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Why I use so little software by Apple

Part of my ‘degrowth’ series: why I’ve been using less and less Apple products. Might sound like venting, though it’s not.

Simone Silvestroni's avatar

As a quick premise, I don’t judge anyone’s choices when it comes to computer hardware and software. Therefore, I have no bias for people relying on Apple software (and hardware) for everything they do. I’ve been there too. As I’ve embarked on a quest to decrease my digital footprint and achieve some form of actual degrowth, this is something I can’t leave out. Apart from strongly disliking the recent incarnations of macOS, I believe that the $2tn company is hell-bent on a path that’s impossible for me to agree with. To each their own.

I started using Apple products since 1993, and despite knowing them from the inside out, I’ve been slowly walking away over the last few years. Why? Sure, there’s the rejection of walled gardens (or ecosystems, as they like to call it), in favour of cross-platform solutions that let me switch to different devices and/or operating systems, if needed. However, I can’t bypass my increasing moral conflict towards Apple’s environment-killing policies, disguised behind greenwashing and virtue signalling. Whenever I get the counter-argument “what’s the alternative? Google? They’re even worse”, my rational response is that by the same logic I don’t use neither Google nor Microsoft. Though, the first instinctive answer would go like this: remember when none of us was tied to a corporate ecosystem, and we survived and thrived regardless?

Apple could lead the way in sustainable products and influence other companies to follow suit, but instead, it chooses to greenwash unsustainable practices. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

I’ve already touched on the topic of cloud syncing. At the moment, besides the Finder, which is macOS’ filesystem manager, the Apple programs that I still use daily are Calendar, Preview, and Text Edit — all replaceable. There’s plenty of excellent stuff out there, whether open source or paid. Speaking honestly, I consider my macOS full of bloatware, like any Samsung or Xiaomi mobile phone out there. Even though I don’t have iCloud enabled, my system has 7 running processes related to it, using CPU power to do something I have no interest in, and zero control over.

One more thing…

After monitoring external calls to the internet through Little Snitch, I finally blocked the operating system from forcibly downloading an OS update that I specifically don’t want. I’m talking about an installer weighing 13GB that was constantly being pushed to my /Applications folder, no matter how many times I deleted it. No way to disable this toxic behaviour, I tried everything. If that’s not wasting broadband, electricity, environmental resources, I don’t know what is. And it tells me all I need to know about the principles of the corporation.

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