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Spotify CEO renews attack on Apple after Musk's salvo (reuters.com)
496 points by nixcraft 60 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 876 comments

I want the option to control my devices. I don’t understand the arguments that claim Apple needs to rule the device with an iron fist. What problems does it cause to make the locked down experience the default with the option for me to disable that and take control of the device after I buy it?

I want to own my stuff. I want to repair it and I want complete control over it. I think that in 10 years we’ll all have cars with a half dozen subscriptions forced on us and the apologists will still be here telling us how 10 companies all doing the exact same thing to deprive us of true ownership is a healthy, competitive market.

I understand where you are coming from, and support you on that. On the other hand, I'm pretty happy with the default state of an iPhone. It just manages itself, and all that hard problems (backups, updates, ease of use, experience homogenity, etc.) are solved.

I manage more than enough servers at work, and I don't want to manage another server in my pocket, do nitty-gritty settings, allow selected apps background access, try to find what changed and what broke every update.

I'm using Linux for 20 years, and I'm not going to change that, however Android is not Linux and settings persistence on Android is just not present.

My parents use Samsung A9s, and I help them configure theirs from time to time, and seems like every important setting is either buried six levels deep or is not guaranteed to stick after an arbitrary time.

While iPhone's (or Apple's) ecosystem lacks control, it promises dependability, and this is huge in removing obstacles from your productivity. I can just get things done in my iPhone and never touch settings app ever, except the occasional "is my battery doing good" checks.

Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?

I heard an argument like this a lot at the start of discussions about whether we should be able to choose to WFH in the longer term. "I don't want to WFH because..." Ok, sure, but nobody is trying to force you to.

It might just be me, and I'll definitely fret about whether I'm being unreasonable for at least the next couple of hours, but this kinda frustrates me.

I'm supportive of your choice, but you already get to do the thing you want, and nobody is trying to take that away.

Expressing that you wouldn't behave any differently given more options is a distraction in a discussion about whether other people should be allowed to make a different choice.

> Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?

Next thing that would happen is that every major "can't miss out" app will walk its users through the process to disable safe management features, all to fulfill the promise of showing cute cat gifs. You know that's how it is.

We don't have to guess. Android app store is clear example that gives power users choice, while at the same time being able to hold onto most of the users.

The Google play store is heavily censored and moderated and most users don’t know about side loading.

A sibling argument is saying that if side-loading were opt in, major apps would move to require it from users.

This has never happened on Android.

> This has never happened on Android.

>When Fortnite launched on mobile in 2018, Epic Games very notably sidestepped the Google Play Store and pushed users to download the title directly from their website, an effort made to avoid the substantial revenue cuts that Google takes from in-app purchases of Play Store downloads. At the time, the move was understandable for Epic, which was sitting on the hottest free-to-play game of the year that was pulling in substantial revenues from in-app purchases.

Google proceeded to try to scare users away from sideloading Epic's app, and Epic sued.

>“Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store,” an Epic Games spokesperson said in a statement. “Because of this, we’ve launched Fortnite for Android on the Google Play Store.”


>> A sibling argument is saying that if side-loading were opt in, major apps would move to require it from users.

>> This has never happened on Android.

> When Fortnite launched on mobile in 2018, Epic Games very notably sidestepped the Google Play Store and pushed users to download the title directly from their website...

Though that's the exception that proves the rule. Besides Fortnite, who else has pushed users into side-loading? It's not at all common, which weighs strongly against the scare-mongering that it would somehow cause their platform security to collapse if Apple allowed it.

It also seems like it would be the case if your app is big enough to get people to side-load it, it's probably also big enough to get some security/privacy of its own to keep its practices in check.

WeChat won’t start on Android if you didn’t give access to your contact list, this is not the case on iPhone as Apple wouldn’t allow that crippled user experience. Android already allows shenanigans so the incentives for more stores aren’t that big. I had Samsung store on my last Android phone also.

We know from discovery in the various Google antitrust cases that Google has a pattern of behavior where they place barriers against others who attempted to offer their own app store. They talk a good game about allowing it, but their conduct is a different story.

>The lawsuit is effectively claiming that this openness is a facade, because while customers technically have the choice of where to get their apps from, Google’s business practices have prevented a viable app store competitor from emerging.


>Google has struck at least 24 deals with big app developers to stop them from competing with its Play Store, including an agreement to pay Activision Blizzard Inc about $360 million over three years


>Epic reached an agreement with OnePlus to preload Epic Games on the company’s smartphones. As part of the agreement, Epic says it developed a version of Fortnite specifically for OnePlus devices to take advantage of the OnePlus phones’ high-refresh-rate screens...

Google demanded OnePlus not implement the agreement outside of India, where the company allowed OnePlus to move forward with the deal.

OnePlus reportedly informed Epic that Google was “concerned that the Epic Games app would have the ability to potentially install and update multiple games with a silent install bypassing the Google Play Store.”


>Besides Fortnite, who else has pushed users into side-loading?

Amazon did the same with its app store (one they tried to push when they first released their tablet)

For me, it's not about companies right but individuals rights. If I paid money for a device and if I am willing to let go of warranty and updates, I should be free to do whatever I wish with it. I don't think this statement should be as controversial as people make it to be.

You're free to jailbreak

No I am not, unless someone finds a bug in their code. In contrast, android allows rooting for someone willing to forgo their warranty.

Epic's enormously popular game Fortnite was removed from the Google Play store in 2020 for violating their in-app purchase policies, so they publish it in their own sideloaded app store.[0]

[0] https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/fortnite-removed-from-g...

Facebook claims to have lost $10 billion due to a single iOS prompt giving users the option of blocking tracking. If side-loading were allowed on iOS, Facebook would have 10 billion reasons to push users to side-load their app, a pressure that doesn't exist at all on Android, which is tracking-happy.

Since Google lets most apps do what they want in most ways, there's not much motivation for bypassing the App Store--unless you're greedy like Epic. Since Apple restricts apps more with each passing year, the motivation is much higher, in addition to the identical 30% fees.

Are you trying to argue that it would be different if Apple allowed side loading? (Not the current 7 day crap)

Do you expect most users would know about side loading in Apple's case?

Then make it a contact that can be opened by removing a screw behind a "non reversible loss of warranty" sticker so that only users who know what they're doing would be motivated to proceed.

>>removing a screw behind a "non reversible loss of warranty" sticker

Well that would be in violation of existing US Federal Law

I'm not familiar with those laws, do you mean the protection screw or the loss of warranty? I think many devices implement the latter in their EULAs, in case of tampering, use of non original parts etc, and the former as a protection is commonly used for example in some Chromebox PCs models to prevent flashing other operating systems. I think many tinkerers, including myself, would be more than happy to surrender any warranty, support, etc, if that was the only price to pay to be able to install what we want on our devices.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ban such stickers as the manufacture has to prove a modification directly led to the failure before denying a warrany claim. the FTC sent out in 2018[1][2] a letter to several manufacturers, including Apple I believe, that deployed such stickers on their products

The common example I give is that if you replace the radio in your car, and then the water pump fails the manufacturer of the car can not refuse the warranty because you change the radio

Similarly, if in this instance you remove the sticker to turn on Dev Mode and then the Screen fails it would be incumbent on Apple to prove some software or something you did directly cause the screen failure before voiding the warranty claim, they can not simply relay on a sticker

[1] https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/ftc-warranty-sticker... [2] https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2018/04/...

Android has had this from day one(?) and it has never been an issue.

Except the velvet lined iron fist called Google Play Services which gatekeeps the apps from having nice things or not.

Android lets you easily side-load apps. You are not required to get your apps from Google.

As an example, I tend to look for apps on f-droid before google play.

Why is here consistently in any Apple discussion exactly this reaction? Locked down is good for you, you don't want freedom, we know better. On hacker forum.

Seriously, basically any other topic we can discuss like adults here but when it comes to Apple and their restrictions/bad behavior it feels like the most upvoted posts are paid ones (not stating they are, but it certainly would look like that on more generic forums)

> Why is here consistently in any Apple discussion exactly this reaction?

Because the only mobile OS provider which allows blinding tracking frameworks with a single click is Apple currently, and every software vendor will want its telemetry and ads for their "monies".

The application model evolved from "pay this to get that" to "train this AI implicitly which we gonna use against you, and ah, we also sell your every aspect of you" to see cute cat GIFs.

Some of us are seriously against this and Android doesn't provide that. Maybe it's because Google is an advertisement company which provides nice looking (free-ish) utilities which also acts as nice data funnels (incl. Android).

If you mean browsing web, the freedom I talk about allows you on Android to install Firefox and ublock origin (and other plugins), which is more privacy friendly solution in-the-box than Apple will ever allow to be installed on any Apple device. If you mean apps installed its your choice what you put on your device.

Lets not forget the stuff you (and most of us) so loathe is direction Apple is actively heading for few years via their own ad-space. Truly surreal discussion.

You can install Firefox on an iPhone

Firefox on iOS is just browser chrome on top of Safari's browser engine because Apple bans all other browser and JavaScript engines on iOS.

True, but Google's own implementation of Android in the Pixel does allow you to re sign the bootloader so you can install your own OS and securely boot to it. And "Android" isn't all the same. It's a broad and shared ecosystem.

However, doing this and using a custom ROM will flat out disable SIM services menu and related functionality, which I need for my embedded e-Signature in my SIM card.

Also, we have a gatekeeper called Google Play Services. In other words, even if you have a custom ROM, you need that all-encompassing framework to have nice things.

Clients may differ, but the cloud platform and the connector which enables all these "Android" things is closed source, and controlled by Google.

Or you could have the open source microG and miss out only on Google Pay (and some bank apps that wanna validate SafetyNet for some reason). If you disable FCM / push notification support, your phone won't even need to interact with Google servers at all.

How do I install that microG thing in a Huawei Mate 50? Oh wait, I can't.

Tough luck! That said, Huawei phones don't siphon your information to Google (of course they leak it to Huawei instead :-)


If you want to install microG super easy and are still choosing your next phone, get one supported by LineageOS: https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/

Then instead of the official LineageOS build, get one from here with microG preinstalled: https://download.lineage.microg.org/

For low budget folks, a lot of Xiaomi phones are supported. You'll have to sign up for their account and wait for a few days, but otherwise the process is pretty straightforward. E. g. this is for my current phone: https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/ginkgo/install

> Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?

Not OP but yeah, I think it would. Im currently an android user because I thought it wouldn't, but in practice it does.

The most explicit example is that despite owning a flagship phone from a flagship manufacturer, the Google suite of apps don't integrate properly with the hardware. I have a Z flip 3, and I need to use Samsung Pay (over google wallet) with the phone to use it while folded. Because Samsung Pay doesn't integrate with my Google account, I'm forced to use both services in praxtice.

These sorts of niggley incompatibilities are _everywhere_ on android.

The other point is what epic has done is going to spread (side note: I used to work for Epic, this is my take on their move, not speaking on their behalf). If I want to play the Fortnite right now, I am forced to download an extra launcher on my device that interacts differently to the play store and Samsung store, doesn't support the integrations with the rest of my apps. I can only guarantee that as other apps grow we'll end up with storefronts for X, Y and Z (see uplay, battle.net, origin, epic launcher, ms store) so that those apps can either take a bigger cut or skirt around the requirements the platform holder has - on iOS it will make it so that sign in with apple isn't a requirement on third party stores.

The fact is that people who do want to sideload have the option to right now - use android. The people who want to live in a walled garden also have an option. By forcing apple to be more open you remove that option from the people who want it.

As with it OP, I'm not saying everyone should feel this way.

> The most explicit example is that despite owning a flagship phone from a flagship manufacturer, the Google suite of apps don't integrate properly with the hardware.

I personally have never used a Samsung device, but from I've read, I feel like Samsung phones are trying to be their own OS and do as much as they can to hide the fact that they're running Google's Android OS.

It's similar to the same way MacOS tries to hide the fact that it's Unix under the hood and hides all the Unix directories (/usr, /bin, etc.) in the Finder by default.

To be fair it's also impossible to use Apple Pay on a foldable iPhone

Is that a challenge?

I'm sure I have a couple of vice grips around here somewhere. I wonder how far an iPhone will fold before Apple Pay stops working. Surely some YouTuber has tested this already...

That's interesting. Is that incompatibility specific to the Flip 3? I have a Fold 4, and Google Wallet works for me.

Absolutely no idea, sorry. I don't have other devices to verify on. But, if I set my default payment app to Google Wallet, when I try to activate a payment the phone says "open your phone and set the default payment app to Samsung Wallet"

> Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?


> It might just be me, and I'll definitely fret about whether I'm being unreasonable for at least the next couple of hours, but this kinda frustrates me.

The thing is, I'm stating my position and not telling that just because I choose something, everybody should be happy with that. I have only stated that Apple's proposition is better suited to my mindset and current preferences, given the choices are Android and iOS.

> I'm supportive of your choice, but you already get to do the thing you want, and nobody is trying to take that away.

I expressed no such fear or concern as far as I'm aware?

> Expressing that you wouldn't behave any differently given more options is a distraction in a discussion about whether other people should be allowed to make a different choice.

I don't think so. I skimmed the discussion and didn't see the position I have expressed here, and the parent asked for a counter-opinion, and I presented mine in a concise and polite manner. I guess we're discussing by expressing our opinions here, what am I missing?

I think the point is that the benefits you list can continue if Apple adopts a Google model of allowing power users to add additional stores. You seemed to be presenting them as reasons why that shouldn't happen.

To be clear: I'm mostly complaining about the general concept of people giving "I like A" answers to "should we allow people to choose B over A" questions.

Your comment was an example of that, if not a particularly egregious one. We're not about to sway Apple in a HN comment thread. Specific reference to your comment was intended only to use it as an example to illustrate the point.

> I expressed no such fear or concern as far as I'm aware?

Nor did I claim that you did. While it is not your position that allowing others a choice would harm you, explicitly mentioning that you don't stand to lose anything by allowing that choice is supportive of the main point in the next sentence.

> the parent asked for a counter-opinion

They didn't.

> Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?

You can always Jailbreak your device?

I think Apples response to your argument would be that it isn't the technically aware user that is trying to get control over their device that is the problem, its apps being used by those with no technical ability. Once an App is allowed to break out of the sandbox or be installed away from the AppStore the likelyhood of an average users phone getting into a broken mess at best and becoming infected with a virus at worse goes up my an order of magnitude.

> You can always Jailbreak your device?

No, you can't and this isn't a serious alternative, especially since Apple goes out of their way to prevent and break jailbreaks.

> Once an App is allowed to break out of the sandbox or be installed away from the AppStore the likelyhood of an average users phone getting into a broken mess at best and becoming infected with a virus at worse goes up my an order of magnitude.

And yet multimillion dollar scams flourish on the App Store[1]:

> That man’s name is Kosta Eleftheriou, and over the past few months, he’s made a convincing case that Apple is either uninterested or incompetent at stopping multimillion-dollar scams in its own App Store. He’s repeatedly found scam apps that prey on ordinary iPhone and iPad owners by luring them into a “free trial” of an app with seemingly thousands of fake 5-star reviews, only to charge them outrageous sums of money for a recurring subscription that many don’t understand how to cancel. “It’s a situation that most communities are blind to because of how Apple is essentially brainwashing people into believing the App Store is a trusted place,” he tells The Verge.

Apple is also responsible for distributing 500 million copies of Xcodeghost to users via the App Store[2].

The App Store model is about profits, and security is an afterthought that makes for good PR.

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/21/22385859/apple-app-store-...

[2] https://www.vice.com/en/article/n7bbmz/the-fortnite-trial-is...

I'm not sure what your point is - both of those articles are making the case that Apple should be doing more rather than less. If users don't understand how to cancel an App subscription from their phone how much fun will they have when the same apps and more have tied their credit cards into recurring payments.

Apple is clearly incapable of securing their own App Store and consumers should have the option of using app distribution methods run by more competent engineers with better track records.

> You can always Jailbreak your device?

No, you can’t. Apple has tight control over what gets installed on the iPhone, all the way throughout the boot chain.

Jailbreaking is about finding vulnerabilities to somehow acquire root, and many times exploits are not persistent after a reboot. The keyword here is “vulnerability”, something that Apple is eager to patch using security as an excuse, which is hard to argue against. But Apple could provide its users the ability to flash their devices with a warning that if they do, they’re on their own, but Apple wont do that for the aforementioned reasons by countless people in this thread! They are locking down the platform on purpose, and neither privacy nor security are adequate excuses.

Jailbreaking shouldn’t be a thing, because users shouldn’t be living in jails, they should live in fortresses.

Jailbreaking is incredibly bad UX. You are forced to use closed source software to “jailbreak” your phone, a jailbreak which may or may not be persistent after reboot. And only if you have the right iOS versions. So users are forced to stay on vulnerable iOS versions and not upgrade and pray to God that a new exploit is made for their version. Because if they upgrade, Apple wont let them downgrade again, which makes the users miss the opportunity of using a newly created exploit. It’s a cat and mouse game, and it makes users more vulnerable to malware.

