Is it just me, or does the rhetoric from FSF often times border on spiteful? Snake oil salesman? Come on, guys. You're not going to win over sensible people with this kind of attack.
Lock your doors! ...Sew up your pockets! This has to stop, before Jobs has DRM technology dating our women.
Shit... I'll be right back...
I dislike the fact that Apple has considerable (compltete?) control over the distribution of an iPhone app and even charges the developer for doing so.Frigging unbelivable!
I don't mind Apple's pursuit of control over their stuff because they have done little to convince me they can't be trusted with the power. On top of this, their control has led to a consistent and smooth experience with their products.
I must state that I'm not an iPhone developer. I speak as a happy consumer only.
I agree that I'm not upset by this.
The iPhone has some restrictions on distribution, but they are far from being as draconian as some would have us believe. Honestly, the price for a developer's cerificate is not a significant barrier, and with the other modes of distribution that Apple has provided (mostly to serve the corporate and academic markets), there are enough options to find a reasonably priced solution for most usecases.
Other developers can modify, compile, run your source code on their own iPhones, and redistribute it on the App Store if they are approved.
As Apple ramps up I believe they will approve more and more developers, and eventually get to the point where anyone can distribute an app on the App Store.
FSF claims to be about choice. Well, I exercise my choice by choosing to buy the phone that I prefer.
/yeah, I'm still getting an iPhone today.
//hoping that in two years there will be other competitors who are more open and match the iPhone's quality
For most people, the use case is to use it as a phone/browser/PDA etc. Not to use it to hack around with and develop apps for.
Point is, it doesn't work for Microsoft. It's a slippery slope, once you open your platform to anyone (which is great), you'll have a nightmare of support.
I agree, the optional policy works fine for power users. I know many geeks who use Vista with no problem because they use the "certified" software.
That's why I don't really buy the argument that applications on the iphone need to be controlled centrally for stability sake...
But everything it does do, it does so damn well that it's hard to argue with it. Apple is really good at honing down to a core feature set and making that perfect to the deliberate exclusion of everything else. People recognize this and it's a somewhat unusual feeling.
It's kind of like hacker-driven code shops. Someone may run off and ignore your in-shop standards and make something using weird tech or using a different protocol, but if it works like a well-oiled–perhaps magical–machine, then its likelihood of getting adopted is surprisingly high.
Its amazing how many people don't actually GET that point.
>Someone may run off and ignore your in-shop standards and make something using weird tech or using a different protocol
Yeah thats the great thing about skunkworks. Lots of great (now mainstream) stuff came from skunkworks.
The iPhone has brought lots of innovation and benefits to the industry, namely the concept that cell phone interfaces shouldn't suck. Things like visual voicemail are great. And AFAIK the first affordable unlimited data plan. Apple originally wasn't even planning on having a native SDK. So I'm willing to let them do it their way as long as as a consumer and developer I get most of the benefit that a fully open solution would provide.
Not quite right.
My Sidekick on T-Mobile has had a $20 unlimited data plan for many, many years (total price of service including data is $59/month, vs. the $69/month price of the 1st gen iPhone with unlimited data, or $79/month in the 2nd gen iPhone). The Palm has also been available for several years from a few carriers with a $10-$20 unlimited data plan.
Theoretically, by buying an iPhone, you are giving power to people that want to make sure you can only use your computer to run "approved" programs. Those people will then use their power to make sure that things like the FSF go away, and then there will be no "choice" for you to make. Then you have this:
It's probably not going to happen quickly, but every time closed platforms get good press, we're one step closer. As a programmer, it's not "good for business" for me to support people that want to regulate my trade. So I have an OpenMoko phone instead. (I don't care what you choose, just as long as you're aware of the potential long-term consequences of your actions.)
Perhaps they do, but without a constant connection to wifi or EDGE/3G that the iPhone has, you'd have to authorize it, in order for it to be sent. Probably not so with the iPhone. It's designed to constantly talk to the Internet (it's even got a new notifications framework that relies on communicating with Apple's servers).
I can't comment on whether or not you need to authorize each application in order for it to use the GPS APIs or not, but if you don't (which I assume you won't), this could be scary.
"I noticed that the iPhone asked me for permission to give both the maps program and the camera app permission to use my location."
