I’ve always been a kind of fan of Apple – back during my technology “coming of age” days (college), Microsoft was dominant and Apple was the little guy struggling to stay alive. They put out the iPod, which was cool, and Mac OS X was UNIX-based which was exciting. Since then I’ve owned three iPods and a MacBook Pro, all of which I’ve been happy with.
But, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, now that Apple has had a lot of success, they’ve started doing a lot of things that make me uncomfortable. The iPhone being such a closed environment should have been a bigger canary in the coal mine.
Apple announced the new features in iPhone OS 4, coming out this summer. Now they’ve got some sort of multitasking and some other neat stuff. But it turns out there are some seriously restricting changes to the license.
Exhibit A: Apple is requiring that iPhone (and iPad) applications be “originally written” in one of the languages that runs on the iPhone/iPad. Basically, they’re saying that you can’t use an intermediate layer (like, say, the iPhone compiler in Adobe CS5, which is going to release next week) to write your programs. I can understand why they might want to do this, but regardless it puts a lot of apps out of business and is a big restriction on how people can develop for the iPhone/iPad. Apple may think that apps are “better” that are developed with their tools, etc., but the market should decide this.
So I’m pretty much at the point where I’m rooting against Apple. It makes me sad, because they do make nice products, but the whole closed ecosystem is just too much to bear. Unfortunately, even developers leaving the iPhone platform in droves may not have any real impact on iPhone sales.
(obligatory: Palm’s WebOS phones allow you to install even apps that Palm hasn’t approved, pretty much the polar opposite of Apple. Go Palm!)
As long as I’m ranting: what the hell, Mississippi? A high school cancelled prom rather than let a lesbian couple attend. Then a judge ruled that the school was wrong, but didn’t order them to put on the prom, so some parents organized something. Then something confusing, but the upshot is that the lesbian couple was invited to a fake prom (with only 5 other students, 2 of which are learning disabled) while the rest of the school was invited to the real prom.
Words fail me. I’ve never been prouder not to live in Mississippi!