Dear Apple Execs.,
I’m trying so hard to be content with your default apps., which I’ve been using instead of third party apps. I want to love your apps but most of the time I just like them, sometimes I merely tolerate them.
With just a few tweaks here and there and all would be good. So, why can’t I:
- Create a simple text hyperlink in Mail and Notes on the iPad and iPhone like I can on the Mac?
- Use a keyboard shortcut to copy a Notes URL without first sharing it with myself or others to create the link?
- Export my Notes as plain, rich, TextBundle, and markdown files?
- Create a backlink in Notes?
- Use a keyboard shortcut to capture a task with Reminders?
- Send an email to a Reminders address to create a task from the email (like one can in Things and OmniFocus) instead of the need to shout to Siri in my office, drag it to Reminders, or select the subject line, select share, and then select Reminders? It doesn’t have to be this hard.
If any of the above can be done, please have tech support call me!
Now I feel better ….
I agree, except the default apps aren’t for us. They are for your everyday users.
Except Music, which we have no real choice on.
Dear Dr. Mosbacker:
Our goal is to make our default apps “good enough” for the majority of our customers. Based on your comment we have achieved that goal.
We suggest you check out the wide variety of apps in our App stores. You may find what you need and we can make a few bucks on the deal.
All of us I am sure look forward to the “@Bmosbacker updates” coming soon to an Apple device near you!
Your complaints about Notes - especially the lack of a URL and backlinks (add lack of versioning to that) - ring very true to me. In the end, I couldn’t make it work except for ‘quick notes’ like shopping lists or temporarily jotting down a name.
As @Leeabe51 and @WayneG say, there are many ‘power’ apps in the App Store which meet more advanced needs and increase Apple’s bottom line. It’s not Apple’s intention to cover their features but rather provide functionality that meets most people’s needs without overcomplicating the apps (I’m not sure they always achieve the latter, but…).
My daughter uses Apple Notes for work every day - I doubt export to Textbundle or obtaining a unique note URL has ever crossed her mind.
I gave up, and now use Obsidian for just about all notes and writing, much to my own surprise. Reminders is fine - on iOS I use a separate app for quick capture which meets my ‘on the go’ needs.
I wish I could make Obsidian for notes and writing; I tried but failed. For my needs (which include long-form writing, a book, and speeches) it fails for the reasons listed below, hence my decision to stay with Ulysses.
- I often need attachments and tables for my work notes–while possible with Obsidian, there is too much friction.
- The only way to order files (e.g., chapters in a book) is to number them. That is far too much work if one has a lot of chapters or sections with which to contend.
- I don’t want to depend heavily on plugins for important work, e.g, work that requires citations.
@Leeabe51, @WayneG, and @nationalinterest, I believe you are right. I generally don’t think of myself as a power user, especially compared to many in this forum, but I suspect compared to the “average” user I’m above average.
Over the years I probably assisted 300+ coworkers, (plus friends and family of mine and those of company executives ) with their Apple devices.
IMO you are definitely above average.
I don’t agree that average users won’t use the type of functionality the good Dr mentions above.
They don’t offer it so how do they know it’s not relevant? Automation was always a ‘pro tool’ and once Apple brought it (more) mainstream, people are adopting it.
Why oh why can’t I make a reminder in my Apple Note that will automatically appear in the reminders app (can it? Please tell me it can!!)
Apple should be enhancing users productivity and experiences by making advanced functionality more approachable instead of out of reach. IMHO of course
Would you mind emailing that to my former 2nd grade teacher (Clark Air Force Base, Manila, Phillipines)?
This reminds me of my long-wished for updates to macOS. In summary, I’d like Apple to focus on adding features to the Mac that make it a better overall system for working in. For the past few releases, I’ve not found anything really worthwhile in the new OSs. Nothing that really changes how I use my computer for the better. I’m always hopeful, and I always look forward to the new OS, but after a couple weeks it’s back to normal.
It’s not just Notes and Reminders, although that’s a good start, I’d like them to overhaul the entire operating system.
- Automatic AI-assisted filing and retrieving of documents
- System-wide tagging
- System-wide markdown support
- Simple links to everything
But instead we get System Settings.
The average Apple user doesn’t even know you can put a date on a reminder. Having worked in an office full of people who use iPhones, they do the bare minimum and are completely clueless on anything slightly advanced. There are always exceptions of course, but I am no longer shocked when I talk to coworkers and how they use their devices and apps. (And no one I know downloads third party productivity type apps.)
Based on the people I used to support I doubt the percentage would be very high. But that’s not the point I was (humorously) trying to make. It is well known that Apple wants to make as much money as possibly from every person that buys one of their products.
Their default apps have always been good basic programs. Investing more in them may or may not result in additional Mac/iPhone/iPad sales. If it did, I would think Apple would do it. But it would also discourage developers from making similar programs.
I would add this strategic question to a “Dear Apple” letter:
Almost the entire software industry has embraced an incremental, rapid software development cycle for adding new features to software applications.
Your adherence to classic “waterfall” development methodology introducing new features, and even significant bug fixes, on only an annual cycle with almost all of the apps included in your operating systems (macOS, iOS, and iPadOS) puts you and your customers at a significant disadvantage.
I understand that some of your apps have deep roots inside the operating system and it may take some clever and significant engineering to untangle that to allow shipping features updates to even such proven tech as a notes app to be done without bundling with an OS update.
I have faith a multi-billion dollar tech company, nee tech leader, that is constantly advancing the leading edge tech in AI, ML, graphics, and processor design, could solve this software engineering challenge if it decided it had the “courage” to do so.
Please show us you care.
Aside from the first two, I’ll eat my hat (gladly) if Apple adds any of these, nor do I think they should. These are all poweruser features that will only degrade the experience for regular users. Can’t imagine trying to explain backlinks to my uncle.
This is the post I needed right now!!
Notes also needs an easier way to add colored text to notes on the Mac and the option all together on iOS.
I have 2 kids in university now that use Notabilty- not Notes. They also use Office- never touch the Apple equivalents. The mail client they use- Gmail. Messaging-WhatsApp. Never touch iMessages. Browser- Chrome.
There’s a lot of sites out there talking tech and productivity to the masses - they seem to have an audience.
I’m just saying that I don’t think we should let Apple off the hook on these not (necessarily) power user features.
I want my Mail share sheet!
I am kind of under the belief that Apple’s stuff should only do the bare minimum (but do it well) and third parties should make the things the power users want.
Now, the mail share sheet is Apple’s responsibility and something they have neglected, but they neglect all their apps constantly. Just like Apple Music, it’s their service and app which doesn’t really have a replacement. They don’t seem to be making any effort to fix it either. I think if you are using Apple’s apps and expecting more from them, you might be unrealistic in your expectations.
Here is my possibly controversial take on this issue (but @WayneG and @Leeabe51, seem to agree)….
I like the default apps (rely on a number of them, too!) and want them to be good, but my overall sense is that there shouldn’t really be first-party apps. They should be minimal products to show off features and tide us over. We should have a vibrant marketplace of high-quality (or varying quality!) third-party apps. In this fantasy of mine, the third-party apps could be set up as system defaults with the same full privileges as first-party apps. Why should the OS vendor compete with its customers, the developers?
In my fantasy universe, no doubt the third-party music app that accesses Apple Music would be top notch.