This. A thousand times this.
Most people who know me consider me a rational guy. I'm the type that reads LessWrong, understands cognitive biases and knows who Kahneman & Tversky are.
But I find myself with a deep...dislike of Apple. I fully admit that their products are superb. I admire, and respect the fanaticism and detail that goes into their products. As someone who loves money, I respect a company that rose from the ashes to having 100+ billion dollars in the bank.
But the notion that some guy deep in the bowels of Cupertino knows what I want more than I do makes me recoil violently. I think it's the libertarian in me. I have an inherent distrust of, and contempt for institutions, particularly when they want to decide what's 'right' for me. And the, dare I say cultish (ate least to me) behaviour of many Macolytes only makes me more wary. It's like the recent article proclaiming Apples 'genius' in acquiring Bill Nguyen's team after the Color acquisition. It reminds me of the North Korea articles I've been reading today.
Note that you'll never see any posts on HN from me engaging in any flamewars about Apple, because as an individualist, I believe that my preferences are exactly that: my preferences. Others are allowed to have theirs. I do find the sycophancy by the usual suspects distasteful, though.
Kudos to Marco for a very insightful piece.
That being said, I think this is an incredibly well-reasoned and well-crafted explanation of the massive chasm between Apple 'fanboys' and Apple 'haters' -- and explains to me why, as a current zealot of the iOS ecosystem, I nonetheless find so much Apple commentary off-putting. Really great job by Marco and makes me much more inclined to subscribe to the Magazine.
Nothing's perfect for everyone. Some things are perfect for some people.
Problem is, Apple's acolytes won't leave you alone to go through the door - they'll follow you and keep telling you you're a wrong for wanting something different or thinking different (the irony is always lost). Some of them will even write long and detailed blog posts about how 3.5" is the perfect screen size, and and if you think differently, you're wrong. (http://dcurt.is/3-point-5-inches), or maintain popular blogs which a little more than a large collection of stupid, snide remarks (Gruber).
That sort of defeats any argument that they designed the phone for one-handed use.
Also, I know everyone has the right to freedom of speech and such, but I find it to be somewhat disgusting and irresponsible for people with large followings to take cheap shots at competing platforms just to get people riled up.
In fact, it is this (the elitism), that makes me hate Apple and their products more than any lack of feature in iOS ever could.
Can you imagine a world where there are hundreds of varieties of wine, but only several that are any good? Where you can pick between dozens of $2 bottles and several at $50 or more?
Apple's perceived elitism comes from people that produce something they truly care about, that are opinionated and uncompromising. That this is shockingly rare in the technology industry is fundamentally worrying.
While we see all of these other attempts as largely evil, we consider Apple to be producing _pieces of art_ that are allows them to compromise on universal acceptability. We, however, don't give that leeway to virtually anything else.
It encourages a narrative of a hero and a villain, a protagonist and antagonist, right and wrong, good and bad.
Bzzt, thank you for playing.
What sticks in my craw is that they're not even "elite", they just do things differently, and not always better than the competition/Android, even for things like UI.
And if Apple are found to have done or said something stupid (Nexus 7 vs. the iPad mini springs to mind here, along with the early 'supercomputer' G4s being hamstrung by their PC133 memory bus), then history is revised, instead of people learning from their mistakes.
Apple learned from their mistake. They made a dramatic transition to Intel inside of a single year. The impact to consumers was nearly zero.
Compare this with Microsoft's recent efforts to switch to ARM.
Of course, you'd never know that from the ads or commentary at the time (www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwI7xcdYV2k).
Seriously? Is he completely blind. The amount anger aimed at Google/Android from the Microsoft camp over the past year has been deafening. For me it's the other way around. I no longer see Microsoft fans attacking Apple (like they used to). Now, they almost always attack Android/Google.
One more thing. If Apple didn't start the fanboy culture, they certainly took it up a notch. Apple fanboys/girls have been filling the internet with crap for years. Now that Android has become so popular, a lot of people that used to feel marginalized have decided to jump on the bandwagon and they are taking every opportunity to vent.
