Apple No Longer Just Works

Actually, I am a patient person when it comes to technology. It took me two years before I labelled my 2010 iMac, my first iLemon.  Even then I gave Apple’s executive relations team a chance to make it better. When they failed, my son, who passed his Apple service certification before he graduated from college, helped me fix it by installing a SSD drive.

I said this back in 2012, just over ten years ago,

To many people Apple is a premium product on par with the best computers that are out there. Certainly with few exceptions, you end up paying more for an Apple product than you might for a product from another manufacturer. If like many Americans you live in a metro area, your Apple purchase gives you access to an Apple store and what can be for many people a very satisfying support infrastructure.

Apple products are even more premium now than they were ten years ago. We still use Macs in our company, WideOpen Networks, where I am vice president of sales. Even though I am in much more of a metro area than when I made the comment ten years ago, an Apple Store is still almost an hour away from us. Still that drive is an hour and an half shorter than the nearest one to our corporate office.

I could easily have given up on Apple products when they showed me the door eighteen years ago when my team had just finished another unbelievable year selling Apple products to the largest enterprise customer in the world with perhaps the smallest sales force ever to tackle the US government. I was director of federal sales and my team of just over twenty people tripled sales there year and year.

However, I am a committed Apple user. I started on an Apple II+ and began my technology career selling Apple products over forty years ago. I still appreciate how Apple has changed computing for all of us, but they are not perfect and they seem to be reluctant to use their mountain of cash to give us better products, warranties or services. The components in Apple’s  computers sometimes are no better than what we get in other products and  to make you feel good about that Apple has one of the most expensive extended warranties in the business.

Even so when we moved from North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, I took the step of upgrading the Macs that I was using. We were getting fiber to the house and I felt like I needed a backup machine for my I5 MacBook Pro. I went with the new-at-the-time MacMini with the M1 processor and 16GBs of RAM.

I am glad that I kept the I5 MacBook Pro as my main work machine. The M1 MacMini is fond of locking up. I keep hoping that one of the software upgrades will fix things. I am beginning to think the real problem is Apple just not caring. I know that conventional wisdom says to never upgrade to the first release of Apple’s operating system software, but I was having enough problems that I thought it was worth a shot. After all I am never shy about upgrading my Windows and Linux machines as soon as I can.

Today, I am running Ventura 13.0 on an eighteen-month-old MacMini with 16GBs of RAM. It is hooked to my internal network and a rock solid NAS with what I would call a bullet proof 2GB fiber connection where the speed at any of my desktops rarely drops below 940 Mbps/940 Mbps. There is nothing but Category 6 Ethernet cabling from the Calix Gigaspire router all through my home and  office. I have five other computers in the office including that old resurrected iMac from 2010 and a Lenovo Yoga from this summer running Windows 11 and a much older Lenovo I5 running Ubuntu Linux.

One morning recently I tried adding a simple contract to my Highrise CRM using Safari. When I went to add the picture from a network mounted volume, it froze three different times under different scenarios. Finally, I brought up Chrome and everything worked fine.

So the question is- how can Google make a better browser for the Mac than Apple’s own Safari? Google makes Chrome for all sorts of platforms and it generally works. You would think that when you release a major operating system update like Ventura that you would make sure your browser works.

Apparently Apple just doesn’t care any more.

I haven’t been brave enough to open any of the newly updated apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. I am not expecting a good ride.

Apple should appreciate that more customers than me have been using their products for over forty years. We deserve better and because we have been around so long, we have seen better from Apple. Even when there were far worse problems in the early nineties, Apple appeared at least to be taking the problems seriously.

Just to show that I am not conjuring this up out of an old Dual G5 case,  I ran additional tests to prove that this is a problem on the M1 with Ventura and the most recent Safari.

I used the same test of opening Highrise CRM in a browser, creating a new contact, and adding a picture from a mounted NAS volume. The results aren’t much of a surprise. It worked on everything else but the M1 Ventura MacMini.

My test worked flawlessly on the following systems:
2020 MacBook Pro I5 16GB RAM running macOS Monterey 12.4 and Safari 15.5
Late 2012 15 MacMini 16GB RAM running MacOS Catalina version 10.15.7 and Safari 15.6.1
Mid 2010 I5 27” iMac (iLemon) 16GB RAM running High Sierra 10.13.6 and Safari 13.1.2
2022 Yoga 9 14” 16GB RAM running Windows 11 Home 22H2, successful using both Edge and Chrome
2010 or perhaps early I5 Lenovo desktop with 16 GB RAM running Ubuntu Jammy Jellyfish and the latest version of Firefox.

I also had no problem performing the task on a 2021 Lenovo Yoga C740 with Windows 11 using Firefox and connected through our wireless network.

I replicated the problem three days after finding it. I finally got it to work on Safari by quitting almost everything else on the M1 MacMini.

I chose not to add insult to injury by running the test on a Chromebook or an iPad.  It would probably work on my dead Dual G5 if I just get it to boot.

Apple, it is time to do better by your customers.

Author: ocracokewaves

An escapee from the world of selling technology, now living on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks where life revolves around sun, sand, and water. I work at WideOpen Networks helping communities get fiber to their homes. In my spare time I am a photographer, writer, boater, fisherman, kayaker, swimmer, and walker of the beaches.

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