Apple turns thrill into chill and our relationship is on the rocks

Technically Incorrect: After Thursday's MacBook event, why does this Apple user's relationship with the company suddenly feel stale? It's complicated.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

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A touch of complacency setting in?


When you've been in a long-term relationship, complacency can set in like mold in a Florida apartment.

It's rarely mean-spirited. It's just a sense of boredom, of finding each other less than inspiring. When you know too much, you start caring too little.

I fear that's happening between Apple and humans. (I've used Apple laptops for more than 20 years.)

It used to be that Apple would find the human mind and its quirks just as exciting as humans would find Apple and its brave, minimalistic pretensions. Cupertino would find surprising, entertaining ways of making its machines enticing.

Now, it dangles a promise and you end up feeling dongled. And when you're feeling dongled, you don't necessarily have the same expectations as you used to. You sense something's up, but you're not sure what it is.

These days, humans like me look upon each new Apple show and can't find the thrill.

We see what's changed. All too often, though, those changes look like the product of bored minds meeting a deadline rather than excited minds who want to have dinner with us and see our eyes light up at some new invention.

I know I'm supposed to be excited by the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. I want to be. But the $1,799 price and the increased need for dongling this and dongling that make it seem a touch less deserving of my drool.

Apple tells me that it takes courage to remove a headphone jack on a phone and then keeps it on a computer. Did that take courage too? Or is the courage in the shilling, rather than the willing to excite customers?

I'm confused. I fear Apple's seeing someone else. And it isn't the customer.

All the nifty things you can do with Apple's Touch Bar

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Cupertino removes the MagSafe charging functionality that's both clever and useful and replaces it with something that to me is less clever, less useful and more annoying. Why? Does it have plans that don't include me?

Just like in any long-term relationship, it feels like Apple's stopped thinking about those who love it and has begun to think a touch too much about itself.

More dongles will get mislaid. More profits will be made thanks to the mislaid dongles.

And now you need so many dongles for so many different purposes.

If I want to upgrade my MacBook Air -- and mine is still a lovely thing -- I have to pay a minimum of $1,499 for a little more annoyance in the charging and the dongling. (Yes, I know the MacBook Air is still on sale, but the lower-spec MacBook Pro is supposed to be the upgrade.)

If Apple had at least added its Touch Bar to the Air that might have been something to make me believe it still cared. Now I'm thinking of going through Apple's things to see what's going on.

It's quite painful that, after all the years, I find myself moved by neither the newest Apple phone nor its newest computer. I can't even plug one into the other without dongling, adapting and cabling anew.

It all used to be so simple, our relationship. It just isn't anymore. It could be just a phase we're going through before we rediscover the excitement, each for the other.

Then again, you know what it really means when someone on Facebook says their relationship status is complicated, don't you? It means they're not happy.

Watch this: Apple's Touch Bar or Microsoft's Dial? One outshines the other