Apple warns against jailbreaking iPhones to run “unapproved” software. But, increasingly, Apple seems determined to force users like me into jailbreak mode.
How do they manifest this? The latest, and most blatant, example is Apple’s (i) rejection of Google’s GoogleVoice app for the app store and (ii) pulling prior GoogleVoice apps created by non-Google-related developers. This is a very big deal. I have complained to Apple directly, and I suggest others do so as well. [Take some time and read the experience of an independent developer who’s app was just pulled by Apple.] As I previously posted, I think GoogleVoice is a terrific service. Why should I be blocked from using it via convenient app on what is supposed to be one of the finer mobile devices on the planet? Why should Apple have this kind of arbitrary control over a piece of hardware that I have purchased?
I have personally recommended Apple products to a great many friends. I own several Macs, a couple of AppleTVs, the usual smattering of iPods, and my second iPhone. This incident has caused me to seriously question why I should buy a platform (the iPhone) from a company that cripples its functionality for no discernible reason. Would I buy a Mac that could only run applications approved by Apple? Hell no!
I have also been instrumental in securing support for the iPhone in the company I work for. I did it based on a belief that the iPhone truly is a breakthrough platform that can enhance business opportunities in ways otherwise unavailable. But the cavalier attitude of Apple causes me to question my belief. And if I, as a basic end-user, begin to question my belief in the platform, what do developers who put their blood, sweat and tears into new apps think about their decision? What efforts will they be willing to make in the future? Every app that doesn’t get built weakens the platform.
By the way, of course I understand that AT&T, that steaming pile of shit, is probably responsible for forcing Apple into this position. But with as popular a product as the iPhone, if Apple allows a carrier to force them to cripple a product, shame on Apple.
Wake up Apple.
Update: Apple is fighting in court to establish that jailbreaking an iPhone is not just to be avoided, but is, in fact, illegal. Further Apple claims that jaibroken iPhones could be used to “crash” cell phone towers. This is totally reminiscent of the arguments that the original old AT&T made in the 60s that if users were allowed to buy their own phones and plug them into the vaunted AT&T network, the network could crumble and collapse. I call bullshit.