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By Jason Snell for Macworld
The best tools are designed purposefully. A tool designed to do anything might be great in certain circumstances-if you’re stranded without a corkscrew in the Swiss mountains, for example-but I’d argue that the best tools are those that have been designed with a user, and a use, in mind.
This is a philosophy that Apple seems to share, at least most of the time. And it serves the company well.
One of the maxims that TV food personality Alton Brown used to repeat on his late, great Food Network series Good Eats was that in the kitchen, tools with only one use-unitaskers-were generally a bad idea. And I’d generally agree, especially in a field (kitchen gadgets) littered with junky one-trick-pony products frequently advertised on TV. (Look at that tomato! Now how much would you pay?)
But while a certain amount of flexibility is always welcome (I got rid of our rice cooker once I tried Brown’s approach), the best tools have a point of view. You might not use the tool as intended, it’s true-in fact, most great software is used for all sorts of things for which it was never designed-but it was probably designed with a vision for particular uses, or at least users.