So make it difficult to do. Add a bunch of warnings.

This option lets hackers into yr phone to steal yr nudes click OK to continue. Are you SURE? Check this box if you're sure. Check this box if you're just clicking every box to get through this to cancel, or wait thirty minutes to continue. Type "I GET IT MR APPLE BRING ON THE VIRII" and tap continue to continue. Get any Gold badge on HackerRank to continue. Put your phone in the microwave on HIGH for 30 minutes to continue.



Good. If you are reading this, it means you did not microwave your phone. You have passed the test. A fully clothed Apple representative is waiting for you in your car. Do not look directly into his eyes. Follow his directions to travel to our Appcave. After performing a gravity search for security reasons, he will grant you control over your device.

Something like that.

Johnny Tech-No might be able to navigate the checkboxes, he might even get through the trick one where you have to wait 30 minutes. There's no way he's getting Gold on HackerRank without having the know how to safely use a rooted phone. Surely.

Macs allow installing apps not from the Appstore, and I'm hearing they are quite fine and not a mess.

AppStore apps are sandboxed almost the same as on iOS.

> You can always Jailbreak your device?

Jailbreak use security exploits. I guess I want them fixed.

You can’t jailbreak the last two iOSes. It’s possible full jailbreaking is a thing of the past. This is the longest time it has taken to get a jailbreak for new iOS versions (for the one from last year)

Couldn't someone just release their app on github, and the user could install it via xcode for free?


World of Warcraft has a day/night cycle, but it runs in a full 24-hour cycle just like the real world. This meant that if you were like me and mostly played at night, you mostly only ever saw the game world at night, and rarely saw the beautiful daytime colors.

I found forum threads of people asking for the option to either disable the day/night cycle entirely (it was 100% cosmetic and had no effect on anything in the game), or perhaps change it to something shorter like a 6-hour cycle.

And in every one of them, there were people arguing against having it as an option because they wouldn't use it. It seems people struggle to understand what "optional" means.

It's a mindset that I just absolutely don't understand. I could maybe see someone coming at it from the standpoint of "I don't think devs should spend the time on implementing an option I won't use when there are so many other things to work on", but in the specific case of WoW's day/night cycle, I can't imagine it would be much of an effort.

> Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?

Yes, it would, because <insert your giant corporation here> will require you to opt-out of Apple's ultra-managed experience to use their app.

> Yes, it would, because <insert your giant corporation here> will require you to opt-out of Apple's ultra-managed experience to use their app.

So, which "<insert your giant corporation here>" is making you do this on android, where you can actually sideload apps?

Fortnite was removed from the Google Play store in 2020 for violating the in-app purchase policies, so Epic publishes it in their own sideloaded app store.[0]

[0] https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/fortnite-removed-from-g...

Is this really such a bad thing? Following technical walk throughs are the sort of thing that get people interested in the kind of education that is more likely to protect them and even make them someone who “knows what they’re doing.” Most of the people I know who got interested in tech didn’t do so from some Apple approved stem app, it was from this sort of independent exploration to get something they want. These arguments start to feel like prohibition over education, and in a lot of ways just plain technocratic.

I don't know. What's your point?

that it does not happen on Android, as far as I know, and likely it would not be a big problem on iPhone

Maybe because Android just allows the privacy invading stuff iOS tries to limit?

Then don't install it or only install it if its worth the trade off. The only real reason for 99.9% of apps to want to do that is to prevent Apple from taking a huge portion of the revenue. Decrease the tax and this problem virtually goes away.

Not OP, but the thing which bothers me about this is that it’s not a real choice from an end user perspective. So many employers quasi-require people to use their phones as part of their work. I can just see something like Microsoft teams becoming a wedge that pushes people to disable lockdowns from apple that, in their personal lives, they’d rather keep.

I do think that could be solvable. Something like different personas on the phone could be the next step for the new “focus” features on the iPhone— maybe if you could disable App Store lockdowns but only for isolated profiles on your phone?

> I can just see something like Microsoft teams becoming a wedge that pushes people to disable lockdowns from apple that, in their personal lives, they’d rather keep.

Exactly. Not just employers, but also Facebook, TikTok, and whatever new and worse invasive tech that is enabled by the lack of Apple's restrictions.

> I do think that could be solvable.

I agree. And it should be solved. But, those who are asking for less restrictions won't be happy, because what they are looking for is better tracking tools.

Motorola makes a decent android phone for $170. Buy for work and only use for work.

> Decrease the tax and this problem virtually goes away.

Why are these companies not happy with the current commissions structure? What guarantee is there that they'll be happy with a new one? Corporations are greedy. They will ask more of whatever their bottom line needs, including users' attention, privacy, etc.

> Then don't install it or only install it if its worth the trade off.

And get excluded from online circles that everyone in the world uses? Or, find a different job, because my employer wants to install their surveillance app outside Apple's sandbox? I prefer not having to do the trade off at all.

> Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?

I remember back to when Apple allowed apps to set location privacy options. They could make it so ‘only while using the app’ wasn’t an option. So uber only let you have it always on or always off. It took Apple unilaterally enforcing an opinionated stance on what apps are allowed to do before companies stopped being anti-user in that particular way. When Apple allowed more flexibility, app makers didn’t.

>Would giving people the ability to opt out of Apple's ultra-managed experience and take more control over their device harm your ability to continue to enjoy those benefits?

I don’t want Apple to allow app-makers the freedom to provide apps that are anti-user. In practice, it seems to bethe lesser evil.

I remember when Apple allowed Uber to give users the location preferences of “always” and “never,” before they required apps to offer “only when using the app.” I guess I just tend to like what apple’s tight restrictions do to the entire ecosystem.

I'm not suggesting giving app developers greater control, but users. I agree that letting app developers demand whatever permissions they want will lead to stopwatch apps which always require precise location.

If I want the option to shut off Apple's controls and sideload a bunch of malware, that doesn't have to affect users who don't want to do that (assuming this option is gated behind some sufficiently stern warnings about the consequences). That Apple doesn't allow that has far less to do with protecting users than it does protecting their bottom line.

Having said that, Apple making these kinds of decisions for business reasons is (IMHO) a perfectly valid and logical way to operate. I'd just prefer we didn't pretend they're making this decision because allowing users to take more control over their devices is necessarily dangerous. That excuse has more holes than a slice of this fine Gorgombert.

> * "I don't want to WFH because..." Ok, sure, but nobody is trying to force you to.*

When I was last looking for a job, I clearly stated that I did not want to work from home and that I was only interested in onsite. Out of dozens of recruiters contacting me, only 1 respected that desire.

I share a house with my sister and she has terrible boundary issues (the places she socialized with others closed and went out of business from the Covid shutdowns). Her refusal to stop "visiting" during working hours cost me 2 jobs.

Apple has a brand to protect so letting people fiddle too much then possibly complain about it can hurt that

> "I don't want to WFH because..." Ok, sure, but nobody is trying to force you to.

The correct phrasing is probably "I would rather not work with a mix of remote co-workers". Which is very different, though I'd argue still a perfectly reasonable preference!

Sure, and I suspect in the case of WFH that is what some of those people really meant.

I'm not sure I'd agree on the reasonableness point.

It's definitely a reasonable preference to have (although this is true of all preferences). To me, the reasonableness ends at trying to make anyone else satisfy that preference.

But like... none of that is related to the App Store lock in! It's also not related to the 30% cut.

Apple's OS and the API it provides for developing apps is what gets us here. Lord knows there are some real busted apps out there, but your system doesn't fall apart.

Let's not even get into the fact that Apple itself was doing OS X stuff, which was able to have a high bar for software quality, and no "don't install random binaries" stuff to be seen.

> But like... none of that is related to the App Store lock in! It's also not related to the 30% cut.

It’s related to the “one app source”. See…

> no "don't install random binaries" stuff to be seen.

Because it was a lot smaller target than windows in terms of uses and impact. Maybe you forget, but there was certainly crapware that would bog your system down.

Meanwhile iOS is probably the single greatest target today. Statistically rich users, extremely important device to the user, and lots of users.

Regardless of your view on if apple should open it up, if it were to happen, it would instantly be a massive target. Companies would flee the 30% fee (@epic/fortnight) or the privacy policies (@meta) and maybe even employers buying some Oracle/SAP junk for their employees and quickly bring legitimacy to sideloading.

Everywhere would then fill with more of those “your Java is out of date plz download” sites, but instead it’d be apps. Now, for better or worse, no one has to question what they download (too much).

If you could side-load then you’d soon almost be forced to side load and it would be heavily exploited.

It isn't 2003 anymore, operating system vendors have been taking security seriously for a while now. Abuse and malware are not a problem on macOS despite barely anyone using the Mac App Store to install apps. Same goes for Windows, it isn't Windows XP anymore, and despite nobody using the Microsoft Store, abuse and malware are much less of a problem than they were in the past.

Billions of machines use software distributed via package managers like Apt that have existed for decades, yet there is no epidemic of rampant malware proliferation via Linux package repositories despite trillions of dollars worth of assets being managed by Linux machines.

This argument is typical FUD, and it's very common for App Store apologists to not argue based on what's happening today with other app distribution methods, but via Y2K-era fear and the classic "but what about Facebook!" refrain.

> This argument is typical FUD

Yea, most of the argument is “I fear that there will be generated uncertainty in how trustworthy apps will be. I doubt that most people can make smart decisions.

> it's very common for App Store apologists to not argue based on what's happening today with other app distribution methods

I’m not an App Store apologist, but also APT is hardly a fair comparison For many obvious reasons, not the least of which is that no actually relevant volume of humans use Linux. Servers aren’t people and don’t download random plugins and “Java updates” from their browser.

Drive by browser downloads and scams are the real threat vector. They’re still a thing in 2022. Just because your DNS based ad-blocked Linux desktop with a JavaScript free Firefox installed from the command line doesn’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Maybe you don’t think they’re as important as “freedom to install what I want” but you can’t dismiss it as y2k fud.

That’s the core of most “app store apologist” arguments. That the control and peace that comes from the App Store is worth the loss of freedom. If you wanted freedom, there are alternatives.

You can disagree with the trade off, but that’s the trade off and other people prefer the other thing.

Personally, I want the pretty and powerful hardware of the iPhone and the freedom but I’m glad I don’t have to explain to my mother why her iPhone doesn’t need new Java.

I don't buy the privacy policy stuff, using the ATT prompt to access IDFA can still require user consent.

Any argument in favour of the iPhone being so locked down needs to contend with the fact that Macs are just as reliable, but far more configurable. All I want is the for the iPhone to be as open as a Mac. Let me run binaries signed by legit devs!

Macs are a much smaller target though

iOS would instantly be the biggest target for crapware ever. Enough companies want out from under apple that you’d be almost forced to use sideloading to install mainstream apps (Facebook, Fortnite, Spotify, etc), so users would expose themselves to all sorts of scams very quickly.

At work I need to sign executables with a very expensive code signing certificate. I can sign anything with it though. I still have no idea how that makes the executables more legit :).

You seem to be a power user, and I get what you want, but pleeeease no signed binaries! :D For me a setting "I know what I'm doing" would be good enough :) (like on Android smartphones). That way I can install anything I want, and you can install only signed binaries.

> I still have no idea how that makes the executables more legit :)

I think the idea is that if Apple finds you signing software with malware, they can invalidate your certificate, and then your software won't run anymore on anyone's mac. And you know that you will lose your certificate and have a hard time creating a new one if you sign malware, so you probably won't do it. You also know that by default, your users won't be able to run malicious versions of your software, so your reputation won't be damaged by stories of "I installed the Schipplock Frobnicator App and my machine got infected".

In effect, it's a decent system to allow other distribution methods than the App Store without opening the flood-gates for malware and trojans. I 100% agree though that there should be some obscure option to run unsigned software, it should be a system acting on behalf of the user to protect the user, not a system acting on behalf of Apple to control the user.

No but isn’t this a case of “more eyes + more gates” , by making the system more complex in number of passing checks, you also make it more robust.

Perhaps some middle ground can be achieved.

> Macs are just as reliable, but far more configurable

Apple has been working tirelessly for years to retrofit the iOS model to Mac. It's probably just a matter of time, unfortunately.

True, they make it harder for the average Joe, but you can still do anything on macOS, even install 3rd party kernel extensions. But yes, it's quite clear they want you to use an iPad instead of a MacBook :).

Yes HN chicken littles have been saying that Apple is going to force all apps to go through the Mac App Store since it was introduced in 2010.

We "HN chicken littles" were also saying that Microsoft is gonna force Secure Boot harder and harder to close the hardware ecosystem for Linux, and we're almost there.

Being skeptical, and critical is important. This skepticism, criticizing and warning caused Apple to at least postpone their CSAM scan and reconsider their algorithms.

We need to talk, and talk indeed openly about the things we don't like. Otherwise we'll be the real chickens at the end of the day.

Microsoft is not Apple. Their corporate culture is different, their revenue sources are different, and their incentives and motivations are different.

"But we said Microsoft would do this bad thing, and then they did it!" is not a valid argument for why we should believe "But we've been saying for 12 years that Apple will do this bad thing Any Day Now™! They haven't yet, but it'll definitely happen Very Soon, just you wait!"

I can find you a dozen comments rehashing "The New Microsoft (TM)" which allegedly won't do such thing as forcing Secure Boot further because they have changed, the culture have changed, they now "Love Linux (TM)" and whatnot.

Companies are companies. I'd love the future to sucker punch me and prove completely otherwise.

You mean like the lock downed Xbox where even physical games have to pay a license fee and you have to buy digital games through the store?

> and we're almost there.

Meanwhile the only PC I own is a Steam Deck.

> Macs are just as reliable, but far more configurable.

As a user of portable Macs, I concur. I use Linux desktops, Mac laptops and iOS mobile devices.

> All I want is the for the iPhone to be as open as a Mac. Let me run binaries signed by legit devs!

That should be nice, indeed. It'll take us to the good old PalmOS days.

My parents use a Mac, it’s still occasionally a hostile environment for them. The iPhone has vastly more users, who are installing many more apps. People put all of their digital lives into these devices. I really don’t want iPhones to be as a open as a Mac!

>People put all of their digital lives into these devices. I really don’t want iPhones to be as a open as a Mac!

Maybe users should be more mindful and more educated on the pros and cons of dumping their entire private lives in the devices they don't control and are instead controlled by publicly listed trillion dollar corporations who's sole purpose is revenue growth and shareholder ROI.

Just a thought.

I don't like this argument. It's like saying everyone should be a race car driver because they drive to the grocery store. Tech for most people is like the sidewalk, it's just a means to an end. Also, the more control you have, the more dangerous the device. i.e. a race car. An iPhone is a Honda Civic and I hope it stays that way.

Yes exactly. If I thought Apple was trying to lock down the Mac in the same way, or shift away from the Mac I'd feel differently. But I see no evidence of that. I'm quite happy for my phone to remain an appliance.

Nothing of this would change if iPhones had a simple 'unlock' setting with an 'at your own risk' disclaimer. People who are happy with the default just keep the phone locked, others can trade Apple's "warm embrace" against the freedom to install any software they want on their own device. Tech companies really should stop treating their users like idiots who can't think for themselves. It's all about the sweet app store profits, nothing else.

Sure it would - apps with enough clout will do this: https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/mobile/android

And tell you the only way for experience X is to follow these safe steps to unlock your phone and use their launcher.

...and there's really nothing wrong with that. If it would, then PC gaming would have collapsed a long time ago.

Sure there is. It's fragmentation, and it's not a choice. I can't buy my favourite Unisoft game and play it with my friends in steam, instead I'm forced to download uplay or the epic launcher.

That's not a choice, and it's no better than being forced to use steam in the first place.

These are all business decisions by Valve, Ubisoft, Epic, etc... if it's too much of a hassle for me to play Ubisoft games, then Ubisoft has lost me as a customer, it's very simple (apart from that, Ubisoft has returned to Steam a long time ago: https://store.steampowered.com/publisher/Ubisoft)

But none of this is Microsoft's business. That's the important part.

So it's ok for it to be one companies choice but not another company? As a consumer it's not a meaningful choice if I have to use their platform, and I'd rather have the situation where the platform holder enforces consistency - they're not perfect but I know that having a Google account with Google Pay is enough to get me into 98+% of applications on android, and I'm not worried about having to _phone_ someone to cancel a subscription (looking at you NY times)

Again, if you're happy with one app store there's no reason for you to use other app stores (eg I barely use other app stores than Steam, but I don't complain that there's EGS too). Other users may be just as happy with EGS and not use Steam at all. Maybe other stores focus on different product types (like retro games) or are generally better curated. yet other users might want to support a developer by buying directly from the developer without 30% going to a completely unrelated 3rd party. I really don't understand how this sort of choice can be considered a bad thing for users.

> I really don't understand how this sort of choice can be considered a bad thing for users.

Because it's not user choice, it's publisher or developer choice. If I want to play Fortnite, I don't have a choice to play it on steam or EGS, and similarly if I want to play league of legends,I can't play it on steam. This sort of "choice" isn't a choice for the user, it forces them to be subject to the data protection and whims of every publisher whether they want to or not.

