People have often asked me what my problem with the iPhone, and iPad is. It’s a common thing that I’ve always debated about heavily since it gained traction in the smart phone world, taking over and snatching the market from Nokia and Blackberry. Until, Android became more of a thing and truly became a viable rival when the HTC Desire and the first incarnation of the Samsung Galaxy S. that came out all that time ago.
The fact of the matter is the iPhone is only based around improving and simplifying existing technology. Sure, smart phones existed before the iPhone but they were an un-intuitive, awkward cludge of a device that was a jack of all trades and a master of none; such as the Nokia Communicator series of phones. Yes, touch screens also existed but Apple did improve on them and made them actually useful without needing stylus pens.
However, Apple and their evil lawyers brought upon the notion of patenting obscure functions that other manufacturers produced already, improving them and then claiming they created them wholeheartedly. Then, they attempt to fight aggressively with their competitors to claim they are ripping off Apple with various forms of legal skullduggery. Granted, one can see where they were coming from when they successfully sued Samsung over the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab which were a little too close to the iPhone 3GS and the first iPad, even down to the weird charger connector/dock which was a little too close to Apple’s proprietary connectors and ports for comfort. But then, that wasn’t good enough; Apple just want out and out world domination of the mobile device market and to obliterate all the competition. This destroys choice and diversity for the end user, and attempts to lock their user into their product, and their product only. Apple, as a company are like that snitching grass in school that gets your mates suspended or put on a week of after school detentions, that you want to punch in the face. Forever.
Fixed storage and battery
The iPhone and iPad have always centred around a hefty price premium if you wish to own a model that has half decent storage space. Currently (at the time of this blog) the Samsung S7 Edge is around £550 SIM give or take a few quid, while the equivalent specification iPhone 7 plus is around £700 with just 32GB of on board storage. The S7 Edge can accept a 128gb Micro SD card for an average of £50, which is more than enough space for apps and pictures which can be transferred to such an external memory card. The iPhone? They’re quick to mention cloud storage and streaming over 3G/4G networks, but you’ve got to have a healthy data allowance or better still – an “all you can eat” allowance as provided by Three (the only main UK service provider that allows this) to do such things.
Other mobile operating system handsets usually allow provision for an external memory card, while the iPhone never will. Some models also have provisions for a removable battery, which is great as you can carry a spare battery to pop straight in if you’re nowhere near a charger (unless you’re one of those scabs that carries a charger everywhere and bums free electricity from the mains sockets in pubs and the workplace). Apple like to screw users with batteries, making them prohibitively expensive to replace if your iThing is getting towards the end of supported life by Apple’s ecosystem; something that was well known with the iPod that forces your average Joe or Joanne to buy a new one (they can be replaced yourself, if you studiously view a YouTube tear down video). All things said, Android and Windows models are becoming more fixed battery based and hard to replace yourself – but they should last the owner for a good 3-4 years maximum with any luck, by which point you’ve long gone to another model after a 2 year contract.
Apple steadfastly refuse to use Micro USB sockets, and have their own weird connectors. Notably their strange Lightning Connector, which caused an uproar and a whole load of peripherals to be rendered useless. From expensive audiophile docking solutions, car chargers, all sorts of pluggable things were suddenly no longer back compatible. Which required stupid converting adaptors to get things to work, as seen with the latest MacBook laptop; where they removed SD card slots, USB connectivity, Ethernet, VGA and HDMI.
Apple like to screw people for chargers, and various connectors. Which, can make Apple iThings a headache if you’re moving it between home, outdoor, work, and car usage. I distinctly remember an ex-work mate owned an iPod Nano and his missus bought him the iPod Touch when that was a new thing (I showed him how to convert DVDs into MPEG4 files with Handbrake, this was before Netflix and Kodi existed) . He had a car charger in his Nissan X-Trail, that he used for his iPod Nano with no issue, and his missus’ iPod Classic. He loved his new iPod Touch, until he went for a weekend away in the Lake District and couldn’t charge it. Why? It came up with a cheery “unauthorized charger” error and refused to charge, or charge extremely slowly. Apple are quick to point out that unofficial chargers may harm the device, but I’ve seen, used and took apart (out of curiousity) “third party” chargers. Which, have worked impeccably and often built far better than the original charger in the box ever was.
