For Christmas, everyone in my family got a new phone. I got an android phone, fulfilling my fetishes for both Google and open source software. My first reaction was to download an app development kit. This is probably not the normal response to being given new technology, but I do not care. I just want to inject my own programming into its sexy, sexy operating system.
But that’s not the point of this post!
The point is that my mother got the newest iPhone, to replace her old one. As such, she got to deal with the fun that is iTunes and Apple and scooting over apps and music from her old phone to her new phone.
By “fun”, I mean she got to fuck around with how Apple likes to have a deathgrip on all that it can get its hands on. I decided to top this fun off by letting her know that she better be incredibly careful about what she clicks on as she syncs her phones together, because she might end up wiping her entire phone’s contents. Fun! But also a warning I felt was very much needed, as I dealt with it a year or two ago when toiling under Apple’s tyranny myself.
You see, I have a computer that hates to cooperate. So much so, that at one point it seemed like the best solution to its plethora of problems was to blast the whole goddamned thing to hell, a la factory reset. It seemed like a fine and dandy solution, really, because I had all of my files backed up anyways. So I reset my computer, setting it back to how it was before I’d ever touched it.
This includes not having iTunes anymore.
All of my music/apps/etc were backed up on my iPhone of course, so it seemed to me that all I would have to do was sync my iPhone back to iTunes. However, when I attempted this, iTunes informed me that it wanted to wipe my iPhone clean of everything I had on it. Which in effect would synchronize my phone to my computer, but in the wrong direction. I understand why Apple does this- they don’t want to possibly let you put their music on more than one computer. Of course, when I say that I understand why, I mean in the same way that I understand why some people worship a Jewish zombie; Because they’re fucknuts insane, which is also an acceptable answer for why Apple wanted to delete all of the music that I paid for.
I eventually got my files backed up onto my computer, after much Googling and annoyance. And luckily, by the time my mother was trying to back up her iPhone, Apple seemed to have fixed that little problem (or atleast my mother didn’t run into it).
But I think the whole things highlights how awful Apple is. To highlight it more, I’m going to compare it to communism! Whee!
See, Communism isn’t an inherently bad thing. Karl Marx didn’t write his Manifesto while twiddling an evil goatee or anything. It’s a system that sounds very nice in theory- people giving based on ability, receiving based on need- that’s an admirable goal for a civilization. And yet, we don’t all live in Communist utopias, because it has a fatal flaw. It relies on the good of the people to turn it into an actually good government system. Unfortunately, this means that as long as we have shitty people, Communism doesn’t work (as it is meant to). Shitty people can take advantage of Communism easily, and then it becomes, well, shitty. And as long as we can’t get rid of shitty people, Communism will forever be a bad thing.
Apple is the same way. It’s meant to be user friendly, good, etc., and yet it’s not. Ideally, I would be hooking up an apple iPhone to a Macintosh computer with Apple iTunes already on it, and all of my music backed up there forever. I wouldn’t have to deal with putting music back onto my computer, because it would never crash and die. I would never fight with getting non-itunes music onto my iPhone, because all music ever would be on iTunes. Similarly, I’d never deal with hearing that the music that I bought couldn’t be played on another device because it’s a special format, because all of my technology would be Apple.
If that sounds like bullshit, then your bullshit detectors are functioning well. Because anyone familiar with computers knows that sometimes the fuckers break down and die. Anyone can logically realize that all music can’t be on iTunes, or that you can’t expect all devices to be Apple devices. The fact that none of this is accounted for is similar to how Karl Marx didn’t account for shitty people. Apple designs its products, or at least seem to design their products, with only themselves in mind, and very little accounted for in the “what about when shit hits the fan” sector. And so, we’re not living in an Apple-y utopia.
We choose to use phones that allow us to drag and drop music on to them, that allow us to connect to a computer without special software. We use computers that are self serviceable, that don’t have a special store dedicated to fixing them. And we look at people who get caught up in a monopoly-o-apples and think they’re silly.
Or at least I do.
And sometimes I go on a rant and call them all Communists.
Note- Reductio ad Communum is basically Reductio ad Hitlerum (Godwin’s Law), except Communism flavored.
And no, I don’t really think Apple users are like Communists. Except a little.