posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Feb 2010 14:32 UTC

Usage; You may call me V

Usage

A very valid argument that most of you probably already picked up on - the critical nitpicking lot that you are - is this: it's no secret that mobile data usage is considerably higher among iPhone users, and it is by far not a stretch of the imagination to assume that iPhones get used more often on more than just the mobile data front - i.e., applications.

What I mean by this is that even though platforms like Symbian and BlackBerry are considerably more popular than the iPhone, usage patterns among users of said platforms might be a lot different from that of the iPhone. It is by far not unreasonable to assume that iPhone owners install and use more applications and use the mobile web more often, which inevitably means there's more room for error, resulting in the need for Apple's totalitarian policies to keep the iPhone safe and stable.

Since it would appear that the iPhone and its applications do not lead to more crashes than on other platforms, the only logical conclusion would be that the policy is working.

Not so fast.

Mac OS X is one of the most secure desktop operating systems. There are no massive security breaches, no viruses to be afraid of, no users crying in corners because they opened an attachment that destroyed their porn collections. The same applies to Linux, which is considerably more open than Mac OS X.

Yet, neither Mac OS X nor Linux have anything even remotely similar to the kind of totalitarian control that Apple exercises over the iPhone. Mac users can download whatever they went, wherever they want, whenever they want, and yet, the system is still secure and stable, and a pleasure to use.

How is that possible? Apple PR and the company's devoted fanbase keep on telling us that a platform needs to be locked down and tightly controlled in order to be secure and stable. Users shouldn't download applications that are not approved by Apple, because that would make the system insecure, unstable, and invite piracy.

And yet, here we have a popular platform by the exact same company that has been in use for almost a decade, and yet we haven't had a single security issue - something by god the PR department is shoving down our throats every opportunity they get. How on earth is that possible?

The answer is remarkably simple: Mac OS X is a secure system that has been properly designed. The system is secure and stable because Aple intended it to be. We'd all be up in arms, grabbing the torches and pitchforks if Apple were to announce that in order to make sure Mac OS X is secure and stable, they'd ban third party application distribution, and would only allow you to install applications from the Mac OS X App Store.

Yet, on the iPhone, we accept the exact same reasoning, without ever questioning or asking for evidence to back up the claims made by Apple PR.


You may call me V

It's a tired old quote, but in this day of ever increasing government surveillance and company control, this day where both of those encroach ever more into our daily lives, it's a quote that is not losing in strength and meaning - quite the opposite; it gains in both strength and meaning every time our governments pass yet another surveillance act or dismiss yet another established convention of privacy.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Heavy material for the topic at hand? Surely, it is. However, that which applies in the grand scheme of things, on the levels of governments, on the levels of large companies, most surely applies to microcosms as well.

Just as much as all those so-called antiterrorism measures do nothing but cost money and aggravate citizens instead of actually stopping terrorism, Apple's App Store polices do nothing to ensure safety or stability. It may create the illusion of security and safety, but it doesn't actually provide them. Fence, cake, whipped cream.

Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression, and where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again, truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid! Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease... There were a myriad problems that conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic, you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Suttler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient, consent.

I can only guess as to the true reasons behind Apple's policies, but that's for another time. All I wanted to point out is that repeatedly parroting Apple PR about why its totalitarian control is needed does not a truth make.

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  2. Usage; You may call me V
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