Jesus-Fucking-Christ – enough! Easy, watch the spittle...we don’t want you lumped in with the Brainless Crazies. The time is right for Apple-rage, but we’ve got to stay nimble on this one – I don’t want to look like the Constant Naysayer here. If you’ve used the internet at all today, you’ve no doubt twigged to the fact that the interminable crawl towards Apple’s latest product salvo has finally and mercifully ended in what some people have mistaken for a bang.
The grand unveiling happened, and it happened as they said it would. Rumours of an iWatch? Here’s the Apple Watch! Rumours of a bigger iPhone? Oh – a bigger iPhone! Mobile payment, health monitoring – rumoured and delivered! Yea, t’was a veritable triumph of expectations met.
If you’re a reader of public sentiment, you’ll have noticed by now that my scepticism is by no means original. Here and there you see it behind the mainstream bluster; quizzical looks and dank snidery – is that all, is that it? Some critics have pointed to the fact that virtually every one of the features announced – watch tethered to phone, large screen, mobile payment – has already turned up in the products of its competitors. This is an old complaint, one that is hardly worth the time to argue. Yes – Apple ‘borrows’ from competitors. Yes, it often represents these ideas as its own. But even the crustiest curmudgeon must admit that when it comes to usability and overall execution, those shiny creeps repeatedly wash the floor with the competition. The iPod and iPad, and to a lesser extent the iPhone, were, at the time, immeasurably more intuitive and attractive than earlier products performing the same function. It might be legally or morally unsound, but the fact remains – Apple often does it better, at least as far as Joe Public is concerned.
Well then what’s the problem? It ain’t the products per se – I’m sure the latest batch of Appleware will sell just as much as they always do, and feature no major embarrassments. No, the problem here is all that fucking hype. The last year or so of gasping speculation and tee-hee asides from the online media was bad enough, but to then see the inevitable and uninspiring results lavished with the terms ‘amazing’, ‘glorious’ and ‘revolutionary’, both by Apple themselves and the snivelling zilches who pass for journalists today is an abuse of the English language that will not soon be surpassed in grossness. The same thing happened when the new-look iOS came out; a somewhat-major re-design made in an effort to make Apple look more Androidy was hailed as the second coming by Apple, and its faithful paramours – Wired magazine most notable among them – couldn’t wait to follow with their own rank hyperbole.
I don’t care that Apple is taking other people’s ideas, I don’t even really care that it has taken a mouldy grab-bag of solutions without problems and labelled them ‘innovations’. Those who get genuinely angry at the trembling minutiae of shiny distractions are frankly sickening and not worth my attention. But I do care that a mouldy behemoth has for years now been peddling middling incrementalism as repeated revolution, and people just can’t wait to pay for the trickery. All things must pass, and Apple’s cultural relevance will fade long before its fortunes do. General Electric still makes a killing, but how many decades has it been since anyone gave a shit? If Apple wants to crawl, so be it. If people want to pay for it, so be that. But don’t call it revolutionary – our language deserves better than that.