As anyone who knows me can tell you, I have been a huge Apple fan. Unfortunately, times are changing. Apple is on a very slow down hill slide and is only showing blunder after additional blunder.

It all began with iCloud

iCloud was the promise of data ubiquity in the land of half eaten apples. Sharing all information across Macs and iOS devices. For the general user it worked pretty well. However, when things went wrong, data could easily be gone, permanently. The first version was very hard to restore with Apple’s own Time Machine backup software so you could easily lose a lot of data if bitten by some data loss bugs (I was, making me quite grumpy). Years have passed and it blows my mind that iCloud doesn’t have its own Time Machine like backup capability. Apple simply doesn’t care about data integrity. This disturbs me greatly.

iOS 6 maps

This is simply disgraceful. Apple still hasn’t worked out the kinks in its own mapping software. They should tuck their tail between their legs, run back to Google and admit that they are better at something. Provide users with the better experience by integrating google mapping within the Apple UI. That used to be Apple’s thing. Apparently the best experience isn’t on Apple’s to-do list anymore.

iOS 7 flaws

The new design isn’t better currently. At least, there is no functional reason to make this enormous design change. Maybe this is part of a long term plan, but right now, it’s just a change. And it has come with many stupid bugs. Apple used to be famous for details of their products. Details that “Just work.” Let me give you an example starting on the first screen you see on every iOS device: The lock screen. Touching this screen no longer resets the sleep timer. That means if I’m scrolling through lock screen notifications, it will just turn off while I’m touching the screen. Even my wife complained about this. It’s like iOS 7 wasn’t used by a human before.

The above example is one of dozens that annoy me every day on iOS 7. It feels like I’m using a windows machine again. Ship a product, then test it. But worse than that, it’s a bug (or a poor design choice) on a part of iOS that every single user has to use. Seriously, how did this software get released to the public? I take this as a personal insult from Apple. Again, user needs are not high on the priority list anymore.

Initial iPhone 5s accelerometer issues

As I documented elsewhere, many iPhone 5s users have had issues with their accelerometer. I returned my iPhone 5s over that issue (and many others) until they were fixed. I re-purchased and wish I hadn’t. Again, this was an issue that a quality device never should have shipped with.

Touch ID is a disaster

I have now gone through 3 iPhone 5s. Touch ID simply doesn’t work for me. I think Apple forgot to test this one before putting it out there. I have to re-teach it my fingers once or twice a day. It takes far too much time and even then, doesn’t work consistently. Again, I’d rather have my iPhone 5 back. Unfortunately I can’t get one.

I would return both my 5S and iPad Air

The biggest problem with the iPad Air is that iOS 7 isn’t stable. It crashes to the half eaten Apple frequently. And, it’s not really better than my iPad 2 which it replaced. It’s just more of the same. But, at least it doesn’t feel like a downgrade like the 5s does.

Neither device are worth any money. My iPad 2 needed replacing because it simply couldn’t handle some of my apps anymore. I had little choice but to get a new one or give up some apps. The iPhone 5 I should have kept as it is a better phone than 5s particularly on iOS 6.

But what is the alternative?

I have none. I can’t tolerate Android devices or Windows machines. Apple isn’t worse than them yet and won’t be for quite a while at this rate. But it is stumbling. If it continues at this rate it will eventually fall. At this point, the thing that is missing is the upstart company that has the technology and the balls to take on Apple level ease of use.

Obviously, Apple is too big and too successful to fail quickly. But every end has a beginning. And this may be it.

The good news?

OS X Mavericks has been pretty good thus far. The biggest thing that has annoyed me is Apple removing features that were there. Like printing multiple of the same image on one page with iPhoto. Gone. This is,  unfortunately, not new for Apple. They have often removed rarely used features to make UI space for new stuff. Often this is good, sometimes it sucks.

What do you think?