Dear Apple, Please Do Away With the News App & Give Us a Weather App In its Place
Sincerely, Apple Users’ of the world
You can more of ‘My Open Letter to Apple’ towards the bottom of this post.
The Bad News About Apple’s Newest New’s App
I just deleted Apple’s newest New’s App. It’s buggy and awful like it’s predecessors. This for me beg’s a bigger question…why can’t Apple get it right with a News type of app? My followup question is of course…shouldn’t they should just give up on the concept of a News app completely?
My most recent frustration emanates from my research today looking for things for our new kitchen. As I was searching for things using Safari, in at least three instances I’ve been forced into using the News app instead of being able to read the article on Safari. The problem with this is twofold. First I have to read the article in iPhone mode which means portrait mode on my iPad and it’s just an unattractive, awkward and an old method of doing things. Second and the bigger problem is that once I’m in the news app I can’t do anything with the content from there. I can’t share it with anyone, I can’t save a photograph from within an article…in fact the only thing that I can do is to copy the entire textual content of the article and paste it into something else which is usually NOT what I want.
Apple has been trying to find a way to serve us our news and our magazine subscription content almost from the iPad’s inception in 2010. They’ve failed abysmally with every attempt. In fact, their failures are of such an epic proportion that when a new iteration of this appears I don’t even bother opening it. I’ve taken in recent years to always quickly moving it into a folder I keep which houses all the unused Apple apps that I can’t delete.
The Good News About Apple’s New’s App
Just so I don’t sound like I’m totally hating here, there is one good aspect about the app…sometimes. When is does work it can be incredibly nice looking…very Flipboardesque (which is probably why Flipboard is more than bothered by it…see the screenshot below.)
The other good news is that as of ios 10, Apple finally has given users’ a way to delete ‘core’ apps. Deleting an Apple app is just like deleting any other. Long press on it until it wiggles and then tap on the X.
Incidentally, I just realized that not all of Apple’s core apps can really be deleted. Photo Booth cannot be deleted. I’m not sure why this is, and I’d say it was a oversite if not for the fact that the app doesn’t appear in the list of apps under General – Settings – Storage, which would be another method of deleting it. So for now the widely disliked Photo Booth app poses a unique and puzzling exception.
Who Among My Reader’s Thinks Apple Should Cut Their Losses & Abandon the Idea of News App Completely?
Personally I get my news using other methods…and I’m presently writing a post about that. So I’ve never had need of an Apple app for this purpose. Am I unique? I tend to think not, but maybe I’m wrong. Please let me know in the comments section at the bottom if I am.
My Theory Why Apple Will Never Abandon the New’s App
The only reason I can think of explaining why Apple continues year after year to try and force the issue of a New’s app, is this. Because Apple is motivated by profit incentives, and their New’s app offers profit potential. I think that Apple must be earning a percentage for each of the subscriptions to magazines and news services that are offered through the app. Am I wrong? Frankly I don’t know if I’m right or not. I would be interested in getting to know the truth…but I suspect I am right.
What Should Apple Use to Replace the Doomed News App?
I’m so glad you asked me that question, because the answer has been upsetting me moderately for a while now.
Apple actually has produced quite a few useful apps that they’ve chosen to not make available on to the millions of iPad users around the world. Why they’ve taken this stance is anyone’s guess! I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why Apple wouldn’t want iPad users to have use of such handy tools as calculators or weather reports!
Does Anyone Really Know Why Apple Thinks iPad Users Don’t Need Useful Tools Like Calculators or Weather Reports?
If someone does know, I’d be grateful if you’d clue me in! Because right now, this blatant misconception really irks me! How arrogant must Apple executives be for them to think that they know us and our needs better than we know ourselves! That’s the only kind of thinking for me that’s plausible enough to lead Apple executives to their blanket assumption that their denial of the usage of their ‘stock‘ or ‘core‘ apps by iPad users isn’t just OK, but something we need! This leads me to pose the question…
Who in bloody #@!! does Apple think they are that they can judge my needs better than I can?
The answer to that question lies at the very heart of the major difference between Android and Apple users worldwide. Apple has chosen to use what’s oftentimes referred to as a ‘sand boxed‘ approach for managing their users.
Apple’s ‘Sand Boxing’ Practices are Meant To Protect Users…Sadly, In This Instance Apple Actually Harms Their Users Instead
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘sand boxing’ before. It’s been bandied about for years, but you may not have entirely understood what it means.
Think of it like this:
Imagine a sand box like the square wooden ones most of my peers from the Baby Boom generation grew up with. Within the protective wood-frame structure that corrals all the sand keeping it from spilling out onto the nicely manicured lawn surrounding it, where we kids used to sit and play… sometimes for hours on end.
Now, in my illustration let’s replace those kids with millions of Apple’s iPhone and iPad users. Let’s replace the wooden frame with an invisible barrier, similar to a firewall, that keeps users inside safe and all the bad stuff out. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to visualize what is meant by Apple’s restrictive sand boxing practices which grossly limits user privileges.
So you can see now how Apple’s sand box effect is intended to protect users…and in many instances it does. In fact it’s worked so well that user’s of Apple devices generally don’t need to worry too much about viruses or malware. Apple’s sand boxing has protected us…but it restricts us too…sometimes unnecessarily. Many would argue always unnecessarily.
