Apple Design Flaws

by Tom Schneider

People love their Mac computers with a passion for the impeccable design.

Unfortunately after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, Apple made a number of serious technical blunders. This page is devoted to listing them with the hopes of getting Apple back on track before it destroys their company. Power users are refusing to buy new produces and upgrade older products because of these problems.

CALL: 1 800 676 2775 and ask to talk to a technical advisor.

  1. Destruction of Expose and Spaces.
    What was Expose with Spaces?
    What was Spaces?
    What was Expose? Introduction by Steve Jobs (two links to the same demo)
    In Mac OS X 10.6.8 Expose and Spaces were near perfection (they still had one technical flaw). This was destroyed by replacing it with "Mission Control". "Mission Control" is useless for getting around windows because all the windows overlap. What were they thinking? The person who did this should be fired. Reinstate Expose and Spaces! I refuse to upgrade until this is solved. The company binaryage has created a product that partially compensates for this disaster: totalspaces.
  2. Spaces Technical Flaw (before it was wrecked). The technical flaw in Spaces was that when one went a new space and clicked on an icon in the Doc for a copy of a window, for example, then nothing would happen. One has to command-N to get the new window. A better design would be to create a new window for that App in that Space when one clicks on the icon in the Doc.
  3. Inability to run Java programs on my iPad. The program Evj runs in Java and demonstrates how information is gained by biological systems during evolution. Apple prevents it from running on an iPad because they won't allow Java on the iPad. Apple, people bought and own their iPads! Anyone should be able to put any software they want onto it. Arguments about Java being slow are irrelevant.
  4. Folder window control removed. In Mac OS X 10.6.8 graphically opened folders have a grey button on the upper right corner, see the example figure to the right. This handy button was removed in In Mac OS X 10.7. The difference is subtle. It means that when one is working with the mouse, one need not touch the keyboard. Switching between the two is time-expensive. There is no reason to lose functionality!
    2014 Sep 25: I found out how to make an apple script (wrapped in a tcsh script) that will close the folder toolbar: hidetoolbar
  5. Terminal cut/paste problem When one uses the mouse to highlight text in a, sometimes the carriage return at the end of a line is not recognized. As a result the lines are fused together in the cut/paste buffer. This is a bug that I have reported but it has not been fixed. (Note 1: the fb script, a part of this ToolKit can be used to edit the buffer before pasting.) (Note 2: Following my suggestion, Apple DID make all four sides and corners of windows controllable. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!)
  6. 2014 Feb 10 Active program mark The Dock shows when an Application is active with a little light underneath.
    • In 10.6.8 this is very clear.
    • In 10.9.1 the Application On light is faded and impossible to see.
    Apple is making things more unclear!
  7. 2014 Feb 10 Icon coloring ruined
    • In 10.6.8 and 10.7.5 one could mark the entire name of icons such as files and folders with colors. This allowed one to visualize whole patches of files in a glance.
    • In 10.9.1 only a small circle in front of the name is marked. It is no longer possible to see clusters of files! Yes, this allows the file to have multiple color marks - the circle gets split into up to 3 parts. But those are impossible to see easily. Apple wasted programming effort to produce an inferior product.
  8. 2014 Feb 14 Activity monitor display destroyed
    • In 10.6.8 the Activity Monitor could be set to display memory usage in a circle. This was extremely useful for keeping track of how much memory programs are using. (Note: One can use the 'purge' command to clear unused memory! This immediately showed up in the circular display.)
    • In 10.9.1 the Activity Monitor only shows 4 useless bars.
    Note: the mem script creates a circular display of memory usage that matches the old Apple method - but it's broken as of 2014 Feb 14.
  9. 2014 Feb 14 Automated moving locations of objects in folders When I put objects into a folder that is showing the icon view, I put them in specific locations. However, when I download to the folder, instead of finding an empty spot, the OS puts the folder in the upper left corner, displacing other icons and messing up my arrangement. SUGGESTION: NEVER AUTOMATICALLY MOVE LOCATIONS OF ICONS IN ICON VIEW. Just SIMPLIFY your code. STOP TRYING TO BE HELPFUL! Stupid annoying paperclips come to mind!
  10. 2014 Feb 15 Control of open folder edges In 10.9.1 one can now control the locations of all edges of open folders (thanks for implementing this suggestion of mine), but sometimes one wants a smaller footprint and yet the OS prevents one from making it as small as desired. The OS SHOULD NEVER CONTROL THE SIZE OF THE REGION DISPLAYED. The exception is when a person requests minimization BUT the algorithm for making the displayed open folder fit the items inside the folder is ruined: it doesn't find the minimum size for the open folder that fits the icons. Why is Apple unable to program correctly anymore?