Considering that OnStar is apparently being pressured to provide a remote "kill switch" to law enforcement, that printers put hidden codes on each page at the behest of law enforcement etc, would you be troubled if your phone secretly had a feature to pinpoint you within meters without your knowledge, upon the mere request of someone who appears to have the correct law enforcement credentials?
As to already being able to do this via triangulation etc: perhaps, but this would make it even simpler; as I recall in the CDMA world pure network-based location can't get more accurate than 250m and can't do elevation.
Occasionally, when something is designed better than any other comparable device, you have to pay to use it. In this case, you pay by following a few of their rules.
And unless my main reason for buying a mobile phone is "for hacking," I don't see why I should pay $400 for the alternative (i.e. the Neo FreeRunner) when the iPhone "just works"--and nicely at that. How sure are we that the Neo FreeRunner would even be stable enough for use as a main phone?
When the day comes that I want to hack my phone, I'll get the FreeRunner. (Hopefully by then it'll be cheaper.) For now, I just want to use my phone.
You know, you can get "just a phone" for about $5 these days. Why are you shelling out for an iPhone? (The answer is because you don't want "just a phone".)
I just want to _use_ my smart phone.
The point is, I don't want to do that with my phone. My phone should WORK. The ultimate solution to the desktop problem will be buying 100 feet of cat 5 cable at Fry's today. I drive too far to make this a practical solution for my phone.
Anyway, all phones designed to run Linux run Linux just fine. They... were designed to.
Instead of trying to figure out why otherwise intelligent people like something you do not care for, why not just sit back and accept the idea that we all have different likes, dislikes, and preferences, and that we need not justify our particular differences to you before going about our merry way?
Oh, I don't know about that. I am completely incapable of empathizing with the human being who chooses to beat his daughter to death for dating a boy from another religion. Or the human being who chooses to torture an animal for fun. Or the human being who... well actually I can't think of a third example which is significantly different from the first two.
But as far as purchases of consumer electronics goes... sure, do whatever you like! I really don't give a damn one way or the other.
Empathizing is not the same thing as agreeing with or countenancing.
Amen to that.
For example the nokia n800 browser is terrible in comparison to Safari, using a stylus is a pain, and keyboard entry is slow. Also the battery lasts an hour or so.
Yes, it's open source, but that makes it hellishly hard to do anything with. Updating the firmware involves about 10 steps.
Yes, I realize I'm locked into "apple's DRM" - if I buy from the iTunes store. I buy from Amazon MP3, or I rip CDs (those are the 3 ways to get music on my iPhone, right? ;)) to MP3. No DRM lockin there... Yes, it doesn't happen to play FLAC/OGG but I can easily transcode FLAC to Apple Lossless if I want - and back again - and I have yet to hear anyone explain to me what OGG gives me that mp3 doesn't.
Surprisingly, just because it doesn't have GNU/ tacked on the front of it, a product can be innovative and interesting despite it not being Open Source. I know this comes as a surprise to RMS and his FSF hippies.
Also, the single most annoying part of the iPhone 2.0 is the fact that ANY TIME the location services are activated (including by Apple's apps like Camera and Google Maps) it asks you permission to locate you.
Not to mention that, as another commenter mentioned most phones have GPS these days - and my recollection is that the Enhanced 911 features mean that that GPS can be automatically sent to authorities in the case of an emergency. So, pretty much any phone is going to have that 'risk' - if the OpenMoko devices have GPS they may need to comply w/ E911 as well.
Nobody thinks that only open source (or Free) software can be interesting or innovative. If you think that's the issue, you haven't been reading very carefully.
> I know this comes as a surprise to RMS and his FSF hippies.
Was that sentence really necessary?
I don't wanna be an ass, but I need to point out that you may be slightly uninformed about the FSF and GNU with your choice to use "open source."
The right to use - or as a developer, create - a program that can play/record music in that format without permission from, or payment to, the people who developed and patented said format.
The right to read the file format specification and change it to suit your own use without consulting or paying anyone or breaking the law.
You are explaining how you download music in MP3 format to avoid DRM restrictions - but the MP3 format itself is locked-in and restricted.
Yes things are innovative and interesting while being restricted, but they aren't free if they are restricted. That is, they can't be used to build more innovative and interesting things (without permission or payment) if they are restricted.
> The right to use - or as a developer, create - a program that can play/record music in that format without permission from, or payment to, the people who developed and patented said format.