And if you don't like it, don't do it.

I don't like that argument at all. I can just as easily day if you don't like it, buy an android and use F-droid, but I won't because it's a lazy argument.

A freedom of choice has to be a freedom to choose. As I said farther you the thread, this immediately becomes an "and" rather than an "or".

"I can install this app via my preferred storefront" is a fine choice - but "I have to use all of the services that every third party wants to bundle in to use their specific service" isn't a choice, it's forced upon you and is no better than the situation we have now. We've seen this on android - try and install the Google camera app on a Huawei device and let me know how that goes for you, or use the Samsung app store on your Google device.

Can't agree on this. Also on Samsung, S22 ultra, I can't be bothered with any deep app settings because why would I do that? Device runs flawlessly, doesn't bother me with anything, has great battery life (and photos).

On the other hand, my wife bought iphone 13 mini after being whole life on android and its a proper shitfest form her point of view - basic settings simply NOT possible by OS because Apple decided they know better than users what users want and users have no say in this apart form losing warranty via jailbreak, basic convenient features missing. The whole device can be summarized as 'basic for very premium price' - it looks very cheap, works cheap, not a single fancy or cool thing on it.

Was about to give a chance to Apple myself but quickly rolled back after what I've seen. Plus all the scandals that show Apple is just another amoral non-privacy corporation just like the rest of bunch, despite their hard efforts at marketing. My wife will be probably rolling back to Android soon since its pretty bad experience overall. So completely opposite experience.

Well, if the Android ecosystem is serving you well, and the devices you have are functioning the way you expect, more power to you. I'm not a person who takes hard sides, but support whatever works for people. There's plenty of evidence that Android fulfills needs of a lot of people, so let it be (except they're trying to replace Linux with Fuchsia in a relatively unethical way to lock down the devices even more than Apple, but let's not digress).

> ...its a proper shitfest form her point of view

You know what? That's perfectly OK in my book. Android and iOS are backwards with respect to each other, and they are built on different default modes of operation. However, I'll never call Android like that as an iOS user.

> basic settings simply NOT possible by OS because Apple decided they know better than users what users want and users have no say

Well, again this is a subjective view. I used many things before an iPhone. Android, Palm, Windows CE Casiopeia, Windows Mobile to name a few.

People think PalmOS is dead, but it's very well alive and its name is iOS. Basic iOS mode of operation is a direct descendant of PalmOS, and evolved from there. When looked from that point of view, it's a perfectly capable device which provides all the settings I want. Again, it might not be providing what you or your wife's expecting, and that's OK. This is why we have choices, and I support that.

> The whole device can be summarized as 'basic for very premium price' - it looks very cheap, works cheap, not a single fancy or cool thing on it.

Well, again it depends on your view. Considering I can do anything I need on it, short of conquering the world (which I'm gonna publish an app for that), I don't call it a basic tool. It might not be as open as an Android system (for things which I call fancy, you need to root that system too), but seriously, calling it "incapable and basic" is inaccurate and laughable.

> Apple is just another amoral non-privacy corporation just like the rest of bunch despite their hard efforts at marketing...

Apple is just another company, which earns money in different ways. Just to be clear, I don't see them anything extraordinary.

> It just manages itself, and all that hard problems (backups, updates, ease of use, experience homogenity, etc.) are solved.

My wife switched away from an iPhone an an Android device less than a year ago exactly because this _wasn't_ the case.

- Restore from backup failed... pretty much impossible to solve as far as we could tell

- Tell iTunes what songs you want loaded onto your phone and sync. Then leave the house and it downloads some of the songs off the internet, because it _didn't_ actually sync them to the phone. It just loads a placeholder. Pretty severe impact for someone not on an unlimited plan.

- Ran into a problem and had to get the music library from itunes/phone. I don't recall the exact details (it was years ago), but every song had been renamed to some random alphanumeric string. It took a long time to fix them.

Honestly, it was one long series of the system doing something that clearly wasn't what she, as the user, would expect (or exactly _not_ what she told it to do).

You list several fairly serious failures that are absolutely not typical.

I have had to restore my iDevices from backups several times. It has worked flawlessly every time.

I have been syncing my music library from iTunes to my iDevices since well before the iPhone existed. The only times I have ever had a problem with songs not being on the iPhone are when a) I wasn't actually syncing my whole library, but a subset, and I had forgotten which songs I hadn't synced, or b) the songs failed to sync, and iTunes/Finder gave me a big dialog box saying so, with a message explaining why for each individual song that didn't sync. This is true for songs I bought through the iTunes Store as well as those from other sources.

Does this mean I expect these things to work perfectly for everyone, every time? No, of course not. I've had my share of problems with all my Apple devices.

But it does mean that either because of user error or unusually bad products (ie, you got a lemon), your experience is not typical.

> The only times I have ever had a problem with songs not being on the iPhone are when

But would you even notice if the song showed up in your itunes list "as if" it was on the phone but, when you played it, it grabbed it off the internet (with not delay, because it streams it). I expect most people wouldn't notice this at all.

> But it does mean that either because of user error or unusually bad products

- The issue with it loading songs (that you have told it to put on the phone) from the internet is, as far as I was able to determine, intended behavior.

- The issue with it renaming every song to a "random" alphanumeric string is, also as far as I was able to determine, intended behavior. Although needing to get the songs "back out of itunes" is, I imagine, an edge case.

- The failed backup restore, I have nothing on. It didn't work, but it was long enough ago that I don't recall why. I do not think it was faulty hardware. It could have been user error... but the entire point of the iphone argument is "it just works"; "you didn't do it right" isn't really a reasonable response in that context. Especially when you consider we really couldn't find a way to recover from it.

To be fair, most people using an iPhone don't download music onto their phones but instead just use Spotify/Apple Music/whatever other music service is hot at the moment. It still sucks, but this is a fairly specific usecase imo.

For anyone that isn't on an unlimited data plan, being able to play music located on the device is critical.

All of the major streaming apps let you download songs for offline playback

It seems that for Spotify it's only premium that allows for download for offline playback.

>settings persistence on Android is just not present

As opposed to Apple quietly changing airdrop behavior based on what opinions the CCP has on freedom of speech?

I get why you like Apple and voluntarily submit yourself and all your private data to the comfort of the JustWorks (TM) ecosystem, but after their whole "we're gonna keep scanning pics on your device (actually our device) for CP", there's no way I'm trading my freedom and privacy for the sake of a little bit of comfort Apple's ecosystem offers.

Also, If Apple would open up their OS/ecosystem more, it means other SW vendors could offer the same quality of life of Apple's own apps, such as easy backups, photos and music, etc. but since Apple has everything locked down in their favor, of course only their apps work the best on iOS and alternative are always second class. Microsoft was sued for this in the past for monopolizing certain app segments by shipping them as default with Windows (Internet Explorer, Media Player, etc).

In the end, I trust no billion dollar publicly listed mega-corp to own my data and lease it back to me for a monthly fee, as they're beholden to their shareholders who demand constant revenue growth, and once they capture the majority market share (they already have in the US) and the users are locked in to their comfy ecosystem, there's nothing stopping them from selling users out to advertisers to generate the revenue growth demanded by the shareholders. What are their users gonna do, leave the ecosystem and 10+ years of purchases and backups behind and move to Android lol?

Not being part of "The Ecosystem (TM)" in the first place, means I'm free to walk away to a competitor whenever I sense the vendor is shifting its behavior in ways that are not in my best interest, at the cost of more time and effort to manage my services individually. Basically don't put all your eggs in one basket should be the possibility on mobile devices.

I think the “too many eggs in one basket” is really the only thing that persuades me.

I don’t care that random developers have to workaround annoying restrictions and pay 30% to apple because it means it does just work and I don’t have to think — no one is trying to persuade me to do anything non Standard because there is no wiggle room. That’s a good thing.

But it is a risk — I don’t like what apple is doing in China, and we are not that far away from that in the us and uk. If apple does start behaving poorly here I will be SOOL.

> I don’t care that random developers have to workaround annoying restrictions and pay 30% to apple because it means it does just work and I don’t have to think — no one is trying to persuade me to do anything non Standard because there is no wiggle room. That’s a good thing.

Remember this in 10 years or so when Apple will do things you won't like and you'll have no way out.

I've bookmarked your comment to have it handy in a few years when people are gonna start complaining once Apple acts against their interests.

Remember, you (plural) voluntarily asked for this. "Lock me down Apple, I love it."

Im returning to this late but I think the comment is disingenuous. My post made it clear that this is an uneasy compromise. I’m not sure what the solution is, but -a the moment- apple seems more aligned with my interests than google or the myriad of fraudsters who would love to abuse an open platform.

I’ll be interested to return to this conversation in 10 years because as a priviledged, not-politically-radical (or at least not activist) person my hunch is that apple will still be a reasonable home for me. What I worry about is that it won’t be so comfortable for people who want to protest, or are in the margins in some other way.

I do care about this and would love another solution that worked.

Similarly I’d love not to use WhatsApp/fb and avoid as far as I can, but I want to play tennis or meet friends for bike rides and there is just no way of avoiding it right now without making substantial personal sacrifices.

I think the only solution long term is more regulation of large tech companies so that they act in the common good. That’s a hard problem though.

But I do have a way out, android.

Exactly the same sentiment for me. I use both devices and I couldn't be more happy with the freedom this allows me.

I own everything about the critical devices I work on, Linux. I have a magical device which "just works" in my Apple products.

If someone breaks this, I'll be sad.

The "it just works" argument is what keeps me using an iPhone, even though my computers and servers all run Linux.

Years ago, I replaced my trusty Nokia 6310 with an O2 XDA phone. It ran Windows CE, routinely crashed or froze and would be unable to make or receive calls. Since then, I've always wanted a phone that just works. The iPhone is the nearest thing to that for me.

I "rooted" my Android once, it was a nightmare. Never doing that again...on my primary phone at least.

There's no reason you need to stop people from doing what they want with their devices just because you don't want to do it yourself.

Are there any words in my comment stating or implying that such capability should not be included in Apple iOS devices, ever?

I'm all for flexibility, but of the two choices we have today, I prefer Apple's proposition more. If they decide to add more flexibility without compromising their quality, I'd be more than supportive of the feat.

> or is not guaranteed to stick after an arbitrary time

I have never experienced this. What settings?

Apps background execution and battery use permissions get revoked randomly. It's generally confined to the Tasker and other tools which interface with Tasker, tho.

However, as a result, the backup tasks I created my parents keep stopping randomly, and I don't like that.

I think it is about having an ADDITIONAL option to access things not about taking the "Lock me down, I don't care"-status away.

It is odd to me that there are people who eagerly agree that Apple can coerce users into configurations they don't want for lack of better options yet also believe that no other company could make them do that w.r.t. being forced to download alternative app stores, spyware, bloatware, and more. Do you really think the average user won't end up being compelled to download garbage software if it's possible?

On Android, which globally is bigger than iOS, it didn't happen. It's exactly the discussed setup - you can install alternative store, there's just a bit of friction to do that.

It already happened on iOS when both Google and Facebook convinced consumers to install what were suppose to be internal enterprise certificates to spy on you.

This is totally false. When I used Android, finding a phone maker and carrier who sold “pure” or “stock” Android without pre-installed garbage was the first step to buying a phone!

>without pre-installed garbage

Like Apple Music?

Each phone vendor including Apple does this to some extent. On Android you at least have some options (I had a few of them all were very close to stock), and usually you can disable these apps if there are any.

Comparing the system Music app which has existed since iOS 1.0 with an optional music streaming service that can be disabled as “equivalently bad” as carrier bloatware pretty much undermines your point entirely.

Honestly where I live, we usually don't buy phones from carriers(as far as I know it's not that common outside US - you guys seem to have outrageously expensive plans due to that), so I'm comparing to what manufacturers install.

Worst I had to deal with was shortcut to OnePlus community forum, which is arguably less offensive than Apple Music, which is often reported to bind to the Bluetooth play button.

The unforeseen consequences of the former will break the latter. Schools, Test Proctoring companies, Game companies will "force" users to install the ADDITIONAL option to run whatever is required and then simply extend their reach beyond what is appropriate.

I find the "Apple's engineers aren't capable of doing this in a safe way" argument a bit hollow, because the option basically already exists in iOS. All people want is the option to jailbreak iOS in an official way rather than some sketchy hack.

As for services that 'demand' you install something, the option exists on Android and no one demands people install things on their Android devices. Why would iOS be different?

> As for services that 'demand' you install something, the option exists on Android and no one demands people install things on their Android devices. Why would iOS be different?


1. It is used now. 2. Google is a lot less aggressive than apple (see meta vs ATT).

Yes, Epic has an app store on Android. So does Amazon. So do a few others. If anything that just proves the point that third party app integrations can work in a mobile OS without the world ending.

I don't see where Epic is forcing anyone to do anything.

If you want to play Fortnite - one of the most popular games for a generation of people- you can’t use the play store. You need to side load or use a supported store.

Sure it’s not “forced” like you go to jail or your phone doesn’t work, but you can’t use the way 99% of people will get their games.

It's anecdotal, but I don't see this happening in the Android ecosystem.

I don't want to manage my iPhone like I do a Linux server. But I would like the ability to sign up for Netflix or other streaming services when I first launch the app. Or, failing that, I'd like a message on that app telling me where I have to go to sign-up. I'd like to be able to buy Kindle books directly on my phone and start reading them. I'd like to use a different web browser engine at times.

All of those things have been taken out of my hands, the first two because those of ludicrous App Store rules and policies.

Interesting that you mention the kindle - wouldn't it also be nice to be able to buy Apple Books on your Kindle hardware? You also can't do that. You can root some Kindles and install other software, but is more or less like jailbreaking an iPhone.

The issue I have with people going after Apple is that _everyone_ does this more or less.

Broadly, I have the fewest complaints about the restrictions in Apple's ecosystem as a user.

The Kindle is not sold or marketed as a general purpose computing device with a robust third party app marketplace. That's the key difference here.

It does have a robust 3rd party app marketplace... with fees.

Amazon could sell books if they wanted to, they would just have to pay Apple.

Ok then, for you, do not enable that option. What am I missing?

> What am I missing?

The part that I'm not telling that my choice shall be default for everyone, which I repeated numerous times in this thread.

Apple decides to add a switch to convert iOS to macOS levels of freedom? Fine. Apple enables sideloading? Fine, I'll applaud even.

The thing is I'm not pro-"Apple's current stance". I'm pro-choice, but what I get today is satisfying my needs. If we can satisfy more users' need with one device (regardless of manufacturer), we should do that, and I support that.

> all that hard problems (backups, updates, ease of use, experience homogenity, etc.) are solved

This is a bit funny to me. I'll give you the homogeneity argument, but as for the rest, as someone who has owned both iPhone and Android since 2008 or so, it took Apple a long, long time to catch up to Android in the backup/update department. Remember having to do everything via iTunes? I remember.

Now, they're essentially the same in that regard.

You can still have those while opening up the device a bit more for enthusiasts. For example, Apple currently limit the number of sideloaded app to 3 apps total as well as 10 apps/week limit, and you'll have to re-sign the app after a week too. Relaxing that rule alone will greatly open up the device.

Fundamentally the argument for “i want to fully control my device” is flawed (actually it’s naive). We do not fully control our devices and haven’t for quite a long time. Especially so for devices that interact with other devices, or rely on integrations that lapse over time (eg 2G networks.)

This type of person is just drawing a line in the sand then falsely labelling it as “full control”, then adding on the rather dangerous commandment: “…and everyone must have it this way because ‘slippery slope and apologists’”

The fact is choice exists and consumer purchasing behaviours are also a demonstration of choice. The successful penetration of these smartphone/ similar devices relies on having different levels of control hard baked into the system - otherwise we are fracturing the ability to have something like the smartphone as a universal minimum.

How many of you folks out there have parents that don’t really use their computer but carry their smartphone everywhere? That’s something to think about.

> Android is not Linux

It most certainly is linux. You probably mean it's not a GNU operating system.

> You probably mean it's not a GNU operating system.

He more likely means you don't manage it as a linux system.

A lot of linux systems don't use GNU, especially embedded ones, or containers. Busybox is very common. But you don't really treat these systems any differently from GNU/linux other than some relatively mundane command differences.

Sidenote: Backup is not solved at all.

Neither my iphone 12 Pro max nor my new one have made a successful backup yet. Tried all the things and contacted support nothing so far, but no chance. Always stuck at "Estimating .. "

Exactly. I want my phone to be closer to a gaming console, not a full personal computer.

I want all my problems on it to be solved by rebooting and I want it to just work and all the apps be safe by default.

What part of non-default optional customization for others changes anything for you?

Nothing. I've elaborated on other replies. Please take peek at them. I don't want to re-hash everything I've written here.

I agree.

As my business become more complicated and I become less a tech oriented student and more a "have to get the paperwork done for legal reasons" type person I went back to iPhone and never looked back.

