This is lengthy, but right on. My second MacBook Pro’s logic board died after Catalina was released. I hated Catalina’s overzealous security, and Big Sur seems like an oversimplified yet buggy mess. I have unfortunately reached a point where, even with the release of Apple silicon Macs, I feel better off building a Windows PC. The OS was the reason for me to buy my first Mac; it’s now a reason to not buy my third.

Tyler Hall:

> I don’t know if human curation can ever be a solution to this problem. Not at Apple’s scale.
> My issue with this is that if Apple is not going to put in the effort to prevent the countless, systemic abuse running rampant on their storefronts, they need to stop marketing the App Store as something it’s not and using in-app purchases as a revenue stream.
> Because, right now, the assumption of every developer I’ve spoken to – and friends and family members who have been scammed – is that Apple pays lip service to consumer safety on the App Store so they can reap the enormous financial rewards.

Apple’s receipts suck, they’ve sucked for a long time, and they’ve shown no interest in improving. They’re obscenely wealthy, charge a premium, have an App Review team with a reputation for capricious or at least inconsistent decisions, and only pay lip service to consumer safety.

I ordered my AirPods on January 6. Once shipped, Apple said they'd get here on the 20th, then UPS said the 17th, then the 20th, then the 17th. They came in a tight little box, the size of which seems to be influenced more by the Lightning cable inside than the headphones and case.

Connecting AirPods to iPhone was a piece of cake. Pop the case open, hold it within a couple inches of iPhone, tap Connect, and you're done— until a few minutes later, when an iPhone Bluetooth glitch requires a restart. When first placed in your ear, they chime like a '90s PC dialog box. Switching to Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch without pairing is very nice.

Pop the case open near your iPhone at any time to see the battery charge of both the AirPods and case. Battery life is phenomenal.

Getting the double-tap right is taking a few more tries than I anticipated. Since it's about the only way to do anything (volume, answer, end calls), I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

Siri is far more accurate when using AirPods. Pausing by taking a bud out is flipping amazing. They're comfortable—it's almost like they aren't there. You can safely jog with them. They sound good and crisp, definitely better than your usual earbuds.

"Almost magic" as a product tagline seemed over the top, goofy. But it's spot on.

UPS rescheduled AirPods delivery to a later date, then back to the original date. They were shipped straight from Inventec.

Just got AirPods shipping notification. They're coming straight from China.

AirPods preparing for shipment. They’ll be here 4 days earlier than originally estimated, and just in time for a trip!

After declaring Spotify the gold standard, David Segal says:

If the system has a weakness, it is a less-than-lovely user interface, which is black and a Halloweenish shade of green — a little too goth for the Haggler’s tastes. Far more important, it isn’t great at introducing you to new albums and acts. It has features and algorithms designed to help you find undiscovered music, but they aren’t compelling or visually appealing enough to be much help. The Haggler winds up listening to the same stuff over and over.

This is why the Haggler has been rooting for Apple Music since an Android version of it was unveiled in November. The user interface is gorgeous — bright, airy and dominated by album art — and it is the finest new music introduction system ever created. It’s like a professional matchmaker who never sleeps. It is always trying to find you something to love.

When it comes to interface and discovery, I couldn’t have more polar opposite opinions from Segal. I much prefer Spotify’s dark interface with conservative use of green to Apple’s stark white and hot pink. I’m almost always disappointed with Apple’s music recommendations, but Spotify generally has something interesting to offer, and seems to refresh its recommendations more frequently.

But he’s right that Apple Music takes longer to find and start songs than Spotify, and I’d add that Spotify has the benefit of Connect which is far and away better than AirPlay. It just doesn’t have that Explicit Filter I (and others) so dearly want.