Most readers prefer to read about product reviews so you’re going to get one. The extra bonus is something you get as a Mac user that Microsoft Windows customers and Dell customers generally don’t get.
Apple cares about what matters.
FedEx dropped off my iSight camera “accessory kit” today. When I bought a few iSight cameras a year ago they came with different mounts. Recently, I upgraded two Apple Cinema Displays to the new aluminum models and decided to get the accessory kit.
The kit comes with a magnetic mount which allows iSight to fit snuggly and securely to the top of the Cinema Display (without the unsightly tape backing on the other plastic mounts).
It took a few minutes to figure out how to get the Firewire cable into the mount, then I plugged the mount into the camera, then plugged the Firewire cable into the display, the placed the camera mount on the top of the Cinema Display.
It fits. Perfectly. In the top of the display is a piece of metal (the magnet appears to be in the camera mount) which secures the mount. Perfectly.
There, in one paragraph, I’ve used the word “perfectly” twice to describe something that Apple did with the mount and the iSight camera. It mounts perfectly. It looks absolutely great. It swivels left and right and tilts up and down.
The angle of the iSight camera and the display mount is such that I can use iSight with iChat the way they were meant to be used. Perfectly.
Perfectly out of the way. Perfect fit. Perfectly usable.
I’m not gushing, mind you. I’m simply pointing out one small example of what Apple does so well that those poor folks over at Microsoft and Dell just don’t comprehend.
Apple cares about what matters.
This camera mount is a small thing. The iSight camera and iChat, the video communication application, are small things. But they fit so well together in an Apple Computer that we often lose sight of the fact that it, like so much else that Apple provides Mac customers, fits perfectly.
Look at the graphic above. I took it with a Canon digital camera using the built in flash. The iSight camera looks great and works perfectly (that word again) in that position. Someone went to a lot of trouble to make sure all those components work well together.
Thing of the components for a moment. There’s the iSight camera. Autofocusing, built-in microphone, matching aluminum design scheme, tilt and swivel magnetic mount. Even macro closeup is built in. Then there’s iChat.
Have you ever tried AOL’s AIM? The newest version also does audio AND video and is compatible with iChat. It works. But it works after fidgeting around with more settings than Saddam had cash. Somebody over at AOL should look at iChat and simply copy that but with a different finish. They’d be miles ahead.
This is why Apple doesn’t fear Dell and doesn’t fear Microsoft. Apple gets it. Apple cares about what matters. For those who understand that, using Microsoft Windows on a Dell computer is painful, not productive. Apple’s “wholistic” design of software and hardware and style and functionality makes all the difference in the world.
Thankfully, many Windows users are beginning to see the difference that many Mac users have known for a long time.
Take the iPod. It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity but what makes it appealing isn’t just the looks. That scroll wheel is pretty slick. And how the iPod connects to a Mac (or Windows) is a lesson in seamless design and function and form. Then there’s the connection to iTunes and the iTunes Music Store.
That wonderful, seamless, pleasant, productive experience is available with each component of the iPod, iTunes, iTMS experience. Just as it is with that magnetic mount under my iSight camera sitting on top of the Apple Cinema Display.
This stuff matters to me and it works well. The whole “experience” matters to Apple and we see it in nearly every aspect of Apple products. If you haven’t put your hands on the new iMac G5, DO IT SOON! Former Windows users and Dell owners will begin snapping up those pretty white machines in ever growing numbers.
Why? Because millions of them have tasted the goodness of iPod, iTunes, iTMS; they’ve tasted the seamless “it works” concept and they like it. With OS X so secure, dependable, stable and pleasant to use, they’ll begin switching and many, like me, will not look back.
Because Microsoft and Dell (and many others who “push” their products onto their customers) don’t “get it” and just don’t seem to care, Apple does not fear them, should not fear them.
As Steve Jobs put it back in 1997 when he took over the helm of Apple once again, the desktop operating system wars are over. Microsoft won. Today, the big winner is Apple and Apple customers.