Why Apple is Losing my Love

Why? Its continuing hostility to books, authors, writing, history, literature, and culture.

Read this piece by two scholars at the University of Virginia:
chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/? … _medium=en

Quick summary: they labored hard and long to build a nifty comparative, variorum edition of Thomas Jefferson’s one book: Notes on the State of Virginia. He published it in several editions and continued to annotate it for the rest of his life. (It’s a classic text in early anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, geography and environmental history, and highly readable.)

They created an iOS app that would let readers see all the variant readings and compare to a modern printed text. This is a tremendous step forward in digital text studies, and of course it has many implications for other authors, such as Shakespeare, Milton, Johnson, etc. Or texts like the Bible.

They took their app to the Apple Store and the ignorati there turned it down. Why? It had to be in the iBooks format, period. But iBooks is hopelessly limited and cannot display multiple states of text within its 2 GB space limitation. And besides, Apple added, the book is of limited appeal to the app market.

The authors’ best line: So, yes, it is possible to download an app called “Burp and Fart Piano” that does pretty much what you’d expect such an app to do, but a free, edited edition of Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia that lets you compare Jefferson’s and Lafayette’s own copies and to zoom in on Jefferson’s handwritten corrections? No dice.

Steve Jobs’s indifference to books and writing is well documented. He cared mainly about music and film, and what do you know, the youth of America have pretty well stopped reading, they are so plugged into their iPutz culture. Several commenters on this piece have said: you should have gone Android.

That’s a solution, but really, the Apple idiocy about books and writers is a shameful disgrace, not to mention really stupid business. When Scrivener one day becomes available on the Android platform, I am junking my collection of Macs and moving on. The bitten Apple no longer symbolizes the acquisition of knowledge.

Can’t fault your reasoning or your reaction. It’s the biggest problem with a closed ecosystem; too much control over content in the hands of people who seem to be oddly prudish while simultaneously reaping the benefits of capitalism. I’ve yet to be tempted to buy an iBook*, especially since you can’t freaking read one on a Mac! It’s the only ebook distributor that is restricted entirely to one portable OS. :unamused: Add to that an entirely different format and it’s just not happening for me.

But then I’ve been burned by Apple services before, which leaves me unimpressed by more recent offerings; iCloud, iWork in the cloud (not to mention the stagnant state of the desktop apps) all suffer from their capricious/controlling attitude with regards to your on-line presence. My wife was happy with iWeb/Mobile Me and had a nice artist’s site and everything, and then they yanked it out from under her.

So yeah, I’m not happy with Apple when it comes to hosting content within the confines of their products, and likely never will be. What I do like is the community of third party applications makers for Mac OS X that blossomed because of Apple’s previous welcoming attitude toward independent developers. Lit & Lat, OmniGroup, DevonTechnologies, Alfred.app; they all make for an environment that is simultaneously powerful, polished, and well supported. So long as Apple doesn’t force itself between them any my Mac, I’ll stick around.

  • Back when ‘iBook’ meant ‘computer’, I did own one; it wasn’t bad for its generation of computers.

Did it ever?
Was it ever really meant to represent the apple proffered by Eve? I’ve always seen it as representative of the poisoned apple bitten by Alan Turing. An acknowledgement of his contribution to the world of computing. 'Tis a poisoned a(A)pple.
Vic

Apple is, as near as I can tell, the least worst of the alternatives. I used Windows from 3.1 through 95 (and MS-DOS from 2.11), and my fingers still involuntary tap Control Alt Delete at nervous moments, like the Reverend Septimus Harding playing his invisible violoncello. I switched to Apple with 10.1 and an iBook, and I still don’t know what the OS-X restart keyboard equivalent is.

Do I admire them as a company? Not particularly. Is their suckage quotient less than the competition? Yes, for me, so far.

Apple has had more than it’s fair share of App store rejection silliness, almost all at it’s own hand. But I don’t see how you get from a couple of doofus employees rejecting one app to junking Apple altogether.