I suspect Apple’s stance would be that anyone is welcome to find free versions of apps similar to the ones that they restrict use of by only allowing iPhone usage. While that is true it’s exactly part of the harm I was referring to above. It can take hours upon hours of my valuable time trying to find acceptable replacements that both work and don’t overtax my iPad’s battery with incessantly running ads bordering on malware in the background.
So their answer seems to connote a form of tunnel vision on their part in which they are only half recognizing the full situation they’ve placed users in.
While yes, there are many, many apps available in the app which replicate Apple’s stock ones, finding a good one is onerous at best, and downright frustrating at worst. Even if I do find acceptable replacements for apps which should have been included in the first place. Every year or two I’ll need to revisit the task of finding a new calculator or weather app, among others again. Why? Because each September when a new ios is released, every app developer must update their app in order to have run well under the new ios.
Some app developers do undertake that task. But many more don’t after the first few years. I suspect that many app builders have had a rude awakening the first time that this occurred and they took on the updating task begrudgingly. But then after a few years time passed they decided that the tangible gains received from their efforts just weren’t worth the added cost in time and labor…so for all practical purposes they abandon their apps. But not completely. They leave their apps in the App Store available to any sucker who might be dumb enough to buy them without reading user reviews’ first. So they may continue to earn marginal profits for several more years. But the apps themselves really don’t work well anymore.
That’s why I’m forced every couple of years into taking on the onerous task of reexamining the entire App Store for certain basic tools that I need like a calculator. That task wouldn’t be so onerous if Apple would dedicate their resources towards fixing the App Store, because everyone who’s ever searched for an app knows that the App Store is broken and has been almost from day one. Naturally Apple executives know this too. In fact that’s the reason why a few years back when Tim Cook announced that Phil Schiller would be taking the App Store under his wing, Apple users around the world rejoiced!
Sadly, our high expectations were dashed when Phil too either abandoned the project of failed in his efforts to remedy the situation. Many, many angry and frustrated customers have loudly and publicly proclaimed their utter disgust at the whole situation. Lest you doubt my assessment of this what follows is evidence. The screenshot below is a note in my Apple Note’s app where I’ve listed links to some of the top websites that write about a variety of Apple’s and product news…in this case they’ve all written ‘Open Letters‘ to Apple imploring them to fix the App Store.
Here’s the thing…
I don’t really want to think in this negative manner because I really, really love my Apple devices, which you’d see if you read my very long but completely heartfelt and utterly enthusiast review of the new iPad 5. In it I blatantly proclaim my belief that this new iPad is the best one Apple has ever made. I literally gush about all of it’s amazing features, and almost state outright that everyone in the world should own one of these…almost.
Getting back to my ‘here’s the thing’ statement…frankly I feel I’ve been boxed into a corner here. There are no other plausible explanations available to me to explain Apple executive’s actions that I can think of. It comes down to arrogance or tunnel vision regarding your customer’s needs.
The apps already exist, so Apple doesn’t need to expend any of their own resources to provide them to us.
Furthermore, they would be helping users more than it might seem on the surface. Not only would they be providing some real value to their customer base in terms of providing them with better life and productivity tools. But they’d significantly be improving everyone’s productivity by removing a set of onerous tasks that keep resurfacing annually when a new ios is released which we are eventually forced to update to.
Go to the Top
So I’ve decided to include my own ‘Open Letter’ to Apple:
My Open Letter to Apple Requesting Stock Apps Be Made Available to iPad Users
Dear Apple, can you please allow me to use the iPhone apps shown below on my iPad too? Personally I know I would benefit greatly by having any or all of these iPhone apps on my iPad.
While your thinking about my request, why not also think about getting rid of the News app entirely?
Below is a list of some the app’s you could replace the News App with:
How about the Weather app?
How about the Calculator app?
How about the Stocks & Bond’s app?
How about the Health app?
How about the Activity app?
How about the Wallet app?
How about the Watch app?
How about the Compass or the Level app?
And my personal favorite…
How about a video screen recording app?
This video screen recording app would allow people to take a video of what’s happening on their iPad or iPhone’s screen. This would prove to be infinitely more useful to me and to millions of other users around the world than the News app currently is.
To my readers: For some unknown reason, Apple has for many years taken an active stance against allowing a screen recording app to be made available in the App Store. This has resulted in a never-ending and revolving scenario in which someone sneaks these capabilities into an app that’s approved for sale. News of this is leaked around the world and thousands if not millions of users download the app and begin using it.
Apple must be monitoring those same networks in which this news is shared so that in a few short days the app,is removed for the App Store. Worse yet is that any video footage shot using the app is apparently rendered unusable by Apple’s revocation of a certificate of trust that was attached to the app.
Back to my open letter to Apple: Your actions in not allowing any good apps for this purpose to remain available on the app store has forced users to side load buggy solutions instead.
I, myself have never been fortunate or quick enough to actually obtain one of these apps during the brief time it was available via the App Store. So I’ve resorted to the side loading alternative, and let me state for the record…this is a horrible solution, which may end up damaging the iPad used to side load it at best and places all of my personal identity information at risk in a worst case scenario.
So Apple, please, if you can’t do that, can you at least explain to me and to the millions of other users out there who so desperately need this tool too, why not? What your thinking is behind this self- imposed ban?
Some of Apple’s Apps In-house Developed Apps That are Available in the App Store
Please let me know below if you share my frustration with Apple corporation and their choice to dictate in a ‘micro-management’ sort of way, who can and can’t benefit from using their apps?