Wait, you're still whining about U2?
It has been nine days since the worst thing that ever happened to white people in the history of Earth occurred: Tim Cook forced them to download a U2 album.
It wouldn't be worth talking about save for two reasons:
1) They are still talking about it, which is in and of itself remarkable.
2) It actually shows that Apple might not get the whole "personal" thing.
Now, for the record, I love U2. As in: I've seen them in concert twice, and have been lucky enough to stand under a bridge while Bono sang at the horde of us screaming like teenage girls. It is a cherished memory.
In fact, I like U2 so much that while the Apple Watch event was still going on I opened up my phone to look for the album and was disappointed that it wasn't just magically there like they promised. I had to download it from iTunes, as any true fan would willing do.
Non-fans, however, didn't appreciate an unwanted album in their carefully cultivated music lists. Therein lies the rub: hardcore music fans have had generations to perfect their outrage and give it a detached cool, the kind of affectation that video game fans have yet to muster. Those guys just lose it and jump to death threats.
It should have come as no shock to Apple that any disruption of a music fan's manicured collection would cause paroxysms of hateful snark. That's what they do. Especially from the subspecies of music fan known as the music blogger. That’s those people’s job.
This does not bode well for a company that is making a bid to create more intimate technological experiences, as they say they aim to do with the Watch.
Not for, and not from a company that rolled out iCloud Drive and broke their own spreadsheet program for an indeterminate time yesterday (no more synching with the desktop until the next OSX is out). This screwed no less than the director of Key & Peele, who keeps his shot lists in iCloud. Of course, screwing filmmakers is nothing new for the modern Apple: hello Final Cut.
Sometimes it feels like Apple, as a collective, doesn’t get that these things aren’t fucking museum pieces. They live out here with us and we need them not only to “just work,” but to do what we tell them to.
(That being said: I love iOS 8. The latest revision is what I’ve been waiting for. More on that anon.)
As Apple chases an ever more elusive future, it needs to start thinking differently about the already deeply complex present if it wants to stay our constant companion.