Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 31st Oct 2013 23:32 UTC
Apple

Since my contract renewal was up, I had the option to renew it and buy a new phone alongside with it. Since I have an unofficial policy of never buying into the same platform twice in a row, and because it has been a long time since I bought something from Cupertino, I decided to go with the newest iPhone, the 5S. I'm planning on a more thorough review sometime later this year after more thorough use, but here are a few short first impressions.

Thread beginning with comment 575906
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Locked-in Defaults
by intangible on Fri 1st Nov 2013 00:37 UTC
intangible
Member since:
2005-07-06

The forced defaults and non-sharing between apps just kills it for me...

Why does Apple feel like they have to resort to underhanded tactics to steer you toward only their apps on their platform? Why can't I choose my browser, maps app, etc (not to mention intentionally handicapping any competing apps with things like "no fast javascript engine in your browser, only ours")?

Years ago the excuse "to make it simpler for people" almost passed muster, but these days, just no.

Compete on quality Apple, not abitrary "you will do things our way, for your own good (we're not intentionally hobbling competition, honest!)" restrictions.

Also, what's up with an iOS review on Nexus 5 day, Thom?! ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: Locked-in Defaults
by The123king on Fri 1st Nov 2013 11:35 in reply to "Locked-in Defaults"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

Uhhhh, there's many alternative on iOS for most of the built-in apps.

Skype
iCabMobile/Opera(and Coast, give it a shot, it's a nice idea), Chrome etc (although i'll admit they all use a "nerfed" version of the built-in webkit engine
whatever the latest messaging fad is
Google Maps
VLC
Camera+

there's loads of options. Agreeably, some of them (like the browser for example) are limited artificially by Apple, but there's plenty of alternatives to existing apps. And of course, if you don't like those options, just jailbreak it (if/when the iOS7 jailbreak comes out....)

Edited 2013-11-01 11:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Locked-in Defaults
by dnebdal on Fri 1st Nov 2013 13:20 in reply to "RE: Locked-in Defaults"
dnebdal Member since:
2008-08-27

Uhhhh, there's many alternative on iOS for most of the built-in apps.

Skype
iCabMobile/Opera(and Coast, give it a shot, it's a nice idea), Chrome etc (although i'll admit they all use a "nerfed" version of the built-in webkit engine
whatever the latest messaging fad is
Google Maps
VLC
Camera+

there's loads of options. Agreeably, some of them (like the browser for example) are limited artificially by Apple, but there's plenty of alternatives to existing apps. And of course, if you don't like those options, just jailbreak it (if/when the iOS7 jailbreak comes out....)

Ah, but you can't make them the default - installing a nicer browser isn't quite as nice if links from all other apps still open in safari.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Locked-in Defaults
by tkeith on Fri 1st Nov 2013 16:00 in reply to "Locked-in Defaults"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

This seems like the simplest thing for apple to fix too. It has to be easier than the multitasking ability they've added. I'm trying to find the logic behind leaving this out. Maybe they think that their apps are the best and letting a user choose their own would ruin the "experience"?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Bingo. Lest we forget, at one time Apple banned any app that duplicated an Apple provided feature. Its quite archaic now,but I'm sure a lot of the underpinnings of the os are based on that assumption.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Locked-in Defaults
by arcterex on Fri 1st Nov 2013 18:49 in reply to "Locked-in Defaults"
arcterex Member since:
2007-08-14

Why does Apple feel like they have to resort to underhanded tactics to steer you toward only their apps on their platform? Why can't I choose my browser, maps app, etc (not to mention intentionally handicapping any competing apps with things like "no fast javascript engine in your browser, only ours")?


Note: apple fan here, so take any answers I give with a grain of salt.

I agree with the desire to give the choice of default apps to the user. I understand that this falls into the "we know what's better for you" philosophy of Apple, as well as probably removing confusion, but I wish I could switch browsers or default mail app. At least apple does give reasonably good apps though. Don't forget that Apple (and google and amazon and samsung, and everyone else) aren't catering to you or I. They're catering to the 99% of the people like parents, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, etc.

The sort of people who can't describe to you if it's the boxy thing on the floor or the tv thing that's having problems. These people (in general) don't know what a launcher is, or a default, much less how to deal with a dialog asking if they want to use BobZAwsomeMaps or GoogleMaps as their default mapping service.

Regarding the javascript engine, the way that I understand it, the safari version uses some sort of fancy close to the metal engine. Because apple controls Safari they can be relatively assured about what's happening with it. Because it's done in kernel space (or something), another app using this version of the engine could do things like escape the sandbox, steal user information, blah blah bad stuff. *That's* the reasoning for it (as I understand it). You or I can disagree with it, but it *is* for a reason and not a deliberate way to handicap any other browser.

Gruber had a good writeup on what's actually going on both from the "apple thinking" side and the technological side here: http://daringfireball.net/2011/03/nitro_ios_43

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Locked-in Defaults
by intangible on Fri 1st Nov 2013 20:16 in reply to "RE: Locked-in Defaults"
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple also blocks anyone from buying anything from your app or even being shown a link unless it goes through their app store (See Amazon's Kindle App, where they're not allowed to mention how much a book costs elsewhere or link to their website).

They also "reserve the right" to not allow any app that "duplicates functionality of Apple apps", and they've flexed that muscle a few times... sometimes not even offering the functionality, then once they offer it, kicking pre-existing apps out of the store (siri-like apps or itunes competitors).
The "moral" rules they use for their approval process is also complete crap .

The amount of "passes" they get on anti-competitive behavior compared to pretty much any other company is absurd. Their continued use of dubious patents to prevent competition instead of creating better products is another aspect of this.

As far as who they're catering to, I don't really care about that... It's not my place to justify their business model, it's my place to buy the product that best fits my needs and support companies that aren't trying to stifle innovation through lawsuits and complete control.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Locked-in Defaults
by intangible on Fri 1st Nov 2013 20:42 in reply to "RE: Locked-in Defaults"
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

About the javascript engine reasoning... Sorry, just not buying it. Them not allowing fits perfectly with their anti-competitive behavior in every other aspect of their company culture / behavior, the "technology" reasons they give are _very_ dubious to most who know software...

Gruber is just about the biggest Apple apologist on the planet; I wouldn't take any Apple justifications from him without a giant grain of salt.

Apple made some great products years ago (Apple II etc), but they lost the market because they couldn't stop control squeezing until it all slipped through their fingers... With iOS, they following the same trajectory, doing it all over again. Control freaks to the end... The downside this time is that they're screwing the rest of us in tech with all the lawsuit precedents they setting.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Locked-in Defaults
by brichpmr on Sun 3rd Nov 2013 17:01 in reply to "Locked-in Defaults"
brichpmr Member since:
2006-04-22

Everyone will have different opinions; but for me, with the exception of Maps and Calendar (where I prefer Google Maps and Fantastical respectively), I find the Apple default apps to be superior....for example, I Use Safari, Atomic Web and Chrome for web browsing on my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini; but I find Safari to be superior for overall use since my bookmarks easily sync with my devices and computers...ymmv.

I agree with Thom's basic assessment that the feel of the iPhone is a cut above most of what the competition offers at this point.

Reply Parent Score: 1