I quit using Apple products in the late nineties as I felt that directly and solely using Linux was far a better choice to my needs. As a consequence, I stopped doing many things I use to (such as recording and producing music) and that was it. Some years later, I bought a 12" powerbook and I think it is one of the best notebooks I ever had. Jaguar was crap compared to the systems we have today.
Integration with open source stuff was mostly left to the users (and that way I learnt lots of things I had for granted in Linux). On the other hand, I had lots of beautiful applications and a unix system which worked flawlessly on my laptop, which, at the time, was not common at all. Since then I have been quite enthusiastic about apple products. I bought many more Macs and used them as my main development platform. I bought mac software. I have an iPad and an iPhone.
I was very satisfied with the general quality of the products. Few bugs, few problems. On the other hand, I'm now starting to seriously question Apple strategy. I have already expressed my concerns about the mac store. Though I'm starting to believe things are worse.
For example, this fall I went to Cornwall on holiday. I brought my camera and my ipad. The idea was that I could store the pictures on my iPad (I bought also the camera connection kit).
I was pleasantly surprised that the kit stored the pictures in raw format and consequently I had no loss of quality. On the other hand, this detail was not clear at all (I had to sent myself an email containing one picture to find out that it still was a NEF file). I think that this information is irrelevant for most amateurs (as most digital compact cameras save in JPEG); however, it is critical for a professional. And it may be critical for some amateurs as well, the ones with digital reflex cameras.
So as soon as my memory card was full, I connected it to the ipad and started downloading the pictures. Apparently, everything went well; I simply felt that the process was quite too slow (but I may be biased as I wanted to use the ipad at the same time to check the email and I did not want to interrupt the transfer). So I decided that I could afford buying another memory card. With that one and the now emptied old one, I could manage to take pictures without another transfer.
Went I came back, I connected the ipad to the mac pro and started downloading the pictures. The process hanged after importing a hundred pictures or so. Since I connected it to my monitor (which has an USB hub), I initially blamed the monitor. However, I should have suspects on iphoto since the "cancel" button did not work and I had to manually force quit the application. Then I tried another hub (which was more tested); same results. And then I directly connected the ipad to the Mac and once again the transfer hanged. My guess, at this point, was that the ipad had issues. In fact, I transferred greater quantities of pictures (but I forgot I did not use iphoto, but Nikon Transfer).
As a side note, I stopped using Nikon Transfer because I lost some pictures due to unclear options related to "deleting pictures after transfer". For NT it meant delete all the pictures after the transfer, both the ones you transferred and the ones you did not, while I thought that it conservatively meant "delete the pictures that you just transferred". Luckily enough CardRaider saved the day.
Well, iPhoto was not very clear on what they meant with "Keep pictures" "Delete pictures" either, so I decided to "keep" and manually delete. I think that Apple could have been more precise.
Anyway, at this point I was quite desperate: I found no options in ipad-iPhoto to mass put all the pictures somewhere where I could access them. Luckily, I remembered that Preview is able to import pictures from cameras. And it is able to import pictures from the ipad as well. The program is faster than iphoto. It is faster to start, faster to transfer. The image selection interface is also far clearer: moreover, failed or interrupted downloads showed clearly the already imported images, so starting from the point where I left was easier.
In fact, the first time I got the same transfer error I had with iphoto. However, plug and unplug + quit & reopen fixed the issue and now I have all the pictures safely on my hard drive.
I never really trusted iphoto: I kept my files outside the library in order to more easily access them. I trust the program even less: I won't use it to import pictures, just to present them. The "find faces" functionality is just a curiosity: I still haven't found any use for it. Moreover, much of the imported pictures are not processed by that functionality. I don't know why.
As a consequence, I would like to get rid of iphoto. I want to stop subscribing to mobile me as well (e.g., out of the blue, iWeb is not able to update my website anymore). Now I just have to find a substitute; something which has similar features and that possibly retains the association between the raw pictures and the modified one. Still iPhoto was not that bad: I could have used it. I just think it is not refined and a bit left on its own.
And now there is the new version. And I am not very motivated in buying that software. On the other hand abandoning most apple ties is quite hard and since all the stuff is very well integrated, it is somehow required to stop using all that crap together, otherwise problems arise.