  11. 2014 Feb 26 Application store text unreadable The text of the Application Store for Software Updates is light gray against a white background. This is difficult to read. ALWAYS MAKE BLACK AGAINST WHITE FOR GREATEST CONTRAST! Come on Apple, you know better!!!
  12. 2017 Nov 27 Grab application recenters every time one grabs. I repeatedly capture images of scientific slides for which I use the /Applications/Utilities/ (found under Utilities). In Grab version 1.8 (117) the "Window Grab" control pane could be placed anywhere one wants on the screen so I place it out of the way of the objects I am grabbing. In Grab version 1.9 (138) The control pane keeps returning to the center of the screen COVERING UP THE SLIDE SHOW I AM TRYING TO CAPTURE. It has to be repeatedly moved out of the way. This is a design flaw. The control window location should be remembered.
  13. 2017 Nov 27 Grab application is difficult to use. I repeatedly capture images of scientific slides. Grab version 1.8 (117) and Grab version 1.9 (138) require that one type Shift-Command-W and then 'Chose Window' for every image captured. This is awkward and distracting. Worse, Command W will close the SeaMonkey browser or Safari window so if one accidentally is switched to the browser while watching a scientific presentation, one loses the talk entirely! There should be a way to simply set up repeated clicks on the target window to do multiple Grab captures.
  14. Thin lines for download or play state In the Music app and while downloading the latest operating system there is a very thin line that shows progress. The line is so thin that I cannot see it clearly. This does not save anything! There is plenty of space to have a wide and clear line! 2018 Jul 19
  15. Music: hard to set volume The volume circle must be touched EXACTLY to start changing the volume. It can be frustrating to try to change the volume and miss repeatedly. Instead the circle should move to where one's finger is, and then track the finger. 2018 Jul 19
  16. iPad/iPhone contact update needs manual mode. 2018 Jul 19: The fastest one can set the update is 15 minutes. Sometimes this is not fast enough. Settings/Accounts & Passwords/Fetch New Data/ has options: Automatically, Manually, Hourly, Every 30 Minutes Every 15 Minutes but what Manually does is not obvious. There seems to be no way trigger an update. I have my devices set to 'Push' which has the note 'New data will be ushed to your iPad from the server when possible'. But new data does not come in quickly.
  17. Source forge .xz file does not unpack properly. 2018 Sep 01: The Xfig package at can be downloaded from the page Once the file has been downloaded, double clicking on it produces:
    Double clicking on that produces: xfig-full-3.2.7a.tar\ 2.xz But the latter is IDENTICAL to the initial file! One is stuck in a loop infinitely. However, the command line command
    tar xvf xfig-full-3.2.7a.tar.xz
    immediately creates the two directories: fig2dev-3.2.7a xfig-3.2.7a as it should.
    This is a bug in Apple macOS High Sierra 10.13.6. It is reported at
  18. macOS sticky windows 2018 Sep 04: Windows stick to each other and to the sides of the desktop. This makes it difficult to move windows to where I want them. google: mac os sticky windows. According to this stackexchange page there is no overall control. It's just another bad decision by Apple not to allow user flexibility.
  19. Preview ruins original images macOS sticky windows 2019 Feb 12: After importing an image into Preview, one can sweep a region and crop with Command-K. If one leaves Preview, the ORIGINAL FILE HAS BEEN MODIFIED, ruining it. This is a very dangerous program, as it can wreck your images.
  20. Folder size/contents change 2019 Feb 12: When one graphically displays a folder, one may set its position and place its contents exactly where one wants. However, the operating sytem will change the size and move the contents ruining the organization. The folder size, position and location of contents should be stable!
  21. Folder moves 2019 Feb 12: If a folder goes off the right edge of the screen, it moves around when one wants to place an object into it. It is super annoying to have it wiggling underneath one's mouse pointer. The folders SHOULD NEVER BE MOVED BY THE OPERATING SYSTEM.
  22. iTunes fail 2019 Jul 17: Open source songs and other music should be possible to put onto iTunes. For example, this song. But only songs bought on the iTunes store go to my iPhone, even if I bought them elsewhere, even if they are open source. STOP BEING MY MOTHER!!!
  23. Sticky Windows 2019 Jul 17: Windows stick to each other along the edge now. This is NEVER how I want to position my windows. So I have to shake them free and reposition them. There is no control for this. STOP BEING MY MOTHER!!!! (Actually, my mom wasn't that bad!) Example: this song and video
  24. Room sounds get picked up when recording video 2019 Jul 17: It used to be that one could record a video directly without getting room sounds. Now when my refrigerator turns on, the noise obscures the video I'm trying to capture.
