Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Apple Glitches Causing ADHD Disruption, No Apple Watch Love

Simply gorgeous, but will it help or hurt me?

I’m not very excited about the Apple Watch. You could say my level of interest is only somewhat higher than I regard floor wax. Don’t get me wrong. I am impressed with its gorgeous stylings and design. I certainly think that it is beautifully made. I’m just not very interested in it, and I believe my ADHD is partially at fault, though most of the blame I lay on Apple.

Every time that Apple comes out with a new product, the internet is filled with griping and grousing from anti-Apple fans who seem to resent that Apple gets a lot of press. Oh, I realize they feel Apple is overhyped, but for the most part their complaint stems from them not being Apple fans. There is flak from the Android guys. There is guff from the PC guys. Now the anti-corporate-greed crowd has a new reason to mobilize due to the Apple Watch Edition being expensive—because apparently rich people shouldn’t be allowed to waste their money the way we poor folk do. Somewhere somebody feels that if a rich jerk can spend $10K on a watch, he can fund their Patreon.

I don’t care about any of that. I believe Apple has a right to make expensive items, and people with money have a right to buy expensive items. If you think that $349 for a sports edition is still too expensive for what you think of as just a watch, then you aren’t the customer Apple is targeting. You also don’t likely have an iPhone and can’t use the thing.

Here’s the Rub

My disinterest, however, has nothing in common with most of your disinterests. The reason I am disinterested in the Apple Watch has to do with apprehension. The user interface of iOS 8 on my iPhone 5 and my install of Yosemite on my Mac mini are so buggy that I’m miffed at Apple.

Does that seem silly? Well, I don’t call my iPhone “iBrain” for no reason. I have made my iPhone an extension of my memory. When business texts inexplicably disappear as happened this morning, or the iPhone won’t let me in because the “Slide to open” is ignoring me as happened two minutes ago, or when I miss calls because the iPhone won’t answer, or any other number of glitches that shouldn’t have been introduced into my ecosystem but where when Apple decided that flat was the new black, I get a little cranky.

However, as somebody said to me so elegantly the other morning, “So?”

Well, the iPhone glitches mess with my flow and routine. Can you relate? PDAs were a modern miracle for me. My dotty memory could finally be compensated for. The iPhone took things even further for me when it gave me the Internet in my pocket, happily synced to my Mac at home. However, when the iPhone doesn’t work reliably I have real world consequences beyond not being able to answer a phone call. iCloud deciding its server database is more recent than the one in my hand means I miss my newly entered appointment because iCloud deleted that entry during sync. Since iOS 6, this has been a serious issue for me. I’ve taken to double checking my iPhone after inputing an appointment just to make sure iCloud didn’t remove it.

In fact, none of Apple products are infallible. Nobody, despite snide Internet comments stating otherwise, said Apple products were perfect. I don’t expect my iPhone & Mac to be perfect. However, I do expect them to work reliably after an upgrade to the OS. Each time I bump into an Apple glitch, I spend days trying to troubleshoot it. A few weeks ago I updated the Apple server software tools and they helpfully overwrote all my Apache config files. When I updated to Yosemite, TimeMachine stopped working and I had to troubleshoot permissions manually in the Terminal to get things working again. My Apple TV only just recently started accessing my iTunes database again after not being able to for the past five months for no discernible reason. I spent weeks troubleshooting that, chatting back and forth in Apple forums with others having the same problem. Eventually, I gave up on it and accepted it as broken. I have no idea why my Apple TV can access my iTunes library now.

What the heck does this have to do with ADHD?

To those on the outside, maybe my gripes sound no different from anti-Apple fans who just hate everything Apple, but this glitchy user experience is a new one for me. Once we left Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) and iOS 6, things have been a bumpy ride. Unfortunately, adults with ADHD have a low tolerance for frustration. Flaws stand out for us. They feel assaulting. They irk us like a wobbly chair in the testing center or an animated chyron during our favorite TV show. We have a hard time ignoring them.

My irritation might be heightened by my ADHD, but it’s a major reason why I am not excited to add the Apple Watch to my already rocky routine. I’m not irritated enough to switch platforms (I already came over from the competition), but after a recent conversation on Facebook with anti-Apple fans, I thought “Do I sound as negative as these guys? They act as if Apple has done something personally to hurt them.” Then I realized that I used Apple products and actually had reasons to feel personally aggravated with the company. I can’t be the only other adult with ADHD who finds the new glitchy Apple counterproductive, can I? Doesn’t it bug you, even just a little? Let me know in the comments.