It wasn’t so long ago (ok, it was a long time ago) that I was a hardcore Linux haxz0r spending 24 hrs/day on IRC with a bunch of other geeks talking about coding and other random geekery. I remember Slashdot was king and Gmail still needed an invite (which I had). I used Linux exclusively up until a few years ago, even through the software requirements at Georgia Tech. Obviously, I have a different mindset than most consumers and even other so-called geeks.
I’ll start with my Sidekick II. I loved that phone to death. I could text on it like a madman, annoying the heck out of my soon-to-be gf, and even had this slick one-handed-flip-in-the-air move I used to do to open it up. I remember wanting to develop software for it, but the process being difficult. I also remember wanting to hack it somehow, but that was also a challenge.
Next thing I know, I’m on Windows Mobile and me and soon-to-be are an item. I ran through a T-Mobile MDA and two Dashes. It was Windows, but it was flexible. Things weren’t locked down like the Sidekick and I learned a lot of random hackery, tips, and tricks from sites like XDA Developers.
Somewhere in this process, Mac OS became *nix and the iPod/iPhone came along. They were in my peripherals because I already knew what they entailed: Lock In. I’d already experienced the disappointment of having an awesome piece of hardware with severe software limitations and I wasn’t going back. Hell, you can’t even run iTunes on Linux.
These days, I do run Windows, but that’s because I’ve become lazy. The computer I used primarily for years is still operational, but I rarely power it on (abit bp6 with dual celeron 366mhz processors oc’d to 550….it’s very loud). 99% of the time, I’m using my trusty Chrome Web Browser to get stuff done, so the underlying OS has become secondary.
My mobile device of choice is an Android and gf has become wifey. The Evo 4G, to be exact. What a happy coincidence that the OS I grew up with ends up running my mobile device about a decade later. I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want with this thing. If there is something it doesn’t do, I can *make* it do so or find someone else who’s already done the work.
Things are not so with iPhone and iOS. I ran into someone who was switching from Android to a Verizon iPhone the other day. He’s a horrible speller and typist (possibly illiterate) and relied heavily on Google Voice Actions to get things done efficiently. Of course, there is no such thing on iOS because Steve Jobs won’t let you install alternate keyboards or otherwise duplicate any of the default Apple applications. Why? Who the hell knows.
More recently, Apple has instituted a subscription plan for apps residing within its App Store. Basically, Apple wants a 30% cut of any revenue generated when customers sign up for a subscription service like Netflix or Hulu Plus via an iOS app. Apple has even blocked these service providers from offering incentives for customers to sign-up with them directly, saying they must offer the same deals to customers via the app that they offer on their sites. Seems a little overreaching and greedy to me.
Oh, so you want to ditch Apple? Yeah, good luck with that. It’s like breaking up a long-term relationship with a needy person. While you’re trying to move on, they keep popping up. Also, you realize you’ve come away with only a fraction of your movies and music.
Am I an Apple hater? Not really. I think they offer an experience that many consumers need. They make quality hardware and software. While I’ve decided to make a lifetime commitment to my wife, I’m not ready to be tied up technologically and financially to a company. Me and Android are still having fun and feeling each other out. Apple seems more intent on getting access to my bank accounts, telling me how to dress, and redecorating my bachelor pad.