  25. Browser can control sound input 2019 Jul 19: The input sound determined in System Preferences/Sound/Input can be forced to a value by a browser. The user cannot stop this! Example: . This is a security breach! The user should be ASKED FIRST.
  26. Cannot fix 'Find my iPhone' tone 2019 Jul 26: In Interaural time difference and how to find your phone instantly (Published on Mar 28, 2019) Steve Mould points out how to improve the Find my iPhone app ... but it cannot be fixed on the iPhone. The tone provided should be user adjustable.
  27. Flaws 2019 Oct 09:
    • Since a recent (2019 or so) update of (Version 13.0 3594.4.19) when I highlight a mail and drag it to a folder, I move the wrong one! It used to show the line of email being moved so it was clear when the right one was indicated. Now it's just a useless mail icon during the drag. The mail that is currently highlit is NOT the one being dragged!
    • Recent mails have reduced date information. For example, instead of giving the entire date one email says '3:10PM' What if I don't recall which day it is? DO NOT DO THIS!!!!! IT IS NOT MORE CONVENIENT TO GIVE LESS INFORMATION! EVER!!
    • There used to be options for sorting by Date Subject, From and To. Now (macOS 10.15) one can only sort by Date!!
    • MAGICAL CONTROLS if one moves the mouse to the header region of an email suddenly controls appear on the line between the header and the email. NEVER HAVE INVISIBLE CONTROLS!!!!! PEOPLE MAY NEVER FIND THEM!
    • When I move a message from my Inbox to an archive, often I move the wrong one (see above). Then I want to 'undo' and I find that it refuses to undo! So I've moved the wrong email and now cannot figure out which one of the (still important) emails has been moved!
    • When writing an email the stupid Mail program assumes that the first word on the left side should be capitalized. I NEVER WANT THIS! I THEN HAVE TO FIGHT THE MECHANISM TO STOP IT. (Generally I give up, copy into my cut/paste buffer and edit it with my fb script.) It's another bad design decision like the famous Micro$oft PaperClip - STOP TRYING TO BE HELPFUL!!!
    • When typing a message, Mail stupidly capitilizes the first letter of words on the beginnings of lines. One has to go out of one's way (i.e. switch to the mouse) to click the 'x' to prevent it. DO NOT DO THIS!!! STOP TRYING TO BE HELPFUL!!!! NOT EVERY LINE BEGINS A SENTENCE! Yes, this is a repeat. It keeps on happening.
  28. The ls and cp commands fail in .Trash! 2019 Oct 15: In macOS 10.15 the Terminal 'ls' command fails in ~/.Trash !!!!!
    1% cd .Trash
    2% ls
    ls: .: Operation not permitted
    3% pwd
    4% cd ..
    5% ls .Trash/
    ls: : Operation not permitted
    This is incredibly stupid!!! It is USEFUL to be able to see and manipulate files in .Trash!!!!!
    Likewise, I wanted to copy a file out of the trash to somewhere else and was thwarted for a file starting with 'We':
    % cp .Trash/We* /tmp
    cp: No match.
    • Another shocking case: graphically visible applications that are invisible to ls:
      % pwd
      % ls
      Adobe AIR Application
      Adobe AIR
      Adobe Flash Player Install
      Adobe Utilities.localized/
      AirPort Admin Utility for Graphite and
      Hard Drive Update
      Mac Pro EFI Firmware
      Mac Pro SMC Firmware
      QuickTime Player
      iPhoto Library
      toot 37% ls -d /System/Applications/Utilities/Digital\ Color\
      /System/Applications/Utilities/Digital Color
    Status 2020 Oct 31, a year later:
    1% cd .Trash
    2% ls
    ls: .: Operation not permitted
    They failed to do anything in a year. :-(
  29. Popup windows must be copyable! Apple/About This Mac provides information about the current operating system. Some of the data can be copied, but not all at once. MAKE ALL SUCH WINDOWS FULLY COPYABLE SO WE CAN GET THE INFORMATION EASILY!!!
  30. Space/App swapping When I click on an app icon in the dock I mean to switch to that app IN THE SAME SPACE. However, I get kicked to some other space where there happens to be a window of that app. This completely disrupts what I want to do because I already want to work in one window and now I'm in the wrong one - and I don't even know which. RULE: Never switch spaces when clicking on windows. Usually if there is no window in a space I want one there, so a new one should be made in the space I am in (optionally perhaps).

  31. Feedback page is too limited. The feedback page is only for SOME Apps and there is no option for other problems not listed! For example, it does does not provide any link to report the above problems with the Grab App.
  32. Not responsive to customers. When a company gets too big they stop listening to people. This could spell the doom of Apple when other companies start doing what Apple is not. Alternatively, we will all start using Linux and never come back to Apple. The support Forums have people, possibly paid by Apple (!), who put down suggestions and delete comments. Really nasty. Suggestions get lost in the forums.
    PROBLEM: Apple feedback is a black hole, suggestions are ignored and nothing gets fixed.
    SUGGESTION: Apple should keep track of the suggestions and TELL PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE FIXED.


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Tom Schneider's Home Page
origin: 2012 Dec 05
updated: 2020 Nov 05