I’m now the owner of a fancy macbook. Here are some notes on my apple buying and using experience.
Mac and Apple stores definitely have a distinct smell to them. It’s been reported by many on the internet and as far as my last 5 or 6 apple products go, there’s something they do with the packaging and/or the hardware itself. It’s vanilla smelling.
Apple stores using Windows Mobile to process credit cards. yup, that’s what their hand helds run. If that doesn’t underscore the real battle in tech companies, I don’t know what does. Apple has all the media and fun things, Microsoft still owns transactions, even at the Apple store. Another proof of this… iWork’s Numbers spreadsheet app doesn’t do pivot tables or conditional formating (staples in financial work) and Excel crushes at that. Yes, they like to market that in a tongue in cheek way but really that keeps people stuck to Windows more than anyone can imagine. Pivot tables and credit cards – kinda important.
The MacBooks are cold to the touch which is very comforting considering the last 3 Sony/HP computers I have all run hot and make you very afraid of exploding hardware. It’s a really off-putting user experience to have a hot computer. Not sure why that’s not a bigger concern/been solved.
Shareware is better on a Mac. The cult of mac seems to even force software hacks to take a little more care to polish their apps. The software works better and always looks better. Take the shareware IM clients. The most popular ones on Windows are funky looking and tend to be very bulky in use. The popular ones on mac are lightweight and generally try to integrate well with the Mac OS.
AppleCare is a rip off. Except we all get it because Apple markets very well and the Mac products aren’t ones you “feel” you can just rip off the top and fix it up. It’s very clever.
Making appointments to see a Mac genius to have them fix your stuff? Yikes, another marketing effort. You don’t need an appointment, by the way. Just go to the counter and ask to fill out a fix request form. Fill it out, leave your gear, and they will fix it up fast and CALL YOU when it’s done. Now that’s service. Why don’t they just market that INSTEAD of the best buy like experience where I wait for 30 minutes to talk to someone who fills out the form anyway?
Kids love Apple stores. Kids do not like Best Buy. Really. Apple, yet again, got that right. Make a place that kids ASK to go to AND behave when they are there… guess what? parents go. Best Buy – get a babysitter or don’t go.
Java on Mac is great. Man, had Java worked this well for me on Windows I might have become a java fanboy. Really. It’s weirdly smooth to update, use applets, build stuff and the IDEs work really well. That’s not so much an Apple Experience thing, however, it stuck out for me.
Oh, now I’m also cooler. I measured that. Definitely cooler in an absolute kinda way too. Like everyone notices.
Nonetheless, Apple is different, for sure. Sometimes good, sometimes not.