The Six Colors 2022 Apple Report Card

Jason Snell:

This is the eighth year that I’ve presented this survey to a hand-selected group. They were prompted with 12 different Apple-related subjects, and asked to rate them on a scale from 1 to 5 and optionally provide text commentary per category. I received 55 replies, with the average results as shown below.

I took my time reading this, and recommend you do too. What a wonderful tradition. It really does capture the general consensus regarding the state of the company and its platforms and services.

I’ll post my full report card as a column tomorrow, but here are my observations after reading everyone else’s quoted remarks and grades:

  • There’s seemingly universal agreement that the iPad continues to suffer from a lack of attention and focus. The iPhone remains the iPhone: boring perhaps, but boring by being consistently great. The Mac is going strong in all regards, particularly hardware. The iPad, though, breeds frustration.

  • Stage Manager feels like a bust, both on Mac and iPad. But it’s the iPad where it was needed. Window management and side-by-side multitasking are solved problems on the Mac — for decades. Getting into “the flow” on iPad remains out of reach.

  • Apple’s hardware game is stronger than its software game.

  • AirPods are awesome.

  • HomeKit remains frustrating and confusing.

(Also, yes, in my comments praising the M2 MacBook Air and its midnight colorway in particular, I forgot about the black MacBooks sold from 2006–2011. Still it’s been a long time since Apple offered a dark laptop.)

Thursday, 9 February 2023