I currently have a iMac, an iPad and an iPhone. I love the way they seamlessly connect together, and I use at least one of them every day. I also have an old MacBook (the white one – remember those?) I’m currently editing my new book on that, to keep it separate from my day job.
As you probably know, Apple products are the norm within the creative sector. We love the simplicity, and the shiny logo. Mac products are so beautifully designed that we don’t care they cost more than the equivalent functionality of a PC or Android device.
But we do know the rest of the world hasn’t taken to Apple as much as we creatives. So we adapt. We (literally) buy adapters. We use different versions of common software, and don’t complain (much) when things don’t perform quite as they should.
Until recently, I’ve managed to find a workaround for everything I’ve needed to do. But technology is beginning to defeat me. Here are some examples:
Last month’s Writing Without Waffle tipsheet focused on video, so I embedded some videos, previewed it, and sent it off. I’ve done that before, and it’s always been fine.
This time, a couple of subscribers kindly told me the videos had arrived as garbled code (thanks, Andy and Nicky). This is particularly embarrassing because I was writing about the power of video in your marketing. My apologies if it happened to you too.
I did some investigating and learned they were both using gmail on Apple. I did some further investigating, and found that gmail simply doesn’t work properly on Apple products (thanks, Graham). And there’s nothing that can be done about that through MailChimp, except a clunky manual workaround.
I was booked as the guest speaker on a webinar using GoToWebinar. It had always worked fine on my Mac… until the day it didn’t.
It was a couple of weeks before the webinar, and I was on a GTW call with my mastermind group. For some reason, I could hear them, and they could hear me, but we couldn’t see each other.
After the call, I Googled to find a solution. It turned out that the GTW control panel now disappears on certain versions of the Mac operating system (for no apparent reason), and the answer is to upgrade the OS.
The cost of upgrading my iMac cancelled out the fee I earned from the webinar. But, hey ho, it had got to the point when it needed to be done.
And of course I have now had to upgrade everything else I run on the iMac, to go with the latest OS – only to discover that Dragon Dictate is no longer compatible. It’s a known issue. But it means I’m back to using my fingers for typing.
Presenting Fail 1
I do a lot of training up and down the country, and I project my PowerPoint slides from the iPad. But ‘presenter view’ doesn’t work on the iPad – it keeps saying I need a Microsoft 365 account. I have one, but the iPad doesn’t recognise it.
I have spent *hours* on the phone and live chatting with Microsoft to resolve this. They insist that all I have to do is update the app, or reinstall it, or, or, or…
I’ve tried it all, but nothing works.
Luckily, I know my script well enough that I don’t need to see my notes. But it means I can’t jump around the slides as seamlessly as I should be able to, which takes away a smidgen of my professional edge. And I don’t like that.
Presenting Fail 2
I have invested in a VGA adapter and an HDMI adapter, so I can connect to whatever system the venue uses. The adapters also have a port for the power lead.
It’s a system that’s worked perfectly for a couple of years.
But now I find the power doesn’t always flow through the adapters, for no apparent reason. So I took my iPad and adapters and cables to the Apple Genius Bar. They tested everything, and confirm it *should* be fine. The iPad charges. The adapters carry the charge. The extension lead works. And they all work in combination.
But the fact remains that the iPad won’t charge at certain venues.
The Genius gave me a special plug for the power lead in case that makes a difference next time. And – in an emergency – I can charge up the iPad to 100% in advance, let it run down during the morning session, charge it again direct into the wall socket during lunch, and use it in the afternoon. That way, it will be able to get through a whole day without running out of juice. It’s tedious, and just another thing to remember.
That said, cables are on their way out anyway…
Wireless Presenting Fail 1
In the past few months, I’ve found that several venues have upgraded to a wireless system. You’re expected to plug in a Bluetooth device via USB to your laptop, and download an app which sends a signal wirelessly to the screen.
It’s impossible to do this with an iPad, as there is no such thing as a USB adapter with a power port (believe it or not). I know. I’ve looked. I’ve asked Google, Jigsaw24 (my usual supplier), and the AppleStore.
“It doesn’t exist,” they told me.
But it *should* exist if Apple want their products to be used as presentation tools.
Wireless Presenting Fail 2
At other venues where I’ve trained recently, you are supposed to download an app with no need for the Bluetooth transmitter. But it’s an Android app. It doesn’t work on Apple. Sigh.
Working remotely, I tried to use the iPad to post a client’s newsletter on AWeber. I already know that AWeber doesn’t work on Safari (the default Apple browser), so I used Chrome. But I couldn’t paste any copy into the template. I tried from Word. I tried via a plain text app. Nothing worked.
I hate being unable to solve a problem. But, on this occasion, technology defeated me, and I had to set up the newsletter from my office, a day late.
Time to give up?
Maybe it’s time to give up on Mac – but I don’t view the prospect of switching with joy.
I’ve used PCs before, so it’s not wholly unfamiliar territory. But Apple’s marketing is so great because it builds an emotional connection. People *love* their Macs. Nobody feels that way about their PC.
What do you think?