Apple Teaches Us To Accept Being Inconvenienced

“It just works!”

If you buy into the Apple ecosystem, something you need to know is that you’re going to be inconvenienced…a lot.

When I got my latest iPhone, I knew going in that I’d be losing the headphone jack. No problem, I thought; it comes with an adapter that I can use to connect it to the head unit in the car (sadly, Anderson is not bluetooth-equipped). What I didn’t forsee were those rare instances when I wanted to listen to music through headphones as I fell asleep. I have bluetooth earphones, but they’re impossible to sleep in. And yeah, I could pull out the crappy lightning earbuds that came with the phone, but for me they’re also incredibly uncomfortable, fall out, and sound like crap. So I’m faced with either bringing the stupid headphone-to-lightning adapter in from the car every damn day on the off chance I might want to fall asleep to music, or dropping $10 for another fucking adapter that I can keep bedside.

And then there’s the ongoing issue with my nearly-new $2K laptop and it’s goddamned keyboard. When you buy something from Apple, it comes with the expectation that—at least hardware wise—you’re getting the finest engineering on the planet. That used to be true, but lately it seems that in Jony Ive’s quest to make everything no thicker than a sheet of paper, that has fallen by the wayside. While I figured out how to safely remove the keycaps and blow compressed air into the butterfly mechanism to clean out dustI shouldn’t have to. And last weekend as I was blowing out a non-responsive N-key, a little bit of black plastic something went flittering into the night. Turns out it was part of the dome mechanism that blocks out just the right amount of the LED light from underneath to ensure all the keys are equally illuminated.

I found the piece of black whatever-it-was, but I couldn’t reattach it because it had torn. I opted for a miniscule piece of black electrical tape in its place, but—of course—it was thicker than the original light shield and they key was now even more fucked. For some reason adding the black electrical tape in its place diminished the already tiny amount of key-travel to next-to-nothing, sending me on a hunt to find a replacement key mechanism.

Yesterday, the N-key just stopped working altogether. The replacement mechanism was supposedly sitting at home in my mailbox, so I pried the top off the key again and gave the whole thing another good dusting. The functionality returned to what it was prior to yesterday, and after getting a really good look at what’s going on under there I decided that I would live with it until I absolutely had to tear the key completely apart to replace the dome mechanism.

I shouldn’t have to do this, Apple.

Yes, it’s obviously still under warranty, but taking the machine back to Apple is also an unacceptable solution because for some reason the key can’t just be replaced by their Geniuses like I was about to do. No, the whole thing has to be sent out for a complete lower case replacement because the keyboard is glued in place and I’d be without it for one-to-two weeks. And even then there’d be no guarantee another key wouldn’t get fucked up.

What the hell, Apple?

There are rumblings of a manufacturer recall. My fingers are crossed.

Finally, there’s the issue of my Apple ID. Last week Apple finally started allowing people to change their main Apple ID to an icloud.com or mac.com address (something that you haven’t been able to do ever). When I set up my account back in 2009 on my very first Mac, I chose voenixrising because I was new to the this untrusted environment and didn’t want to use my real name because reasons. Over the years, that of course changed, and now I use my realname@icloud.com (an alias I set up under the main account) address for pretty much everything.

So when news of this change became known, I was ecstatic. I could finally ditch the otherwise unused g-mail account I’d been using as an Apple ID. I logged in, went through all the steps, sent up all the offerings to the Apple gods, did the proscribed incantations and…”you cannot use an icloud address as your main ID.”

WHAT THE FUCK, APPLE?

And that error only occurred when attempting to use the realname@icloud.com account. Every other alias I’d created could be used.

I called AppleCare the next day, and to his credit, the guy on the other end of the line was incredibly helpful. Unfortunately, we still couldn’t get it switched over at that time because apparently if you have been using an @icloud.com address as your emergency backup address in the Apple world, you can’t use it as your main ID for thirty days after you unhook it as the emergency contact. And my realname@icloud.com was the backup.

Inconvenience, thy name is Apple.

UPDATE: Late this afternoon the H-key started acting up. Again. So I gently pried the keycap off and dusted it out. I noticed when I replaced the cap it was loose on one corner. It turns out one of the little pins on the butterfly mechanism had broken off at some point.

So now I have two wonky keys. They work, but not without issues. I’d take the damn laptop into Apple tomorrow if Ben’s old backup machine was usable enough for me to transfer everything over, but it isn’t. It needs both a RAM upgrade as well as a larger hard drive so I don’t have to pick and choose what to restore from Time Machine when restoring to it. Until I can afford to make those upgrades, I guess I’m just going to have to carry the little Apple bluetooth keyboard I bought back in 2010 with me.

This is BULLSHIT, Apple.