It's More Fun To Compute

Posted on Tue, 11 Aug 2009
Last edited Tue, 11 Aug 2009
Steven Frank posts about a reply from Phil Schiller about the iPhone developer program and his self-imposed iPhone boycott. Phil promises that they're working on the issues Steven raised, and his recent communication with influential technical bloggers shows that Apple is serious about changing people's perception. The problem is that the approval process won't ever be good enough.

It's ironic that the company that "ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II" would also make the first touchscreen device I've owned that isn't programmable. Over the past decade I've always had a programmable computer that I could carry almost anywhere. My Pilot Pro with cBasPad was followed by a sequence of ever more powerful devices and more interesting programming languages. I'm now carrying a T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) with Google's own Android Scripting Environment. Each of these devices has allowed me to relive the simple joy I discovered long ago on an Apple IIc in solving problems by writing software.

My iPod touch has better software and hardware than any of the other portable devices I've owned in almost every way. It's smaller, faster, smoother, and generally put together with more thought and care. It's not perfect, but I like it quite a lot. It's the best portable music player I've ever owned. But it still couldn't replace the Pilot Pro I owned ten years ago.

Apple is so committed to the idea of controlling my experience on the iPhone OS platform that it's unwilling to allow me to create my own experiences on the device. It doesn't matter to me if they're going to be more open or less arbitrary about the app approval process in the future. It still won't compute.

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