Sunday 2 December 2012

The anti-upgrade, from Apple

A month elapses between posts, five days pass between tweets. Once again I find myself with nothing left to say - which doesn’t sound likely - or no time in which to say it, or perhaps I’ve once again forgotten how. I passed on the gift-wrapped opportunity to give the BBC a well-deserved kicking over the Newsnight debacle and have given my brain cells a well-deserved kicking instead; and all because the developer loves his WPF. Well maybe it’s too early to call it love, but there’s enough of a sense of how much there is to learn and how worthwhile it will be. My car, I wrote about my car, several paragraphs about my car and I have no interest in cars. My car has gone to the great big scrapheap in the sky for which I was paid a sum just short of a cheap tablet computer, or a fraction less than the cost of my daughter’s Christmas present.

Then just as I’m about to give up the ghost, Apple push me over the edge when I rather optimistically decide that, yes, I will update iTunes and I’ll update the firmware on an iPod Touch. What was I thinking? Logic suggested this way I might be able to run some of the newer apps. I was tired. It’s not something I’d normally attempt, especially on a device that’s three years old, which in technological terms is still three years old but to Apple is an opportunity for a good shunning.

I have two complaints; I’ll start with the minor first. If I have my device connected, you’d think when purchasing an app the store would be able to first detect whether the device is capable of running it; you’d be wrong. The tipping point however was finding that previously purchased apps won’t re-install on an iPod Touch with the updated OS because they now require an even newer version of the OS, one not available to your ancient device. Can you imagine the shit storm Microsoft would endure if an OS upgrade resulted in a third of people’s purchases no longer functioning? Apple doesn’t really care.

Apple Maps fiasco
And that’s because of you since, thirdly - OK, three complaints - whilst this might be Apple’s fault, really it’s yours; maybe it’s not you, but statistically speaking there’s every chance it’s the person sat next to you. S/he’s the person who nodded approvingly when Tim Cook CEO issued his non-apology for the farce over Apple Maps; since it sounded vaguely like an apology that was all it took for some of their captive audience to express sympathy - yet it was something entirely avoidable and it happened for two reasons. Let’s not kid ourselves that Apple was in any way surprised over the inadequacy of their product. They upgraded their customers to Apple Maps because there’s a lot of money in controlling the map, and also because they don’t care, or at least they gambled correctly that they could get away with it.

They don’t care because they don’t have to. You see, you - or the person sat next to you - are equivalent to Ferris Bueller’s best friend Cameron, and Apple is like his hypothesised girlfriend. And Ferris was right to be concerned:
She won't respect him, 'cause you can't respect somebody who kisses your ass. It just doesn't work.


  1. I passed my old iPhone on to my husband - even mine, which isn't quite a year old, is out of date. I was warned not to update it, because it would make the telephone really slow. I have no idea why. I'm devoted to my iPhone, which is the single device that has made more difference to my everyday life than any other (and that's entirely positive), but ... yes, you're dead right.

  2. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Sometimes an apple has to hit you on the head before you see the gravity....