So HK police are required to wave a blue flag so that the general public is aware the police have declared a particular gathering at a particular location illegal. Thus, HK law literally wants the location of the gathering made known, publicly drawing attention to it and the location. I assume this is to inform those gathering about their status and to let others nearby know also, as a warning, perhaps. And also nearby officers. Okay.
So consider an app that shared only this publicly visible information on a map. i.e. "police have raised the blue flag on this gathering, right here", without commentary or calls to action.
Less functional and informative than the existing app, but it may still serve a useful purpose for HK residents and demonstrators and perhaps even police (according to HK law) and then Apple may plausibly allow the app because it doesn't get into choosing sides or facilitating illegal calls to action.
We shouldn't be ridiculing people who demand companies support human rights. It's the apologists who should be marginalized.
Why is that so strange?
How about the tweet from the developer: https://twitter.com/hkmaplive/status/1179108329240424448
Looks like the devs were smart enough to make it a web app, so it can still be used.
"4.2 Minimum Functionality - Your app should include features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website."
The point is that having a webapp allows them to continue to serve users if their actual app is removed from app stores. It has no bearing on how their native app functions, whether it is in native code or a web wrapper etc.
Websites are not applications. The browser is not an OS.
just tell mobile users to bookmark the page, on iOS that can make an icon on your home screen
There is nothing more I can say here without getting downvoted. Most people here will not believe me. I advice you to read things for yourself and draw your own conclusions: go to https://quora.com and search for Hong Kong questions.
Many Hong Kongers reply there, as well as other groups that are closer to HK such as Singaporeans and even mainland Chinese. Their view on things will fascinate you.
To expand on whoevercares' comment, recently someone committed a crime in Taiwan and fled to Hong Kong. To close this loophole and prevent HK from becoming a safe haven for criminals, the Chief Executive of HK proposed a new law to facilitate extradition of these crime suspects from HK to various jurisdictions in the region, including Taiwan and mainland China.
The proposed law even explicitly stated that it's not applicably to crimes political in nature. But some HK people were nevertheless concerned that it might be abused by China to target political dissidents taking refuge in HK.
So they have taken to the streets to protest that law. As a result, the law was quickly suspended before it had a chance to pass, and a few weeks ago the HK Chief Executive officially announced the withdrawal of the law.
However, despite the concession from the HK government, the protesters pressed on, demanding four more concessions from the government, chief among them universal suffrage, or the direct election of the HK Chief Executive, who up to this point have been nominated from a narrow pool of Beijing-approved candidates, then voted on by a committee.
It's not entirely clear that China even had anything to do with the proposal of the law which started this ordeal. But the protesters have shrewdly painted a picture, to great effect, of big bad China stomping on the poor helpless people of HK.
(EDIT: spelling, wording)
This is only true since the handover from the UK in 1997.
Prior to the handover, the executive head of HK had been the governor, appointed by the British government.
Directly from the article:
> And when Mao founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he and Zhou Enlai decided not to seize Hong Kong—which the British at the time expected
The other side of the story is that China could've easily seized HK from the beginning, and the people of HK would've been under the direct rule of China, and never gotten any of the freedom and autonomy they enjoy today.
Countries without extradition treaties can still extradite criminals on a case by case basis. It was also very cheeky of them to use a criminal from Taiwan R.O.C - a democratic nation with a strong rule of law - as an excuse for an extradition treaty with the Mainland Area of China, a communist dictatorship where laws are at the whims of party members.
China already has an extradition treaty with Taiwan, and has had it for years now. With Taiwan of all places. What does that tell us?
None exists between China and HK. And the murderer is still at large.
You are probably thinking of this. It's not an extradition treaty. It's also now widely ignored.
That doesn't seem to be true in this particular case, since said suspect is still enjoying his freedom in HK. An extradition treaty to cover the case seems like a reasonable initiative.
> Mainland Area of China, a communist dictatorship where laws are at the whims of party members.
I agree that's a valid concern, and that the proposed law didn't include adequate protection for HK citizens. And I support the initial peaceful protests against that law. What I cannot support however, are the ongoing and escalating violence from some of those protesters, before and especially after, the announcement of withdrawal of that law.
That is: not saying China is evil, but also not denying that China is problematic, while focusing more on the practicality of the way the protesters do things.
You don't have to believe my word for it. Go look up Hong Kong related questions on https://Quora.com and read what Hong Kongers think. A whole new world will open for you.
The answers posted there are too detailed and too well-argumented to be simply propaganda by paid Beijing workers. Propagandists are paid by comment, so they are incentivized to write many short comments instead of long and elaborate ones.
I am curious. How do you know that?
WHYYYYYYYY do the protesters think violence is the answer?
Chinese government not perfect but you have to remember how things were like in the 1950s. Maybe young generation does not appreciate what they have? Maybe HK culture wants to be special and needs to learn that that they are not on a separate level from the rest of China?
^ if this is what you call 'fascinating' and 'a whole new world' opening perspective I would question whether you are not a propagandist yourself.
There is only that far technology can go.
