On my list of apps that receive few upgrades are Reminders, Calendar, Maps, Notes, Preview, Stickies, and the like. Why are these utilities not best of breed? Why doesn’t Apple advance the state of the art every year?
Color me somewhat cynical but I suspect Apple’s executives have many ulterior motives behind both decisions and non-decisions. Why no Mac mini upgrade for four years? Then, why, when it finally arrives, is the Mac mini a powerhouse device?
Go figure, right? Calendar does much what it always did and it took 3rd party app developers to make it better. Fantastical is a good example of what Calendar would have become had Apple cared. One of my favorite Mac utilities is Reminders, but not much has changed through the years.
A third party app that works better is called… insert the famous Mac360 drum roll here… Reminder. It doesn’t look the same. It doesn’t work the same. But $2 makes reminders easier to setup and use, including lists, all reminders view, and sync with Apple’s Reminders.
Even better than the combo of Calendar and Reminders is Fantastical. Yes, you’ll pay for the privilege of doing better than Calendar, but its very existence explains that Apple sometimes doesn’t bother to upgrade their own apps in favor of allowing for a little competition to advance the state of the art.
Fantastical runs on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch– far better than Calendar on Apple’s mobile devices, and, it integrates Reminders into the daily calendar list of events.
It’s almost as if Apple is holding back development of basic apps beyond Safari so as to seed the third party app development community with an opportunity to create a better app.
Choice is good. Apple cannot dominate the app business with best of breed because such a stance would make third party app development wither on the vine.
Notes is another good example. Apple has improved Notes to make it competitive but it still doesn’t do what GoodNotes does on Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
You got it. Handwritten notes which hold text, images, photos, and almost anything else, plus it saves files not just to iCloud Drive but to Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Apple doesn’t make such flexibility so easy.
I like and use Apple’s built-in apps and utilities. What’s not to like? They’re decent and priced right and run on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. But they’re also short on features that make using the app a pleasure.
That’s by design.
Apple knows that most customers will struggle with using basic apps and leaves the advancements to third party app developers.