Apple iCal

Published by marco on

Apple iCal is another piece of software that’s in a very established field, with a very established feature set, in which Apple has been producing software for over a decade. It’s a calendar application with reminders. The reminders can be set to a specific time, with one or more alerts. An alert can be snoozed for a certain amount of time.

This is not rocket science.

Ok, so a modern calendar has to be able to pull in remote sources, to sync with other sources, and to send notifications. It manages multiple calendar sources and lets you choose the color of calendars and appointments. There’s also a merge function to move entries from one calendar to another.

I still don’t see any rocket science here.

At least, not for a company with over 10,000 engineers.[1]

So, after a dozen versions of a piece of software in a simple problem domain produced by one of the largest and richest and smartest engineering firms the planet has ever seen,

  • Why is it that the reminder apparatus is still so primitive?
  • Why are the defaults to just keep reminding you every five minutes until you answer its question?
  • Why can’t you adjust how snoozing works?
  • How is it that Apple isn’t even capable of detecting when you’re running a full-screen app/movie and not show its alerts over top of everything?
  • Why so pushy? You have a notification center, for God’s sakes.

I’d like to be able to auto-snooze after three reminders instead of hearing that infuriating ping every five minutes until I get up and do what the computer wants.

The computer is not in charge. This is something we’ve forgotten.[2]


[1] This is a figure I heard a while ago. The company has over 130,000 employees as of 2018. Someone showed over 16,000 employees on LinkedIn who identified as some form of engineer.
[2] Insert snarky answer from FOSS user with a 7-page retort/answer detailing how to get exactly what I want with EMACS.