly, I hope things are going to trend up.” John Siracusa stated, “Sorry, Apple, but the butterfly keyboard reigned for 2019 (and continues to be sold today).”

Stephen Hackett stated, “2020 better be the end of the butterfly keyboard.” Casey Liss stated, “Butterfly keyboards excepted, things seem to be pretty good.”

James Thomson stated, “The slow death of the butterfly keyboard should mean by 2021 we won’t be talking about keyboard problems any more.” Alex Cox stated, “There are still going to be butterflies flying around for far too long.” Andrew Laurence stated, “The butterfly keyboard drags this entire category.”

Software high quality

Grade: D+ (common rating: 2.7, median rating three, final yr: B-)

This class took an unpleasant swing — simply because it did between 2016 and 2017. Is this what is supposed by a tick-tock growth cycle? One yr you anger anybody, the following yr you make amends. In any occasion, the iOS 13 and macOS Catalina launch cycles… weren’t appreciated by the panel. If this survey measures common sentiment, the final sentiment is that Apple wants to show round its flailing software program course of in 2020.

CGP Grey stated, “It’s been a brutally buggy year.” Sean Heber stated, “It’s bad across the board.” Rene Ritchie stated, “iOS 12 should be the new normal.” Andrew Laurence known as it “the roughest year for new releases in quite a while.”

Lory Gil stated, “This year shows an example of how its better to ship late and ship right than to ship on time with the risk of a poor user experience.” John Siracusa stated, “The iOS 13 launch was the roughest in recent memory, and Catalina has not been smooth either. Apple needs to regroup on software quality.” Michael Tsai stated, “Catalina is the worst macOS release I can remember… Catalyst has not delivered on its promise of either quality or quantity of apps.”

Paul Kafasis stated, “Ooof – the fall of 2019 was a very, very rough year for Apple’s software. I truly wish they’d slow down the pace of their OS updates.” James Thomson stated, “Something failed significantly in Apple’s software engineering process this year, and I hope lessons have been learned.”

Casey Liss stated, “Without question, Apple is having trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time… So much of Apple seems to be defined by marketing rather than by engineering. If I were on the engineering team, I’d want to pump the brakes, and do so with all my might.”

Dr. Drang stated, “I keep thinking Apple has overlearned the lesson of ‘The Mythical Man-Month’ and refuses to hire enough programmers to keep up with the demands of its enormous software base. From the outside, it looks as if the Apple software team just keeps running from fire to fire, an understaffed group barely able to take a breath between crises.”

Steve Troughton-Smith stated, “This was a rough year as a developer trying to build things on Apple’s platforms… Every year, half-working features are layered on top of half-working foundations. Apple seems to be trying to do more than ever before, but it’s just not hitting the mark in so many areas.”

Developer relations

Grade: B- (common rating: three.four, median rating three, final yr: B-)

Apple’s relationship with its app builders was rocky the yr this survey launched. It’s improved in the years since, however there are nonetheless loads of points to work out.

Steve Troughton-Smith stated, “I would welcome stricter regulations from governing bodies, as there have been far too many instances where Apple has killed/rejected apps, or categories of apps, for entirely selfish or emotional reasons, or acquired app developers then integrating their apps into the OS with features and APIs that third party developers aren’t allowed access and thus can never compete with…. I think Apple is overreaching way beyond its remit.”

Casey Liss stated, “Apple’s documentation is insultingly bad and/or non-existent. If Apple wants third party developers like myself to embrace new technologies, the answer can’t be ‘watch a WWDC video then get out a divining rod and hope for the best.’ They need to provide documentation for all of these new APIs. No excuses.”

Paul Kafasis stated, “Notarization [of macOS apps] has thus far worked better than I might have expected…. So long as Apple uses a very, very light touch with this, it can be a win for users and developers. Nevertheless, I live in fear of a capricious use of this to kill something legitimate that Apple simply dislikes.”

Environmental/Social/Societal influence

Grade: C+ (common rating: three.three, median rating three, final yr: B-)

This is a bizarre class, in that what it’s actually about has modified loads over 4 surveys. Back in 2015, the class was principally in regards to the working circumstances in Apple’s Chinese factories. It’s additionally been about Apple’s privateness stance, its assist for inexperienced energy, and the recyclability of its merchandise. This yr, it appears to have grow to be (a minimum of in half) about Donald Trump’s look alongside Tim Cook at a Texas plant that assembles the Mac Pro, and about Apple eradicating an app from the App Store that was being utilized by Hong Kong protesters—together with extra broad considerations about Apple’s selection to simply accept the rulings of authoritarian regimes in China and Russia.

It’s fascinating to notice that Apple’s rating in this class has declined each single yr the survey has been taken. This class might be an empty vessel into which the panelists can pour their sentiment about whether or not Apple resides as much as its personal lofty beliefs as a company. It’s at all times fascinating to see what bubbles to the floor yearly.

Casey Liss stated, “I was disgusted by Tim Cook’s recent dog and pony show with Trump. The amount of kowtowing that was done is incongruous with Apple’s and Tim’s stance on social and environmental issues.”
Carolina Milanesi stated, “I really expect more from Tim Cook than letting himself be manipulated into an election campaign photo moment.”

