Kill Legacy Apple Software

Benedict Evans pointed out in a recent newsletter, “there’s a story to be written about Apple feeling its way from a piecemeal legacy technology stack for services, evolved bit by bit from the old iPod music store of a decade ago, to an actual new unified platform, something that it is apparently building.”

I’d argue for a focused set of decoupled applications, rather than a new unified platform. iTunes has bloated beyond practicality. The App store doesn’t work well for users or developers. Here’s where I think the future of these applications lies.

Apple is neglecting its software (1)


App and Media Store

Device Manager


Why is this so important? First of all, I’m dedicated to iTunes, yet I still hate it. Everyone has gripes about these common software programs, yet we can’t stop using them because we must. As Micah Singleton points out for The Verge:

“If you’re like me and have avoided iTunes save for the occasional Adele purchase every four years, you don’t want to go back to using a bloated program when Spotify’s app is fine, Pandora works on basically every device, and YouTube is where you spend most of your day avoiding work anyway.”

Singleton agrees that iTunes could be much improved, and adds the additional suggestion that Apple should iterate faster:

“Apple can’t wait until WWDC every June to make significant improvements to Apple Music. It should move to a more frequent update schedule to keep people engaged in the service.”

If, according to the grand unified theory of Apple products, “Apple’s fundamental goal [is to] make technology more personal,” it needs to ensure that its software is doing that as well as its hardware and operating system improvements. If “personal technology is about taking complicated tasks and breaking them down into more granular tasks,” then it follows that Apple’s software should be trying to do the same thing.

One-stop-shop behemoths of software should be a thing of the past. Instead, focus on building a platform with practical apps that interact with its framework. Our devices are the one-stop-shop, and our apps should fit specific needs rather than attempt to do everything.

Ward off the bloat, divest app functions, and bring back the love of Apple software.