Home > Tech > The not so Theoretical Heavy Hand of Apple

The not so Theoretical Heavy Hand of Apple

Those of you who know me in real life know that I’ve been disappointed by the launch of the iPad. I was at least as eagerly expectant as the general public at the beginning. But the product that came out was almost the opposite of what I’d hoped.

The product itself has many cool features. The form is nice. The interface is great, though I would have very much liked a stylus. I’ve heard complaints about the weight, but really the weight is very reasonable for what it delivers.

But the Apple policy on the machine is incredibly autocratic and arrogant. I don’t care how pretty it’s worded or how much concern is expressed over performance and stability, the intent is very simple. As an user, Apple has full control of what you can install on your machine. And as a developer, Apple has full control over what you’re allowed to publish.

So is this control theoretical? Is it just Apple leaving its options open in case it has to clamp down on real problem software? I found these three articles to be of interest taken together

So the first article is a completely expected story of Apple clamping down on an application that most would say is perfectly ok. This is Mark Fiore, a Pulitzer prize-winning political cartoonist whose app was rejected because it “ridicules public figures”. Imagine that. A political cartoonist poking fun at public figures. The story is kind of scary if you follow some of the links to other incidents.

But Apple is no so tough, is it? In this story Apple backtracks and says that the Fiore app banning was a mistake. Just a bit of confusion. Oh, it’s not Apple’s intent to censor in this way.

But in the third article we see the real Apple. Here Steve Jobs says both that banning Fiore’s app was a mistake and would be in the app store soon and “However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and Android phone.”.

That porn statement is powerful. It says that Apple can badmouth any applications it does not like. And it says it’s not apologizing for having the control to treat any application it does not like as garbage.

Well, Apple, I want my Porn. The first piece of Porn I want is Firefox. And Chrome. And, by the way, Internet Explorer if Microsoft would make it just because  you opt to install Safari  on Windows. And the reason why I want these specific pieces of Porn is because another piece of Porn you block is Flash. It’s one of the most widely used pieces of software on the web, but you feels it’s your role is to singlehandedly banish it.

When Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer with Windows, the Internet community was up in arms because that gave MS an unfair competitive advantage. I hope the community rallies twice as strong against Apple for not only bundling Safari by default, but making sure the user cannot change that choice.

So yes, Steve. I do want my “Porn”. I will not be getting an iPad. And I will be trading my iPhone for an Android phone soon.


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  1. Fernando
    2010/04/21 at 8:33 pm

    So would you buy the product of someone that tells you “Together we will be free to achieve more”

    Check out http://wepad.mobi/en

    While every man and his dog is waiting for their preordered iPad to arrive, some Germans went their own way and presented a Slate that appears to have, well, better features.

    The Neofonie WePad has similar form and function as the iPad, but facts are that the German Android device has a bigger multitouch screen and a faster CPU than the iPad. Also it runs Flash, has USB ports, an inbuilt card reader and expandable memory. Additionally it allows complete multitasking and has a webcam. Beat that baby.

    The WePad is set to arrive sooner to German stores than its Apple counterpart and will be significantly cheaper than the iPad, says Neofonie CEO Helmut Hoffer von Ankershoffen. Preorders and deliveries are planned for next month. At first I thought it was a fake, because some specs feel too great and the choice of OS sounds just weird: a Linux derivate with Android on top. That’s Linux with Linux inside, which makes it possible to install apps from the Android Market as well as special Adobe Air software from Neofonie.

    Personally I would rather wait on the “we” vs. the “i” ….

  2. 2010/04/22 at 11:59 am

    I certainly like that motto better than the Apple implied “thinking is really hard — leave it up to us”. Actually the ones I’m keeping and eye on are the Google Tablet and the HP Android Tablet. Both of these are companies with enough ooomph in the US to hopefully make a difference.

  3. queloides
    2011/02/17 at 1:55 pm

    Apple is selling the “underdog is winning” image. And while doing so, clamping down on indivdual rights in a device they purchased. But Apple really owns. Hey, at 30% markup with little overhead, the profits are immense and the ads will continue and the fad will stay.

    I’ll call it the “Che Guevara” effect. A romantic rebel that was personally responsible for thousands of deaths and torture.

  1. 2010/04/20 at 8:08 pm

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