Yesterday I went on a rant about macOS Catalina Mail and how Apple decided to "tweak" it for apparently no good reason. Just like random stop signs on roads in the US that serve absolutely no purpose. The Apple UI/UX team decided to change things. OK, well enough of that, I have alternatives if I really care.
iTunes the product that has been around for nearly 18 years and I have been using for more than 20 - yes I used the original SoundJam product that Apple purchased to make iTunes.
Over time as Apple added TV and Movies, and PodCasts, and subscriptions, and streaming and backing up your phone, and syncing your contacts, and importing your photos and… basically the kitchen sink it became a mess. It should never have done a bunch of that sync'ing stuff. They cleaned it up and if you just wanted to use it to listen to music you could turn off most or the other stuff and use iCloud for syncing. It was bearable.
With Catalina they decided that enough was enough and they would split things out into the Music, TV and Podcasts app plus move non-iCloud syncing and backup to the Finder.
This all makes sense. Sure the new products would be iOS'ifyied to look more like their less powerful phone / tablet versions but it wouldn't be so bad.
Really it isn't that bad. I've lost the main song browsing tool that I've been using for the last 20 years but they added some filtering and it is manageable.
But what did we lose, it's not obvious but we did lose some stuff. Hopefully it was cut in the rush to release and it will come back.
I play music on my mac all day long, hooked up to some killer SoundSticks (original USB ones, DAC in the Amp not the Mac). If I'm not close to my desk I can pause, skip, change the volume, change playlist etc with my watch. Or if I want, with my phone.
Well, I could. Not anymore. The new Music app doesn't support this. Goodbye remote control. The iTunes remote app on my phone is now useless, the Music app on my phone doesn't provide this functionality. The Remote app on my watch can see the Music library but can't control it anymore. The Now Playing app on my watch can control my phone or my AppleTV but not my Mac.
I you want to buy a song, album, movie, TV show, or season as a gift for somebody. It's easy. In the iTunes store, find the product you want, click option to send it as a gift. Specify the recipients name, e-mail, when it want it to arrive and pay. 30 seconds and you're done.
Can you do this in the Music app, nope. Can you do it in the new TV app, nope. You can buy it for yourself but not as a gift for somebody else, of course. Gift giving season is upon us and Apple cut giving gifts.
Want to buy a movie as gift for somebody, there are a couple of solutions:
Use the iTunes Store app on your iPhone / iPad. It currently still works.
Install iTunes on Catalina. This is actually the better option because it gives you iTunes back, complete with the iTunes store and remote control over your music. How long it will last before Apple do something to break it I don't know, hopefully they will add the functionality to the Music and TV apps on macOS.
Now, yes, these are not the most obvious of features that get a lot of use, but really Apple Product Managers do you even know what the features of the products are that you are building / replacing?