Here are my biases: I like Apple’s products, I think they are elegant, attractive and, most important of all, they work. I have a huge range of apps available on my iOS devices and my Mac apps are generally more elegant, more efficient, and cheaper, than their Windows equivalents (when even available on Windows). Where needed, I still use Windows for some apps that are not available on the Mac or when I am on campus. I am OS bilingual so my opinion is not based on ignorance (except for Win8). While there are some things that Win does better (keyboard shortcuts in dialogue boxes for example) mostly OS X is far simpler and, I contend, more powerful.

On iOS, I actually prefer iBooks to alternative ebook readers - and I have tried a large number (Kindle, Bookworld, Kobo, Bluefire, Stanza, Overdrive and Google Books to name some). Despite trying a range of calendar and task apps, I use Apple’s Calendar and Reminders. Overall, I find Apple’s apps just powerful enough to handle most of my needs without being quite powerful enough to handle what I think I want. When I do try more powerful apps, I usually find Apple was right. I am more efficient, effective and productive when using Apple’s products. On the Mac, I usually get far better results with Keynote, Pages, and Numbers than with Powerpoint, Word and Excel respectively (complex tables in Pages a clear exception). When I do need something else, I still have MS Office and numerous other apps to call on. The range of indie apps on the Mac exceeds by far anything I ever had on Windows.

I do not agree with Apple’s decision in the instance you mentioned (really, it’s just silly!) and I sometimes question their decisions in other areas. And yet they are also one of the few (only?) major tech companies to open their production facilities to third party inspection. They regularly audit their manufacturers’ factories and publish their results. They publish their “green” credentials. They do not always succeed in achieving their stated goals, but I have a better understanding of what those goals are than any alternate. How does Google compare? Or Samsung? Or Microsoft/Nokia?

I was someone who lost my website when Apple closed MobileMe. But I’ve lost other websites, and other data, in the past when other companies have closed, merged or discontinued a product I used (anyone remember SplashPhoto? Didn’t think so…). Why single out Apple?

As long as Apple’s products enable me to focus on the tasks at hand rather than the steps required to complete those tasks, and they continue to publish their corporate responsibility goals and outcomes, I will continue to use Apple with pride.

I have switched to a powerful mac after I got fed up with Windows for the very last time, in times when Apple stood for solid hardware and a robust though closed operating system, and was not just another shiny phone company with lots of hybris in their brains. It had been this baby: A Power PC 9600 MaCh 5/604ev. LINUX had not been an alternative at that time. Shortly after, Apple did a really good job in my opinion with releasing OS X, which, as having a UNIX kernel, suddenly opened the world of Open Source AND allowing professional applications (and no, Scribus is no equicvalent to InDesign, sorry) to run. Last point is still a killer for any LINUX system.

Sticking with noms and Ahabs opinion there: Just my everyday work is the most important bit that saves hordes of keyboards and mouses due to not being slammed at tables, thrown at walls and generally being destroyed out of frustration for excessive harassing by random Windows “failures”, “recommendations”, “Believe you want …” and other unspeakable things that the average user somehow sucks down without starting to build bombs in the basement.

But the way Apple has chosen with their shiny iPhone products, and, even worse, their Apple Store policy, is as annoying as it is negative. Not to speak about harassingly low-quality hardware (with a unique design, no question; a fact not to be underestimated, looking at the grey standard “designs” of the 90th) which one cannot repair self anymore.
So I am sticking to pre-10.7 OS as long as possible, and will build a hackintosh when the time comes. Faster and cheaper hardware that is controlled by the user, not an arrogant company.

It is a shame that Apple took the big wheel of fire to go downhill, after releasing such a wonderful operating system.

I think that it is absolutely wonderful that in this modern age (where we have frankly an outstanding level of choice for almost every conceivable piece of consumer technology) there are companies capable of inspiring such high degrees of loyalty that they provoke such high expectations from us as users.

Yes, this is the result of an incredibly successful marketing strategy, but the reason that the marketing strategy has worked so well (in my opinion) is that it didn’t start once the product had been designed. Each and every part of the product was designed with the consumer (and how to sell to that consumer) in mind. That has resulted in some amazing pieces of kit. I’ve nearly bought an MBA myself a couple of times (and I really really disagree with Apple on a lot of their system strategies).