I noticed many people I know running very time consuming business to be iPhone users too, not having the time to tinker with Android.

I notice my tech friends working in support love android, as their job doesn't really let them tinker. How we for those running's servers and dealing with backend stuff I see iPhone ownership is about 50/50, far higher than in support.

And most people I know that own their own business like I do are almost always iPhone users.

We just do not have time to dig deep into our phones and tinker, we have too much work to do and we are already stretched for time with our families, why waste that on configuring yet another Android ?

That's a lot of stereotyping. Has it occurred to you that not every Android user wastes time to "tinker" with their phone and they're just normal people who use it like you do your iPhone?

Android is not like Linux were it's exclusive to developers, geeks and tinkerers. The market share also exemplifies that it's just as much for average joes as iOS.

I have a hard time with threads like this because it feels like half the comments are straight out of an Apple ad. "It's simple", "It just works", "PC is some nerd twiddling bits but Mac is cool and gets things done". It feels like a cheap shot, but when "the nerds" are proclaiming Apple the one true OS the hacker ethic is really suffering.

My wife switched from Android to Apple, then Apple back to Android a couple times. Turns out they're really not that different, and the "simple" one is the one you're used to (noting in the Android ecosystem companies like Samsung really do a disservice by trying to stand out from stock in a different-but-no-better way).

The way I see it the users have two crappy options based on business model:

1) Apple's freedom from inspection: they control your device and their ecosystem because they make money off the ecosystem. The take a cut of the phone/computer/watch you buy then anything you buy in their ecosystem because the ecosystem is their product. Your data is (mostly) safe from advertisers because that's not their business.

2) Google's device freedom: you can do whatever you want with your device because your are the product. Sure you can load a complete separate system of mail and chat clients and not sign into google, but really, will you?

Of course there's option 3, linux. Neither the ecosystem or you is the product, but where's the money in that. No one is going to spend billions of dollars to get you to buy Linux.

Whether Apple or Google (or MS or w/e) is the arch villain is really just a matter of perspective. Is two or three options a great place for consumers? No, of course not, it all sucks. I think a system built around who-gets-the-most-money-wins is the real problem.

The big competitor to Apple is Samsung, and Samsung devices tend to be just as locked down as Apple devices (though the prevalence of jailbreaks has been higher, and of course you can sideload apps). Those two companies make up over 75% of smartphones in the US, and neither of their next competitors down (OnePlus and Lenovo) are Google.

People talk about Android like it is the "do anything you want device marketed at end users", but it is the "do anything you want operating system marketed at device manufacturers". One of the many things you can do with such a device is lock it down, and that's what companies who make devices that run Android, like quite-notably Samsung, have largely decided to do.

Google's first-party devices are often quite open, and that's cool and all, but they do not have much marketshare because, in the end, they kind of suck with the various limited hardware tradeoffs they make. Users, generally, are unable to provide a very strong purchasing signal preference on "is an open device" because they are too busy optimizing for having good cameras or screens or whatever it is that they consider the primary point of owning the phone in the first place is.

At the end of the day, Android then become more of a coalition of brands herded by Google--but led by Samsung, whom at least used to make the vast majority of the actual profit, disproportionate even to their marketshare--in attempts to reign them in on what crazy changes they make, but those limitations do not enforce the device to be open... far from it, really! And so we have seen Google also the target of lawsuits for anti-competitive behavior with their store (including by Epic, whose argument almost made more sense against Google than Apple).

I have owned many Samsung android devices over the years and have always been able to install fdroid and other alternate app stores as well as "side load" applications from apk files. Is there a new thing where Samsung have removed this feature in recent (last two years or so) devices?

The bootloader in on Samsung Android devices is extremely locked down to prevent rooting. Sideloading is a basic android feature.

Ability to root and sideloading are two different but similar issues on the topic of freedom.

Typically, no, Samsung are one of the few manufacturers who consistently don't lock bootloaders. I've been flashing Samsung Android phones for over 10 years: https://github.com/Benjamin-Dobell/Heimdall

That said, they have locked bootloaders on some devices. Predominantly in the US market, I believe at the request of carriers. However, it's traditionally been the minority of devices.

What? Samsung is the most hostile of manufacturers in this regard. Unlocking the bootloader, installing another bootloader, or running a different kernel burns fuses permanently in the device and renders it unable to use their version of hardware-secured storage, aka "Knox."

Kiss some multimedia apps, payment apps, and enterprise security features goodbye...along with a bunch of random features like private mode in their browser.

Flashing an unsigned (or potentially differently signed) bootloader burns fuses. Sure. However, other manufacturers don't just burn fuses, you specifically need to apply for permission to flash your bootloader e.g. https://www.oneplus.com/support/answer/detail/op588

Samsung at least don't require personal details for you to take control of your device. Sure, you lose access to some multimedia, but don't blame Samsung for that, blame Widevine DRM certification. Knox goes out the window, but the entire point of Knox is to (try) guarantee a device isn't tampered with. At least you can remove it!

well, Miami and one plus requires you to provide phone number etc., so that seller and other people don't sell you malicious second hand phone or tampered phone. However, there are no fuses, so your phone will still be on warranty if you unroot it.

I'll stick to Sony where I don't have to tell them anything. OnePlus can fuck off.

What does “tampered with” mean? Particularly in the context of a device you own?

I would consider a device tampered with if someone besides me (the owner) did something with it, without my authorization. But anything short of that is surely just me using the device. I mean, I have physical possession after all.

Signing images and requiring that the bootloader can't flash anything else is just vendor lock in / ceding your power as an end user. It doesn't make you more secure in any way since a bad actor will figure out a way to bypass making writes to the system partition.

Umm I remember ordering Chinese phones way back when (think android 4) with unlocked boot loaders - both had some random junk installed via custom ROM and you couldn't uninstall it.

It's a good thing they had unlocked boot loaders then, or you would not have had any option to remove the malware.

Why would Samsung allow its proprietary 'Knox' to work with other bootloaded OS? They have every right to not support any other OS other than their own.

They aren't "not supporting any other OS", they're causing the hardware to damage itself to prevent that software from working.

It's like your laptop's motherboard detected you installed another OS in place of the OEM-provided Windows installation, and overvoltaged your NVidia GPU to burn it out. "We have every right to not support high-performance graphics on any other OS other than our own - if you want to install your own OS, you can still use the integrated Intel GPU".

Damaging the hardware is a bit of an overstatement. What people are calling fuses isn't really a fuse in the traditional sense. An eFuse usually is just write once memory. All the limiting features are implemented in software which reads out the state of this memory.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but once the eFuse is triggered (which, if it's write-only memory, still involves a physical change that could be interpreted as damage), it's effectively unfixable without replacing the whole motherboard, reflashing it with your original serial number, IMEI, etc. At least that's what I recall from reading about it - Samsung service can "reset" the Knox lock-out, but they do it by replacing the whole board.

In other words: there's no way for me to just take the phone to my workshop / local hackerspace, and fix it with a soldering iron. Even if I could source the right parts, it's going to be a PITA to make them work. I didn't investigate it further, but I assume that these days, cryptography is used for critical parts to attest each other as genuine (similar to what new iPhones do, which is why you can't just replace the "home" button if it breaks).

Additionally, since I haven't heard of people doing software workarounds, whatever in Knox is reading the state of the eFuse, cannot be trivially patched. I recall reading somewhere that triggering the eFuse somehow overwrites Knox itself - if that's correct, then they may not even be anything left to enable afterwards.


I'm going to concede here that my example was somewhat hyperbolic - burning a single eFuse isn't the same as overvolting the whole GPU. But only somewhat - the reasoning/intent behind the two cases is the same. Additionally, cryptography blurs the line between what's hardware damage and what's a software limitation. Take, for example, secure erasure of data: you can smash a hard drive with a sledgehammer and then microwave the remains to slag, but you can get the same result by keeping the data encrypted, and then... losing the keys.

This entire comment is irrelevant. The Knox fuse only matters if you're flashing the stock rom back. Only the stock rom actually cares about Knox. The custom roms all ignore the value from Knox or simply spoof it. In other words it's just punishing you for daring to flash a custom ROM.

If someone goes to the trouble of implementing an efuse, they will also implement the check in the hardware so it can't be bypassed. An easy example is optical drives with fixed numbers of region switches that refuse at the hardware level to read discs from the wrong region and also refuse at the hardware level to switch regions once all the fuses have been blown.

Knox is actually irrelevant as most custom roms just fake whatever value is needed to get certain apps going and it's really just Samsung pay I believe.

Well my experiences with the galaxy S10+ was horrible trying to get an unsigned rom to stick. I personally prefer Sony devices now.

That's sorta the status-quo. But I'd fully support any legislation that mandates open bootloaders on all devices, definitely would help save the iPad from obscurity.

> help save the iPad from obscurity.

wait what? It's basically the most used/desired tablet, afaik, at least in Canada/US

My experience is that Samsung devices are quite easy to root. There is that e-fuse thing that disable some features permanently, but to my knowledge, these are mostly intended for corporate devices and you can ignore them for personal use.

With Galaxy phones they are extremely hostile to unsigned flashes to the device. You essentially need to exploit a zero day in the stock rom to get temporary root and then while you have temporary root you flash a new recovery. And then you gotta make sure it doesn't flash the stock recovery back in the next boot by making sure your next reboot goes into the recovery. And then you can flash your custom ROM. I skipped some steps too.

After looking a bit into it, it looks like most US/Canada models have a locked bootloader. Other models, including mine (Europe) don't and it only needs booting into download mode using a key combination and flashing a custom recovery using Odin.

Having to jump through so many hoops is why I never bothered to root my phones. It sounds like 90% chance to brick it.

It doesn't matter anyway. Thanks to Google pushing remote attestation, all you can expect from a custom ROM is the actually important apps (like bank) no longer working.

I think you mean hardware attestation. And yes, it is the biggest problem I have. I can do without KNOX, but it is becoming harder to do without these locked down apps (ex: bank), and workarounds are harder to get by, no matter the manufacturer.

And of course forget about anything that isn't iOS or Android. I don't expect banks to support alternative OSes anytime soon.

I probably won't root my next phone, not worth the hassle for a daily driver.

What could be nice is if phones could run VMs, so you have your stock ROM with all your "important" apps, and a VM where you can run anything you want: hacked Android, Linux, maybe even a desktop OS. Modern phone hardware should be more than powerful enough to do that.

The only two apps that are affected by Knox is Samsung Pay and Samsung Health. And that is only an issue if you decide to flash the stock rom back on the device. If you use custom roms they typically have a workaround to get both of those apps working with the Knox fuse tripped.

The easiest daily driver to root is Sony and Google phones. You simply unlock the bootloader and flash. There's no nonsense to deal with.

It's not possible to hard brick. Only soft brick. You can always recover back to stock if you mess up using the official flasher with the stock rom.

But as an app developer Samsung doesn't claim a cut out of my sales. That's where you start to see the difference.

He might be talking about the fact that the moment you unlock the phone the e-fuse is tripped and a bunch of features get downgraded permanently on their devices. I think they're generally good devices, but they have a nightmare support system and this e-fuse thing is just a major turn off to a lot of people.

yeah but you're also knowledgeable about all that shit and 99% of people with Android devices won't use alternate app stores. they'll download apps from the google play store, use google services, stream on google chromecast, watch things on youtube tv. google and/or samsung will get all that data and that's how they make money.

Just desparate apple apologists equating installing your own OS to installing an app.

Would I like to have an unlocked bootloader? Sure. Is having a locked bootloader equivalent to only being allowed to install Apple approved apps? Of course not.

> The big competitor to Apple is Samsung, and Samsung devices tend to be just as locked down as Apple devices

Please, you can sideload apps by selecting a single option... Not to mention you have all the options to make alternative apps default like any Google device.

That alone is significantly more open than Apple devices...

> Your data is (mostly) safe from advertisers because that's not their business.

I beg to differ.

Apple is becoming an ad company despite privacy claims



Both your links go to the same Proton article and the heart of it seems to be this:

> Apple monitors your every move in the App Store and its News and Stocks apps and then uses that data to sell ads targeting you in those same apps. To meet its growth forecasts, experts expect Apple to start selling ads in its Maps, Podcast, and Books apps, meaning it could replicate this model across more of its services. Much more of your activity could be monitored in the future.

Tracking every click in the App Store/News/Stocks is not great but it is in NO WAY similar to tracking every website I view and reading every email I send.

People keep saying Google reads your emails (even when Google explicitly says otherwise), but have no proof, and trust Apple's words as the gospel of truth - how strange. It's almost as if it's fashionable to criticize them.

This is on Gmail's homepage:

"We never use your Gmail content for any ads purposes. Gmail uses industry-leading encryption for all messages you receive and send. We never use your Gmail content to personalize ads."

Why do you assume Apple doesn't also track every website and email you read (especially if you use the default Apple-made apps)? After all, they make the OS, they can track whatever they want.

Nobody's reported seeing that sort of network traffic sent off of iOS devices. It's trivially easy to spot it, and it's well documented, going to Google and others across the web, though.

On my iPhone, Safari browser history synchronization to iCloud was enabled by default.

According to Apple, Safari history and bookmarks are end-to-end encrypted and Apple cannot read them:


Is there any evidence that Apple is lying, and is actually decrypting them somehow and using them for advertising purposes, rather than for the "coherence" feature?

I don't actually want browsing sessions to be unified across devices, so I do wish that it was turned off by default. (Though being able to close tabs remotely is a sort of interesting capability.) However, it doesn't seem to be actual spyware used for advertising or tracking purposes.

That’s not what your link says. The link says browsing history is end-to-end encrypted, but Bookmarks are not.

> " It's trivially easy to spot"

Is it? How exactly are encrypted payloads to a secure, opaque and generic endpoint easy to distinguish?

It's trivially easy to spot it going to Google/FB/whoever if you visit a page with a GA or FB or whatever pixel. That's part of the second sentence, not the first.

For spotting it going to Apple you'd have to do more fancy correlation over time and such, but you can find people out there who are researching this stuff... so that's who I'm waiting for to hear more from.

Safari on iOS is auto-completing stuff as you type. The option to search with google comes up if you get far enough.

And it’s not going to google first. If you type an address the “link” at the top is to Apple Maps. They seem to do a similar thing with place names. I’m not sure but one can be fairly certain they’re using the phones location to help….

You will have no idea what is being carried via encrypted channels to Apple's opaque backend servers.

Burden of proof fallacy

Interesting.. I just saw an add in my Apple Maps yesterday and I was really confused at first. Had no idea they are considering moving in this direction and must already be testing it.

On a different note I attended an apple event for IT Government and Education in Chicago. Eye opening.. Apple's "privacy" stance is all just a horse and pony show for marketing. Unbelievable how open they were about tracking everything at the event.

My understanding around how this works (and I might be wrong!) is that Apple tracks a variety of usage on device and your device itself knows which ad to serve, versus say Google or Facebook collating your data on their own servers.

I'd not be surprised to learn there was some level of phoning home though.

There’s a common misconception that ad tracking is all about targeting ads. That’s part of it, but the truth is that tracking conversions is a more important differentiator for advertising platforms. A conversion is where the user clicks on the ad and then makes a purchase. The top digital ad companies (Apple, Google, Meta, Amazon) all charge for conversions. There is no way to charge for conversions without sending data about the user’s behavior off the device (which ads they saw, and which purchases they made).

That’s not true. They could use differentially private on-device joins using anonymously downloaded ad data. Or they could securely aggregate the results. Or both.

Can you elaborate? I see an ad in the News app, then click on it and make a purchase from Clash of Clans in the App Store. Apple needs to charge Clash of Clans for the conversion. How do they do it?

Apple knows that I bought the app (they charged me for it).

In order to charge Clash of Clans for the conversion, my phone needs to connect to Apple and send them a record of the ad click. What if clicking on that ad and buying the app are the only thing I ever did on the phone? There’s nothing to aggregate locally, and Apple knows they got the conversion data from me.

Perhaps the claim is that my phone is going to send all these records to Apple, and Apple is just going to do the right thing and run programs that do the business without letting any of their people look at anything they aren’t supposed to look at (they could internally accomplish this by differential privacy, rigorous internal controls, etc). That’s the same claim Google and everyone else is going to make.

That's not at all how adtech works. You cannot download all activity between ad supply (website/app/etc) and advertisers and every vendor in the middle onto your device for some joins.

You misunderstand, completely. A device needn't download all activity, or indeed download anything additional at all. It knows which ads it clicked on and it knows the conversion signal for each ad the user saw. It can thus easily count the user's conversions on the device, then privately aggregate the result with its peers using secure multi-party computation (or a secure enclave).

Even the ads can be anonymously downloaded using a shuffler/mixer, such that nobody knows which ads out of the universe of ads the device chose to target the user with.

This just has all of the negative privacy implications FLoC does[1], which is also something pushed by Google that was heavily criticized. I guess now that Apple is doing it, it's okay.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federated_Learning_of_Cohorts

Similar! The biggest difference in my mind is that any website using FLoC would be able to know what cohort I belonged to.

