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Apple Store and iPad = awful experience

I wanted to do one simple thing this morning: get a dictionary and thesaurus onto my iPad. So far, the iPad is a beautifully executed toy with huge potential (for something), but the biggest waste of money I’ve had in the last 10 years in terms of something I can use to help me (I don't have time to play games). And the biggest time waster in terms of getting even basic stuff to work.

Worse, the Apple Store and iTunes are reeking cesspools of confusing unusability, a Times Square neon billboard that gets very old very fast, if one can grok it at all.

My iPad has been repeatedly posting an irritating alert telling me that I don’t have AT&T wireless set up (it's on WiFi). There is no “Don’t harass me again” choice in the alert. I guess AT&T paid them to harass me... 3 cents per harassment message?

So I tried to register the AppleCare rip-off for my iPad today. The first challenge was reading the 5-point type on the AppleCare agreement— apparently Apple thinks all their customers have 20-year-old eyes that can focus 3" from the paper. Very considerate.

The Apple site told me that it couldn't currently process my request. So I called Apple. They said it was already registered. So I went back to the Apple site, and sure enough, it was registered. That was fun wasting 15 minutes of my time.

I’ve had to change my high security password to a crappy low security one because it’s just too tedious to enter it on the iPhone or iPad (mixed case, etc). Effectively if I want to buy apps with either iPhone or iPad, I have to use a low security password.

So earlier I went to get a free app (Dictionary). I click-click-clicked the right stuff, then the final screen teleports back to where I started. No feedback on whether I have the app or not now. Huh? I poke around and find that it's in now my list of apps, but it “needs to be downloaded”. So I figure that out, and it then says my computer is not authorized (no offer to do so, or how to do that). So I dig around in the menus, and then authorize.

Which dictionary is for which device?!
How do I #!%@ delete eTrade and DailyFinance?!

So now Dictionary shows up, but I can’t tell the iPad app from the iPhone one! There is no obvious way to filter it, and I also have other defunct apps that I can’t figure out how to just goddamn delete (eg ETrade as shown below). No right click to do so, no Edit => Delete. So I sync the iPad, and I still have the tiny iPhone app, not the iPad one I just downloaded. Good job Apple.

iPad told me that my password is wrong even though it's right (are 10 tries enough? I just changed it, and there is no mistake). So did the Apple store. There can’t be a mistake there, since I had copied/pasted it— then the Apple Store finally burped and accepted it (on my Mac). But my iPad insists it’s wrong. And after changing things, the Apple Store made me reconfirm it all over again 10 minutes later (“you changed your info, please confirm it again”). And I was forced to do the credit card entry thing, even though all I wanted to do was to change my password.

Oh, and since I “entered it incorrectly” too many times, I was forced to go and reset my password, the one I just changed. Maybe that’s what Infinite Loop means.

It sure does, because my iPad now says “Your account info has changed. Tap continue to review and confirm the changes”. This repeats in an infinite loop, and I’ve already confirmed eight (8) times! So my iPad is now a brick in terms of downloading even free apps, because any attempt to do so asks me to confirm changes— but never succeeds.

Apple support has been unable to fix this issue (reset prefs, reboot the iPad, etc). The iPad is now a useless brick in terms of apps; it has an infinite loop “Confirm Your Settings”.

Infinite loop

Is that all? No. After 30 minutes and 10 tries, I cannot buy an app for my daughter’s iPod (and this is on a different computer). At least my Mac Pro works.

Apple's operating assumptions seem to be:

  1. All their customer have one (1) computer per household;
  2. All members of the household share one (1) iTunes account for all their iPhones, iPods and iPads.
  3. No customer wants to use a phone as a... phone.
  4. Everyone likes crappy low-fi compressed music.
  5. Everyone loves the idea of paying for stuff that can’t be used without Apple (eg music).
  6. Everyone wants the same apps on the same devices.


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