It’s interesting to note though how Apple are learning from the iPhone and iPad with the new Retina MacBook Pro and the imminent release of Mountain Lion. OS X releases are tumbling in price while devices are seemingly becoming more ‘fixed’ at the point if purchase. Just as you can’t upgrade the internals of your iPhone or iPad you can’t upgrade a new Retina MacBook once you commit to a configuration.
I think Apple are pursuing the model they’ve used in the mobile and tablet sector – working towards a scenario where OS X releases are free and devices are obsoleted not by the age of the hardware, but by incompatibility with the latest OS update. From Apples perspective it makes complete sense, it reduces the requirement of developers to support multiple OS versions (making OS X a more attractive development platform) and most importantly (for Apple) drives hardware sales.
We’ve had out family iPad for some time now and whilst it truly is a ‘magical’ device it still falls a little short of being the perfect family computer. For many the iPad is a ‘personal’ device but for others it serves as a ‘shared’ device. Ours is used by all members of the family and often found in the lounge on the coffee table, or in the kitchen, or in one of the kids bedrooms!
What the iPad (or more specifically iOS) really lacks is multi user accounts though. Both my wife and I use the iPad a fair bit – I’d love to be able to check my mail on it but that means giving 3 young children access to my work mail account (hmmm!). By the same token the girls hate having to wade through screen after screen of ‘boy games’ and well myself and my wife can’t both be signed into Facebook at the same time.
The iPad is a social device which lends itself naturally to being shared, here’s hoping Apple makes more of this in a future software update! :)
The fact that just over a month after switching from Santander to HSBC I’m already compiling a list of annoyances with their ‘online’ banking system says something I guess. Maybe I’m a bit of a moaner or maybe I just expected more from someone that claims their online banking system is ‘award winning’.
- Standing Orders: Don’t be fooled in to thinking that you are actually adding, editing and deleting your standing orders ‘online’. The reality is that changes are not live despite what the online banking interface might lead you to believe. The reality is that an email request is sent to some chap somewhere is HSBC and he manually processes these requests as and when he’s at his desk. Heaven forbid you might want to change a standing order on a weekend or any other time when ‘stand order man’ is away from his desk… you’ll just have to wait an unknown amount of time for the change to happen, meanwhile you’re in standing order limbo unaware of if the change you requested is actually going to happen or not.
- Beneficiaries: Want to use the HSBC online banking system to maintain a beneficiary list where two beneficiaries might have the same sort code and account number, forget it. You can’t do that. As much as I hate to say it – even Santander could manage this one. The problem here isn’t so much that the ‘legacy system’ behind the front end can’t handle multiple beneficiaries with the same account number and sort code, the problem is the user interface… rather that spouting a useless error code (HE7) at me why not just tell me what the problem is and advise as to how I can work around it.
This is an ongoing list which I’ll no doubt be adding to!
Update: I had a rather lovely letter back from HSBC advising me that they are currently working on a development to improve the beneficiaries system but that there was no planned further development of the currently ‘manual’ standing orders facility. If these issues bug you too why not send them an email to let them know...
Email signatures are a mess, every email app handles them differently… you have to jump through hoops to set up an email signature and heaven forbid you want to roll out signatures across a small or large business, there’s no simple method of integrating the darn things. If only the likes of Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft would add the option to specify a URL for an email signature.
Signatures could live in the ‘cloud’ and you could pass variables in the http request to determine exactly how the signature should be returned. A web service could be used to serve signatures with dynamic content or you could simply place a static .txt or .html file on your web server.
Would it really be that hard to sort this out?