FLoC is definitely more anonymous than "davidlumley visited nytimes.com twice on December 1st 2022". However, that particular usage information was previously only available to nytimes.com, any ad/data vendor using third party tracking cookies that were present on nytimes.com at the time of my visit, and finally any company that purchased data from the ad/data vendor.

My FLoC was theoretically available to any website and had much of the same intent data that intent ad/data vendors were/are selling.

If my understanding of Apple's ad platform is correct, advertisers don't know which cohort the user davidlumley belongs to, or that their ads are being served to me because that's all handled on device.

is that Apple tracks a variety of usage on device and your device itself knows which ad to serve

This is a distinction without a difference. Do you regularly share your phone with other people, to the extent that "device data" can not be correlated back to you?

I have no idea if this is true, but let's say it is.

The ad still has to come from a server, unless the phone downloads all possible ads the person might be interested in (which I doubt).

The transfer would at a minimum include the IP address of the phone.

Use a shuffler.

Apple already implements a solution on the Mac.

The Mac defaults to signed apps. And you need to change a setting to allow unsigned apps.

iOS could easily default to what we have today, but allow the installation of non App Store apps after users change a setting and confirm after reading a scary warning pop up, that tells users they may be exposing themselves to data theft, hacking, viruses and money theft.

I really want this to happen, and I hope Apple is forced to make it happen — a fairly likely scenario in the EU I think — but if they do allow side-loading I fear they will disable all sorts of Apple services when you flip that switch.

No more Apple Pay, for starters. Maybe no iMessage. Things where they can argue they have to turn them off to protect the user, and/or themselves, from rogue apps.

And then you could have a kind of freedom, but it wouldn’t be a very useful one. You can already load whatever you want on your own phone if you have the source and do the build yourself. I can pretty easily imagine Apple making it so you can side load closed apps but almost nobody ever does.

Agreed. The real reason is the inevitable avalanche of support requests that hit when some popular side loaded app introduces a 0-day. No one at the Genius Bar is going to touch your toxic device. That means no Apple Care or iCloud backups either.

Support is expensive. Apple spends a lot of money to provide what is generally very excellent support. It’s a huge component of the overall brand for many users that stay in their ecosystem.

Apple wouldn't want that in the first place because a customer who's angry at a 0-day (even if it wasn't caused by Apple) still hurts Apple's brand image.

Apple has gone a long way by sticking to the safest paths, meaning they do things that cause the most customer satisfaction, and don't do anything that can go wrong. That's why Apple abandoned the iCar project because while many would like the concept, a car experience is not something that Apple can have control over; if users get into car accidents, for example, that hurts Apple's brand no matter the cause of the incident. In comparison, making phones, Macs, tablets, etc. is fairly safe as long as Apple retains its full control over the experience (which must be perfect for most consumers).

Because of this, I don't really see Apple allowing app sideloading, even though I personally like it. I think the more pressing issue right now is the 30% cut on AppStore.

Hear these excuses time and time again that it’s impossible for them to do this when they ship an entire product line and have for decades that does exactly what people claim is impossible for them to support.

Yes, if you disable SIP on ARM Macs, apple already disables Apple Pay and running iOS apps as I found out the hard way.

And with Apple you are not the product? You're being tracked and shown ads on Apple devices too, it's just that you have even less control and Apple has a "worked" on their image in that regard.

Apart from App Store recommendations, where are you seeing Apple-originated ads on an iPhone?

News, Stocks, Apple Music are all big sources of ad junk. That's without mentioning all of the iCloud/service nags like AppleTV.

So just long tap and uninstall them? It’s not analogous to the Windows Start Menu showing ads you can’t turn off.

What are the nags? I also don’t use Apple TV and don’t recall being nagged to use it.

The only thing that annoys me is the prompt to “finish setting up” my phone when I don’t want to turn on Siri. I get the prompt a few times and then it gives up trying to get me to turn on Siri and stays happily disabled.

>So just long tap and uninstall them? It’s not analogous to the Windows Start Menu showing ads you can’t turn off.

On the contrary, it's exactly analogous to Windows start menu ads as they are just icons that you can tap/right-click and uninstall, exactly like on Apple.

But I do love the HN double standards here:

Apple ads: "Pfff, just tap and uninstall, nothing newsworthy here."

Windows ads that you can also right-click and uninstall: "OMG, the audacity from Microsoft, let's up-vote every single FUD blog post about this while frothing at the mouth."

If that’s the case for Windows ads (I don’t actually know) then I totally agree the response is highly overblown there too!

I mean, I can also click the little 'x' button on YouTube banner ads, but that doesn't make them any less annoying. Apple's promotion of their own services in MacOS makes it impossible to live in for me in the same way I can't browse the web without uBlock Origin. Blocking out nagware helps me focus.

I would totally agree but isn’t the uninstall a one time thing and then you never deal with again?

If Apple News keeps advertising to you after you uninstall News then Apple has overstepped and should be held to account. I don’t hold it against them showing Apple News content on the Home Screen / Notification Tray iff Apple News is actually installed.

Oh, I don't use those things. But that's good to know.

Me neither, but every time I put on my Sony XM4s Apple Music gives me a nice modal asking me to pay for their service. It's really lovely UX.

Well, that's a little bit different from an ad, but I take your point.

That doesn't happen to me when I use the cheap earbud things that Apple sells (I use a Subsonic client app for music); do you have any idea what triggers it?

Curious which subsonic client? I’ve been using play:sun for a few years and sometimes AVSub. These clients are okay, but I do get some weird issues with them sometimes.

Having said that, I love subserver more than any other media server options.

I currently use iSub, but I’m in the same position: occasional weird issues, some that I think are compounded by my use patterns (I tend to listen on the subway, so the frequent network disconnects seem to break the cache.)

Probably not being logged into iCloud.

What ad junk? Can you give an example? Do you mean notifications?

Are you honestly suggesting that Google and Apple are the same in this regards?

I wouod sqy you werent the product originally but apple figured out they were leaving money on the table and quickly converted to adding that business model on top of overcharging for devices over the last decade. Nowbitvis atleast as bad as android if nit worse

> 2) Google's device freedom: you can do whatever you want with your device because your are the product. Sure you can load a complete separate system of mail and chat clients and not sign into google, but really, will you?

Typing this from a Pixel running GrapheneOS, and it's a great experience.

So, yeah, I did.

> Your data is (mostly) safe from advertisers because that's not their business.

I think with Apple this ship is slowly sailing, and the tracking will soon be just as bad as Google.

How so? I think their strides in fields like differential privacy show how willing they are to protect their end users.

I personally think their migration to subscription based revenue and advertising says differently (just personal opinion). Were now the product with Apple too, not the customer. We used to pay more to not deal with that.

It seems that advertisers can outbid users to the point that nobody is willing to pay enough to be the customer.

The amount of money in advertising is staggering. Can it actually work that well? Or is this a category of spending that just tends to be greenlit in big companies?

There’s a huge difference, including from a privacy perspective, between subscriptions and internet targeted advertising.

How are you the product, when you’re giving money? That’s like saying, when you buy a ticket to Black Panther, you are the product Hollywood is selling, not the movie.

> How are you the product, when you’re giving money?

Why can't you be both? After all, an advertiser's best target is someone who already has a propensity to spend. Companies can and do sell you stuff then also target you for ads.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but those are two different things, and just because you on tape them together doesn’t mean they’re identical.

I don't understand what you're saying. Why can't a company sell you something then also advertise to you?

Great to see Apple users are still deluding themselves into thinking they're not the product despite constant reports of Apple spying on them just like everyone else

The extent really matters. I don't care if Apple tracks App Store clicks or what I (don't) read on Apple News. I would care, a lot, if they tracked my browser history, chats, and email.

Could Apple conceivably be spying on my every move? Well... they really don't need to to make App Store recommendations so I doubt it.

When, and if, ever launches its own web advertising client which they bill as "privacy focused" I'll start being skeptical but until then there's way better things to throw tin foil at.

Android is Linux.

Sure, in the way orcs were elves once.

That's a ridiculous comparison, the Android kernel patchset is tiny https://android.googlesource.com/kernel/common-patches/

It consists of "massive" changes such as:

> Enable writable clock debugfs files which are required for debugging and testing


> Allow drivers to register hooks when IPIs are sent and handled. The statistics of these IPIs are helpful in predicting CPU idle states

I suppose any distro backporting fixes is also not Linux? RHEL definitely can't be Linux if Android isn't.

This disagreement is purely about semantics.

In case its not clear, Linux the operating system typically means the Linux kernel plus a set of unix-inspired GPL-licenced userspace tools. Some (still) call this GNU/Linux, although that is a bit of a mouthful.

Android has a completely different userspace to "Linux". The kernel is not the issue.

Well that's silly, the userspace you are talking about is strictly useless on phones. Every single attempt at building a reasonable mobile userspace for GNU/Linux has been a complete failure. What would that even look like? Almost all graphical GNU/Linux tools depend on X11, which is completely unsuited for phones.

But if you want, you can totally install all the GNU userspace tools on Android. Nothing is stopping you from doing that.

Nevertheless, there is something people call "Linux" that is a full OS (rather than just a kernel). Android differs substantially from that.

Just semantics.

Yes, but that is fundamentally incompatible with phones! It's an oxymoron, like a Windows 2000 phone.

Marricks's comment simply does not make any sense if we're to use that definition of "Linux".

Marrick's comment makes even less sense using a definition of Linux that includes Android, since they lists three different options: iOS, Android and Linux.

"No one is going to spend billions of dollars to get you to buy Linux.", Marrick said. Perhaps they were including the resources required to make something that is recognisably Linux that is compatible with phones, and polished enough to be appealing to the average consumer?

>Marrick's comment makes even less sense using a definition of Linux that includes Android, since they lists three different options: iOS, Android and Linux.

They could just have not known this, it's not obvious if you've never tried to open a terminal on an Android phone.

But how is Android not recognisably Linux? You can natively run all the Linux stuff you'd like on Android.

This is false. Sent from my Pinephone with Mobian.

Android is linux as much as iOS is BSD

What you are referring to isn't Linux. It's Linux + a free desktop compliant userspace. Linux is just a kernel which is in fact shared between both. I'm not sure why the community hasn't come up with a better name to help disambiguate the two.

People talk about the Linux kernel vs linux (the complete system).

I’m not sure why nerds are still litigating this sort of thing years after the who gnu linux thing.

> linux (the complete system)

Like Android?

>I’m not sure why nerds are still litigating this sort of thing years after the who gnu linux thing.

Because most Linux users are no longer interacting with GNU/Linux.

How do you mean? The "Android kernel" is not meaningfully different from the Linux kernel.

4.4BSD however was released in 1993, so iOS would've had decades to diverge from it.

But we'll not know unless they open source it. chuckle

Darwin is open source. Here's the repo for their kernel: https://github.com/apple-oss-distributions/xnu/tree/main. The userspace stuff can be found here: https://github.com/apple-oss-distributions/distribution-macO.... Some stuff that's missing from those links, such as launchd, can be found here: https://github.com/apple-opensource?tab=repositories

With a license that prohibits OEMs from distributing forked versions.

Android is Linux w/ Malware … omegalol

RIM had a chance, I think. They had cool devices, could have forked Android and owned enterprise/privacy focused buyers. Maybe Nokia can come back.

You (and anyone reading this comment) are a rare exception. Users of this site are interested in how tech works. You spend time to understand what it’s doing and make things work for you.

And that’s awesome! Personally I’m the same way.

But an overwhelming majority of people do not want to fight with or customize their tech. Opening the tech actually tricks them into causing more problems by clicking random pop up’s on websites that look like system updates or other malware / advert tricks.

A recent discussion on this problem is here [1]. I’m not sure how to solve this. Maybe we need an actually viable Linux phone for tinkerers, while also having a locked down iPhone for the less tech literate? Maybe Apple can introduce a less locked down version of iOS for power users?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33314291

> Maybe we need an actually viable Linux phone for tinkerers, while also having a locked down iPhone for the less tech literate? Maybe Apple can introduce a less locked down version of iOS for power users?

A key problem with this is volume.

Most people fall into the "less tech literate" group, which means that the devices made for that market will be better (more capable and/or less expensive).

Maybe there's a solution (I'm think about "developer mode" and "linux development environment" in Chrome OS); but I think it'll always be not so great in the best of cases.

> Maybe we need an actually viable Linux phone for tinkerers

Like this https://store.google.com/product/pixel_7_pro?

You can do almost anything with the unlocked phones from Google. They are great!

No, like Pinephone and Librem 5.

> an overwhelming majority of people do not want to fight with or customize their tech

> while also having a locked down iPhone for the less tech literate?

Your post comes across as snobby. Not to mention demonstrably inaccurate. Someone who doesn't want their phone to be a tinkering device may be the most tech literate person on Hacker News. Not everyone wants every piece of tech they own to require tinkering, they just want it to work and get out of their way, so they can focus their tinkering on something else.

I want Apple to maintain a consistent set of rules that app developers need to follow. I have no power to dictate my desirable terms to Facebook, Twitter, etc, but Apple does. I'm willing to give up some flexibility with my device for that. No matter what, I'm a tiny player with no power against globally powerful tech companies, but I'll take Apple's conditions vs 1) conditions set out by other companies that I trust less, and 2) having different conditions for every company I deal with.

That and I want to give my not so technologically literate parents an iPhone and I want it to just work. I want a consistent experience that’ll let me debug their problems from around the world or just feel confident sending them to the Apple store.

Even for a power user like me, I’d rather have an ultra reliable device with amazing manufacturer warranty than something I can hack on.

> I’d rather have an ultra reliable device with amazing manufacturer warranty than something I can hack on.

You can have all three, though. Apple simply stops you from harnessing the true potential of your device because it threatens their bottom line. This is immediately apparent when you realize that any form of sideloading requires a $99/year subscription fee. Absolutely bonkers that they get away with this and people defend them anyways.

AFAIK that hasn't been true for a very long time. You can install apps via xcode for your own phone for free for a while: https://developer.apple.com/support/compare-memberships/

It's distribution that costs money, which makes sense because humans review that you're following their privacy polices etc.

Not all of us are "not so technologically literate parents". Why are we treated that way?

To be honest, I'd be fine with Apple putting an 'unlocked' mode behind a massive warning screen that doing so removes the ability of Apple to protect them from bad actors (with an optional notification system so I know if my parents have been coerced into doing this).

However let's be honest, that wouldn't satisfy Facebook, Spotify, Epic et al because most people wouldn't do this so it wouldn't really help them. Facebook, Spotify & Epic don't care about user freedom, they just want to get the 30% cut back and to track you more than they're currently allowed.

The rules they do have are already inconsistently applied. And the rules they do have don't prevent a whole lot. Most of them are about protecting their moat, keeping people and governments from being offended and them safe from lawsuits. So what's the point?

or apple could just develop an os such that if an app doesnt respect your settings it just flat out doesnt work. this would force facebook to at least make concessions on their app.

There is no reason for walled garden. people can control the system themselves if setup.

Why do Spotify, facebook, and Twitter need anything beyond a web app these days? What does a native app get that helps them monetize? Access to contacts maybe?

Probably for stuff they shouldn't be accessing. But also IIRC iOS doesn't support PWAs so installing any webapp they would provide in any meaningful way isn't possible there

The twitter web app is what I use on a daily basis and it’s absolutely terrible. The app experience is vastly superior.

I'll contrast this with my TV. I want a TV that works and displays pictures & sound. Instead my TV is an Android hub with dozens of random apps installed. What it doesn't do half the time is work. Sure, I have "control" but I'd rather have "functional devices!"

I'm not sure you do have "control" if your complaint is that there are dozens of random apps installed.

If you're able to uninstall those apps then, yes, you have (some amount of) control.

I'm dreading the day my 4K "dumb" LCD TV dies. It's now basically impossible to replace.

Eh. Get an Apple TV. HDMI CEC means you never have to interact with the default UI.

I have one! That’s the plan currently. But you can’t avoid it entirely, it’s why TVs are so slow to turn on, they still try to collect data and so on.

Odd. I have two TVs. Neither of them have this issue.

don't some TVs actually listen in on what you're watching to figure out your viewing habits regardless?

You can replace it with a monitor + a pair of stereo speakers.

I like this option, though I have noticed that monitors seem to be more expensive and are not always available in the TV size you might want.

I recommend this as well: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33813255

You’re right though. My 44” monitor for my living room was $550, but that only seems expensive compared to the ad-subsidized smart TVs.

I replaced my TV with a large monitor and a mac mini. My remote is a wireless apple mouse and keyboard which we leave on a cutting board on the couch.

The benefit of streaming shows in a browser is that I can slow down all shows for my kids to 85% so they are slightly less stimulating and i NEVER get ads.

The computer also serves as a hub for music, it’s connected to some wireless speakers we can move to another room when playing music.

LG TVs have WebOS, it's pretty good at staying away. But the trick is to never use the actual TV software for anything, get an Apple TV / Fire Stick / Google TV / Nvidia Shield and use that for everything.

