Are Apple products really user-friendly?

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Before I begin this rant, let me make it clear that I am an Apple guy through and through. A fully-converted Apple guy, no less. Not more than a few months ago, I was a PC and Droid user.


Then, I saw the light shining off of the late Steve Jobs’ gorgeous Apple insignia, and I made the switch.

Now, we are an Apple house, filled with iPhones, an iPod, an iPad, a Macbook and a fabulous iMac desktop computer, complete with a massive 27-inch screen. We even have Apple TV — one of the tech giant’s most-underrated products, I’m guessing.

Even shiny apples have worms

For months, I have sang the praises of my amazing Apple products to friends, family and coworkers.

Then, Apple introduced iOS 7, the much-anticipated new operating system that powers most of its devices. The third update recently launched with the iCloud Keychain feature, and a squiggly worm peeked out from my shiny Apple.

I spent nearly two hours, including 15 minutes downloading the new iOS 7 update, attempting to figure out Keychain — a feature that purportedly saves all of your usernames, passwords and even credit card information in a secure place on Apple’s iCloud.

Sounds awesome, in theory. Every time I have to type my email address and password to access a previously-used website I want to pull out my hair, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if I could limit the extraction to only the gray.

Little did I know that I would have to change settings, enter new pass codes and refer to numerous help sites, before ultimately giving up on Keychain.

If this is user-friendly, I’m wondering what Apple’s definition of “friend” is.

As an Apple convert, is it really asking too much for user-friendly to mean just that?

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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