App Lockdown

Posted on Apr 15, 2010

Sometimes I just don’t get it. I know that Apple is the darling of the consumer electronics industry, but I don’t think consumers know (or more likely, they don’t care) about what they are buying into. I’m sure the user experience on the iPad is amazing, but I’ve played with iPhones (I used to use one – both the first gen and a 3G) and I know that my expectations and needs will not be met. As a hacker (in the tinkering sense) at heart, I have a need to own the hardware I use. I want to know how it works and change it. This is primarily the reason I switched to an Android based G1 – I knew it was totally hackable and if I don’t like something about it, well, I can fix it.

The iPad, on the other hand, is a totally closed system unless you jailbreak it (which is a nice idea on paper, but a miserable and painful experience). What frustrates me most is that there are endless possibilities from amazing developers out there who can write amazing apps, and it all comes down to Apple saying yes or no as to whether or not it gets accepted into the store. This is not a free market system. If I were a developer, the iPhone/iPad platform is absolutely the last platform I would consider developing for. Joa Ebert sums it up best though: It is as if Apple is forcing musicians to use Garageband as the only tool to create their music. I think a better example for consumers is like being forced to shop at Wal-Mart for everything.