We should have the option of buying 50"++ TVs with no software or speakers, just a power button and a bunch of HDMI connections.

You obviously bought a device incompatible with your requirements and preferences. You say so yourself: "Instead my TV is an Android hub....".

This 100x.

End of the day, there are two markets for two different needs.

Nothing stops you from hooking an Apple TV up to it.

I like being able to trust my device and my kids device, if you wan't something to hack on get a pinephone or something

the reality is that billions of people need to trust their phones with their most personal information, fininaces and lives and apple's policies while sometimes annoying do a lot to build that trust

they aren't a big secret and if you don't like it you're free to not buy their products

Apple could still have a "developer" mode you have to jump through a complicated technical process to enable...just like MacOS let's you disable system integrity protection by running a terminal command and rebooting into a boot disk then running another terminal command. It could void support plans so it's not Apple's problem.

That wouldn't affect your kids and telling Grandma how to do that over the phone is very difficult. And at that point she could be handing over her credit card anyway.

Ok. But now imagine that using Facebook or TikTok in the browser on your Mac is a terrible, pared down experience, full of banners pushing you to get the app. But the app isn’t on the App Store, where there are rules, it’s on their website. Just follow these steps! Do you not think people can’t follow step by step instructions to do something like that, if they had a very strong reward at the end?

It’s not just little Billy and Grandma who shouldn’t be turning that mode on, it’s most people.

I'm sorry... You think Facebook would start a mass campaign to disable the warranty/support contracts of millions of their iPhone users by walking them through a very complicated technical process... To achieve what exactly? Download an app the same person could get using the app store?

The media would have a field day at Facebooks expense. Why would Apple even let them on the app store if they did something so stupid?

Facebook already abused the limited side loading available on iPhones to trick teenagers into installing spyware. The media did have a field day, and Apple pulled their enterprise certificate.


This isn’t even a hypothetical, it really happened. And yet people still have a hard time believing Facebook (and other companies) would abuse iPhone side loading if given a chance. Of course they would!

They could do that, but then would need to also immediately require a big [X] next to "the instant you do this you forfeit any and all support for any hardware or software issues on your device".

Apple doesn't want to deal with a million hackers screwing with their devices and clogging up their support system, and also then having to deal with endless reports of terrible customer service because someone paid 1000$ for an iPhone and then Apple won't help them out when they brick it with the latest flashware they downloaded from usenet. Followed by the inevitable complaints that "Apple Customer Care is terrible". Easier just to control the entire ecosystem, and tell folks who don't like it, "cool, cya".

It’d be easy to gate this: require that the iOS device be connected to a Mac and a special app used to change “advanced” settings. These could include side loading, the ability to install alternate app stores, and low level OS access of various kinds.

It would be very helpful to developers and debugging too.

So why do you think Apple doesn't want that to happen?

Surely a developer or ten has suggested the same thing by now?

My guess is focus: they are 100% focused on being the best closed platform that is easy to use and everything is handled for the user. A lively sideloading and 3rd party homebrew scene would be a massive distraction for the Dev team and most importantly the support side with little direct business ROI (indirect could be big but a harder sell).

Possibly harming brand reputation showing people what they could have absent the paid wall. When the alternative exposes people to risk, and they'd rather not have to explain themselves?

> So why do you think Apple doesn't want that to happen?

lol i can think of a few billion other reasons why they don't want it to happen.

Such as...

I think he means dollars.

Revenue. Plain and simple. Everything you mention is the way they use to protect that revenue.

That's like say "why does cancer happen?" "because your cells will die"

Well obviously that's the most basic reason why but that doesn't help us solve the problem.

How exactly does it cause a loss in revenue? It's very possible the benefits that come from being more open improve the platform for everyone and increase sales. So it's valuable to be very specific on where the costs are.

I think the issue with that scenario is that some hack of a Mac in developer mode will get reported in the media in big scary headlines as "All Macs finally hackable" - (which would technically be true but it'd be missing the fact that developer mode would have needed to be enabled). And then the flood of Grandma voicemail messages would startg.

A single news cycle of a story full of misinformation would dissuade them? Sorry it has to be a far bigger problem than that. A very complicated easily communicated opt-in hacking risk is very very low on the totem pole.

I've told this story here before, but "we don't support that" doesn't go nearly as far as you think. When they released the intel macs and boot camp, boot camp came with explicit "we don't support this or problems you have with it". At the time I worked for Apple retail and one of my most memorable customers came in steaming mad. She wanted to return her brand new macbook because it was having all sorts of problems. The sort of problems that shouldn't even be possible on a mac, and the sort of problems that were addressed by a firmware update 6 months earlier. I managed to get her to agree to demonstrate what was going on for me before we did the return and as soon as she booted the computer, it booted right into Windows. It turns out she'd bought her new mac and given it to her "computer guy" nephew to help get it set up. Nephew apparently thought that what she really needed was not a mac, but an expensive windows computer instead. So he installed boot camp, shrunk the mac partition to it's smallest size and then configured the system to boot into Windows by default. As a result, she had a macbook that had been without any recent firmware updates to solve some issues (because firmware updates run through the OS update software, and not in windows) and hadn't even installed an anti-virus software (because "macs don't need it") and so had a number of malware infections going too. From Apple's written perspective, we would have been absolutely within our rights to say "well you've installed boot camp, we don't support that and you need to use macOS instead" and sent the customer on her way and denied the return... and that would have been a shitty customer experience. So we spent some time getting the customer's computer re-configured, moving some of their important info to the mac partition, showing them the new OS, explaining what the heck happened in the first place (which involved explaining to someone who barely knew how to use email what bootcamp was and why a mac running windows isn't really "a mac" in the colloquial sense) and convincing them to give it a try for a while before deciding they wanted to do the return. Now that experience in the end turned that customer into a very good and reliable customer, but it also meant that "we don't support that" was a meaningless boundary. It also meant that the issue wasn't that the customer did this to themselves. They didn't. Someone who understands the implications of developer mode isn't what Apple is concerned with. It's the people who don't understand that, who will never see the "here be dragons" warning because they didn't enter developer mode, their "computer guy" nephew did.

Also, people already gripe about the fact that to "fully unlock" your mac these days, you need to disable SIP, and how that disables some things (but at least not your warranty). Do you really think the same people would be happy with "developer mode but no more warranty" on iPhones? Especially if someone like Epic or Facebook or Google insist that their apps need this unlocked mode and so the only way to use them is to void your warranty?

You seem to be arguing that only apple (or google) has the ability to protect your device.

Honestly, the best protection would be the ability to control your own device, and make apple just one of many ways to help you secure it.

I would love to be able to firewall my device. To see what apps are doing and to prevent them from doing things you don't like. Then you can trust but verify.

By the way, apple does TONS of stuff behind your back - rapant telemetry, allowing and even helping with tracking, and doing its own advertising. Look at deep linking, iBeacon, and lots of other silly things.

One of the problems with giving users access means that they can forward such access to malicious actors. It's a tough choice and perhaps not the right one for some, but I think preventing people from shooting themselves in the foot is the right call for many. Many do not understand the consequences of their actions and will readily grant access incorrectly.

While I agree that a single company shouldn't be unilaterally in charge of controlling access on behalf of users, I would say the industry doesn't do a good job of coming together to produce an option that works. Look at the software supply chain as an example of what tends to happen. The Linux distros do a pretty good job, but they maintain far fewer packages and getting your application into a distros repos isn't trivial.

> You seem to be arguing that only apple (or google) has the ability to protect your device.

Hey yeah, let’s all return to the golden era where everyone installed Symantec Norton Utilities and AVG antivirus on their computers and hoped for the best.

I’m aware about all of the known telemetry on iPhone and literally none of it is an issue for me. Collecting data is not an issue, especially when such collection can help make a product or service better. How data is used is the issue, and in this respect I’m unaware of any major tech companies whose hands are cleaner than Apple’s.

> You seem to be arguing that only apple has the ability to protect your device.

Erm. They make the hardware, so any bugs they put in there are what they are.

I don't see any reason to let more people put bugs in there.

> Look at deep linking, iBeacon, and lots of other silly things.

iBeacon is 1-way read-only. Deep Linking is an app url scheme. Not much to look at.

you don't know what they do because apple does not allow introspection into the device you own.

afaict ibeacon allows apps to locate bluetooth beacons. think department store beacons and department store app. deep linking allows apps to (silently) intercept email/browsing/messages with specific urls. all of them and other schemes let apps wake up in the background.

> the reality is that billions of people need to trust their phones with their most personal information

Does this apply to Macs as well? Why can't iPhones be at least as open as a Mac?

You can have all your devices locked.

I want the option to unlock my device and use it as I see fit.

So use Android? One of the things I don't understand about this whole argument is the choice people want is already there. Why does Apple also need to provide that option? Yes I've heard the argument over the "cost of re-buying all of your apps" to switch, but is there seriously anyone out there who really cares about this that didn't already know about the restrictions and still bought into the iPhone ecosystem? If so, why? Why if freedom to install any software you want on your phone was a priority for you would you ever have bought an iPhone in the first place? It's not like they started wide open and got locked down.

How does the option of openness interrupt your curated lifecycle?

Not having the option forces companies like Facebook to play by some simple rules.

Having the option would mean that many apps that are currently available through the App Store, and therefore broadly trustworthy, would suddenly become side-load-only and follow basically no rules at all.

for me personally I don't care about it on my phone either way, I do on my laptop/desktop

If you have no personal objection to Apple making their products more open, why defend their 'privacy' facade? Have you missed the last major iPhone exploits?

So again, how does an option to open the device affect you in any way?

A big part of what makes the Apple ecosystem so compelling is the consistency and coherence.

Nothing would change for you though, if someone wanted to sideload something they would just have the option to do so.

That's just not true. Making some things impossible by a company with Apple's clout prevents the exploitation of people who will click "next, next" to disable protections without really understanding the implications.

If you're truly a developer, you can add whatever apps you want to your phone from source via xcode, free now, so what's the issue?

Did your kids also have a free choice to get another device instead?

Sure, if they're buying...

IMO there should be a way to allow power users such as yourself to customize your phone, such as how Google allows side-loading. But we can see that based on how niche side loading is that mass-users oriented businesses like Spotify and Twitter would not be happy.

As for users like myself, I'm very happy that Apple intermediates my relationship with big businesses, because in the sphere of negotiation and leverage, big businesses like Walmart or Amazon would win every time for people in my family. They will auto-accept all terms.

Any user should be able to walk away from the original hardware vendor, never contacting them again, and still be able to use the product in a normal way. Otherwise you bought a service, not a product.

Sure, if that's what you actually paid for.

Sure you can walk away from Apple completely like 80% of the world does.

> I don’t understand the arguments that claim Apple needs to rule the device with an iron fist.

Yes. And it's easy to think that for a single issue like this it's a minor problem. Just don't buy Apple products. But there's a larger issue.

> in 10 years we’ll all have cars with a half dozen subscriptions forced on us

Right. I want to opt out of that. I also want to opt out of the corporate oversight of my property or tools in general. And while we're at it, I want to opt out of the inflationary debt driven monetary policy. And I want to opt out of vehicle-centric neighbourhood planning. Also proxy wars propagated by my government. The list goes on. And there's a burden to all of this that I'm not sure how to deal with. Happily embrace the illusion of choice, I guess? I don't use Apple products, never have.

I technically agree with you, and I'm not saying you were currently doing what I'm about to complain about; but I find very annoying the fact that a lot of people seem to use this line of thinking to justify more or less every shitty decision made by these huge corporations.

Apple employees have the freedom to create without coercion. You would need to lobby to change law, not preach to the choir here.

That’s what Spotify and Musk are doing; trying to manipulate public perception to influence politicians.

The problem they have is Apple is the crown jewel of US tech corps. Spotify is not and politicians are well aware Musk is a poser with money. Epic, Spotify, like Jobs once said, sell features not products.

Gabe Newell has called generative content “an extinction level event” for traditional media producers and distributors. Epic and Spotify are an AI breakthrough away from irrelevance. Why listen to them except as anything but an appeal to rapidly outdated economic traditions?

They can join the protest rotary phone makers, and horse and buggy businesses are pulling together.

> I want to own my stuff. I want to repair it and I want complete control over it

Then dont buy an iphone.

Apple's market is not people who want to "own" a phone. It is people who want a phone that works no fuss.

You're basically asking - why did apple take the option to make money hand over fist? The answer should be pretty self-obvious.

Same should be said for Nintendo or Sony, who assert the same control. Most of the money made is on games.

Not saying you’re wrong or anything, if anything I agree, and think it should apply to all my hardware I buy.

In principle I like the idea of non-locked down game systems, regardless of whether they're made by Apple or Nintendo. I find it appealing that the Steam Deck isn't locked down and can run non-Steam games as well as Steam games.

However, the killer app for jailbreaking locked down game systems does seem to be running unlicensed copies of commercial games.

Indeed - a Nintendo Switch would be a perfect remote controller for robots if only Nintendo let you actually write code for the device you own!

Well, Nvidia just went ahead and gave everyone permission to do just that :^)

Comparing a niche entertainment gaming device to a general computing device isn't very fair, is it?

Well they did ship out official Linux discs for the PS2 and PS3.

Linux for the PS4 and PS5 is just a normal x64 Linux binary. The 2 and 3 had very exotic architectures.

For a while, you could get the most FLOPS/$ by networking PS3s together instead of buying commercial computing hardware.

The steam deck has really been a breath of fresh air to me. To have a company release a device in 2022 with a full linux distro with root access telling you that it's yours and that you can do anything you want with it and also releasing all the parts you might need alongside guides and stuff is really amazing.

Of course it's too big to whipe it out like a phone and too small to comfortably replace a laptop but their philosophy is great.

Subscription fatigue. I am tired of having to pay every month for everything. I actively avoid buying subscription based services and products now. Even simple programs and services want me to pay every month. Nope. Not doing that.

What really gets me is that even those few people who are in high enough positions in big enough companies to have material benefits from "capturing" customers and making everything "sticky" and as pushy as possible... all of them in turn are customers of dozens, hundreds, thousands of other companies that make their life more complicated than it would need to be, with the same motivation. I would say people, all of us, are having a way worse time than we even know, because we don't have a somewhat sane world to compare to.

I think the iron fist is partly about Apple protecting the iPhone’s image. If you allow users to sideload garbage onto their phone, some of their phones will work like crap. When they’re out on the town with friends and their phone’s battery dies after an hour, the perception (shared with those friends / potential future iPhone customers) is that the iPhone has terrible battery life—not that they loaded free apps that mined cryptocurrency in the background.

If you want to own stuff and are not a fan of subscriptions, Spotify is probably not the company to root for.

Stop being silly! It's not your device! You don't own stuff anymore. You've just got a license to use it. Soon you will pay a monthly subscription for using it (like it or not)

> I want the option to control my devices.

Why is that you'd demand this of _Apple_? Doesn't Linux and the plethora of devices it supports give you this already?

I ask as a willful customer who prefers the complete control Apple provides. I never have to think about "porn" or "bitcoin scam" or "upsells from parent's bank" or any other crap from being easily accessible on my kids' or elderly parent's devices. Even Steam has some arcane filters that eventually allow porn content to be visible in the store. Honestly, outsourcing the basic policing of content to a company like Apple is a feature; not a bug.

Besides, there's so many competing devices that give you all the freedom + control you want out there already. Right? What am I missing?

Now, I admit, this means I'm under the mercy of what _Apple_ thinks is "right" or "wrong". As an extreme example, I'd also like to disable _all_ non-vegetarian content from my kids' or parent's phones; to appeal to their "religious"/"moral" beliefs. But obviously that's a not a PoV upheld by the App Store. Similarly, I can empathize there are many other viewpoints people hold that may or may not be aligned with App Store guidelines.

But despite all that, why can't Linux devices serve the "control my devices" need.

Here's a quick breakdown: Linux is not an iPhone. One is hardware, and another is software.

Apple has every right to build a hardware product with a software platform, but controlling the distribution of software is an immediate red flag. Conflating security and limitation is meaningless since iOS already has the means to isolate software a-la MacOS. Worst-case scenario, Apple can add a "Christian helicopter parent" toggle for you in the Settings app and let you opt-in to whatever you're enjoying now.

> Even Steam has some arcane filters that eventually allow porn content to be visible in the store.

Porn doesn't violate Steam's TOS. As long as your account is registered as under-18, it won't even be possible to see it.

> But despite all that, why can't Linux devices serve the "control my devices" need.

It can. On the newest Apple Silicon machines, I even hear it's excellent. That being said, Apple needs to unlock the bootloader of the iPhone/iPad to give us that option, so as-is our only choice is paying them 30% every time we make a transaction. It's so nefarious that I won't let anyone say it's 'serendipitous with moderation' or whatever you're trying to argue here. It's bad-faith and disregards the reason why we're talking about locked-down platforms in the first place.

> Why is that you'd demand this of _Apple_?

We demand this of almost all non-phone appliances. Why should phones get an exemption?

