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By Jason Snell for Macworld
How the AirPods show Apple’s frustrating and delightful quest for simplicity
Making complex things simple: Perhaps more than any other trait, this is Apple’s superpower. When it’s at the height of its powers, Apple takes complex technologies and boils them down to simple products that delight their buyers.
Complexity is always in our faces, shouting, demanding more. Cutting-edge technology is fundamentally complex. Integrating a suite of technologies together into a single product adds further complexity.
We’re at fault, too, as users, and people like me who write about technology for a living are even worse. We frequently mark down products that are too simple and pine for added settings, more options, and extra complexity, without recognizing how much complexity can weigh down a product, robbing it of its essence.
Apple can get this wrong. Worse, it can making this infuriatingly complex while in pursuit of simplicity, which in some ways explains the debacle that is iOS device syncing in iTunes. But when it gets it right, that’s when its products shine.