The human rights abuses by the Chinese government are insanely bad: religious and ethnic persecution, forced abortions, murder of political dissidents, no habeas corpus for many, abuse of prisoners (torture, forced labor camps, harvesting and selling prisoners’ organs), to name a few.
Unfortunately, too many in the West, including Apple, have become heavily economically dependent on China. I think that dependence strongly clouds moral judgment when it comes to decisions like this. Furthermore, it requires far more moral courage to call out evil in the present than it does to identify evil in the past.
To Apple and everyone else: don’t become complicit! Take a stand. History will vindicate you.
If Apple ups the ante on China, then China comes down and bans the App Store or tariffs Apple devices a ton as retribution - resulting in Apple getting itself into a similar situation Huawei is in with the US. If (this is all hypothetical, btw) that were to happen with Apple, then I would wager Xiaomi or Huawei would only see more investment to become the "Apple of China" and further develop a replica in-house app store.
By their own choices and strategy of centralizing power they decided to become a fascist enabler.
With the app store you're still vulnerable to state actors and zero day vulns. And on Android you're vulnerable to permissions scope creep. The app stores contain malware.
You're never truly safe.
You can't point to the old days of Windows in the 90s and early 2000s as a case for app stores, either. Installers and downloaded executables were great, but Windows had a broken, unsandboxed model that made it easy to break. History would have played out much better if Windows itself weren't so permissible and was more hermetic back then.
If we invested the same billions of research and development dollars that Apple and Google did into their walled garden platforms, an open web with truly cross platform native wasm apps would work just as well or better than anything on the app stores, and it'd be just as "secure". And cross platform. And couldn't be shut down by Apple, Google, or an angry government.
Imagine going to Netflix.com and getting the native app experience. On any mobile device. Windows Phone. Ubuntu Phone. That's how it should have worked.
Walled gardens must die.
As a user, I am grateful for "walled gardens" like the App Store, Steam, etc.
Because I remember the chaos that was before them, with developers/publishers preying on users all the time, which they still try to do by working around App Store restrictions and so on. I'm grateful for curated marketplaces putting the foot down on them.
See all the recent news about Chrome, Dropbox, Zoom etc. installing malware on our systems. Steam wiping your disk on Linux when you uninstalled a game. Uber recording your screen.
And those are the big players, caught because they're under constant scrutiny (but still try to act as if they're above the "law").
Life before the "walled gardens" was rife with cases like that, from developers on all scales. There was no single authority for your platform to complain to. It was chaotic and miserable even for techie people.
This is actually what Apple capitalized on during the "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" days, and it gave them the credibility to carry on to the App Store. Now I see mostly developers complaining about the walled garden, which makes me wary of their true intentions.
Do note that almost all of those examples are of apps that are -NOT- delivered via the App Store.
Now you're picking favorites. So the App Store is okay, but Google Play and Steam aren't?
I don't own Apple devices, so I lack familiarity, but I find it hard to believe that Apple is so good this doesn't happen.
Why do we put our faith in corporations to do right by us?
Apple and Google do not care if users are taken advantage of as long as they don't complain in volume. Both platforms allow play to win games that are designed around extorting "whales". They knowingly allow at-risk individuals to pour thousands of dollars into games, which is an outright travesty.
These companies have too much power and they're abusing it.
Apps downloaded via the App Store (and I assume Google Play) are sandboxed.
Chrome on the desktop, Steam, etc. are not sandboxed.
Most malicious activity is not possible from within a sandbox. For example Steam wouldn't have been able to delete the user's entire disk if it only had access to its own folder.
> Why do we put our faith in corporations to do right by us?
Why should we put our faith in random individual developers to do right by us?
I'd rather have to trust just one corporation instead of thousands of developers who may pack up and disappear overnight.
> These companies have too much power and they're abusing it.
See comments above. Much of the recent malware is in apps that are not distributed via the App Store.
Developers have always abused their power, and still do. "Walled gardens" check that abuse.
Can't install anything they don't pre-approve, either from DMG or Brew or whatever, only from the Mac App Store.
I don't know if it's just me and the people i work with, but we think the Mac App Store is fucking useless, to the point we actively go out of our way to download Xcode through other means.
I for one would not be happy with only being able to install apps through the Mac App Store, and I don't see why iOS should be treated any differently.
I wouldn't be OK with that, and I've said so in other comments here (like when they announced the additional security features in macOS during this year's WWDC - which I appreciate, with concerns), but the iPhone/iPad/etc. are different classes of devices, and I'm fine with their restrictions. They make sense there.
I do prefer the Mac App Store to downloading from random websites or manual updates. How is it "fucking useless?"
Matters of convenience aside, see the Transmission BitTorrent client ransomware fiasco for a grave example.
If someone really really wants to circumvent the App Store on iOS, distribute it via TestFlight, or make the source code available and ask users to compile it on their own Macs.
> If someone really really wants to circumvent the App Store on iOS, distribute it via TestFlight, or make the source code available and ask users to compile it on their own Macs.
