Has ‘innovative’ Apple stopped being impressive?

That iPhones and iPad were no longer the “most exclusive” phones on the market, is old news.
Now at barely 20 per cent of market share, iOS (the operating system of Apple iPhone and iPad) has become increasingly suffocating when benchmarked against Android.
On the same boredom rail, Mac computers have become increasingly small and less powerful.
Apple has officially abandoned the “Think different” motto. When it comes to hardware, the trend for Apple has become “removing”. So, no more USB and no more jack for headset.
Although the simplicity of the design improved, the usability decreased.The new Apple AirPods, are funny looking. They stick out of people’s ears like if someone cut the wire. They look incomplete.
According to some users not even very comfortable. Android allows also content to be played in Virtual Reality (VR) in a very cost efficient way, offering VR goggles for any range, from cardboard to high tech.
On the other hand, connecting Apple devices between them or to external systems has become a real nightmare.
Apple justifies it as upgrading their technology, but users end up hoarding dongles and adaptors.
By the end of 2017 there were more than 20 different of them on the market. Apple produces now more dongles and adaptors than phones and computers. It is the price to pay to stay “cool”. In the earlier days of Samsung being the leading Android phone, internal memory space was a concern.
I kept wondering why they were still producing phones starting from 8GB and with a maximum of 16GB internal memory.
As users became more sophisticated, 16GB were barely enough to install basic application and handle media content. Luckily, memory became cheaper and phones begun being released from 16GB minimum internal memory.
I currently struggle to keep memory usage under control with a 32GB inbuilt memory. Hence the necessity of expanding memory grew, something that Apple refuses to offer.
The main reason being, that lacking a file system structure where files and folders can be created, renamed, move and deleted, Apple simply cannot offer memory expansion through a traditional SD card.
So if an iPhone user wants to expand the phone’s memory, would have to purchase a separate device, insert a SD card in it and plug it to the phone. But given that now the iPhone plug is used by both charger and wired headset, adding an extra use to it such as accessing external files, makes it even more complex to multitask.
For example it is not possible to play a video from an SD card and watch it using wired headset.
In Android it is very simple. There is a dedicated SD card tray that slides in and sit comfortably inside the phone.
Apps can even be moved there to free up space on the internal memory.
When it comes to software, that is where things have turned ugly. Apple is a closed system. So while on Android users can download videos and music, share content with friends and store it in the desired folders, on iPhone and iPad it is simply impossible.
Some Apple devoted fan would now argue that it is possible to do so, as long as it is purchased through iTunes… Fair enough, but since the time of Napster — nearly 20 years ago — we were taught that music and videos are digital content that can be circulated and stored according to our preferences.
Moreover, in the era of decentralisation, having a centralised system for media sharing is probably not the best of what the market has to offer.
The new iPhone X has launched Face Unlock, which is a great innovation.
Wait a minute. Not really according to my definition of innovation. In my definition, something innovative needs to solve a problem by making it faster or more efficient.
I have seen friends wanting to demonstrate the face recognition unlock feature and going: “No, wait… wait… ok now it worked!’’ Wow.
After 3 attempts, not bad. But can’t you unlock it using a PIN code in only 1 attempt? Or for instance taking advantage of the Trusted Location unlock feature? Like when we are home, maybe in bed at night with the lights off, and suddenly we want to use our phone.
How can we unlock it? Android offers the solution to totally remove the necessity to “unlock”, as long as I am accessing my phone from home, office or wherever else I feel safe enough not to fear about my phone being stolen.
LG phones have a very convenient thumbprint unlock feature on the back of the device, which feels better while holding the phone and unlocking with one hand.
On an iPhone, the sensor is placed in front and requires necessarily 2 hands being involved in the unlocking procedure. Apple also stubbornly rejects the idea to customise the space.
Icons are 1 format, 1 way, 1 layout. Android offers pretty much unlimited options to users.
Even the option of customised keyboard, custom launcher, custom widgets, custom everything. Android allows creativity to be expressed. Apple iOS does not.

Stefano Virgilli