The AppStore isn’t a monopoly: Your analysis is bad and you should feel bad

Reading this article it appears that we’re now in the midst of yet another ‘only in America’ moment when god help us we have some oxygen thief taking it upon themselves to launch a frivolous law suit ( link ). I’ll lay down a few points:

    1. There is already choice in the form of competing platforms – if you’re not happy with the limitation/restriction or what ever other aspect of the iOS platform then you’re more than welcome to buy an Android, Blackberry or Windows 10 Mobile device. There might be some validity if there was no choice – but there is choice.
    2. If side loading was such an import feature that people were clambering for then there is nothing stopping people from buying an Android device (or derivative device such as the Amazon Fire) to do just that.
    3. You can already side load applications as long as you’ve got the source code or the code in some sort of intermediate state (aka someone compiled it into bitcode) given that you can side load without needing to have a developers subscription.

The way I see it, imagine going to a restaurant but you want to use your own sauce at the restaurant but the restaurant owner says that you can only use the sauce the is available at the restaurant itself. Is that restaurant behaving in a monopolistic way when there are numerous other restaurants out there that may allow you to bring your own sauce? Heck, they might even allow you to bring your own alcohol too! It seems that there is a cottage industry in the United States of people who go around suing whilst masquerading as ‘sticking up for consumer rights’ when in reality it is about a few lawyers trying to make their name known.

tvOS 10.1.1, iOS 10.2.1, macOS 10.12.3 and iTunes 12.5.5 Released plus betas released

Well, woke up this morning for an interview and as usual I check my email along with reading some news and with that I saw that Apple had released a bevy of updates which I quickly applied to all my devices. Regarding my iMac and MacBook Pro, both devices had their Boot ROM firmware updated but I don’t see anything written in the change log so maybe it is just general bug fixes. Everything is going well so far and Safari seems snappy and reliable a usual but then again I don’t use Flash (I’m completely Flash free) plus I also use the ad blocker plus as my only extension. iTunes was also updated but I haven’t noticed any visible changes but then again I’ve never had any issues with iTunes on macOS.

Things are rocking along at top speed with the beta release of 10.3 ( link ) which includes the all important APFS that was announced back in WWDC 2016 and slated for release his year which makes me wonder whether its inclusion in 10.3 signals its maturity or whether Apple has decided that since it is one of the most widely installed operating systems that it is the best way to knock out any issues. Then there is the beta release of macOS 10.12.4 ( link ) which has introduced ‘Night Shift Mode’ but it appears at least based on 10.12.3 that APFS is still stuck at version 0.3 so if that I anything to do by I’d be surprised if Apple merged the APFS build that is in iOS 10.3 will appear in 10.2.4.

The big question is whether Apple will make APFS case sensitive as it is in its current form or whether Apple is going to add back case insensitivity especially given that it’ll end up breaking some applications in the process. There are benefits with case sensitivity which is, developers will be happy especially when dealing with open source *NIX code pulled from a CVS which whose structure automatically assumes a case sensitive file system and all the goodness that comes with the territory.

Oh, and side note: I’ve downloaded a few movies off iTunes that were good value: Blues Brothers, Airplane!, Blazing Saddles, Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Once I get back into work again I’ll hopefully get some lose ends tied up and everything back on track again – hopefully in the next few weeks and then I’ll put the savings left over to the side in my rainy day fund for the future.

Another week, another podcast

I’ve uploaded a new podcast outlining what I think will occur under Trump and the relationship he’ll have with Russia/Putin going forward. I’m under no illusion regarding Russia/Putin or Trump but what I do cover is what could happen based on the assumption that each party is guided by some sort of rational self interest aka ‘whats in it for me’ to explain their behaviour.

I’m currently working on an article that debunks the claims regarding the iPhone and AppStore – specifically the fact that to get applications on your phone you need to use the AppStore.

There has been another build for the 10.12.3 update which seems to be taking a good amount of time to get done so it makes me wonder whether we’ve got developers jumping between macOS 10.12 and 10.13 so that it is all ready by the time WWDC rolls around in June for the unveiling. When it comes to 10.13 it’ll be interesting to see what is announced now that the iOS and macOS teams have now merged – hopefully it’ll mean a harmonisation of frameworks so when one platform moves forward that all platforms end up benefiting from the improvements rather than having to wait for it to be ported across.

Things are looking better all the time (can’t get no worse!)

Well, so far I’ve had some responses back from people who are interested in interviewing me or at least have an interest in having a look at my resume which is a great feeling – at least I’m in the running of being considered rather than being rejected before even getting a chance to sell myself to the organisation. Hopefully the interview will go well in Monday and in the afternoon I’ll stop by Motorad to get my scooter services – the mirrors sorted out, new tyres and a few other things such as replacing the fuel line so when eventually I start my job that my form of transportation is all up to scratch and won’t cause me any issues.

It appears that the source of the consumer report bad battery fiasco has come down to a bug in Safari which has been fixed in 10.12.3. so hopefully that’ll be out soon but not too soon along with the usual updates for iOS and tvOS not being too far behind. As much as Windows 10 appears to be ‘exciting’ with all the ‘improvements’ and ‘new things’ that are coming in new builds I am reminded that although ‘new’ I exciting it can be a double edged sword of dealing with the byproducts of immature technology that is still having the bugs beaten out of it.