How many protesters in Hong Kong have a Mac to compile source code and even know how to compile something? TestFlight has a user limit. Can people install an app through TestFlight as easily as they can through the normal app store?
I suppose I just don't understand why, they seem just like computers with a different form factor.
"Fucking useless" might have been a bit too passionate, but it's happened multiple times with me and the people I work with that Xcode installed through the App Store updates itself but gets stuck in the update forcing a full re-download.
First time it happens ok it's just a bug, by the 3rd time I'd just given up on the App Store altogether.
Those aren't really feasible though, external testing on Testflight requires a review (plus it might need the $99 developer fee to put it on Testflight?). And the source code route is the same issue, either pay $99 or reinstall the app every 7 days.
I suppose I just don't see the downside other than "Some people need to be protected from themselves" which I don't agree with in this case.
That's a frustration that I share, regarding large downloads/updates on unreliable connections, but that doesn't make the App Store useless. I have received thousands of successful app updates over years and maybe <50 failures.
No, just no.
They're our computers.
This is why I really hoped for the Ubuntu and Firefox phones to happen.
That's nice that you get to experience that. I think the protesters may have a different opinion than you.
And on Android it's the default you can't uninstall.
Android lets you install applications without having to jailbreak your phone or do any other trickery. This should be a prerequisite for any OS (with all the necessary warnings).
If you are going to argue, do it against the most generous interpretation of someone else's words.
The concept of a wild west free speech utopia sounds great (and I would still like to see that), but it's filled with repetitive white nationalist bullshit. That's the early adopter group.
Because of that early group, it's a horrible experience for anyone else.
I am skeptical of the "wild west free speech utopia" as a lot of people seem to conceive of it, because some forms of speech have chilling effects on others. For example, if I pass a group of angry people chanting "blood and soil", I'm certainly not going to say or do anything that makes me legible as Jewish.
Also, I think you bith are exaggerating a bit about Gabhere is obviously a lot of alt right though.
> "Gab welcomes everyone, but sees a unique opportunity to carve a niche in a massively underserved and unrepresented market. We estimate that there are over 50 million conservative, libertarian, nationalist, and populist internet users from around the world who are seeking an alternative to the current social networking ecosystems. These users are also actively seeking out alternative media platforms like Breitbart.com, DrudgeReport.com, Infowars.com, and others," Gab stated in a company filing dated July 11, 2017.
This is in addition to white supremacist statements made by the company's official social media accounts: https://twitter.com/ClenchedFisk/status/1027690034718224384
And white supremacy is more authoritarian than libertarian. And it's not conservative in the current political sense and it's populist.
I'm not sure what to make of that Twitter link except that there's a whole bunch of folk so embedded in their own political bubbles that they're incapable of communicating with anyone beyond.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
I'm not sure about iOS, but Android still allows installing unsigned APKs (F-Droid and similar platforms work because of this), and what has already been installed stays on the phone until the user removes it.
What does it even mean? I am pretty sure that you don't mean someone is 100% free to murder someone else. So you clearly believe in some restrictions.
I can already imagine the counter argument: "Well, 100% freedom unless your freedom infringes on someone else's freedom!"
Ok, but what does it mean to infringe on someone else's freedom? Murder is the easy case; what about polluting a river? I think we would all agree dumping enough chemicals to kill all life in a river would be infringing on other's freedoms, so lets prevent that... but where do you draw the line? It will take judgement, consensus, and compromise to find out where that line is.
So suddenly we are back to needing rules around curtailing freedoms that some people aren't going to like.
In the case of user privacy, I'm against any backdoors or outlawing of encryption (pretty much any government intervention in the messaging space)
So, on one hand, android gives me freedom to install any app I want and to install a firewall like netguard, on the other hand, it destroys my privacy.
I'm really looking for a guide about how to properly secure and prevent data leaking an android phone beyond the basics that I've seen online but without that I'm leaning toward Apple despite finding it abhorrent that I cannot install what I want on my own device (I can obviously side load by using my dev certificate but that's still not something I'm happy with)
You can do this even using the Google Contacts app. Just go into the account settings and turn off contacts sync. To be extra sure, just use a different contacts app.
> not have my privacy completely invaded.
Android has strictly less privacy invasion than iOS, even on Google phones. You can set an offline maps app to be your default. Getting your GPS location doesn't have to send it to Google, while doing the same thing on iOS always sends it to Apple, no matter which app asked. You can install your own apps usably without telling Google who you are.
The kind of "freedom" you're talking about generally has a high cost. At times, that cost is, well, "freedom".
Frustrating actually. There is no platform out there that delivers on the promise of getting you security and freedom. Certainly none that get you privacy. Right now it's all marketing and fanboys, but where the rubber meets the road, there's just no grip.
I don't understand what you mean by the first sentence. Can you be more specific when you say freedom?
That is not a trade off at all, if you believe that you have already fallen for the propaganda. Security in and of itself has no value that you could trade off against freedom, only the freedom part of that pair is valuable. Security is a means to the end of freedom: You may need a certain kind and/or amount of security to gain and maintain freedom. But security is also a means to authoritarianism if you do it wrong. Which means: Security is only valuable in so far as it causes a net increase in freedom. If you are actually giving up freedom to make space for more security, that is, you are trading off freedom against security, you have failed.