Overall I find this all quite disturbing but not for the same reasons as the original author who quite honestly, comes across as a bit of an elitist. He does make some good points when he explains that these are different platforms with different pros/cons and everyone will never agree to use the same platform. However, it is evident that he just doesn't know anything about anything other than Apple. The new Microsoft products (Windows Phone 8, Windows RT, Windows 8 App Store) are not open platforms. They are indeed just as closed as iOS (and much more so than OSX).
In fact I wish that all of the fanboys/girls online would spend their time discussing the real differences between these companies and what the net effect is on users. Maybe then we could get some things fixed. For example I am an Android user and, though I REALLY LIKE Apple products, I will not purchase and use a device that I cannot gain root access to. The way I see it, if it's Apple's device to control, than I am merely renting it. On the other hand, one thing that Apple has impressed me with is how they have taken away control from the phone companies. This is where I wish Google would fight harder. I want to see a real Nexus device on every carrier. Anyway, I feel these are things that merit real discussion, consensus building, online petitions, etc....
...fanboy bickering is pointless and deconstructive. In the end we, as users, need to forget about being fanboys and learn to be activists.
He can't scold people for making Anti-Apple comments while he is making an extremely pro-Apple standpoint. It just does not come off as genuine. Instead of more partisan arguments (to use his analogy) we need actual discussions about each platforms respective shortcomings.
But many people are not qualified to have an objective discussion about these platforms because in many cases naysayers have only used the platform they prefer.
> "I’ve noticed a very clear trend among tech sites I read: Android fans are unusually quick to fill the comment box with rage on articles that mention anything positive about Apple or its products. The reverse — Apple fans leaving angry comments on pro-Android articles — is almost completely absent from the sites I’ve seen"
When it comes down to it, most of us, regardless of the platform we individually use, can appreciate the relative pros and cons of each platform. It's just that we're not the ones commenting on articles like that, and so the dialogue gets driven by "fanboys." That ultimately results in articles like this, which is responding to the voices of a few while the silent majority of the sensible is under-represented.
Like someone else mentioned here about some iphone users being quick to take cheap shots at an ecosystem/platform that does not coincide with their own personal interests or usage, some Android users ironically do the same. Frankly, I think it's all a little silly to get so worked up over a portable pc that also makes phone calls.
Example of such silly threads on an Android forum (and this is one of the more mild ones, since I was moderating some of the worse parts): http://rootzwiki.com/topic/33928-what-do-you-think-of-the-ip.... This was actually like 10-15 separate threads since everyone thought they needed their own personal one in their own device subforum. We ended up merging them all together as they happened and stuck them in the off-topic forum to help detour the nonsense somewhat.
It's hard to take Marco et al seriously anymore.
Really, people are all upset mostly because of the low barrier of entry to have an opinion on the subject. That is just open to any kid over 12. It is just like discussing politic at the pub after the second round: people are angry at Apple like they are angry at Fox News, or the Republican, or whatever - because it is mainstream right now and there are plenty of easy, pre-made one line argument you can parrot.
The result is that it is almost impossible to find actual interesting/constructive comment in any discussion related to Apple.
disclaimer: YMMV, my fav newsites seems completely devoid of Apple fanboys (i.e. no bashing on Android news, and very little fan comment on Apple news - except in reaction to Apple bashing, generally offtopic anyway so useless)
In my experience, the number of Apple fanboi comments vastly exceeds the number of Android fanboi comments, pretty much everywhere I've noticed.
Given that the iphone is very, very, popular, especially in English-speaking countries (and I mostly read blogs in English), this isn't entirely surprising: popularity, especially mass-market popularity, almost always comes with an associated fanboi/mouth-breather contingent...
[Actually, I'm not sure I've ever actually seen a real Android fanboi; most comments I see criticizing Apple seem to be pretty purely anti-Apple, not pro-Android per-se. AFAICT, Android is thought of as "the practical alternative," and doesn't tend to engender passion (including the sort of degenerate passion fanbois represent) the way Apple does...]