A wretched, bloated system hog that makes your PC run like a sack of shit unless you’re using it on an Apple Mac computer. Album artwork only covers what they sell on iTunes, ID3 tagging garbles correct track orders, idiotic menu structures, failing to see the connected player for no good reason, no support for FLAC and Ogg formats. Oh, and dragging and dropping music on an iThing? Nope, have to use iTunes. Unless of course, you learn MediaMonkey instead.
In short, iTunes should fuck off and die in a ditch. On fire. Even your ardent Apple fanboi admits that much.
What? You crash outside the shop like a tramp just got get the latest iThing when it comes out? Fuck off, you sad twat. It’s just a mobile device, not a religion. You arsemining sycophantic technowanker. Get in the fucking bin, dickhead – have a word with yourself.
Apple hate admitting they’re wrong
Apple fanbois were roaring with laughter in October 2011, when the first incarnation of the Galaxy Note came out. “Ha! Look at that thing! The Dom Jolly phone!” [makes carrying giant handset motions] “HELLO! YEAH MATE, I’VE GOT THE NEW GALAXY NOTE!” while they pissed their sides laughing. Samsung made a new mobile device that was actually a very good idea that did catch on. Lots of my mates bought the Note, who had grave digger hands and struggled with a normal touch screen phone, and loved drawing crude penis diagrams with the Note pen for shits and giggles as soon as they bought it. Old boys like my Dad loved it, as it was easy to use if you’ve got dodgy old arthritic hands. I’m pretty sure his will instructs that he’ll be buried with the thing, and I wouldn’t be surprised.
Guess what? Apple created the iPhone 6S Plus, a jumbo sized handset 4 years later. But because Apple made it, it’s the best thing since sliced bread, or the wheel – they even had the nerve to bring out the Apple Pen, when they declared touch styluses to be a shit idea. Ditto the 7 inch tablet, Steve Jobs said they were also a shit idea. Guess what? They brought out the iPad Mini because the Nexus 7 was selling like hotcakes, attractively priced, and actually decent. Before then, Android tablets came in two forms – cheap and shit, or expensive yet amazing.
Going back to the Note phone, it was sad news to see the Note 7 pulled from production – a mobile device that was a killer device in more ways that Samsung intended. However, Samsung explained the battery problems in a clear and well detailed video, admitted they dropped a bollock, and refunded / replaced people’s handsets. Good on them.
Cast your mind back to the iPhone 4. The antennas for the wi-fi and mobile phone were in the lower bottom corners of the metal bezel, which meant that holding a phone normally cancelled the signal out stone dead. What did Apple do? Steve Jobs told you all that you’re “holding it wrong”, and instructed users to get rubber bumper cases to stop it from happening. At least Samsung admitted their fuck up, rather than tell the end user they’re in the wrong.
Post Steve Jobs era iPhones play it too safe
The iPhone models post Steve Jobs, are not terribly exciting. Massive fuss is made when a new model is released, with tiny incremental updates and improvements that aren’t much more advanced than the previous model. In fact, they’re starting to take things away, such as the headphone jack, and having the cheek to say that’s “innovation” with the Airpod earphones. Guess what? I’ve been rocking Bluetooth A2DP with AptX earphones for several years. Wireless earphones/headphones, are not a new and exciting thing. Even the plus models aren’t innovative, as they clearly stole the phablet form from Android – notably Samsung, who they love picking fights with.