No, seriously, why are car manufacturers forced to allow owners the option of non-manufacturer fuel, non-manufacturer tires, non-manufacturer oil and so on, but when it comes to phones, suddenly "the consumers are making an informed choice"?

We regulate this shit for a reason, and that reason is that market forces alone are not enough to protect the consumer.

Your thoughts on it are irrelevant.

>We demand this of almost all non-phone appliances. Why should phones get an exemption?

Do we really? By law you can't install your own software or ECU in your car and use it legally on the roads. I don't see many people pushing to be able to install BSD on their refrigerator. I think most people would be a lot happier if their TVs didn't come with a full OS. Game consoles have been locked down forever. While re-flashing my router is fun and nice to do, I would wager the absolute vast majority of people both never do it and certainly don't actually care if they can or not. ESPHome is a thing, but most people are buying IOT devices they don't have the ability to run anything they want on.

In fact, other than a personal computer, I'd wager most of the devices most people use in their day to day life with the ability to run software do not have – nor do people "demand" they have – the ability to run any arbitrary piece of software they want on it.

> By law you can't install your own software or ECU in your car and use it legally on the roads.

Who told you this? As long as the ECU you install meet the requirements, feel free. There's even a few open source ones. See https://megasquirt.info/

You are displaying the problem with allowing Apple special exemption to flout the rules - eventually people start believing that it must be against the law ... just like you did.

Better nip this nonsense while we can instead of everyone starting to believe that they may not modify the devices they purchased and own simply because the manufacturer said so.

I am well aware of the megasquirt project and others like speeduino. The existence and popularity of that product no more speaks to its legality anymore than the existence and popularity of illegal drugs speaks to theirs. Federal law prohibits tampering with any part of your vehicles emissions control systems, which includes the ECU and any aftermarket parts must comply to all relevant epa standards and almost always requires EPA or CARB certification [1]. In theory it might be possible to get that certification or get and exemption even without it, but it is notable that no CARB or EPA approved after market forced induction systems allow end user modification of the fueling control. Additionally no complete ECU replacements that I’m aware of will pass OBD II emissions tests or even report the relevant data.

Additionally megaquirt themselves repeatedly remind you their products are not legal for road use [2]:

> MegaSquirt® and MicroSquirt® controllers are experimental devices intended for educational purposes. MegaSquirt® and MicroSquirt® controllers are not for sale or use on pollution controlled vehicles. Check the applicable laws in your locality to determine if using MegaSquirt is legal for your application. For more information, see: www.megamanual.com/tamp.htm


> No. MegaSquirt® EFI controllers DO NOT have exemption orders, and thus are NOT emissions legal for sale or use on any on-road pollution controlled vehicles in the U.S.A. or Canada. Competition vehicles that are never operated on public roads may be able to use MegaSquirt® EFI controllers, and some older 'non-emissions' on-road vehicles might be able to use MegaSquirt® EFI controllers as well. For other regions, please check your local regulations to see if a MegaSquirt® EFI controller is legal for your application. There is more information here: www.megamanual.com/tamp.htm

Or just http://www.megamanual.com/tamp.htm

[1]: https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/documents/ep... [2]: http://www.megamanual.com/MSFAQ.htm#whatis

So, according to your argument, which you've stated twice now[1], it's okay for regulation of consumer devices.

Once again, I have to ask, why do you feel that phones should be exempt from regulation?

> Additionally megaquirt themselves repeatedly remind you their products are not legal for road use [2]:

Yeah, but they're perfectly legal for owners of the cars to use, as long as they stay on the track. You're arguing for not modifying the device at all, regardless of where it is going to be used.

[1] Thanks, by the way. It's awfully hard to get iPhone supporters to agree that regulation is a good thing once, nevermind twice.

> So, according to your argument, which you've stated twice now[1], it's okay for regulation of consumer devices.

I have said no such thing. I was challenging the assertion that we “demand [the option to control our devices] of almost all non-phone appliances”. I said nothing at all about the “good” or “badness” of regulation. The rest of your comment continues this bad faith interpretation of my argument and puts words in my mouth, so we’re done here.

> Now, I admit, this means I'm under the mercy of what _Apple_ thinks is "right" or "wrong".

Only to the extent that you're "locked in" to the Apple ecosystem. I'm entirely in the Apple ecosystem as well (at least for smartphone/tablet/PC hardware, and lesser so for online services) but it wouldn't be a threat to my identity to switch if I was sufficiently upset of Apple's choices (and there were viable alternatives). Personally I don't feel like there's much lock in. It would be a bit of a hassle to move some things over, sure, and a bit of a learning curve, but I really don't think it would be a big deal.

Google, by virtue of owning my email for nearly 15 years, has me much more locked in and I don’t own a single Android or Google device.

I bought it. I own it. That’s why I demand it.

Back in the PC days I posed the question: What if Apple sold its computers with options for the OS, e.g., [ ] Apple-provided [ ] User-provided. In other words, what if one could buy just the Apple hardware, without a pre-installed OS. I used to run NetBSD on the Mac. I did not care about getting 100% support for every feature of the hardware, I just wanted a working computer. It is funny because today iOS is the mandatory Apple-installed OS and it borrows heavily from BSD. The old AirPort Extreme even ran a NetBSD 6.1 kernel. If there is line somewhere between "convenience", e.g., supply of a pre-installed OS, and "loss of meaningful ownership", e.g., ceding control to a seller even after purchase, it seems to me that Apple is way over that line on the side of denying meaningful ownership. If iOS is truly valuable, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then sell it separately and let purchasers decide if and when to purchase, install or uninstall it. If the buyer does not want to use iOS then why should they have to pay for it. This question, as boring as it is, still triggers HN commenters, so there is obviously something coveted about the obligatory bundling of consumer hardware with proprietary OS, in spite of all the non-proprietary options.

Apple is leveraging their success in the operating system space to control competition in other markets and to limit options available to consumers. This is classic anti competitive behaviour and has nothing to do with whether the OS is sold separately or is bundled with the phone. There are very few hardware advantages of iphones vs. equivalently priced (say) pixel phones, especially not ones that don't rely heavily on software support (eg cameras). So in practice we already are in the reality you imagine anyways.

Don't some people run Linux on Mac hardware? How would your proposal change anything?

They do (and Windows on the older x86 based devices), but since the move to Apple Silicon, combined with a lack of availability of the specs, it becomes harder and harder. But OP is talking primarily about iOS, where it is impossible to run Linux (or any other OS)

What becomes harder and harder?

Asahi seems to do just fine and has good pace with adding feature support. https://asahilinux.org/

M2 is similar to M1 so it is easier as there is less HW combinations in the wild.

It becomes harder every time apple makes a change to something. GPU, bootloader, some secondary processor in charge or some obscure but surprisingly important thing. The whole thing is dependent on Apple deciding not to disallow it for now.

I do not want to control or micromanage my devices. I like someone to take care of all the little details that I am not an expert in but would like to be served with good taste. I would pay good money for such a device/service. Apple fits the bill. I believe there are other phones for perennial tinkerers. (I once was)

Then don’t buy Apple. I want what Apple offers. I want a walled garden. And I am willing to pay for it.

You use your propaganda about freedom of choice to demand that I not be allowed to choose. You demand that no device can function the way I want it to because ALL of them must function the way YOU want them to.

For the record:

- "Mercedes-Benz to introduce acceleration subscription fee" [0]

- "BMW starts selling heated seat subscriptions for $18 a month" [1]

[0] https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-63743597

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2022/7/12/23204950/bmw-subscription...

If Apple did not require all apps to come through the App Store, and enforce some version of the current rules on such apps, it would not be long at all before, for instance, Facebook pulled their app from the App Store and released a new version that required changing those settings in order to sideload it (and had detailed instructions on how to do so)...and made sure that app could gather as much information as possible about your phone and everything you do on it. Up to and including silently recording you with the microphone, depending on just how well Apple has access to that locked down in the OS.

Is this a certainty? No. But it's much too high a probability for my comfort.

Furthermore, there would be a large number of developers who would just say "screw the App Store, screw Apple's frameworks, screw their rules" and similarly release their apps for sideloading only. Many of these would also have unacceptable levels of malware, spyware, terrible bugs, or just plain godawful design. Yes, the App Store has its problems, but it absolutely has value.

When advocating for a change in a major system, it is both foolish and irresponsible not to consider how those changes would be abused by people with bad intentions. Just because you and people like you would only use the extra freedom for good does not mean that no one would use it for evil.

That doesn't mean you should never make a change that can be used for evil, or course. It means you need to be aware of the tradeoffs, take them into account, and be open about your willingness to accept the bad along with the good.

I think this is less about control, and more about avoiding the 15-30% fee charged for selling through the App Store

As a user, I have always been able to run what I want on Apple devices. Most recently I found my kids were seeing bad recommendations on the YouTube app on Apple TV. I did not like the recommendations, or the adverts. I was able to clone Yattee[1] from Github and build it to the Apple TV from my laptop on the couch

Not as easy as side-loading, but also not difficult. Now when you want to _sell_ something like this, you can't. I'm fine with that. Freedom to run code is different from the freedom to package it up and sell it on a platform you don't own

Google makes side-loading hard[2] on Android for exactly the same reasons. They give preferential treatment[3] to big apps to prevent them from starting competing stores

I have the level of control that I like over my devices. I can't install my own OS on an iPhone, but there's great developments on Mac[4]. Given the hardware is now basically identical, this seems OK

[1] https://github.com/yattee/yattee

[2] https://www.androidauthority.com/fortnite-android-sideloadin...

[3] https://www.androidpolice.com/2021/08/30/google-allegedly-of...

[4] https://asahilinux.org

I want to own nowthihg. And while that obviously doesn’t preclude anyone else owning something, I’m pretty sure the Apple ecosystem for non-owner users could shrink in case there is an option to leave it.

That said, I’m completely with the service/content companies when it comes to subscriptions for content.

And I won’t buy a car needing a “subscription” to use physical features.

> What problems does it cause to make the locked down experience the default with the option for me to disable that and take control of the device after I buy it?

Apple can legitimately be worried that possible subpar/bad experiences with an Apple device (caused by user choices) will damage their brand and what the name is supposed to stand for in consumer space. It is fair to assume that normal people will not pay attention to details such as 'I disabled the walled garden'. So I'm pretty sure their position is 'Sure, your device but we're certainly not going to help you damage our brand's reputation'. They may have a point since your device at most costs $2k. Their reputation cost Apple billions of dollars to acquire.

Back in the day we laughed about software inevitably including a poor implementation of lisp, or an email client.

What we are seeing now is the inevitable convergence of tech into advertising and engineering is giving way to marketing, and we’re not building product anymore, we’re building analytics.

It was never about you (the customer), if you were thinking that. It was always about they keeping the control so that they can monetize every possible part of the ecosystem. Giving you the freedom takes that opportunity away. You see how they kept chanting "privacy" and slowly started tracking every move of yours in the app store and started showing you the ads, and you kept on believing "you're not a product when you buy an Apple device". No one stops to think how they removed the headphone jack because "courage" and chargers from the box because "environment", and customers still have the illusion of choice while they've been milked constantly.

Apple is still on the hook for support if you disable that option, either because that's what you wanted, or because someone from Microsoft Support called you and told you that you needed to disable it so he could remove the virus.

Apple wants to control your device because if you have too much control, you could create a situation that makes you, a government, Apple as a business, application developers, or other users feel that Apple did something wrong.

Whenever there is a centralized entity with the power to change things, people will eventually treat it as though it is responsible to change them. This is why we need decentralized systems. Freedom, choice, and efficiency for users comes from using decentralized systems — like the web + browsers.

I don't think the argument is good enough to justify their behavior. But it is why they do it.

> I want the option to control my devices.

So don’t buy an iPhone. You know that’s not the offer.

There are many regulations already in place to protect consumer rights. The idea that you can influence companies by not buying is an illusion. The only real solution to anti-competitive practices is legislation.

It used to be that when you bought a computer you could run any program you wanted. No one thought this needed to be enshrined in law until Apple thought to restrict what you can do with your own devices.

We do need legislation to ban devices which don't allow running general programs.

I consider it part of Apple's competitive advantage. I bought an iPhone because I want it to just work and for my apps to behave well. I can do the tinkering on my laptop, I don't want every computing device I own to be hackable.

Heck, if I could have a phone with iOS 1 (no third party apps) and the camera and screen of the latest iPhone, I would buy that.

> Heck, if I could have a phone with iOS 1 (no third party apps) and the camera and screen of the latest iPhone, I would buy that.

Well, you can - just don't install any 3rd party apps?

And people who want a hackable iPhone can jailbreak it or whip out the microscopic soldering iron. I basically don't install 3rd party apps but I want it enforced at the OS level. If even 5% of iPhone users were unable to install apps companies would think twice about ruining their website in order to force their mobile app on users.

Would appreciate if the drive-by downvoters actually left a comment. It's a discussion, not an "I don't like your opinion" button.

> The idea that you can influence companies by not buying is an illusion.

People didn’t buy New Coke so it went away.

If people didn’t buy the iPhone you can be certain Apple would change.

Better: We (the people) ban you from selling phones in our rich and prosperous land if you don’t comply.

Signed: Everyone

Why do you need to ban other people from buying them? You can already just opt to not buy them yourself. Why do you care if others still want to?

Clearly not signed everyone - I don’t sign it.

Lol we’re well past that.

If you’re willing to ban the NFA/legalize probate nuclear weapons we might be able to talk.

In the mean time I suspect you support at least some level of collective restriction, and that means banning companies from selling locked hardware is fair game.

Your comment still doesn't answer the question "Why do you need to ban other people from buying them?"

I think it's a good question that deserves an answer.

Because it's anti-competitive. Society is advanced when companies have to compete and not just collect taxes from other companies who are trying to do something.

The Apple tax is not advancing anything. It's just a stranglehold on innovation promoted with FUD about how running programs is insecure despite the fact that this isn't applied to desktop/laptop computers.

If it's such a stranglehold on innovation, Android will out-innovate and outcompete iOS.

Or maybe Apple provides a platform that some users and businesses still find it worth paying for.

You're arguing for the government to ban products you don't like when you can just buy something else.

Apple developing a more secure platform is an innovation and advancement. If the iPhone isn’t the right choice for you buy one of the other thousand phones on the market, and leave other people alone.

> I suspect you support at least some level of collective restriction

Locked mobile phones don’t hurt people other than the people who choose to use them. That’s different to for example a gun.

The only reason to ban iPhones is because you know other people like them as they are and you’re in a minority! You want to enforce a minority opinion on others. That’s morally wrong.

If you seriously think is a majority opinion you need to get out more. The average person wants strong device security, look at the press and angst attracted by cybercrime in recent times.

The discussion is about control. No one is saying devices should be less secure.

If you ask people "should you be able to run any program you want on your devices?" I doubt people would answer "yes, on computers, but on phones I should only be able to run what Tim Apple allows me to".

Most people would answer ‘I’m happy with what’s on the App Store thanks I have no desire to use anything else’.

I want to point out the cognitive dissonance here. Spotify is a subscription based product that completely removes your ability to own and control your music (I lose songs all the time super frustrating because of whatever deals spotify has in the background with the record labels).

Your comment while valid doesn't really work with the example Spotify CEO railing against Apple. That said your frustrating is valid and there are many good points here as to why that model is no longer in vogue and you might be the minority in the public (I sympathize with you).

98% of people don’t care. But they will be scammed by bad actors who push them to install bespoke AppStores.

This is just like Elon “free speech” - astroturf from companies who want to usher in the equivalent of scammy browser bars.

While I completely agree with your sentiment, the problem is that of normalisation otherwise. If it's not such a big ask to require of you, that you accept side loading of apps for instance, then my efforts to keep making a stand on privacy grounds will increase exponentially.

I.e.: if it's normal to do side loading, then I become the odd man out for not wanting that on my device.

I'll have to tell my boss that, no, it's to do with security concerns in general that I don't accept HR:s fine app.

> What problems does it cause to make the locked down experience the default with the option for me to disable that and take control of the device after I buy it?

Thats literally what we have. What are you complaining about? For obvious reasons Apple is t going to support you if you jailbreak it, but that is absolutely reasonable of them.

Yet I guarantee you in ten years there will be a market for the exact thing you're asking for, there will be a car maker who makes, "cars". Not subscriptions. Some people will buy those and some people won't.

Wouldn't it be only be a problem if you were forced against your will to drive a subscription model based car?

This topic usually seems to miss some pragmatism. Regardless of whether or not Apple's approach is _good_ (and it most certainly isnt, except for Apple), they can do it. We can stop pontificating on whether their official position makes sense. It doesnt matter - they are doing it.

The real questions are whether buying Apple is worth it. And if there are any roadblocks for the competition that could be removed.

If you had the option to sideload apps, Facebook might have pressured you to do that (and leave them free from Apple’s oversight) or lose your friends. Because you can’t, Apple was able to have privacy controls imposed upon them kicking and screaming.

You may argue this argument is wrong, but it’s not like it is totally incomprehensible.