Gab was removed for hate speech, not free speech.
"Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech"
A company removing an app is not Congress making a law that abridges anyone's freedom of speech. This isn't a First Amendment issue.
If so: you are equipped with the necessary building blocks to define hate speech in a non-political way.
If not: your definition of “political” is so broad as to be meaningless.
Well yes tbh. The fact that a certain group of people in power at a certain point in history made a "universal declaration" about something says very little about whether I or anyone else should care about it or agree with it. In other words it is the epitome of political. I am happy to make up my own mind on the nature of "human rights".
Gab is not a "free speech app". In fact, the term "free speech app" is itself laughable.
I programme .NET on Windows. Have done for years. Never owned an Apple device until I took my wife's old iPhone 6S at the start of the year.
I switched from Android to Apple for a few reasons:
1. Constant spying and data-gathering for profit by Android
3. I only use a handful of apps so the platform wasn't that important
Apple's public stance is that they take privacy seriously. Like incredibly seriously. Above all things and stuff. And as another commenter pointed out, they told the FBI to go fish when they wanted access to a phone. That resonated with me. That told me they are a company that (appears to) genuinely believe in something other than just profit at all costs. That they may just have my interests fairly high up their agenda.
This latest episode has made me rethink that. From the ground up.
I understand they need to follow the law but so do the law enforcers: Have Apple been watching the footage from HK?
I thought that Apple, with all the power they have, could perhaps say to the Chinese gov... "No, the app stays!"
My faith in Apple has been shattered.
As an aside... Apart from Librem, there isn't really any choice now.
I feel like a dad here... I'm disappointed in Apple.
The ethic ends where the money-loss (or missing profit) begins. I don't understand why so many people are surprised when Apple (or whatever) pulls something like this.
I don't mean to be rude (I don't know you, where you're from, what's your age), but I though at this point in life people would be already aware that ethics doesn't fit very much into corporatism culture.
In simple words, they will (at very least) plainly lie to you in order to make you buy their products. Every one of them.
Or have you ever heard a company saying "Yes, our product is inferior to the competition", "Yes, we will sell your data", "Yes, if avoiding it gives us much problem, we will side with higher powers against you" or "Yes, we're burning forests to give you cheaper burgers"?
They'll picture them as nice and responsible, but at the end of the day what matter most is dollars. They'll never lose.
That being said...
I suppose I let my guard down a bit and got slightly starry-eyed about Apple but I genuinely believed they saw profit in NOT being assholes like Google. That being different and taking a stand was going to make them vast sums of money.
Plus, Google does not align with my vision at all and there was an Apple phone going free so I made the leap.
Clearly it's all marketing and they are no different to any other mega-corp and if there is profit to be made in feeding people through a woodchipper then they'll do it... like the rest of them.
*takes rose-tinted glasses off
I genuinely believed they saw profit in NOT being assholes like Google
China and Apple and (with all the power), the power discrepancies are so far in China favor that - China would just block Apple entirely and not blink.
W/o China's blessing Apple won't produce a single phone...
About being disappointed - Apples holds one of the most abhorable practices when it comes to repair and maintainability. For instance I still don't understand how their laptops don't have conformal coating.
Vote with your wallet.
You do not understand because lots of apple users clearly have different usage requirements for their phones.
I tinker with stuff 8+ hours per day for a paycheck; when I'm using my phone, I don't want to tinker with it, I want it to just work, and my iPhone does exactly that. Someone has made a bunch of intelligent design decisions about the way things work— much better than with android phones— and I agree with them often enough that I don't care that I can't change them. My brain is busy; the fact that I don't have to think about changing them is great. It's an appliance to me. I don't try to reprogram any of my electronic kitchen appliances either, and I'm a software developer that used to be a chef. I'd much rather spend my time concentrating on the output than the tools. I get that it's not everybody's workflow— you do you.
I also really don't care if I can't install apps that aren't available through the app store. I use a teeny, tiny fraction of what is available through the app store... the chance of app store availability being a limiting factor in my phone usage is pretty much non-existent. I use a computer for everything I can't use my phone for, and it's usually better for those tasks, anyway.
So you consider an iPhone works so much better and its design is so much better than Android phones that you allow Apple to choose what you can install? I hope you never end in a situation like in Hong Kong where freedom matters more than design.
Yeah. Lots of people do. Giving up control means a lot, I get it. However I give up control with loads of devices, appliances and services every day. In exchange I expect my iPhone, my gmail account and my Samsung TV to make my life easier. They (hopefully) can’t read my mind, so my choices will always lie on a spectrum between:
Taking all control, but having to do all the work myself vs. giving up control (and risk being betrayed) but not having to do the work.
> I hope you never end in a situation like in Hong Kong where freedom matters more than design.
Absolutely, but I wouldn’t trust most alternatives out there either. I honestly don’t know what I’d do in that case.