Hopefully Apple with bring in ideas such as adaptive fast charging, multitasking, 3D cameras, VR, and wireless charging by 2050 with any luck, which no doubt Apple with generate more stupid patents to claim they made it first. Things that people in 2017 can do already with their Android handsets
Apple products are notorious for being locked down to their own app stores, and locked functionality in general. As far as Apple are concerned, you don’t need to know how it works or how to make major system changes to the operating system – run along, nothing to see here. For your average Joe or Joanne on the street who isn’t a power user, that’s fine. However, there comes a point where the device loses support and slowly gets orphaned; app updates aren’t supported for certain incarnations, and slowly but surely becomes useless. Things become old, unsupported, and reach an “end of life” cycle where they quit developing for it. After all, it can’t last forever – and how can a company make money supporting years old items that still run as fresh as a new one. Right?
This is frustrating for those short of cash, running older devices that are getting slower to update and losing functionality for their kids or elder family members. In the case of Android, old devices can have new life breathed into them by installing a Custom ROM – bringing about up to date functionality for an old device that was never intended to from the factory. A bit of research one night, can have that Samsung Galaxy S3 that’s running like a sack of crap stuck in your sock drawer running the most current operating system where it can still get app updates and work nearly as well as a brand new expensive handset. Typical case in point: I had a Samsung Galaxy S2 running Android Gingerbread that was a year old, I installed a Custom ROM called SuperNexus (updating it to Android Jellybean). The phone, despite being a year old ran quicker than the batch of HTC One S handsets that were used by the engineers in an old job, where part of my responsibilities was looking after the company mobile phones. You can ‘jailbreak’ an iPhone, but the whole process is a nightmare that iTunes loves to trip up and ruin – because woe betide the user who disobeys the iThing rule book!
Apple also make it a pain in the arse to migrate to another system, or to de-commission an old device to be used by someone else in the family or another user if you sell it. Because a frequent complaint I have from friends is “I will lose a load of apps and games if I change from iOS to Android or Windows phone”. Notably, I’ve heard purchased videos from iTunes and music in .AAC format purchased before 2009 are riddled with digital rights issues that cause incompatibility problems and there’s a small cluster of iOS only apps (that is becoming smaller). Although, that could be argued that the iThing user is probably lazy and can’t be bothered switching because Apple make the whole process a chore. Your mileage may vary, depending on how many Apple only features you use.
The modern day Apple Mac is a very expensive Windows PC in a posh frock
In years gone by, the Apple Mac was a completely different computer from the IBM PC compatible (basically, your Windows PC that 90% of you are using), internally and externally.
The heart of the Apple Macintosh (as it used to be known) had an entirely different processor to the PC, that used the Motorola 68XXX series (the same as the Atari ST, and the Commodore Amiga). By 1998, they shifted to use the Power PC with the iMac G3 – an “all in one” computer in trendy coloured cases that sold like hot cakes – which breathed life into Apple that had a shaky future in the 1990s. In 2006, Apple switched to the X86 family of processors – the same as what’s in your Windows PC you’re using in work or at home.
Essentially, the current Apple Mac’s have pretty much the same innards as a Windows PC but for a couple of hundred quid more for no real reason, because Apple. All it is running, is a cannibalised operating system based around Free BSD Unix that uses authentication methods called kernel extensions, that intimately cross references against the hardware to ensure the innards are genuine. Otherwise, the operating system fails to run or install properly.
“But how can they? They look so pretty and shiny!” – Yes, they do look pretty and shiny, despite the fact yours truly highlighted they harbour the same innards – I want one and respect the Mac OSX operating system and how it runs. Easier, less aggro, less malware, with a lovely looking operating system. They’ve been the staple of the desktop publishing industry for years, and no publication company is complete without an army of Apple Mac’s and Macbook’s. If I won the lottery, I’d own one myself for a laugh.
Don’t believe me that the Apple Mac has the same innards as a Windows PC? Read up articles on the “Hackintosh”, especially one published by The Register – a well know British I.T. news website. The writer manages to create a fake Apple Mac machine, that ironically ran faster than anything produced at the time. A tech savvy user can easily cobble together a Hackintosh machine with the correct bits and pieces. Or, save yourself hassle and install Linux Mint or Ubuntu – which acts more or less the same anyway and cost you nothing.