So I have three devices from Apple currently serviced, all three bought last year. My iPhone SE’s touchID stopped working, my iPad Pro 10.5 started to feature white spots on the screen, and today my “made to order” iMac 21″ shut down all by itself and won’t power up anymore.
What is this? What are the odds of this? But, dear God, wait ‘till you hear the actual problems.
I also have an iPad 4th generation on which Apple’s iOS 10 throttles the CPU in such way that it is unbearably slow for no reason. I am unable to keep it in an useable state, by downgrading, because, for Apple, whatever I buy is not really mine to decide what to install on it.
To solve the lack of an iPhone, I use an old Android phone I had in some drawer. I can’t message anyone on my iMessage list anymore, because there is Hangouts for iOS but no iMessage for Android.
My iMac 21″ powered off for good fifteen minutes ago, but, the luck! My 10 year old iMac 27″ still works! I take it out of storage, place it on my desk, plug the wire and, voila!, it boots up as if it was bought a day ago. I guess planned obsolescence wasn’t invented at Apple in 2008.
But, the joy is short lived: I need the password to my router.
It is saved in my iCloud notes. The joy! But wait, the slow sluggish iPad is signed into my wife’s iCloud account. I have a power user idea, instead of signing out of her iCloud and having everything stored on the iPad erased by the sign out, let’s go online to get the magic note with the magic password.
I figure my junky android Samsung Grand Prime, which is horribly outdated but still runs smooth running the latest Android it supports, unlike the iPad4, would be faster in opening the iCloud website, logging in and seeing the note. But alas, Apple tells me that my Android Chrome browser is “incompatible”. That’s so, so 90s!
Well back to the old CPU throttled iPad 4. I log in on the iCloud.com website, I get to the Notes web app, but, the moment I try searching, the web browser crashes. I try Chrome, I try Safari, I know they’re the same thing in iOS 10, but I am hopeful, to no end.
What to do? I have a very, very important discussion in less than one hour and Apple’s walled garden and greedy, trillion dollar, planned obsolescence business decisions are keeping me from it. Lucky me I have yet another Apple device, the MacBook from work. This one succeeds in opening iCloud.com in a “compatible” web browser and also succeeds not to crash, so my router password is back to me and I give it to the eager iMac 27”, built in early 2008.
Then the world slows down as the iMac’s 2008 SATA HD drives start indexing the sync of the iCloud drive, so I have some time to ponder.
What happened to the Apple who built the iPad 4 which won’t die and won’t have screen artefacts pop up for no reason, the iMac 2008 which won’t shut down on its own, even if it has had its fair share of running time a long time ago? What happened to the experience of “it just works?”. How could have Apple made orders of magnitude better experiences when it had orders of magnitude less money to spend?
But despite all the clear wrongs with Apple the alternative is just one company: Google. I have this phone as proof that despite GDPR, despite fines, despite Facebook’s failure to respect it’s users and the backlash of it, Google is the big brother watching everything I do, forcing me still to accept permissions on my device which I sill don’t understand on my up to date Android 5.1.1. … Google, and it’s shell Samsung, which still won’t let me free up the space on that phone by removing it’s useless bloat.
Using this surrogate Android phone for the past two days I found myself wondering: why do people buy the Pixels? Why pay the premium price for a device that despite its price still treats you like the product? How much targeting is required to milk all possible advertising money?
Is this a real competitive market, a duopoly offering either living a dystopian shared surveillance, between a corporation and the thousands of developers making things curated by the Holy Ghost of luck, which tap into the surveillance data at will, or living in an utopian garden of Eden that shuns and bans you as soon as you’ve stepped outside? Is this CHOICE?
Blackberry is out, Windows Phone is out, Nokia is out. I am still in and I’m not having fun anymore, being not a customer, but a prisoner asked which of the two masters do I want to serve.