Stephen Hackett stated, “I think Tim Cook’s proximity to the Trump Administration is hurtful to many at Apple and in the wider community. The White House is at odds with so many of the values Cook talks about and uses to shape Apple’s impact in the world.” Alex Cox stated, “Tim Apple needs to stop humoring Donald Trump.”

Philip Michaels stated, “I hope Tim Cook likes being featured in Donald Trump re-election ads, because footage of him standing next to Trump in an Apple factory heaping praise on the economy is going to get replayed roughly a billion times between now and November. Cozying up to an authoritarian just so you could get some tariff exceptions washes out the positives you hope to gain by using recycled materials in your hardware.”

John Gruber stated, “It’s an absolute disgrace that Apple allowed Donald Trump to use the Mac Pro assembly plant in Austin as the backdrop for an event to promote his re-election. Trump is a liar, a crook, and his administration has proven to be a menace to everything Apple stands for: LGBT and racial equality, the environment, and privacy as a human right.”

Marco Arment stated, “Apple’s core environmental and political ideologies remain better than most corporations, but cooperation with the Chinese government and the Trump propaganda campaign has tarnished their reputation.” Christina Warren stated, “I was personally disappointed by Apple’s decisions to bow to China a few times this year, especially in regards to the Hong Kong protests.”

James Thomson stated, “Apple’s reliance on authoritarian and corrupt governments has led to a number of highly questionable choices. Their continued focus on user privacy should still be commended.”

Glenn Fleishman stated, “Apple was moving strongly forward on privacy, human rights, and democracy, and then it appears to be giving China everything it wants even as China builds a total surveillance state at a level people in the NSA and FBI only dream of. I’d like Apple in 2020 to figure out a plan for China, even if it means exiting the entire market. Tim Cook should not be able to sleep at night while empowering a totalitarian state as it perfects permanent, total citizen control.”

John Moltz stated, “it was sickening to see the company attempt to continue to project its independent, customer-focused image using quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. and a homepage marking the fall of the Berlin Wall while it removed an app that helped people in Hong Kong continue their protests in the face of a crackdown on their human rights.”

Rich Mogull stated, “Their place on China in specific is undermining their very own assist for human rights. This is one thing that may’t be ignored anymore…. But if you concentrate on human rights as a core worth that ought to imply human rights all over the place. This is the place Apple’s enterprise wants are in battle with their social stances.”

Steve Troughton-Smith stated, “Apple is struggling to navigate the global political landscape whilst doing the right thing… That shouldn’t take away from all the good they have done for accessibility, green energy and recycling — but it is something that rubbed me up the wrong way this year”

Josh Centers stated, “If Apple really cared about the environment, you could replace the battery in the AirPods.”

Our panel additionally had ideas about Apple’s embrace of accessibility and continued makes an attempt to enhance its range and inclusion.

Steven Aquino stated, “In terms of accessibility, Apple continues to push forward, both product-wise and in general advocacy. The introduction of ‘See’ is at the forefront of this—it is very much representative of the company’s institutional love for accessibility and the disabled community. Whatever one thinks of the show’s entertainment value, there can be no denying how revolutionary ‘See’ is in terms of disability representation in Hollywood. It is a very big deal.”

Carolina Milanesi stated, “I think accessibility remains a strong point for Apple. Diversity and inclusion is another area where I would like to see more rapid progress, especially in senior roles.” Aleen Simms stated, “Apple is, as always, stellar at accessibility. Voice Control, introduced with iOS 13, enables people with disabilities to do more than ever before. I’m still not impressed with their diversity and inclusion statistics.”

Jean MacDonald stated, “I’m glad to see Apple promoting its second year of Entrepreneur Camp for companies with women founders, CEOs, and lead developers.”

Notes

I didn’t vote in the survey. Panelists who responded to the survey included Shahid Kamal Ahmad, Steven Aquino, Marco Arment, Charles Arthur, Shawn Blanc, Jeff Carlson, Robert Carter, Josh Centers, Peter Cohen, Michael E. Cohen, Alex Cox, Jim Dalrymple, Jessica Dennis, Dr. Drang, Adam Engst, Glenn Fleishman, Lex Friedman, Lory Gil, CGP Grey, Rob Griffiths, John Gruber, Stephen Hackett, Zac Hall, Dave Hamilton, Devindra Hardawar, Sean Heber, Nick Heer, Myke Hurley, Paul Kafasis, Joe Kissell, Andrew Laurence, Casey Liss, Ben Long, Roman Loyola, Jean MacDonald, Benjamin Mayo, Kirk McElhearn, Philip Michaels, Carolina Milanesi, Rich Mogull, John Moltz, Dan Moren, Rosemary Orchard, Charles Perry, Dan Provost, Ant Pruitt, Gui Rambo, Rene Ritchie, Allison Sheridan, Rich Siegel, Brent Simmons, Aleen Simms, John Siracusa, David Sparks, Brett Terpstra, James Thomson, Steve Troughton-Smith, Michael Tsai, Khoi Vinh, Federico Viticci, Christina Warren, Gabe Weatherhead, Jeffrey Zeldman. (Some panelists most well-liked that their participation be nameless.)

I didn’t enable panelists to be quoted anonymously. (Dr. Drang is a pseudonym, however I don’t contemplate him nameless.)

Previous surveys have been reported for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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