> I want the option to control my devices. ... I want complete control over it.


I can install my own software on my iPhone, and I can install software people have shared with me that I can inspect. I can affect the repairs I have the tools to make.

You don't need anything but a brain to learn how to do these things, but you'll definitely need a brain to understand why (or when) you shouldn't:

> I don’t understand the arguments that claim Apple needs to rule the device with an iron fist

> What problems does it cause to make the locked down experience the default with the option for me to disable that and take control of the device after I buy it?

What people like Elon Musk and Daniel Ek are asking for the ability to install software on my phone that allows them to install more software that I cannot inspect.

Now to be clear: I have the ability to do this thing to my device, but I don't think I should do it for the same reason I don't want to give any application on my computer my root password -- I understand one application needs to know it, but as soon as there's two that means there are two single-points-of-failure, and that's worse; a mistake in either program could reveal all of the secrets my phone has, or trick me into giving away ones that are only in my head.

I am also glad it is a little difficult because it means my friends and family cannot be easily tricked into doing it.

> What problems does it cause to make the locked down experience the default with the option for me to disable that and take control of the device after I buy it?

Facebook will demand you use FacebookStore, which will NOT force apps transparency. THAT is the issue!

I don't really see the difference between Facebook leveraging their social network platform to strong arm users into using a Facebook store and Apple leveraging their hardware platform to strong arm users into using the Apple app store. Both of them are bad for users.

I think the way things would shake out is that most app developers would want to have their app in as many stores as possible. Combine that with stores competing to have the largest app selection and you have a much healthier market. Having app stores compete for developers and users would be amazing for everyone except the current app store owners.

I don't think we should avoid demanding a better market for developers and users just because there are a couple of companies like Facebook that might try to abuse their market position to popularize their own app store.

The difference is that Facebook is in the market of mining your soul so whatever store they would create it would be targeted to that and the rules and policies will make sure that they are able to reach that goal.

Apple is in the business of selling phones and has decided that a good strategy for them is to protect the privacy of users against data miners. So their store and payment system by default protect users against practices of data collections.

> Having app stores compete for developers and users would be amazing for everyone except the current app store owners

It would be good for developers, not for users. I don’t think a single non-developer user is grasping for having multiple ways to download and install an app, and having to search for multiple stores with multiple payment systems to get one software. For users, the “iPhone” allows to download apps; none of them gives a thought to the fact that it happens via a single “store”.

Apple is in the business of selling your eyes. They just also happen to sell the glasses, too.

I don't think Apple's strong arming me into using their store. I understand the deal, and I'm happy with it!

I struggle to see how a free market for stores would improve my situation. Clearly the big software vendors won't pay someone a cut unless they have to. So they would either need their own stores, or they'd need an alternative store that didn't take a cut. But if the alternative store doesn't take a cut, how do they afford to moderate the content? It would clearly be a race to the bottom.

And you'd still have the choice to install it or not. Android still allows their users to sideload apps, and it hasn't been the apocalypse.

The core idea is choice.

> Android still allows their users to sideload apps, and it hasn't been the apocalypse.

"Not being the apocalypse" is a pretty low bar. Is it not the case that Android has a much worse history of problems with third-party software, including security, privacy, battery life, etc.?

Indeed, it is not the case. Android has far more apps that respect privacy than iOS has, and (unlike iOS) it lets you set them as defaults.

Making Apple the cop to fight your fights is not going to solve anything, nor teach anyone anything about privacy. Its the milk bottle that will keep people pacified sucking at the teat of a corporation, while the executives line their pockets setting up a toll booth on the app store.

This does not happen on Android. 3 eryine uses Google play store or the phone manufacturer one that gets pre-installed.

Has that happened on Android?

Why does Google Play charge 30% and why are the apps there?

> What problems does it cause to make the locked down experience the default with the option for me to disable that and take control of the device after I buy it?

Apple is like Disney in that regard: they want absolute control over their brand and the associated experience. They don't want to get caught in shitstorms or legal trouble over stuff they cannot control such as covid misinformation, Nazi violence or pedophiles, so they require content moderation from apps that allow UGC. They don't want to deal with people complaining that they don't get their money back, so they require using their payment gateway where they can control the payment flow. They don't want applications to send marketing email spam to users' email addresses, so they require "Sign in with Apple", where they can supply a virtual email address.

It's not my world, but I do understand that this demand is a core part of their user experience they sell to their customers.

The car industry still will have some competition going on so there is a good chance you will be able to avoid subscription (traditional aftersales excluded). Big tech? not so much.

Agree completely. Just simply a money issue. Apple likes to retain full control of its device almost like its a console. This enables maximum profit.

What does this have to do with the topic of the 30%  tax?

We're sorry, but you don't have a choice. You will own nothing, and you will be happy.

Nein, nein, nein! You will own nothing, and you will be happy now.

Please be happy now!

There should be an option for users to opt out of the walled garden.

Don’t buy Apple products. You can safely self-curate on Android.

No one is stopping you from buying a Linux based phone?

I'm an avid Linux user and an avid Apple user, and I think both systems have their merits.

If I had to have only one it would be Linux.

I think this is the best long-term solution, but support should also come from Spotify. When Valve saw Windows going in this direction a decade ago, they decided to officially support Linux. And even though the Linux market share is still quite low, it lowered the barrier to switching by quite a lot, essentially acting as a loaded gun forcing Microsoft to behave.

Imagine if Spotify started officially supporting the PinePhone and started advertising that. It wouldn't get many people to switch, but it would start putting pressure on Apple/Google to be a bit less evil.

>No one is stopping you from buying a Linux based phone?

What is this supposed to be an argument for? Do you think this is an own? Is this statement made in good faith? Did you really let your 10th grade economics teacher tell you what a "monopoly" was and then never question either the usefulness or the validity of the definition?

Yes, it is an argument, if you don't like Apple, if you don't want to be part of their ecosystem, do not fund it. Buy something else. It's your choice as a consumer.

It's especially rich you're against Apple here considering Spotify is also a scourge on many musicians and audiophiles lives too ha.

Spotify wants you to fight against Apple so they can have a nice monopoly on the music industry.

This is the same way Elon wants you to fight for "free speech" so he gets a bigger market share of social media. It's not really about "free speech", it's about Elon getting what he wants.

Wake up to yourself.

What the parent is likely trying to point out is that Apple has no obligation to give you the feature the way you want it (in fact, Apple seems to view not providing flexibility as the feature). If you feel this strongly about the feature, then using a different phone (which there are many) is available.

> that Apple has no obligation to give you

> If you feel this strongly about the feature, then using a different phone

Actually, instead of that, citizens of a nation are free to vote for anti-trust, and pro competition laws that force Apple, under threat of government force, to stop engaging in certain actions.

We did it for the railway monopolies a century ago, and we can do it again, by updating our anti trust laws to new era.

It's been a century. It is about time that our existing and uncontroversial anti monopoly laws got updated.

Some laws have already been past, in the EU, for example, that do this. In the EU, because of the digital markets act, people will be able to bypass the Apple app store in less than a year.

I don't know that I agree because for things like railways there were real physical limitations and privatization led to real restriction on commerce. There was literally no other way to compete with rail at the time.

Today, there is, in my own opinion, plenty of ways to compete with Apple's ecosystem. Android is the most obvious, but we also have the ability to build much better web and mobile web experiences to compete with apps. To quote another commenter, "it isn't Apple's fault the competition is not any good"

To be clear, I don't agree with Apple's honestly draconian cut on payments and app revenue, but I also don't think it is illegal. I think the competition needs to step up OR companies need to reconsider how much they are attaching their revenue stream to Apple's world. I see this as clear business maneuvering by companies who can't/don't see an easier way to grow than to attack the rails upon which they built their products (and the rules were clear when they started!! -- this isn't a surprise fee...)

Cool, so break one of the only stable, reliable, useful and mostly secure devices people have in their life by "forcing" a company to do things against their will?

Why not just throw our the US government and install the CCP too?

We did it for the railway monopolies a century ago, and we can do it again, by updating our anti trust laws to new era.

There are very few places in the world with good trains, unless you're referring to one of them, your argument is pretty weak. Especially if you're in the USA. The trains suck and I hope my devices don't go the same way.

...This again is coming from someone who works with and on open source software, is an avid long term Linux user and owns many "open" hardware devices...

> so break one of the only stable, reliable, useful

No, people would be free to use the Apple App store if they want.

Apple simply wouldn't be able force the world to pay them 30% of everything anymore. Theyd have to compete on their merits, and people would now have full ownership of their own phone.

> The trains suck and I hope my devices don't go the same way.

So, what, you just support the railway monopoly and oppose the Sherman antitrust act? Please explicitly say whether or not you think the Sherman anti trust act, should be repealed, and all monopolies in the world, and anti competitive behavior, should be legal.

But let's try a different example, since apparently you support the railway monopoly.

I would hope, that you would oppose it Microsoft put a 30% fee on every online transaction, and kicked off all competing web browsers that tried to get around it.

Imagine if every computer in the world, you could only use internet explorer, and they forced you to pay them 30%, and use IE.

Surely you'd have to admit that this should be illegal, for such a monopoly to be enforced like that?

> Why not just throw our the US government and install the CCP too?

The Sherman anti-trust act is a pretty uncontroversial law. Surely you can't be saying that our existing uncontroversial anti trust laws, that have been around for a century, are the same as laws in China?

> This again is coming from someone who works with and on open source software

Then you should support people being allowed to do what they want, with their own phone.

You are the one who supports authoritarianism, if you oppose people being able to control their own device, that they purchased.

> Imagine if every computer in the world, you could only use internet explorer, and they forced you to pay them 30%, and use IE.

Absolutely nothing like this is happening though, so what's your point? I run Firefox on my iPhone, it's free?

> But let's try a different example, since apparently you support the railway monopoly.

I don't support the railway monopoly you're putting words in my mouth. I'm saying that breaking it up did nothing really useful. Shit trains still exist.

> Absolutely nothing like this is happening though, so what's your point?

I am saying that the fact that this is illegal, because of the sherman anti-trust act, is a good thing. Anti-trust laws are not some crazy, extreme example of authoritarianism.

Therefore, because I hope you can agree that it is good that we use government force, to prevent this, you cannot act in fake shock outrage, at the idea of using uncontroversial, and obviously good laws, such as the sherman anti-trust act.

> I run Firefox on my iPhone, it's free?

Apple prevents you from using your own phone to pay for apps that do not give them the 30% fee.

So, because Apple, in an authoritarian way, does not let you use your own property in this way, without a 30% fee paid to them, this is similar to another example of Microsoft not allowing you to install anything at all on your home PC, without paying them a 30% fee.

You seem to be trying very hard to convince me Apple truly is an evil company and without the government, it won't be. This is why I'm not keen to continue this thread.

This type of hyperbolic sentence: So, because Apple, in an authoritarian way, does not let you use your own property in this way, doesn't strengthen your argument, it weakens it.

Don't get my wrong, I understand it, Apple phones aren't an open source utopia where you can do whatever you like with it, you know as good as me that it's peoples choice to participate in that type of system and many choose to own a locked down device as a trade off for security, stability and convenience. People aren't rioting in the streets over this.

_People are choosing to enter the Apple eco-system for various reasons, there's no "Authoritarian regime" forcing you to use an iPhone._

Apple is popular because they make good products as far as I'm concerned and that's part of living in a free society. That someone can start a company that is successful like Apple and that people are allowed to buy Apple products, or not buy them.

> I run Firefox on my iPhone, it's free?

Actually, you run Safari. Firefox and Chrome on iOS are just Safari with some different browser chrome. This happens because Apple has banned all other browser and JavaScript engines on iOS other than their own. Gecko, SpiderMonkey, Blink, etc are all banned on iOS.

Mozilla isn't able to actually bring real Firefox to iOS because of this, and has to settle with a reskinned Safari parading around as Firefox in order to stay relevant. Same thing goes for Google and Chrome, it's just browser chrome on top of Safari's browser engine.

It's a good point, but I feel ok with it at the moment.

Standard Oil has no obligation to give you oil the way you want it. If you feel this strongly about oil, then using a different oil provider (which there are many) is available.

First, you and I don't ever deal with Standard Oil directly in our day to day lives so this isn't a great example. Perhaps filling gasoline or diesel into our vehicles would be a better comparison and you DO have many choices available there. Don't like the loud ads playing while filling gas... you can choose a different station to fill up.

Is there not an alternative to buying an iPhone? 80% of the phone market is non iOS.

And what is that 80% comprised of? It's not much of an alternative when both parties are squeezing 30% out of those of us who do mobile development.

It's not Apple's problem the competition is mediocre, you advocating for the tearing up of Apple means we are left with only mediocre options, is that what you want?

Yes, that's what I want. I don't understand how there are so many Apple apologists on a hacker forum where ostensibly I'd have expected people would want to, you know, control their devices.

You want to control your device, others don't care for it. Live with it?

This is actually why people who are absolutists (you), scare me, because in a way, you're advocating for free an open devices, and asking for the government to step in to ensure this happens while actually acting like the authoritarian you claim to hate by forcing your beliefs onto others.

People should be free to choose what type of device they have without you telling people that shouldn't be allowed to choose.

I believe my argument is better than yours because I'm advocating for a balance. You can have free, open devices if you want, and if you don't want that you can use more locked down devices that IMO are just fully managed by Apple.Both options has their advantages and disadvantages, so what's the problem?

You can sideload on Android devices

You can't argue for a particular feature then when someone offers you a device that has that feature argue that they are acting in bad faith.

There is a difference between an monopoly and a moat. I think the previous statement is saying that if you want to own your phone you can choose a different path and apple probably isn't the phone you should choose.

Yes, quite simple isn't it?

You'll own nothing and be happy.

I really hope that in 10 years we don't all have cars, that'll be a mega failing

Then why buy Apple devices? Do you also buy Teslas and wonder why you can’t use gas?

Why would that be relevant? Buying a product doesn't mean I like everything about it, just that overall, it was the least bad option available to me at the time.

If the most important thing I care about is sideloading, why would I buy an iPhone?

Your iDevice being jailbroken makes my iDevice less secure.

The vulnerabilities in Apple’s code that jailbreaks exploit make your iOS device less secure.

Dude then build your own phone lol.

The car industry already has subscription services; Volvo, Porsche, Jaguar/Land Rover, Genesis, Nissan, all have subscription plans. Don't like those? Go down to most car dealers and you can get a short term subscription called a lease...

Funny how the world hasn't ended because of this. Just go buy an Android phone if you don't like Apple's walled garden.

The car industry is going to change drastically in the next decade and it's going to result in much higher ownership costs, especially for used car buyers. The schemes that are going to ruin ownership for a lot of people are just starting.

The manufacturers are all going to start locking features behind subscriptions. Things like heated seats, navigation, phone integration, performance, etc. will be premium features with a monthly fee. You may even pay extra for better audio or things like that. If enough people tolerate it, you may even end up with subscriptions for things like the sunroof.

Once all of that is in place, they'll include X years of subscriptions in a new vehicle, so the first owner doesn't really notice the increased cost if they get another new vehicle after X years.

As a secondhand buyer, I have to pay a non-discounted subscription for (ex) heated seats if I want that feature. The value of the heated seats won't depreciate alongside the car like it does now. If anything, the cost will go up.

That means the resale value of the car for the original owner is lower. They're selling something closer to a base model, even if they had all the premium features unlocked while they owned the car.

On the dealer side, they'll make it attractive for the original owner to trade in for a new car and it'll likely be by adding some incentives that revolve around the subscriptions because they don't really cost anything to activate, but they have a lot of value to the vehicle owner.

That will have the effect of consolidating used car sales to major dealers who can offer better value with less cost than 3rd party or private (used) sellers because they can add value via subscription incentives with (near) $0 cost.

The total cost of owning a vehicle is going to increase significantly in the next decade and a huge part of that is going to be done by leveraging post-sales subscriptions to damage / monopolize the secondhand market.

You are absolutely correct, and I have no intention of abiding by this new way of vehicle ownership.

You can pry my carburetor from my cold, dead hands!

Carburetors are awful. Stop blasting fuel into the air.

It was a joke, but my carb'd car probably blasts less fuel into the air in one year than your fuel injected car.

Why? Because it's always broken down.

Seems like they might not do it in unison.

Probably a big prize to defect once people start to catch on that it sucks.

(I will certainly shop pretty aggressively if they do shit as stupid as you describe there)

Added to that, wait until all cars are electric, and they filter down the secondhand market.

The average price of a 10-year old car in the UK, as of Sept 2022, is £6100 - pretty much the same as a replacement battery pack, which will be due after 8-10 years.

That’s going to have quite an effect on 3rd owners of cars, who buy 8-10 year old cars, especially if they have the added costs of subscriptions to deal with.

It’s already environmentally worse to buy a newly built electric car than it is to keep your current gas one (or buy a used one).

The battery wear problem only makes this worse.

The real solution is of course to heavily reduce our reliance on cars but highways and stroads keep being built.

The issue is when you buy an apple phone you're not leasing it.

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