When it comes to curating the user experience, Apple is far more akin to Disneyland or Disney World than Microsoft and Windows or Google and Android OS. Apple claims to provide the best user experience but sometimes falls short of that lofty goal.
Wherefore Art Thou, Podcasting?
A recent example is Apple’s treatment of iWork apps for the Mac– Pages, Numbers, Keynote. Yes, Apple made them free on OS X and iOS, and provided iCloud versions, but Mac users found features removed.
The Great Curator decided that specific features in the OS X version needed to go missing in action for the sake of compatibility in the iOS versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
That’s not the only example, either. Take Garageband. There may not have been a more popular or capable Mac application to create Podcasts than Apple’s free Garageband.
When the latest version, Garageband 10, hit the streets it came with all the Podcast features removed.
To be fair, you can still record the audio of a Podcast in Garageband, but the specific Podcast features were removed in the latest version. Why? Apple won’t say.
You can spend $199 and buy Logic Pro X (Garageband’s big brother) from the Mac App Store and get some of the Podcast features back, but Apple didn’t stop there. The old Garageband version would let you export audio in the standard MP3 audio file format. Garageband 10 does not. Logic Pro X does.
For whatever reason, Apple doesn’t want Mac users to use Garageband for Podcasting, and they’re making it a cumbersome multiple step process to create an MP3 audio file. Why?
Big Brother Curator
Apple executives are the official curators of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad world. Apple claims to provide the best user experience among PCs, smartphones, and tablets but at times acts more like a selfish bully, inserting and removing popular features without reservation or explanation, as if responding to a whim, or a loose hair, or a bad hair day.
Would it kill Apple to put an MP3 export function in Garageband? No. Instead, Garageband gets an easy way to upload audio files to SoundCloud (nice, but hardly a feature to catch your hair on fire).
We can appreciate Apple’s efforts to curate applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. That makes OS X and iOS devices more secure, and improves the overall user experience of the respective platforms. Except for when the curating takes place without explanation and removes useful features relied upon by many tens of thousands of users.
Curating a user experience is one thing, but ignoring user requests and treating their expected user experience with disdain is not a habit Apple needs to make.