When it comes to Twitter, if you’re given a platform by your employer, your name is well known and by virtue of that your name is associated with that company then it is important to think very long and hard before opening up and giving your five cents on a subject. There is a reason why when I am using a public persona I am very careful about what I say (along with never mentioning where I work or live) – your reputation is all that you have and the moment you open up and say something stupid there are repercussions whether you like it or not. If you want to write something controversial then go ahead but remember that the way you present your argument will have as much impact as what you’re saying. The way you present your argument will dictate whether you come off sounding like an emotionally driven prat whose opinions are lacking coherency resulting in the output sounding something akin to a Alex Jones/David Icke like mentally deranged rant or whether the writing is devoid of emotions and focuses on a coherent will reasoned argument with evidence from reliable sources to back up any claims made.

OMG! It’s the end of the Mac!

And once again we have another cycle of hysteria that because Apple hasn’t turned out a Mac that is ‘incredibly innnovative’ that some how that points to Apple putting the Mac out to pasture ( link ). Insert here the usual ‘death of the Mac’ along with conspiracy theories that Apple is secretly killing off the Mac platform in favour of moving everyone to iPads running iOS or something to that effect.

The first rumour that went around was that the iOS and macOS team were merging so then there would be a single team that develops and maintains all operating systems (iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS). The question I have is this, how is merging the development teams together bad? if they can harmonise the frameworks, a single kernel (I’m sure they have a plugin-able scheduler) and a unique interface (depending on whether it is macOS, iOS) a bad idea? if it means there is feature parity in terms of frameworks between macOS and iOS, is it really the end of the world? I would have thought it is great news that features that exist on iOS will make their way to macOS and vice versa.

The second rumour was about the fact that Jonathan Ive had been moved off Mac design into a new area and thus the self appointed experts on the matter all seem to opine that the death was near for the Mac platform. The reality is that the Mac platform is a mature product – do they really need to waste Ive’s talent hand holding the design team when the design is pretty much set and any movement forward will involve minor tweaks and product refreshes? I’m sitting here wondering what people expect at this stage other than incremental refreshes? When you’ve got talent where do you put them – maintaining something that is already mature or moving them onto the products that are still in a state of flux or products that are still in the development phase?

The silly season is upon us

Well, the silly season is once again upon us and I’ve finally finished up getting things organised for Christmas with my brother and her partner, my sister and her partner along with the two nieces also covered. When it doubt vouchers, chocolates and something that they like.  Now that I’ve got all that sorted it is just a matter of wrapping them so then they’re already by Christmas.

It appears it is that time of the year when people sit around lamenting the future of Apple and the Mac platform all because what they want isn’t catered for by Apple but guaranteed when the refresh happens next year you’ll have a new group of people whining that the Mac platform is being neglected because their own wishes aren’t being catered for. Oh well, lets wait to see what happens next year when a new chorus of complaints come through when APFS is released and people whine about some feature of Siri not being made available on macOS or some such.

The promised reply…

Brett Legree says:

OCTOBER 30, 2016 AT 4:21 AM EDIT

We’re in the same boat here in Canada, you can get anything from Apple on Day One, this time from Microsoft you can get the “new” Surface Book but not the Surface Studio (though, I’m not really in the market for one anyway).

Google stuff is often that way here too, either we get it later or not at all in the case of some things (e.g. Android Pay isn’t here yet, there is a LOT of protectionism in Canada when it comes to banking, media, telecommunications… banks and large corporations have a lot of pull with the government, or maybe they pay them off…!)

Our weak dollar doesn’t help with things either, along with hefty import duties, some of this stuff is astronomically priced (I know it is like that for you in New Zealand too, I’ve looked at the prices of a lot of stuff where you are).

With that in mind, I took the Pixel XL off my list (same price as an iPhone 7 Plus but not a nice in my opinion) and went with a Nexus 6P to replace my failing Moto X.

The price was good and it seems to be working well for me.

Now I just need a new computer of some sort.

Yeah, I was hoping that the Pixel would launch and really give Apple some much needed competition but here we are over a month later and nothing has been announced as to whether we’ll see Pixel officially come to New Zealand other than the usual parallel importers bring in the US model. The biggest let down in the case of Apple has been their Cloud offerings, specifically, the bugginess of what they have to offer when compared to more established players such as Microsoft and Google. Personally I’d love to see Microsoft make Edge available on macOS then provide the sort of integration that Google has to offer but I don’t see it happening thus the only real competition that exists for Apple is Google. Although Microsoft is gaining large enterprise usage for there cloud platform it is important to realise that the use of Microsoft is more of a byproduct relating legacy software within the organisation rather than necessarily a ringing endorsement of the cloud platform. I say that in respect to the companies that adopt the Google cloud platform predominantly tends to be younger businesses which do not have the legacy systems that one has to deal with and thus 

Personally I’m just dumb founded about this whole movement to Pixel when the Nexus actually was a great idea and the only thing they really needed to do is expand it to more countries and work on better marketing to inform people what the Nexus is actually all about. I’ve kept flirting with Android because it has the potential to be so much better if only the OEM’s spent time not loading crap and providing a synchronisation application akin to iTune that didn’t royally blow (Kies is horrible on macOS and HTC Sync is only marginally better). The HTC 10, after the fiasco with Samsung, is looking increasingly desirable by many but then again I have to ask whether iPhone has much competition other than in the low end given that even if you spend a sizeable chunk on a flag ship Android phone that there is no assurance of getting upgrades and updates in a timely manner as with iPhone and the iOS upgrades and updates coming along like clockwork.

Oh well, what I’m holding out for is 2-3 years time when X-Point is eventually released along with DDR4 and future CPU’s from Intel and future GPU’s from AMD because at the moment things have been more or less incremental upgrades meaning I can pretty much stand where I am for the next three years without too many issues given the current state of affairs. Oh, I’ve had a look at the iPhone 7 but I’m still thinking whether I’m better off waiting for the 7s to get all the bugs get sorted out in the 7 before making the big plunge.