Most just don't show their colors until there is a new Apple Product out to rant about. Otherwise, they're quite tame generally and reserved in their behavior. However, talk about Apple and things change pretty quick. Most aren't silly enough to argue the obvious things that Apple has up on Android (battery life in terms of battery capacity and overall system performance/responsiveness). However, there's always a few crazy fanboys that will still fight those things.
Both sides need to chill out and realize we don't need another Ford versus Chevy debate with Android/Apple. They get tiring and aren't very productive.
Good to hear that an Android version is on the way
but why have iOS devices been prioritised yet again
by the BBC in the release of an app?
I'm getting really annoyed about the BBC's obsession
with Apple products that only account for around 20%
of the UK market.
Poor show BBC. For an organisation who are supposed
to be platform neutral ..., there seems to be a steady
and consistent bias shown towards Apple at the expense
of the other platforms.
As simple as that.
Simple as that.
I am capable of reading, and have been for quite some time, thankyouverymuch.
And it's still not rage, is it?
From, "They have no taste" embodied in "I'm a Mac" to lawsuits against...well name a competitor they haven't sued...Apple has encouraged the disparagement of users of competing products. "Blue Screen" is most frequently used by Apple customers on the internet.
People get angry over Apple for the same reasons they get angry at Fox News - intellectual dishonesty for the sake of ideology. Only Gruber could attribute the rise of flat design aesthetics to some app few people own while ignoring Metro. PG accuses Microsoft of malfeasance in his essays on the Good.
It's never enough to love Apple. That love requires someone else be put down.
Anger comes from insecurity. People get angry when they feel threatened. People feel threats come from the top dog (this assessment is usually not very accurate, but it is human psychology). People who feel (whether rightly or wrongly) that their side is securely on top, don't bother getting angry.
Thus, in the nineties the Internet was full of shouting about 'micro$oft' whereas nobody ever bothered criticizing Apple, because everyone perceived that Microsoft was winning an Apple was losing. Today, Apple is perceived as the top dog and therefore a threat. I don't know who's going to be the top dog ten years from now, but I do know whoever it is, that's where the anger is going to be directed.
While there's some truth in most of the criticisms, it's also clear that there's just something about Apple: an opinionated company, often and still conflated with the polarizing personality of Steve Jobs. To some their success is inexplicable and galling, to others a thrilling reversal. We love to love and love to hate Apple.
Apple fans are the absolute worst. Not want to offend anyone here, but there's a certain type of delusional Apple fans, also known as members of the Apple Cult. The member strongly believes, that Apple products are perfect, flawless, and that every other competing product is inferior and can't comprehend why some people prefer other products. He/She will also always defend everything Apple does, spinning and twisting every news story to make Apple appear in a positive light and often directly contradict their previous stance, when Apple does something unexpected. These types also collect old Apple computers, like they're trophys, and pay for a cinema ticket to watch a Steve Jobs interview.
They glorify Apples quarterly earning report and don't seem to notice that it's actually them paying a $500 profit margin on an iPhone - or maybe they're just happy to do so.
I know, because I've met a few in real life, and the worst thing it's completely pointless to discuss anything related to Apples decisions with them - it's like talking against a wall. That's why they get called Sheeple, mindless worse ship of a corporation.
Disclaimer: I don't hate Apple, I'm happy we have 2 ecosystems, strictly talking about the fans here.
To date I've found that HN is one of the easier places to speak out against "the herd"... but your comment has to follow logically from the parent, and you have to back it up with some sort of evidence or reason for people to believe you.
For example, your most recent comment, http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5096081. The parent comment talks about Raspberry Pi, and how hackable and open it is, and how the iPhone is the opposite of this, which is why it's unpopular with hacker types.
