July 23rd, 2008 • 6:50 pm
This post is the conclusion of my investigation of the responsiveness issues I have been experiencing while browsing the Apple Store web site in Mac OS X. It comes after this post and this post, and combines the feedback I have received from various people and the further testing I have been doing.
Here are the facts.
If I try to browse the Apple Store web site in Safari over my high-latency satellite Internet hook-up, I get major responsiveness issues where the whole Safari application becomes unresponsive (with the Spinning Beach Ball of Death) for extended periods while the pages are loading.
Ironically, if I fire up Parallels and try to load the Apple Store site in Internet Explorer 7 under Windows XP, the responsiveness problems only affect the Explorer window containing the Apple Store web site. I can continue to browse other sites in other Explorer windows without problems, which is exactly what I’d like to be able to do and am unable to do on the Mac side.
In other words, with my high-latency Internet connection, the experience of shopping at the Apple Store on my Mac is actually more pleasant (or rather, less unpleasant) in Internet Explorer under Windows XP under Parallels than in any Mac OS X-native browser.
But that’s about all that I can establish with my limited personal experience. It would be interesting to know if other Mac users with a satellite hook-up are experiencing the same problem, but obviously there aren’t too many of those around to begin with, otherwise Apple would have done something about this a long time ago.
As a long-time Mac user, I am of course used to being in the minority. But I still find it somewhat ironic that the web site that causes the worst responsiveness issues for me in Mac OS X browsers is Apple’s own web store. Like I said before, if I weren’t a faithful customer, this problem could easily put me off and prevent me from returning to the store. But I am pretty much a “captive” customer for Apple here, and other Mac users with high-latency connections are probably in the same situation, so it’s highly unlikely that Apple will ever pay any attention to this particular issue.
Supposedly, some time before the end of 2009, every Nova Scotian is supposed to have some kind of access to a broadband Internet service, either cable or local wireless. When this finally happens, I can ditch my satellite hook-up and enjoy some semblance of Internet access normalcy. But until then, I guess I will continue to use the on-line Apple Store with pincers. (I should probably use Fluid to create a stand-alone browser just for that site. This will help isolate the responsiveness issues.)