Look, I am just going to come right out and say that I love Apple and I hate Apple. On the one hand, their products are amazing. If you deny the truth of this, you’ve got some kind of Apple-phobia going on. Apple’s products are incredibly well-made and well-designed. They are incredibly innovative, even if some products are refinements of existing products. They redefine markets when they enter them. But, there is another side to this company that irks me.
As you’ve probably guessed by the title of this post, I am referring to their closed systems mentality. Look, I’ve heard the “closed is safer” and “closed is a better experience” mantras too many times. I just don’t buy it – sorry. The primary reason Apple has decided to try to make hacking a device that I own illegal is money – their bottom line. They are protecting their income streams through their cut on app and music sales. Yeah, if we can protect the people from “malicious code” while we do it, that’s better for PR. If we can claim a better experience, then that’s better PR too. It cracks me up how many fanboys come to Apple’s defense when these same people came to love Apple because of their “stick it to the man” reputation.
But, for many years Apple has claimed a better experience with their Mac lines, which do not have these developer restrictions on what can be installed on them, or what they can be used to do – yet. The paranoid, tinfoil-hat skeptic in me is betting on a closed Mac at some point in our future as they evolve their recently introduced Mac App store. So, if the Mac has such an awesome experience, even with the possibility of doing what you want with them, why does this fall short with mobile devices? Only because they are trying to redefine how we access content so that they can make money, period.
I’ve jail-broken all my iPhones since the beginning and I still love the iPhone experience (well, except for iTunes which is the worst software on my Mac). How can this be possible? Because it’s not the walled garden that makes the experience, but rather the amazing OS and the amazing device itself. I recently found out about Microsoft embracing the guys that jailbroke the WP7 OS, even meeting with them in a constructive way. Way to go Microsoft, seriously. Apple, LET MY PEOPLE GO!