One of the things that used to amaze me about Apple software (and Macintosh software in general) was how it seemed that the engineers anticipated my weird little use cases. Now it often seems that they can’t anticipate the obvious ones.
Here are the steps I’ve taken so far:
- I took a picture with my iPhone.
- I connected the iPhone to a MacBook (not the computer I normally connect it to).
- I ran iPhoto.
- The photos on the iPhone showed up in the iPhoto window — so far so good.
- I drag one of the photos from the iPhoto window to the desktop. The photo snaps back to its location in the iPhoto window, without transferring a copy to the desktop.
Sigh. Okay, so I have to import the photo(s) first, then I can drag them to the desktop. But why? Isn’t the input I gave the computer clear? Is there any possible ambiguity as to what I want to happen? There’s a picture on my iPhone, I want it on the computer. Did no one at Apple ever think of this option? Did they think of it, but have some valid reason for rejecting it? Did they think of it, but they were just lazy?
Every valid input to the computer should have a response. If the meaning is ambiguous, ask for clarification. The appropriate response is never simply wagging your finger at the user and saying “Nuh-uh.”
Oh, and here’s the picture: