Friday, December 4, 2009

Apple does it again...

Well, Apple has managed to take senselessness to a new level. I found out today (after deciding I wanted to write a lockscreen application to display a to do list on my iPod touch instead of paying for an application that does something similar) that Apple offers an SDK for Mac OS X only! This raises the question: Why offer iPod/iPhone support for Windows, if you don't plan on letting people develop from that same OS? There is no way I will ever pay for an iMac, Mac Mini, or macbook for the sole reason of developing an application for an iPod. I prefer Linux over Mac OS X, and I prefer Windows 7 over Mac OS X, and I simply dislike Apple's policies about keeping their source closed and the restrictions they place on the user. I can understand, to some degree, WHY Apple does this for Mac OS X, since they need their main income to come from the laptops, but I can simply not understand why you would snub perfectly good developers simply because they don't own a mac machine. If I can't get my iPod to do what I want, I will most likely stop using it for anything but media playback (if that, since I have a SanDisk eSansa 260 lying around somewhere), and will go out and find myself some open-source mobile internet device that allows me to configure it like I want (or actually talk myself into paying for a phone contract with a Droid or something).

Apple: if you want to keep your customers, you have to make your customers happy. This is generally accepted as a good business plan. This doesn't just mean making nice looking devices with "lots of features", but also giving developers the ability to develop for the device, regardless of what OS they run. Heck, if anything, it'll prompt more people to illegally install OSX86 or virtualize Leopard (against the EULA) in order to develop for an iPod/iPhone. I'd probably even be tempted to consider this, if I had enough of an urge to develop for the iPod, but I don't. I just want to tweak one little thing on my lockscreen so that I can view the contents of a to do list file without unlocking the iPod and opening the file, and I can't even do that.

I'm not going to make ranting like this a habit on the website, but I felt that this needed to be said, and I couldn't find any kind of contact email for the dev portion of apple's site, where I could offer my opinion. Oh, and while I'm on about Apple fails, their Black Friday rebate offer came out to something like 13€ off an iPod. If the device costs 180€, the least you can do when offering a rebate is to take 10% off the price! (Excuse me if the numbers are incorrect, I'm going by memory here, but either way, the sentiment stays the same. If you want to offer a rebate, make it one worth considering.)

Anyways, to anyone who reads this: Enjoy your weekend, and, if looking for a new smartphone, do take a look at some of the new Android devices (or the HTC HD2) before looking at an iPhone. What I find Apple does is try to gain the title of "best" and thereby prejudice people into thinking everything else is terrible, which isn't the case. If I were a betting man, I'd say the Android phones will stay up-to-date longer, as there are tons of community developers working on apps and fixes and updates, whereas Apple's iPod is locked in by the restrictions they themselves put on it. Chances are good that Android can outlast iPhoneOS by staying recent and modern, while making good use of the hardware without overtaxing the system (and by running more than one application at a time!). If you want to see how fast Android development is, just compare the T-Mobile G1 with the Motorola Droid (Milestone for us European folks).


Scott said...

I think it's because they know how popular the iPhone / iPod Touch are and so making people have to get a Mac to develop for the devices makes good business sense to them.

It's annoying and stupid, but they think of money first, customers afterwards.

Lswest said...

Yeah, they do. It's the main reason why I will never buy a Mac in the first place. So, in a sense, it makes business sense to offer the sdk for others like me, who will buy an iPod or an iPhone but never a macbook. I know that, had there been an alternative when I got my iPod, I would have gone for an open-source multi-touch Wifi-enabled mp3 player. Sadly, I couldn't find anything that suited my needs, and so I went for an iPod. Apple needs to realize that "Buying Apple" isn't necessarily a lifestyle. Also, they need to understand that iPods and macbooks are separate devices with separate markets, and so trying to mix the two won't end well.