How is it possible that iTunes store and App Store still suck so completely?

I have been a Macfreak for almost 30 years, I’m not someone looking for the problem.

But loving Apple doesn’t mean I’m blind.

iTunes, by which I mean mostly the iOS store, and the App Store as well, are remarkably weak and poorly designed, just barely functioning well enough to accomplish selling me software .

The search is bizarrely specific, while still being far too simple, leaving me too often with either zero results, or thousands and thousands of things. The filters and settings are so weirdly narrow, yet intrusive and uncontrollable that they operate primarily as sort of “bonus” obstacles to challenge you: will you actually find what you’re looking for at all?

And the interface is simply wretched. It is 2014, my iPhone has the computing power of a thousand Macintosh 128Ks (at least measured in memory- the 80’s mac could handle…brace yourself…16 whole megabytes!!) but shopping for apps still means visiting a single page at a time, and returning to my search means returning all the way to the initial page of the search, instead of the page I was just on, with somewhat narrowed results, requiring paging forward again…Really? Seriously? Is the iTunes interface a project you gave to a 80 year old programmer who hasn’t interacted with the Internet since 1993? Do you folks who work at Apple have a different App Store that actually works like something designed and built after 2005, making you unaware of the really crappy way it works for most of us?

And while I’m taking a moment to whine and complain about iTunes and the app store, let me throw in a hearty “Fuck YOU!” for their elitist, greedy, rude, stupid policy of not carrying legacy versions of iOS apps, thereby deliberately rendering their legacy products into shit. Presumably the thinking is to keep folks buying new hardware, but that’s foolish: Apple fans with the financial ability do not require encouragement. So all you’re really doing is screwing over the “Aftermarket”, for want of a better term right now, of people who are not and likely never will be in a financial position to buy new, but are more than eager to buy older models of Apple toys… only to learn that if their toy is a tiny bit too old, it better have all the apps you desire on it already installed, because you won’t be able to find a damn thing in the app store that will work on it, leaving you with nothing but the Apple crap no one uses. (Passbook? You paid someone to come up with that?)

And I’m really surprised your developers haven’t pitched a fit about this policy as well, seeing as how you are wiping out a huge source of income for them.

I cried, quite a lot and off and on for quite some time, when Jobs died. I never met him, but he actually changed and shaped my whole adult life…I am angry to this day that he was so fucking stupid about how he handled his illness, I’m sure he’d be alive today if his arrogance hadn’t let him be so foolish, but sadly that still wouldn’t change all of these complaints, because they were all in place while he was alive and well and in control.

So Tim, dude…fucking pay attention and fix this shit, please!

Okay, done. Not hot enough for the pit, just needed to get that off my chest, because it blows my mind almost every single time I go to the app store/iTunes…
(In fairness, going to the App Store from an iPad or iPhone via System 7 absolutely IS vastly improved from what it was, but considering how awful it was to start with, there’s still many miles to go, and you haven’t given iTunes or the App Store on the Mac any attention at all, and it needs it. I’m begging you…and when you do, please restore my ability to hide apps from my devices, please? And about that keyboard… for the love of all that is holy when are you going to give us arrow keys?)

It’s weird about UIs. Apple seems to do them as well as anyone, but they somehow get locked into a few bad ones. Weirdly, iTunes is the backbone to Apple’s success in modern times. People originally bought iPods because it was so easy to get content for them, and then many bought Macs because iTunes was a bit better there. It’s still a horrible mess though, and it never seems to improve with new revisions. Why not? I can’t explain it.

Similarly, when I worked at IBM, I was at a software conference in Las Vegas, and struck up a conversation with a guy who worked on Lotus Notes. Now Lotus Domino at that time was an awesome mail and collaboration server, way better than Exchange. No one could tell though because Lotus Notes was the only client, and it was just awful. It was in version 8 or something by then, and I was genuinely curious why it wasn’t getting better when it was an important part of the overall strategy for a company rolling in R&D money. There’s just no way to ask that question without appearing confrontational though. The guy got defensive and angry, and I never did get an answer.

Having spent over 2 hours last night simply trying to get an interface where the Java worked so I could log in to deauthorize a dead computer, yeah.

Apple paid a huge sum of money to buy Beats music, which has the lousiest UI I’ve seen in a long time (the UI is shiny and looks nice but is close to useless). So it’s possible that Apple either likes that sort of thing or can’t tell when something sucks.