If you're an Apple fanboy, the last couple of months have been pretty hard to take. The fall Mac event was the cornerstone of the shifting focus for Apple. The first part the fall event was actually the conclusion the announcement that Apple was discontinuing the production of stand along displays. As part of the fall event, Apple revealed its thinnest and lightest Mac Book Pro they've ever produced.4 What was missing in this event was a Mac option I can use in my day to day work. Everything I need to connect to my MBP has either a USB, FireWire, or comes on an SD Card. The new MBP has dongles... lots of dongles.
Next was the news of the elimination of Sal Soghoian's position as Product Manager of Automation Technologies. 2 Just about everything Sal touched is what originally brought me over to OS X from Windows. The ability to automate the administrative tasks on my laptop made my life so much easier. Pull emails from Outlook into OmniFocus. Generate a daily to do list from OmniFocus. Automatically push files to my website. And despite what some people think, I still use Automator.
And now with the leaked news from this morning, we can clearly see the direction Apple is taking.
Apple Inc. has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, another move to try to sharpen the company’s focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue, according to people familiar with the matter. 1
It was never the individual technologies that brought me to Apple's products, it was the ecology that was created when you used them together. Automator and Applescript alone are not amazing technologies.5 Couple those pieces with a Mac and your workflows you use to get stuff done, that's when get a process that has your colleagues asking, "How the hell did you do that?". Or plugging in an AirPort Express in my garage and use it to stream music from my Mac and control the music from my iPhone. Apple's ability to glue their products together with these background gadgets and technology is why I kept coming back.
Sadly Apple appears to be taking out the bits and pieces that made using their products rise above the mediocrity of their competitors.
I believe the past few months have given us a clear indication of Apple's direction to drop most of their peripheral businesses. Which means Apple is moving away from being a technology company and to a consumer appliance company. 3 The iPhone, iPad, Beats headphones, Apple Watch, all these are meant for end user consumption. While there are people who are actively creating and pushing the boundaries on these devices, they are the exception not the rule.
Sorry Apple... just about everyone else looks pretty interesting in 2017.
The MBP is about as customizable as my refrigerator or toaster. ↩
What Tim and Jony didn't show us was the exciting line of dongle bags that Apple will be selling over the holidays. ↩
Applescript is one of the most convoluted scripting languages you'll ever find. ↩