So I’d be inclined to give Apple a free pass on this one. After all, their restrictions are there for good reasons, both from a user perspective and - just as importantly - from a commercial perspective as well. You can hardly blame Apple for protecting their commercial interests, and it sounds like the chaps who developed this app hardly gave them a reason to make an exception.

As for the eBook you mentioned… well don’t worry. They will find a way to get it out there. After all, the hard work of generating the content is already complete. With that time and effort invested (and given that they were going to make it a free app anyway) I’d be surprised if there isn’t a web version available and viewable by everyone no matter what platform they are on very soon.

Very “for the people” if you ask me.

Quasi-software/computer anarchist that I am, I’m…wary…of the directions MS and Apple are going with their respective “app” stores and UEFI/EFI systems. What’s to keep either from closing their platforms off to any application that isn’t approved by either? Plus with the recent revelations that various companies were encouraged by the NSA to have back doors in operating systems, I’m getting even more leery of the like of MS or Apple. (At least with Linux and BSD, you can examine the source for yourself, and there are enough privacy/security nerds who like doing that sort of thing.)

Golden apples printed with “For the fairest” are OK, though. :wink:

IMO who the hell would want to read all of that text on a 4 inch screen? (iphone 5)

As for iPads? Pfftt they are nothing but toys.

You buy one, load some cheap games on them and hand them to the kids. That or have one laying around for a quick reference to something but in-depth work on a tablet? type on that built in screen keyboard (yuck), whip out a bluetooth keyboard? Yuck.

Its like using a wheel barrow and shovel to dig a hole for an in-ground swimming pool. It can be done but there are much better tools already in existance.

Now what the authors could have done is create a desktop app for desktops and for quick reference put together html/xml with an iOS app that would check the servers for quick reference.

To me the app store is full of junk because everyone is trying so hard to make the next best “app”. Most of which pretty much suck or are blatant rip offs for legitimate apps by people hoping to make a quick buck. Now don’t get me wrong there are some useful apps out there but the crap far out weighs the useful.

But I don’t blame apple for that. I blame society. We now live in a society where instant gratifications is demanded, common sense has gone the way of the dodo bird, hard work is demonized, laziness is cheered and of course stupidity is the excepted norm.

Look at tv now and what passes as entertainment. Honey Boo Boo? Duck Dynasty? American Idol? Anything on MTV?

I saw something on the internet where it said that in a Survey people clicked stories about Miley Cirus 12x times more than stories about Syria.

So to answer your question, its not really Apple that is defeating writing these days.

It is the ass hat morons that make up the majority of society that is driving this short bus now.

Remember. What sells is not reading anymore, but fart jokes, gossip about short shorts and twerking with the dwarfs, and of course pretty icons, grunting and pointing and someone to hold everyone’s hand pay for everything.

Now everyone I know that reads a lot prefers ink on paper, reading on a screen for long periods of time is hard on the eyes. Nothing beats curling up to a good old book and reading the night away.

And if you want proof of the “idiocrasy” of society here it is. The Thomas Jefferson app got turned down but this one made it through.

itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-mor … 43159?mt=8

I only have one question. Where is the Burp and Fart Piano app? Is it free to download?

[quote=“Wock”]
IMO who the hell would want to read all of that text on a 4 inch screen? (iphone 5)

What sells is not reading anymore, but fart jokes, gossip about short shorts and twerking with the dwarfs, and of course pretty icons, grunting and pointing and someone to hold everyone’s hand pay for everything.

Hmmmm. And there’s the title of my next book: The Ass-Hat Morons go Twerking with the Dwarves.

Is that available on iPhone? Or perhaps it could be made into an HBO TV show! Hmm, actually, maybe I’ll just wait for the edited YouTube highlights version…

theguardian.com/technology/v … romo-video

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Vic

That really is rather dig-in-the-ribs witty.

I fear 't will only get worse.

Fluff

The modern day Snow White
nydailynews.com/entertainmen … -1.1449870