Your response doesn't make sense for a number of reasons:
a) What bubble? Nobody is talking about bubbles. And who's "we"?
b) you said "Products like the iPhone are for consumers. That's everybody." Er, then who is Android for? There are lots of people who buy Android, and lots of them are consumers too. So this statement is obvious nonsense.
c) here you're arguing against a straw man. The "hackers" aren't pissed because lots of people are using iPhones, they're pissed because Apple lock their phone down and then play games trying to lock in more market share, and squeeze out more revenue from their developers and users. It's wise to remember that there's a long history of companies locking people into platforms or applications and then screwing them.
You're ignoring that part of the argument in favor of a different one, which is that some mythical "hackers" hate "normal" people (which is completely untrue - they just hate "stupid" people).
d) "Using iPhones" is not anywhere near "computing". Not even on the same continent, much less ballpark.
So - what would I have done differently in your position? Well, the obvious one is just to gracefully concede the point - the iPhone is a lot more locked down than a Raspberry Pi.
Assuming that you want to defend the iPhone on that front, you need to find ways in which the iPhone is also open. Hell, most people would settle for "ways in which the iPhone is more open than you thought". If you can find links to some of those, I'll upvote you :)
If he doesn't see people with Apple hating on Android he isn't looking hard enough. True there are more people that hate on Apple but they are the biggest target now and that's to be expected just as there were more people hating on MS when they were the biggest target.
I don't feel compelled to comment on Android threads because I don't really care. But I feel like Android users have an idea of why they chose Android over iOS and feel compelled to educate people in these threads.
I live in the bay area, and originally got on board with an Android phone because AT&T's service in this area was terrible (and, at the time, iPhone meant AT&T). I did this knowing, at the time, that Android was an inferior product, carrier aside.
So I spent a good deal of time watching the iPhone, watching my Android, and watching Android catch up with the iPhone. When I recently bought another Android phone, it was a considered opinion that, for my needs, Android was now a superior product to iOS.
And, with that background, it's almost irresistible to tell people who've been living in iOS land and seem to think that the state of Android today is the same as the state of Android three-four years ago, about all the things that I've been watching happen in that time.
Perhaps the most amusing thing I have heard are users that claim Android phones 2 years ago are as good as the iphone 5 is now. Perhaps if you rooted and installed Cyanogenmod you got around a lot of the crap Android used to have or lacked and improved performance somewhat, but no way was the hardware or software of the Galaxy S or HTC Desire anywhere as good as the iPhone of today when it was stock.
Galaxy S for one had that horrible RFS proprietary filesystem that Samsung stuck on it and was a mess to try to use stock. The rooting/modding community would later fix that by formatting it to ext4 after some extensive work. One thing I can say about the Galaxy S though is its testament to stand up to time and still running the latest version of Android. You can grab a Galaxy S off ebay for well under $100 in great condition, root/unlock it and flash Cyanogenmod 10.1 on it (Android 4.2.1) and it runs quite well for 2.5 year old hardware. Part of that is due to it sharing near identical hardware to the Nexus S, but it's still quite amazing.
Whenever I complain about this, my various acquaintances who have large phones tell me "it's really not as much of an issue as it might seem, just try it!" ... and then I try a bunch of large phones ... and they're super awkward... ><
[My hands are pretty average, neither small nor large.]
I hope Apple sticks by their guns on this issue, and I wish other manuf.s would at least try to offer a range of sizes instead of seemingly engaging in a race to offer the largest phones possible—and little else...
Apple almost sold more iphones in the last 3 months than they did in the whole year of 2010. Yet to most people Apple is also doomed and everything they're doing is wrong.
Outside the circle of tech journalists and gadget aficionados, people want Apple products. I hear great things about the jellybean and samsung phones and I read anti-apple writings on the web all the time.
On the other hand, almost everyone I know with a smartphone has an iPhone. I don't think of myself as being in a bubble, I'm a student at a big college in a big city, and most of the people I come across have iPhones/ipods/even iPads. Families buy eachother apple products. When I see a non-iPhone user, they are more often not even using a smartphone, but waiting for the iPhone5 or 5S, in transition to getting an iPhone..
