Apple updates Apple ID site, finally allows editing (and puts your subscriptions where you expect them, sort of)

Apple updates Apple ID site, finally allows editing – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW):

Apple has updated their My Info site to allow more Apple ID editing goodness. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a crack at changing any of this information, but last I remember, it wasn’t possible to change the actual email correspondence address of one’s Apple ID. The My Info site offers a slim, effective UI for adjusting your contact and shipping info, as well as setting your Apple communication preferences (do you want email/mail/phone calls, etc.).

I normally don’t talk much about what I did when I was at Apple, but…

Oh my god, they actually got this live.

Sitting on the MyInfo Page is a tab called “subscriptions”. If you click on it, it’ll actually bring up (some) of your newsletter subscriptions at Apple:

currently, it only shows my new music subscription, but it’s a start. Everything else (Apple eNews, etc) will show up eventually, as they can get the data migrated. Or at least, it should.

This is something I started suggesting (lobbying for, pissing people off by being annoying about, harping on, bitching about, choose your favorite term….) over four years ago; it seems like a no-brainer; the Apple-ID should be your one point of contact for all things having to do with your relationship with Apple. Subscriptions should be easy to find, and easier to update. And it should all be in one place, since from the point of view of the customer, it’s all Apple — customers don’t care about internal organizations or politics, nor should they matter, or leak into the view of the outside user.

Of course, it’s easy to kvetch, and it’s surprisingly difficult to implement something like this, given the scale of the endeavour. But it is finally here, and it’s working.

Well, okay, it has some issues. It shows me as subscribed — but the checkbox isn’t checked. Do I check the box to unsubscribe, or will that subscribe me? And it took ~30 seconds for it to do the data select and bring the page up, so they have performance problems, but I’m sure they’ll fix that; it won’t be butt slow forever. And, of course, most of my subscriptions aren’t listed, and they haven’t bothered to note that not all of them are in this system yet, or leave pointers to where you might find them.

But it’s a start, and it’s live, god help them. And it’s one significant step towards making life easier for a user in their dealings with Apple, because (eventually), the half-dozen or more places where there might be subscriptions to various newsletter things and other subscribed things will coalesce into a pane on the myinfo page, where a user actually has a chance of finding them.

Working on the integration of this system, and the migration of the data from my systems to the corporate ones, was one I and my group worked on for months prior to my leaving Apple. It was one of those projects that was a problem for everyone involved, no matter how hard you tried to solve problems, they wouldn’t stay solved. Easily avoidable problems, actually, that cost us six months or more in time and endless pain. It’s one of the few times I finally went to management and said I simply didn’t want to work with a person again (when I left Apple, after 18 years, there were three people on the list, all of them people that — given the project I was on and what they did for a living, there was no way I could actually not work with them; that was one of the things that helped me finally decide it was time to move on. And they were all great people to be with, just not people to work with, if you understand the difference).

But none of that really matters. What matters is the damn thing is live, and I’m thrilled to see it actually peeking out of the shadows and into the wild. It may seem like a minor thing — and it should look like it’s minor and easy to the outside user, but a lot of time and energy (and huge amounts of disk space and CPU time) and sweat and tears and a bit of blood and a few fingernail clippings (for the voodoo doll, you understand) went into the making of it — and about four years of time from the first time I remember talking to anyone about it and actually seeing it….

Congrats to everyone over there for finally seeing this puppy to birth. Now, all we need is the rest of that data to be migrated.. (giggle/ducking)