You're right, $8.79 is a RIDICULOUS price to expect apple users to pay for the former ability to use wired headphones!
Unlike literally 100% of iPhone owners, who can upgrade the second a new OS is available (if they’ve had a phone made in the last 5 years or so)
This is especially ridiculous considering the adverse security environment we currently inhabit.
This is of course scoped to here in the US, where most of the time Android phones have their OS entirely locked down apart from sideloading apps, ie no running different ROMs, upgrading out of what you're allowed by the network, rooting, running super user apps, etc
About Android - don't be crazy to buy Huawei/Xiaomi/etc.
mobile computing market size >> desktop computing market size
Certainly there are many apples to oranges differences, but I don't think it's fair to discount the "managed" nature of mobile devices as a component of their success.
The uptake in Chromebooks would be semi-supporting as well.
Also, laptops with wwan cards are a thing, but they also coat more, aren't a default, and can't just be bought at a conveniently located store. It also doesn't fit in my pocket or last nearly all day on a charge.
free of malicious software, without virus/malware/Trojan/bot/worm/etc., free of endless searching for the right app to do the job, free of complicated procedures and user interfaces, etc.
And if these mean that the company (Apple in this case) must impose certain limitations on their software (and hardware), then so be it. People are always free to choose which product they want to purchase and for the majority of Apple's users, it seems Apple's definition of freedom has been more appealing than that of the others. It's not like people are not aware that buying an iPhone brings with it some "quirks" (remember you couldn't send/receive files by Bluetooth on iPhone, or in the beginning, third-party apps were not even allowed on iOS, ...).
Disclaimer: I'm not defending Apple here. Just saying that I understand their reasons.
Let me ask a similar question: is preventing con artists from contacting the elderly with varying degrees of cognitive decline (i.e. people who would easily be tricked by them), totalitarianism? Maybe when it’s the government doing it, but how about when it’s a feature of some, but not all, phones?
Apple isn’t a monopoly†. You buy into their curated walled garden, by choice. Just like you see a movie by choice, or enter an art gallery by choice. At that point, you are intentionally handing control over your experience to the person or organization who curates the experience. But you can always revoke that control: just leave the ecosystem.
Analogy: City parks exist. National parks exist. National wildlife preserves exist. The former does not preclude the latter. If you visit the former and don’t like the curated nature of it, you can always leave, and go visit the latter, where things are less curated. But there is value and functionality in the curation of a city park. For one, you can take small children and pets to city parks and not have to watch them very hard.
(† If something is a monopoly, such that it’s hard to avoid using it, then this argument doesn’t apply. Facebook, for example.)
Case and point. I did not burst from the womb computer-savvy. I had to learn. Part of that was supported by the fact there were not highly technical barriers to entry in regards to expanding my computational toolset.
Getting something working on Android and iOS on the other hand, is over and again more complicated.
I can at least side-load to Android, but I must understand Sal and encryption enough to grok code-signing. That is not a trivial barrier to entry. For iOS, I essentially have to sign up as a member of a registry in order to even get something on the phone/tablet for development purposes.
My love of computing and figuring out how things work carried me to where I am today; but the high degree of friction that is increasingly implemented for no other reason than being good for business presents a form of computing that I'm still amazed anyone partake in as a pastime at all.
Hell, Android is specifically set up to prevent you as a User from doing anything you would conventionally do as a User of a computing system. It is very much a computing platform for the developer's and not the user's benefit.
It's a precarious balance to maintain admittedly, but what Apple has illustrated through their actions is that their Phones and AppStore are meant as an extension of themselves to do business first, and to be useful for what you deem fit second. Even if Hong Kongers ended up getting developer accounts to run the safety app, Beijing is well within their authority to use that list of "developers" as a basis for a crackdown by demanding Apple hand it over as a condition of doing business.
I can understand the luxury in just being able to get your Gram a mobile phone and not have to worry so much. I worry even more at the consequences in store a few generations down the line where the bunch of we Free Software nutters who remember what flying by the seat of our pants as root, damn the torpedoes, are not guaranteed to be around for to protest when increasingly large and entrenched models of proprietary software distribution networks and OS architectures lock users out of even being able to leverage honest-to-God General Purpose Computation.
The more decisions are left to the industry and supply chain, the more rights will be lost by the wayside in the name of doing business.
If you have some burning desire to hack the hardware, get a dev account and you can lode arbitrary code. Or just buy a different phone.
Who ever owns the phone owns the person and their speech, this is why the complaint over who actually owns the phone and what that means is so important.
> Or just buy a different phone.
The complaint goes beyond Apple and iPhone, Android does a better job of pretending you own the phone but all that really means is Google owns you instead of Apple. The problem is political not technological, all the common person can do is bitch and moan about it.
Mobile phones are like 3D printers: the technology isn't new, but within the last decade the price of 3D printer components dropped, and the availability of open source software to drive them rose, and an equilibrium was found where they entered the domain of non-professional tinker types, at which point we saw an explosion of creativity in that space. The only difference is that that equilibrium hasn't happened for mobile phones yet.
