Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Apr 2010 23:18 UTC
Apple Yeah, just in case people think we forgot: Apple launched its iPad today. It's just that since the rest of the web is pretty much clogged with iPad "news" items at this point, I don't really know what to add; who'd you rather hear from, someone who owns one, or someone like me, the small orphan child pressing his face to the glass of a candy shop full of delight he can't afford (because he lives in the wrong country)? About the only meaningful item I've seen today is Engadget's iPad review, so let's take a quick look at that one.
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RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Ripples on Mon 5th Apr 2010 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
Ripples
Member since:
2005-07-06

While I agree that the content you buy being "magically altered" later is a terrible thing, I dont see the lockdown of the iPad being something that is terrible because of the whole "users are stupid" thing. The iPad doesn't need to run all OS X apps, it should run apps designed for the iPad. This is not a general purpose computer, it is a tablet. So I appreciate some lockdown that adds to the experience.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by Kroc
by alcibiades on Mon 5th Apr 2010 08:07 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kroc"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

...it should run apps designed for the iPad. This is not a general purpose computer, it is a tablet. So I appreciate some lockdown that adds to the experience.

This is not the point, of course it shut run programs designed for tablets, and doesn't need to run others.

The question is, should these programs be only available through Apple? Should the content accessible through these programs be only the content Apple approves of?


Thom is right, this stuff is really seriously dangerous for a liberal society, and must be stopped.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Kroc
by Tony Swash on Mon 5th Apr 2010 10:29 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Kroc"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Thom is right, this stuff is really seriously dangerous for a liberal society, and must be stopped.


I really cannot see what any of this faux outrage is about. Really.

The situation seems to be this - Apple has long been committed to controlling the whole technology stack that goes into it products (hardware, software etc) and to creating closed tech ecology systems. Its reasons for doing this are several (and they included in the early days of Apples renaissance preventing Microsoft from embracing and extending them to death) but mostly its so they can create an absolutely predictable user experience. They have largely succeeded in this aim and the result has been a series of products that have been smash hits with consumers who appreciate the stability, aesthetics, usability and interactivity of Apple products.

Apple have made available cheap, accessible and robust tools for anybody who wants to create products to work within their closed systems - the barriers for access are very low. In order to participate you have to abide by some rules laid down by Apple, mostly these rules are about preventing the degrading of the user experience that Apple has tried so hard to guarantee, sometimes its a reason to do with morality (although I suspect those are mostly to do with things like marketing to the education sector) and very occasionally they are to do with preventing a competitor from threatening Apple's business model.

Why is this approach seen as somehow fundamentally wrong let alone (absurdly) evil?

Apple has chosen its particular model (the closed eco system) and offers it as an alternative in the market place in competition with other products created using different models. Consumers are free to choose between Apple's approach and products, and those of its competitors. In no market segment and in no product category is Apple a monopoly so consumer choice is not constrained in anyway. Why is Apple choosing one approach to product design any more or less bad ethically than any of its competitors? Let the consumer, unrestrained by coercion, make a free choice and may the best product win. Sounds good to me.

It should also be pointed out that even though it is committed to a closed ecology approach to its tech products Apple is very highly committed to supporting a wide range of open source projects and standards. See here for the long and impressive list of open source projects that Apple is connected to:

http://www.apple.com/opensource/

From Webkit and Darwin to HTML5 Apple has for a long time championed open standards and open source. It dumped DRM from iTunes as soon as it had the clout to convince the record labels to do so. Apple is happy to champion open standards (like Google but unlike Microsoft) because it has a high level confidence that its products can stand on their own two feet, that their products can win in open competition with the products of other companies.

To me Apple's approach seems ethical and commendable and I like their products. I understand that other people may not like their approach or their products. But to dress up a dislike for Apple's products in overblown and vacuous rhetoric about civil liberties or good and evil is just plain silly.

Reply Parent Score: 1