Walt Mossberg wrote a column in Re/Code last week, highlighting what I’ve often felt: The iPhone is the best phone on the market (and its desktop hardware often among the best), but Apple’s own apps are pretty subpar. He cites iTunes for desktop, as well as Mail, Photos, and iCloud more broadly. Mossberg writes:
I hold Apple to its own, higher, often-proclaimed standard, based on all those “It just works” claims and the oft-repeated contention by Mr. Jobs and his successor, Tim Cook, that Apple is in business to make “great products.” Apple’s advantage is that it designs and builds software together, so if the software isn’t excellent, it does the superlative hardware a disservice.
I can’t second Mossberg’s assertion strongly enough. At best, most of Apple’s iOS apps are decent. At worst, they’re awful and uninstallable. I have a dedicated folder on my iPhone for just those apps.
To be fair, Reminders isn’t a bad app. Neither is Podcasts. But why use Reminders when I have Fantastical and Clear? Why use Podcasts when I have Overcast? What is Game Center, and who uses it? Why does Watch take up precious megabytes on my phone when I don’t even own an Apple Watch? I’ve only ever opened Mail to send an attachment; otherwise, I’m firmly in Outlook-land.
I do hope that Apple will address these issues in coming iOS updates. Great hardware deserves great software. And no one deserves the Tips app.