And the right as a customer to choose to avoid paying indirectly for a technology license (mp3) by choosing to use another technology (ogg vorbis).
Its a bit like the argument of the people who want to buy just a PC (say for a freebsd server); and implicitly must also pay for the included Windows they're forced to take, even though they never want to use it (is this not now illegal in some states)?
Except in this case, you are paying a portion of the cost of the phone, a portion of the cost of Windows (or Mac OS), and a portion of the cost of tune downloads, as a license fee for mp3 (well the vendor is paying the license fee, but guess where its coming from).
The iPhone does not completely block free software. Last time I checked, there was free software available in the App Store. Developers are welcome to release their code I presume.
A lesser argument to the response that Apple decides what is and is not on everyone's phones is that anyone can create a web application, which Apple does not control.
If the author wants to call the $99 developer's fee a tax, I don't care. But it does have a purpose. You also get access to Apple's development program, and if you're distributing your applications for free (as this person seems to like), you get a free distribution platform and free bandwidth for people to download your app.
The iPhone does not expose your whereabouts or allow other people to track you anymore than any other phone in the United States does. How he got this, I have no idea. You can turn off the location based services that will stop any application from tracking you. Law enforcement in the U.S. can track any phone's location, so the iPhone is not unique in that respect. Furthermore, some people will want their location tracked so that applications can tell them what's nearby.
Now, I'm not against free software, but please, if you're going to argue for something, make it logical and rational.
Yes, there is software in the AppStore that is gratis, and developers can of course share their code. However, I can't recompile it and run it on my iPhone right away without it being distributed through the AppStore. Will Apple reject applications that have only minor tweaks? What if the modifications I want to make are not changes that the original developer wants and they are unwilling to merge them? Where does that leave me? Not with Free Software as it fails to meet the requirements.
He is correct though, and I acknowledge, that Apple is a closed system. There probably won't be more than one web browser on the iPhone, or more than one music player. Some applications there won't be open source or free versions of. But as many people have said, they are perfectly fine with that. If you want to play OGG files, buy a different phone.
I think what the author fails to note is that its unlikely there will ever be a completely closed industry again. Apple may not allow some free apps, but someone else will. Gone are the days where every choice in an industry was closed or propriety. So what I say to him is, if you don't like Apple's system, don't buy it. Buy the phone that's better.
exactly what i will do with the freeruner. Screw apple :D
Why do I care that a few cents of the price of my iPhone went in licensing the mp3 format from "Thomson Multimedia and Fraunhofer IIS-A".
As a user, it plays mp3 files. Which is all anyone cares about.
If it only played DRM files I'd have a problem with it and wouldn't buy it.
Looks like there could be a long wait for the new iPhone in the UK as it seems to be pretty scarce.
Plus, libogg is BSD licensed, so why not include it?
For the tiny and shrinking set of people that want ogg vorbis, it isn't worth the legal risk.
(Sidebar: I don't mean to imply that vorbis is vanishing now, but as storage gets cheaper I expect mp3, aac, and vorbis to drift away in favor of lossless formats which are not subject to the body of psychoacoustical patents. I rip at 192kbps AAC or 256kbps mp3. Lossless encoders end up around 750kbps. I never fill my 8G iPhone. Using lossless on a 32G device would be a no brainer decision.)
Is it not so that ONLY one application can track your location at a time? Additionally, when using a downloaded iPhone application you should assume that it will access some form of your personal data, in most cases that is the utility of the application.
I've started using ogg again because I couldn't be bothered to make my Linux system encode MP3s...
Here's the page to buy it from:
(It's linked from the main page, BTW.)
Once you have one, get a SIM card from your carrier, and put it in the phone. That's it; GSM doesn't require that your carrier has any idea what phone you have. They only care about the SIM card.
Yes, I clicked that link. And then what? There is no "add to cart" button anywhere on that page. Maybe you're far better at browsing a website than I am, but I simply could find no way to click on something I wanted to buy, find out the price, and fill in my billing details.
But basically, OpenMoko's icons aren't quite as pretty as the iPhone's. I know most people value icons more than their freedom, so that's why the iPhone is doing so well.
FSO (http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/FSO) is the only thing that reliably lets me make calls but that's ALL it does.
What're you using?
and then there's the tired old argument that the only difference is that apple's products are prettier than everybody else's. not so. the difference is that apple's products are more fun to use, easier for people to figure out, and easier to get the most out of.