Apple are doing a lot of great things. I doubt there would be such a push for touchscreen phones if it weren’t for the iPhone, and if OSX hadn’t shown the world that OS’s don’t need to look clunky there would be no sleek Ubuntu or W7; it’d still look like windows 95. I have no doubt that the iPad will work as such a forerunner for tablet PC’s.
The trouble is, Apple’s own devices are just so incredibly locked. They don’t trust the user – they want to protect the user from him – och herself. To me, that’s kind of condescending. I got nothing against simplicity, especially in interfaces – but to jump from there to “All Powerusers Are Bad People” is quite a leap. But OK, their target audience doesn’t include people who like computers, that’s OK… almost.
However, Apple maintains complete control over their App store. They tell you it’s because they want to block malicious apps and increase stability and security. The trouble is… that’s not all they block. The iPhone / iPod Touch has rapidly become a popular platform for development. The developers pour in time, effort and money and they get a fair share of the earnings from the app store… together with a neat, user-friendly (if a little clunky at times – ever tried keeping track of 10 pages of apps?) interface, this adds up to a fair market share.
And if you’ve invested in the not-so-cheap hardware, and in a fair amount of software, you’ll probably keep using, and upgrading, within the Apple ecology.
And this means that a substantial number of users become locked in that ecology.
And here lies the rub: Apple don’t just block unstable apps. They block most apps that might compete with their own “superior” product. They block most apps that could concievably be used to run any kind of code, no matter how securely. This is why there’s no Flash, no Java. Not because they are “old technologies”, but because Apple want to maintain their monopoly of control.
And now they’re censoring apps with “overtly” sexual content. I mean, I don’t feel any pressing need to download an app named “Wobble iBoobs”, but I don’t think I like the idea of Apple deciding for me what is too “sexually overt”. Mostly because no, I don’t trust Apple’s judgement.
One cannot help but wonder: What’s next? Blocking anti-Apple pages in Safari? You can only surf pages what Apple like?
This is how computers are reduced to cable TV: You can only access what THEY decide you may access. Freedom of the user is restricted.
And it’s all within the realms of capitalism. People sell their freedom for an illusion of safety and security. This is what the future looks like: 1984. Apple is Big Brother – though not a very successful one outside of the mobile phone/mp3 player marked, thankfully. I expect this to change. People don’t care about freedom, all they want is convenience. They will gladly surrender the control of their lives if it means not having to read up on something, not having to learn something.
If you want to imagine the future… imagine a boot stamping on a human face. Forever.
And the face is glad, because it doesn’t have to do anything while it’s being stamped on…
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