But people are working on it: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2103809433/wiphone-a-ph...
It's gonna take a while, but once the DIY approach is a viable alternative, even for just the tech savviest 1% of the population, Apple and Google will have something else to be compared against, and that will effect their choices in a nice way. Or at least I hope so.
Isn't the answer to that just buy an easily rootable phone and flash an OS without spyware? There's a few manufacturers out there with official unlock tools and presumably supporting that practice would only lead to more adoption. (although, admittedly, this does require the hardware to not have spyware or backdoors built into it)
Also, you haven't made clear how giving users the freedom to install apps of their choice contributes to a negative user experience.
As to a negative user experience, console gaming won largely due to the lack of software issues. There are several reason for this, but inability to install random software really is one of them.
The fact that consoles don't allow side-loading apps is a relatively common criticism of consoles, and one that hackers regularly try to fix. I'm grateful for that. I rather like being able to run emulators on my 3DS, or being able to back up save files from the Switch.
Of course, people don't get as upset about locked down consoles, because consoles are a superfluous entertainment device -- consoles don't really matter for anything. Phones are a lot closer to a laptop in functionality than they are to a console, and the effects of restricting software on a phone are more directly equivalent to restricting software on a computer than on a pure entertainment device.
That being said, substitute out this program for something like Dolphin with the Wii, and I think the point still stands.
There are people working on circumventing cross-platform restrictions for just about every console out there, even in cases where the restrictions are technological and not just policy.
It's not obvious to me, please elaborate with reasoning.
> Still, if you’re talking about running arbitrary software then try loading “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” on your PC or laptop. It’s not going to work, because you’re always limited to a subset of software on any platform PC or otherwise.
This is due to Sony trying to push sales for PS4 by developing games exclusive to PS4. It's not the same thing at all. If Sony wanted to support Windows as a platform, they are free to do so.
> There are several reason for this, but inability to install random software really is one of them.
What are you basing this claim on?
Mass market internet capable consumer devices, with significant compute hardware used to run a wide range of software. That’s a rather narrow list of device categories.
> What are you basing this on?
Malware for one thing. But, also things like driver compatibility, it’s simpler to develop software for well defined ecosystems which consoles provide. Many non exclusive ports don’t happen because it’s surprisingly expensive to port triple A games the PC.
> It's not the same thing at all.
If you want to nitpick that then fine, Red Dead Redemption is on PS4 and XBox box, but never made the PC jump. Porting AAA games to PC is surprisingly expensive, even if getting it to almost work is cheap.
But, it’s vastly more widespread than that. Just try to load some of that realtime software running inside your car on a desktop it’s simply not designed for it.
I am not sure what you're trying to say. I asked you to elaborate on your claim:
> Consoles are a fairly direct comparison so the link is obvious.
> But, also things like driver compatibility, it’s simpler to develop software for well defined ecosystems which consoles provide. Many non exclusive ports don’t happen because it’s surprisingly expensive to port triple A games the PC. If you want to nitpick that then fine, Red Dead Redemption is on PS4 and XBox box, but never made the PC jump. Porting AAA games to PC is surprisingly expensive, even if getting it to almost work is cheap. But, it’s vastly more widespread than that. Just try to load some of that realtime software running inside your car on a desktop it’s simply not designed for it.
Yes I agree that it can be expensive to port games to different platforms. Not sure how that goes to support your assertion that closed ecosystems are better. Platform makers want people to write stuff for their platform. It's the prerogative of the game/app makers to support the platforms based on their target demographic.
All I am saying is that:
> Limit what software can run and you vastly improve most people’s experience. Freedom is not just about letting people do anything, it’s also a question of what contracts they can enter.
This doesn't make sense, and nothing you have thus far stated helps to further your argument. Apple has incentives outside the user experience to have a tight hold on the iPhone ecosystem. Were they to do the same thing to the Mac, they'd face a strong backlash. No platform maker wants to deny people access to their platform willy nilly.
> I am not sure what you're trying to say.
Try listing out what fits that description. (Consoles, tablets, pc’s, and...). Then add a checkbox near the so called open platforms. My point is it’s a short list including PC’s, tablets/cellphones, consoles, and not much else. Smart TV’s are another possibility, though these tend to be even less open.
Anyway, it’s not that it costs money, it’s that it costs more money to make the port. Consoles take a significant cut of every sale and it’s often not worth it to port to windows due to the bugs associated with arbitrary code running on a users machine.
TLDR: Windows open nature results in more bugs and thus a worse user experience. It’s an inherent issue with open platforms relating to increased surface area for bugs to occur.
I think you are making an unsupported, and likely wrong, logical leap that windows' open nature results in a poorer user experience. I think by far the most likely reason an app/game maker wouldn't decide to support windows is the associated cost of supporting another platform. But many triple A titles do support windows and absorb the cost because in the long run it opens up the use of their product to a wider range of people. And Sony for instance is incentivized to not support windows in the games they produce because they have a competing platform, the play station. By making games exclusive to ps4, they incentivize users to buy their platform. But most games and apps are supported in windows because not supporting windows would result in missing out on a huge chunk of people.
