I turn over my iPad Air and slowly caress the smooth aluminum back with my index finger, its perfected surface massaging the nerves in my skin as I move around to the chamfered edge, smiling as I picture Jony Ive peacefully looking down upon me.
NO! I don’t actually do that.
But that’s the view many hold of a so-called Apple fan. In reality I simply like Apple products, I prefer them, I think they are better than what else is out there. I could use other technology brands, but I think Apple is currently the best, but that’s just like my opinion… man.
However, human nature, and the combined forces of blogs, Twitter, and podcasts, all tell us we need to pick teams. You can’t just be a fan of Apple, you have to be a partisan hack that will defend them at any cost. All of your arguments must center around your affiliation, and your objectivity must be suppressed. That’s the common view around the tech community, and we all seem to quietly fall into those roles on many issues. But that, my friend, is simply insane.
Apple is not perfect. Samsung is not perfect. Microsoft is not perfect. They all do some things well and do some things poorly. I personally think Apple does the most things well, but that doesn’t mean they don’t fuck up too. The old phrase that Apple products “just work” is a terrible misnomer, because there are lots of times they just don’t work. But every other tech company’s products don’t work much of the time too. Technology is a really hard nut to crack, and even though advances are always being made, things still break and don’t work and frustrate people and perfection is never quite reached.
Really, we need to stop focusing on our allegiances to corporations and instead focus on ideals. I like Apple because it stands for things like attention to detail, simplicity, design, elegance, etc. When it lives up to those ideals I applaud it, when it fails, I criticize it. It’s the same for any other tech company. If a rival company to Apple started making products that achieved these ideals to a greater degree, I’d have to seriously think about switching. Currently there doesn’t seem to be anyone at Apple’s level, but that doesn’t mean I’m blindly following a false idol. I’m following my ideals, and Apple is just managing to live up to them the most right now.
So let’s all just stop, calm down, and sit peacefully together in the glow of our disparate devices. We can have discussions about those devices, but focus them around the actual issues, not simply old tropes of “you’re just an Apple fanboy” or “Android users lack taste.” Everyone is different and has different thoughts and passions and ideals. Lets parse those out and see how they apply to technology. Brands shouldn’t matter – what matters is what those brands stand for and what they actually produce. In the end we’re all just grasping for the perfected confluence of ones and zeroes sitting somewhere out in the distance.