Dear Apple: beauty lies in parity

I love Apple’s design aesthetic. I see it in the simplicity of their physical and software UIs, although usually not in the baroque nature of their business processes. What frustrates me is the lack of parity among the Apple-born technologies. I don’t just want a good experience on one device, I want it on, between, and among all my Apple devices!

Case in point, a few years ago I submitted a note to Apple suggesting that they had missed the boat by not having the iPhone earphone controller/mic work on their notebook line, too. That is, I wanted to be able to iChat using the iPhone earbuds as my earphones and microphone. Sure enough, the latest MacBook Pro models have that feature. I’m not saying it was me! I’m sure many people had a similar idea, and told Apple about it, and I’m thankful for it. What I am asking is, why didn’t Apple notice it? Are their development efforts so siloed or their release cycles so offset from one another that it’s not possible?

Another, current, case in point: the push for ebooks. I have my iPad (thank you, Steve!) and I loaded iBooks on it. I like it. I like the upgrade even more. And there are more features I expect will come soon. However, it’s frustrating to not have iBooks parity between the iPad (/iPhone/iPod touch) and iTunes on my MacBook.

  • on the iPad, I can’t easily manage my collection (gather new books, other than from the iBookstore, (and that’s yet another frustration!), although it’s slowly getting better with the “open in…” capability.
  • on my MacBook, in iTunes, I can’t read the ebooks I’ve collected.

Or the jumble that passes for document management in iWorks for the iPad, or for the Notes app on the original iPhone, or… or…

If Apple truly wants devices like the iPad to be devices for everyone, then the user experience on different Apple devices really needs to be in parity from day-zero.

Don’t make me think twice.

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