Also BTW Mac OS is also open, you can install stuff outside the app store. Why don't you mention that? Is osx also buggy and provides a bad user experience due to its open nature? I ultimately don't understand the argument at all because no one is forcing the user to install anything, they can pick and choose between apps that they want. There are bad actor apps out there, sure. But if the user only installs well known and reviewed apps the chances of malware are low. Also Windows defender also goes a long way in protecting the system from bad actor apps. Finally, the only reason why you might be more likely to encounter more bad actors in the windows ecosystem than osx for example is due to how popular and ubiquitous windows is. And so I just don't buy the argument that open ecosystems result in a poorer user experience. Even if you write off windows as buggy and terrible, osx is a great counterexample to this argument, imo.
And finally, I'd pick the possibility of accidentally installing a shitty app on my computer over only being able to install apple/Microsoft approved apps any day of the year. This is primarily the reason I use android. Locking down the platform simply drives off a lot of users.
This is a bogus argument for the case of the safety app. There is people who wrote a functioning program designed specifically for the iphone, that other people were already using on their phones. Then apple, a third party, removed the right of people to continue sharing a correctly functioning program on their own devices. The iphone is clearly designed to run arbitrary software and it already did in this case, before apple's callous interference.
As to the safety app, that’s the kind of thing I would like to play with. You may or may not actually be able to emulate that stuff on PC hardware, but not all of it, more critically however your not getting the license for it.
PS: The removal of software is an argument about execution not the idea of a restrictive platform. The gatekeeper will prevent some software running on the platform that’s the basic idea, removing previously approved software is a separate question.
Now, modern smart phones are considered as general-purpose computing devices. And because they are placed in this category (and rightly so for their capability in both hardware and OS), a lot of people are going to expect freeform app distribution.
> If you have some burning desire to hack the hardware, get a dev account and you can lode arbitrary code. Or just buy a different phone.
You see, sometimes it's not just about the end-users. Developers cannot distribute apps to the general public on iOS without going through the App Store. Yes App Store adds friction to the app distribution process and that can prevent some malicious apps, but that's about it. Does it really lead to higher quality apps? Well no, just look at all the garbage apps on there. Quality of the store is always a balancing act; it has nothing to do with being a monolithic walled garden.
And all this comes with severe limitations. Localized developers are forced to conform to a suite of rules and guidelines placed by Apple for a global audience. Developers are forced to use monetization models (and has no say in the revenue split) provided by Apple. If devs can distribute apps freely or choose another app store just like they can on Android devices, I can't say for sure whether the end-user experience or security will be higher or lower, but developers will certainly have more freedom and enjoy it more.
Banning a "safety app" has entirely different consequences than not being able to play Halo.
I don't understand why you think these are the same.
Well, for starters, I hear it's preventing Hong Kong residents from avoiding dangerous protest hotspots...
That's why there are options (mind you, very few in this case, but that's kinda beside the point).
Yet allowing anything to be installed is the cesspit of Windows virus laden software.
That said, I buy Android because I can side-load if I choose to.
Okay, I have seen this false choice enough times over several years and at this point it annoys me so much that I must speak up. No, Windows is (was? I have not used it for more than a decade) not the mess it is because it allows you to install anything. It is the mess it is because it there was no sensible source of approved software. The choice is not between anything goes and a walled garden, there is the middle ground of providing a solid source of approved software (frankly, I think Google has largely failed with this given the state of their Play store) and still allow side loading for cases such as the one mentioned in this very article. Heck, this was one of the amazing things I experienced when moving to Linux in 2005. You had 98% of your software approved and receiving updates through your OS, and then a game or two, oddball VPN, etc. installed in your home directory – it was endlessly refreshing.
With proper permission control and isolated storage for apps, installing anything does not equal cesspit of virus-laden software.
I completely disagree.
In particular, if there is a paid version in a store, then users will seek a free version outside of the store, and then receive a free bouquet of viruses. Or they seek a free movie or VPN, and Google suggests an application that isn't in the store: more free flowers installed.
Android has an approved store, and yet I have read articles lambasting the security of Apps, where the underlying reason was that users had gone side-loading. Fear damaging the brand.
or perhaps just make a massive group text in an existing tool like discord or whatsapp?
This is a massive advantage which arguably outweighs the disadvantage.
The argument I typically see goes something like:
"I don't want to have to worry about whether I should trust an app or not, so I prefer everything be vetted by Apple. If we allow users to install their own software, then bypassing the app store will become commonplace."
I personally disagree with this notion. In fact, I wouldn't mind a law that says "if a device has an app store, then it must be able to load applications outside of the store".
I think the fears of everybody sideloading malware apps are a little overblown. Many Android phones can have apps sideloaded (and are even rootable), but how many people actually do it?
How did we go from Microsoft getting sued over internet explorer to the situation we're currently in?
this is a great example of a superfluous law we don't need. if you want sideloading, get an Android phone. having no option to get a feature you care about is a problem. not being able to have your dream set of features on a particular phone is not.