I don't doubt google created an amazing mobile OS, but I certainly don't see those phones on a day to day basis.
The iphone is certainly a very good product, and deservedly very popular, but keep in mind, that Android phones actually out-number it overall.
Maybe in your circle and/or location that's not the case, but around here a huge proportion of smartphones I see people using on the train or in cafes are not iphones.
It depends very much on where you are and the state of the local cellphone market. I'm in Japan, and the iphone somewhat took the local makers by surprise, but they've come back with a vengeance. The iphone still has a lot of cachet (as do other Apple products), and probably sells more than any other single smartphone—but there are a huge number of other smartphones available, and the iphone doesn't dominate the market to the same extent it seems to in the U.S.
[Over time I'd actually expect the iphone's market share to lessen here, as other makers hone their products for the market (something they're very good at), and the iphone's place as a status symbol slips.]
"Android Marks Fourth Anniversary Since Launch with 75.0% Market Share in Third Quarter, According to IDC"
And this is where he lost me.
Maybe I was incorrect, but I hope I wasn't.
You clearly need to train Reading Comprehension to V.
Just as anecdotally, but no less data-driven, there is an obvious counter argument to his claim. I will concede his notion that Apple people don't spew anti-Android on pro-Android posts. That is because, from my own informal observations, Apple fans are too busy defending their own gates on the Apple support forums. It is unequivocally the most combative and abrasive "help forum" I've ever experienced.
As a person who owns and really enjoy Apple products (the MacBook Air, for my needs, is hands-down the best computer I've ever owned... and what I'm typing on at this moment), they're still far from perfect. Numerous times I've tried searching for resolutions to issues, and naturally, discussions.apple.com is typically a top result on Google. Even when finding an OP that precisely describes the issue I'm experiencing, more often than not, responses are along the exact lines of how Arment describes Apple's response:
"You don’t need that. Here, try this partial workaround or alternative solution instead."
Except, they usually don't "just work." And yes, I really do need what Apple broke. It took until 10.8.2 for Remote Desktop to work reliably again after Mountain Lion's initial release. I spent hours researching and found no reasonable workaround to get an piece of software written by Apple to work with Apple's OS. But yet, there were plenty of people asking why that was needed. I merely had to setup this convoluted alternative and I would be back in business... oh, wait. That still didn't work.
In my mind, this is worse than Arment's claim, as it's Apple people getting attacked by other Apple people for the heresy of wanting something to work. He's railing against the anger from Microsoft and Android, but he is okay with the cannibalism in the Apple camp?
I could go on, but I feel like I've already written a disproportionate amount more than I actually care about this guy's hypocritical, fact-less editorials. I guess my opinion finally got dragged low enough with this post to finally speak up. I would suggest he looks a little closer to the mothership before trying to paint this kind of picture. However, I can't fool myself into thinking he'd be the slightest bit open to the feedback.
Apple's much admired and followed direction is pointing exactly to the opposite way that most hackers should prefer and push towards.
Look at an iPhone 5 and a Raspberry Pi: one goes North and the other goes South. One had a heavy marketing and costs a lot, and cannot be opened without breaking it. The other the opposite: it isn't even sold in a "box"!
So, now, objectively, all things being equal, tell me frankly which one in an iPhone 5 and a Raspberry Pi should have the preference of hackers (in the wide sense)?
And don't tell me a Pi can't be used as a phone: I am well aware of that. My question is general, which device is more akin of hacker culture, and why?
Some people don't like OS X
Some people don't like paying 2x for the same hardware
I suspect that this alone contributes to a 2x increase in vitriol.
Their actions have often been highly disconcerting. I'm surprised that I don't see more people who consider Apple to be dangerous.
I don't really have issues with Apple products. In my experience, they've been of fine quality.
"And yes, you can sit still in this drawer while I upgrade my custom rom on the other device. But don't worry, you are so elite. See you later."
Which is why it's so depressing that so many wallets say "yes" to apple.