Did everyone have their Crazy Flakes this week?
iPhone follies drive Apple pundits insane.
There's been a lot of noisy garment-rending in the Apple world recently as the combination of the iPhone price drop (since corrected), the change in iPod video output (still a mistake in the Macalope's eyes), the ringtones feature (really a problem with the industry) and the bricking of unlocked iPhones (boo-hoo-hoo) has apparently driven people insane.
The pointy one understands there have been some misaligned expectations about the iPhone, but what's so surprising is that they're coming from some usually responsible sources, and now he's a little concerned that it might be spreading.
After writing a piece the Macalope sure hopes wasn't about his real family, Macworld's Chris Breen (aka "The Bouffant of Knowledge") was a guest on MacBreak Weekly where he had this to say about Tiger:
Yeah, but I do think that people have expectations about Leopard and not because Apple is doing it but a lot of it is partly due to the delay. You know, it was supposed to ship in the summer and now they said "No, no, no, we're gonna wait until October because we need these resources." However, people would then say "OK, well you've had these extra months to really do something spectacular here."
What?! Chris, no. No, no, no, no, no, no. They've had those extra months to catch up, not make new features.
Mac users are the biggest collection of spoiled brats the horny one has ever seen. Who else can hear "delay" and think "more features!"?
Do people really think that Apple is going to reveal something vastly different from what we've already seen (twice!)? Leo Laporte seemed to think that there was pressure for Apple to release something as different from Tiger as Vista is from XP.
The Macalope loves him some Leo (and some Chris Breen, for that matter), but that's crazy talk. XP came out in 2001. Microsoft had six years. Tiger came out in 2005. That's, hmm, let's see, divide by X... multiply the derivative... carry the one... two years!
If people really think that, well, it's time for an intervention. Yes, Leopard should work and it should work well, but if you're expecting the unexpected, don't.
Like Chris, Leo is also hot about the iPhone. That's the second time someone has said those who aren't outraged about the situation suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. Frankly, that's insulting. It's also wrong. The Macalope would suggest that it's not he who's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, Leo, but you who's suffering from Munchausen Syndrome.
(Ha! Take that, Mr. I Graduated From Yale!)
Look, there's a reason the Macalope tends to buy Apple equipment and it's not because the company ties him up and puts a red rubber ball in his mouth (let's leave that to Mrs. Macalope, shall we?). It's because their stuff works and looks better than other stuff. If someone wants to make stuff that works and looks better than Apple's stuff, well, the Macalope might have to have some plastic surgery, but he'll be happy to use it.
Leo, if the Macalope's not mistaken, didn't you crash your N95 all by yourself by installing third-party applications? Why is this mythical beast supposed to feel like some kind of psychological victim because he doesn't need that particular brand of aggravation? The Macalope didn't buy his iPhone thinking about all the great apps he was going to install on it, only to find out later that it was locked down and then have to justify his continued support for the platform. No, you bought the iPhone knowing it was locked down and are now upset to find out, no, there will be no peanut butter on your chocolate, chocolate in your peanut butter.
The Macalope's just a little baffled by why Chris and Leo -- after being told repeatedly that they would be given Hershey bars -- keep expecting Reeses Peanut Butter cups to fall out of the wrapper.
Chris also had this to say on Macworld's podcast (which was largely a collective rant about how horrible it was to brick the phones and remove applications) about the possibility that Apple would make a certification program for iPhone and iPod touch applications:
If Apple comes out in January and says, OK, we've got this handful of applications that we've approved and I look back to today when I thought I had that when they worked much better than what you're offering and you're charging me $11.99 per app when I got that stuff for free and it was updated every day and a half and you're never gonna update this, I'm gonna be bitter about it.
Leaving out the whole argument that Chris obviously bought the wrong phone and the fact that the hosts of the Macworld podcast are clearly not average consumers (a subject which Daring Fireball has already hit) and that Apple should probably pay more attention to the 90 percent of its iPhone customers rather than the 10 percent, two points:
- Someone else on the podcast (possibly Chris himself) noted that some applications crashed their phones. Certainly, that wouldn't happen with a certification program. The quality of the applications would tend to rise, not fall, as Apple would be inclined to pick the better applications for certification.
- How absurd is it to expect to continue to get iPhone applications for free? The reason iPhone applications are free is not because developers make up for it on volume, Chris. It's because Apple has published no APIs. Charging for an iPhone application now -- and some have tried this and had to end up giving customers their money back -- is developer suicide.
Let's say Apple does what everybody says they want and releases an SDK without a certification program and developers run joyfully through fields of posies as birds fly overhead and virgins dance around the Maypole. You're still going to start getting charged for applications, and rightly so.
Finally, a word of warning to John Gruber and John C. Welch...
We're apparently the only sane ones left. Don't fall asleep![Title paraphrased from Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 7, Eposde 5, "Selfless".]