Monday, March 18, 2013

Apple Store Apps

What is it with Apple Store applications they have to get more complex with more stuff (I'd say more shit but it's a family readership and implies poor quality which the apps aren't just over stuffed) than the user wants or needs?

This get frustrating to find a nice application which does something very useful in a straight-forward simple way and then the update version get worse. They get more bells and whistles than the latest car you can't figure out how to drive let alone use.

Ok, not all apps, just some. And those are?

For one, I love Timer Utility, version 2 anyway. It had a neat big digital clock you can read across the room without being intrusive. So what did they do with version 3 and 4, they dropped the clock and added other features I don't use.

So I now I have versions 2, 3 and 4 in my applications folder. I keep updating it, why escapes me now, and keep renaming the old version to differentiate between them. And I still just run version 2 for it's simplicity and easy-to-read numbers.

Update to TinyAlarm app.-- After using it for awhile I reverted back to the old version because the new version doesn't allow you to delete a time in the list, only edit, and it kept crashing trying to edit one after updating to OS-X 10.8.3. So the best bet with this app is don't buy it.

For another TinyAlarm. This was a cool app for being a simple timer. Not sophisticated, just set a time from the list or with the hands or entering it and it runs, beeping when it's time. So what did they do? They removed that features for a host of bells and whistles.

Of course, they're responding to user suggestions and I can't blame them, but you can't make it like the old version, just click, pick a time and it runs. Now you have to open a window, set all the settings and then it runs, but you can choose the sound from iTunes now.

What used to take 2-3 clicks, now takes 2-3 times more clicks for the same purpose, to set an alarm in so many minutes or at a certain time. They really screwed this app up, but more so you can't run the old version because the Apple App store see it and tells you, "You have an update" and proceeds to overwrite the old version.

I know there is a way to turn this off in the App store because I did it before, so now that's the trick to be able to use the old version without conflicting with anything.

For another Radium. I like this app a lot and it's replaced the tuner with my stereo (ok, not physically as the tuner is still there) where I use Apple's Airport Express to transmit the signal to the stereo and through my place.

What I don't like is the latest update where they replaced the cool looking little radio icon in the menu bar with a heart. Yeah, a heart for a streaming radio applications. Like what's with that? And they don't give the user a choice to put the old one back as some applications do.

So what I did with the TinyAlarm and Radium is use a backup copy of the old one as a new name in the applications folder to run them instead of the newer version, exactly like Timer Utility. Not hard, I just can't run the old and new versions at the same time.

Ok, I'm a curmudgeon. I like VW bugs (owned a '71). I like old alarm clocks. I have a 1930's toaster. I like simple things that do simple things. And I like my applications to be easy to use over and over so I don't have to remember to read the owner's manual all the time to do something simple.

You know an application is in trouble when it has a built-in help pages and a user's manual. That's not saying I don't have or use complex applications, I do have a myriad of Adobe Creative Suite applications, but I use them often enough to be comfortable with the complexity.

Don't get me wrong, I get mad at Adobe when they keep changing a nice application too, especially with upgrades where they remove features you loved. And don't get me started on Apple's road to destroying good applications, they're doing great there with Safari and iTunes.

Anyway, it's just a vent about an update and that sometimes simplicity is a great idea, and application techies like to screw them up for people like me.

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