The issue I have is that phones and tablets are slowly replacing general purpose computers for the majority of people (at least for day to day use), and there's a fundamental difference in how they operate when it comes to software freedom.
Apple can't be considered a monopoly because there's still a choice of Android, but what happens in the future if the ability to sideload applications on Android phones is removed?
We end up in a scenario where every application must be funneled through an app store where the hardware manufacturer can take a cut of the sales, and I'm not okay with that.
I used to have this exact argument with my dad all the time in the early 2010s; he liked apple and I liked android. I couldn't understand it at the time, but my dad liked how locked-down all his devices were. it removed a major source of anxiety he had using technology. years later, I realized it was pretty cool that we could both have phone OSes the way we wanted them.
Also, government mills mill slowly. In the anti-trust case against Microsoft (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft_Cor...), where laws and jurisprudence existed, it already took 6 years from (first FTC investigation started in 1992, anti-trust lawsuit started in 1998)
I don’t think it is a matter of oversight getting weak; it just takes time. Certainly, the EU is willing to take action.
In the drive to close up security holes, Apple created a new one that can't be conceivably fixed by the user.
The user is ostensibly prevented from installing apps outside of the Apple Store to protect the data from malicious access, theft or destruction. The thorough app vetting process gives high assurances of that.
However there's a 4th aspect of security: security against service denial. Apple, by being the sole guardian and steward of the iPhone app ecosystem, made all their users vulnerable to service denial (in form of app removal). If there were alternative mechanisms available - ex competing iPhone app stores - the vulnerability would be negligible.
However presently the vulnerability is glaring: all it takes is single legal action - or even just enough of pressure from government on a key market - and the users are denied use of certain apps.
If you really wanted me to believe that you were serious about this Apple, you would do what Google has done and completely remove yourself from China until issues of blatant censorship and oppression like these improve. Of course, this will never happen, because too much money comes from the revenue stream that Chinese citizens represent.
It's harder to have principles when it could cost you a lot of money, like in China.
I use iPhone, but never for a second believed in Apple PR BS how they're better than other companies. Never believe salesman who works on a commission.
Which I don't really have a problem with, except that they market themselves as doing everything for the user, and have cultivated a cult-like image supporting that.
If that means they need to sacrifice some people (especially outside US) - they will do it.
The problem is that Tim Cook is a bean counter, not a technologist. He talks a good game in scripted keynotes, but he's really in it for the money, like most other CEOs.
That said, Apple is the least of all available evils. When something better comes along, I'll leave. If that thing already exists, please let me know so I can begin the process.
This is chicken and egg problem. Companies that develop privacy-oriented devices have to sell very experimental devices for premium price because they neither have production batches large enough to bring price down nor they have enough money to invest into UX. So they can never appeal to mass market.
There is already a company selling desktop hardware that is closest to being backdoor-free , there is a phone with isolated baseband  and even some experiments with ARM-based laptops . And actually many more examples can be found around internet, but they not going to magically release Apple-grade product.
 Talos: https://raptorcs.com/
 Librem 5: https://news.ycombinator.com/
 Pine64: https://pine64.org/
When has the Apple CEO not done that? Apple is the king of marketing spin.
3.2 million people visually impaired in 2015, 8.2 with vision problems, in the US alone, trend hard upwards.
If Android ever becomes as good at accessibility he told me he'd switch in a heart beat. But, the fact that Apple is so good gives him a lot of brand loyalty and he invests in the newest iPhone on release.
What do you mean by "better?" More privacy-oriented? You cannot sideload applications and you don't control the iPhone in the least.
The decision to leave mainland China occurred in 2010 after Google announced that, in response to a Chinese-originated hacking attack on them and other US tech companies, they were no longer willing to censor searches in China and would pull out of the country completely if necessary. 
What's not well known is that Google still operates in China and makes billions  off advertising there. So Google has hardly 'pulled out of China' despite not running a search engine. At this point, they wouldn't succeed even if they tried - so it's more an excuse than anything else that they don't _want_ to operate Google the search engine there.
The Information article you cite, explicitly says itself that this increased revenue comes from "a wave of Chinese tech companies buying ads outside China to promote products like the TikTok video app and the Alipay mobile wallet".
Are you trying to imply that the actions of any Chinese company should be assumed to be an extension of the central government's? I mean, I suppose you could argue that. But otherwise, all this represents is a company with an international presence buying ads to advertise their product/service.
Google has always been a B2B company - their revenue comes from businesses. Even if Google the search engine were running in China, where would the revenue be coming from? Still Chinese businesses. I don't think it's relevant whether the spending is domestic or international in nature.
Again, it's totally fine if you want to argue that as I agree there's some merit to the idea, but from your first sentence, it seems like that isn't what you're trying to say.
Fun anecdote: In 2010, it was Sergey Brin (now a president of Alphabet) who drove Google's withdrawal from China. In 2018, in what I'm sure is just a coincidence, the public found out that Google's project shares the name with Brin's yacht: Dragonfly.