Monday, 29 April 2013

Top 5: Why I abandoned Apple

Everyone knows I'm an avid fan of Android. Most of my posts on FB are promoting features found in Android, and once in a while I post criticisms of Apple and iOS. A few of my friends have asked me why do I hate Apple so much. The truth is, I don't. Some may not know this, but before I started using Android last July, I used iOS for about 3 years, so I'm quite familiar with Apple's ecosystem. I'm not a blind fan of Android who criticises everything Apple does, my criticisms come from experience. 

In the past, I believed that iOS was "much more user-friendly" than Android, which I believed to be too complex. Opinions change though, and I started noticing the restrictions of iOS, and how Apple were more interested in patenting the shape of their iPad rather than improving their products. I started disliking Apple and their products, and despite knowing almost nothing about Android, Apple's restrictions were just too much for me too handle, so I jumped ship. Here are the 5 main reasons why I left Apple.


5. Apple's reality distortion field (RDF)
Typical Apple user who believes a Retina
display is better than 1080p. Image: YouTube
Apple are the masters when it comes to marketing, even compared to Samsung. They may not promote their products as much as Samsung do, but when they do, they really do their best to brainwash you into believing whatever it is they're saying. They make consumers believe that their products are the best even when it's no longer the case. I've been saying for a long time that the Retina display is gorgeous, but it's not the best display on the market. Yet Apple keep pushing it as if it is, and Apple fans believe them. This brainwashing thing is a real thing, I didn't make it up. There's an RDF Wikipedia entry to support it. It defines RDF as "Steve Jobs' ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing, appeasement and persistence.". In other words, brainwashing.
RDF leads to close-minded Apple fans who don't know about
anything outside of Apple's product range. Image: Google+
4. The Apple ecosystem is a trap!
A clever representation of iOS. Image: Stop and laugh

Have you ever noticed how Apple's products only play well with other Apple products? If you have an iOS device, you need iTunes to manage the files on the device (more on this later). If you have an iOS device, you can only charge it with an Apple charger, not a standard micro USB like other devices use. Once you are in iOS, you are stuck with whatever Apple gives you (more on this later as well). You are basically stripped of most of your freedom once you are in Apple's ecosystem. Have you ever wondered why the term "jailbreak" is used for iOS devices and not Android devices?


3. Apple knows thinks they know best
Oh, you're having reception issues?
Don't hold the phone that way. Image: Engadget
Relating to my above point, Apple's iOS is highly restrictive. One example is that you can't change default apps on iOS. Apple has already decided which app is best and has already chosen the default apps for you and won't allow you to change them. For example, if you receive a link to a website in an IM, opening the link will open Safari, the default browser. You can't open it in Chrome or Firefox unless you copy the link and paste it in the browser. Other than iOS being restrictive, Apple also rarely admit mistakes they make. The iPhone 4 came with reception issues. Users were experiencing poor call quality. What did Apple say about this? Users were holding the phone the wrong way. Things have changed since Tim Cook took over. They admitted Apple Maps was a disaster, and suggested using alternative apps like Google Maps. But guess what? They aren't the default app. If you click on an address in a browser, it still opens in Apple's Maps app.

2. iTunes integration
All iOS devices need iTunes. In the past, you would need iTunes to setup your device. Now you can setup a device without iTunes, but you still need iTunes to sync files. And syncing files can be a nightmare. If you download an app in iTunes, you need to sync with your device to get it on your device. And if you download it on your device, you need to sync with iTunes to store it in iTunes. Same goes with deleting apps. Sometimes, it gets confusing which app is where, which need to be deleted and installed, it's just a mess. I used to use a ringtone maker app to create custom ringtones. My assumption was I take an audio file, trim it to my liking, and I have a new ringtone. Nope. After trimming, I needed to copy it to my laptop, then drag it in iTunes into the "ringtones" section of my device, then only I would be able to use it. iPhone -> laptop -> iTunes -> iPhone. Who would've though getting a ringtone onto a phone would be so difficult.

1. iOS got stale
I used iOS for about 3 years. First on an iPod Touch, then the iPhone 4. I started using iOS from when the background was black i.e., no wallpapers. We had no notification centre, no iMessage, no folders on the homescreen, no FaceTime. Despite all the additions Apple made, iOS was still boring to me. It was no different on my iPhone 4 running iOS5 than it was on my iPod Touch. All it was, was a grid of icons. The only way I could customise it was by changing the wallpaper. Which of course, would be covered by 16 app icons and the dock anyway. Functionality was limited too. No way to quickly change settings without launching the settings app, dismissing notifications was tedious with the small "x" button we had to press, I couldn't install custom notifications/ringtones easily, syncing with iTunes was a hassle, I couldn't remove pre-installed apps I didn't use, it was all too much for me. 

So after deciding I was done with iOS, I got my HTC One X in about a month or so, and was blown away by Android. I'll write a separate post for that.    

I acknowledge that without Apple's innovative iPhone and iPad, we might not have phones and tablets like the S4, the One, or the Nexus 7. Apple didn't create the smartphone or tablet market despite what some people may think, but they sure did reignite the market. Even so, once they innovated with the original iPhone and iPad, other companies like Samsung, HTC and Sony have stepped up, and Apple are no longer on the top of the mobile market. They were the architects of their own downfall in my opinion. iOS and iTunes have improved no doubt, but the restrictions and limitations of iOS and Apple's entire ecosystem just made it too hard for me to enjoy using an iOS product. Some people may enjoy iOS and that's fine. Not everyone will agree with what I wrote. Apple will still be a major force in the mobile market, but as far as I'm concerned, I escaped Apple's clutches and won't be turning back.