Newsletter Issue #814: Apple Forcing Ubiquity? Give Me a Break!

July 6th, 2015

The way some tech bloggers put it, Apple has become the Big Brother depicted in George Orwell’s “1984.” Yes, the very first Macintosh commercial railed against conformity, largely against the IBM PC, but now that Apple has become so large, there’s a feeling on the part of some that Apple is taking unwanted control of your choices and your experiences even if they aren’t scraping your email to find fodder for targeted ads.

So when you buy an iPhone, an iPad, or a Mac — and now an Apple Watch — supposedly you have been imprisoned in a walled garden, and you are forced to accept the company’s choices on how to use your gear. Sure, it’s not easy to escape Apple’s mobile restrictions if you want to use apps that aren’t in the App Store. Instead you have to jailbreak your device, which can also make you vulnerable to malware-ridden apps.

But the App Store has an estimated 1.5 million apps. Sure there’s enough in that library to cater to most every need. Yes, I realize there are certain types of apps that aren’t allowed, in large part because they require system resources or forms of inter-app communication that Apple doesn’t support. An app to capture Skype audio is a notable example. But that’s not the result of a nasty trick to take control over your experience. No doubt there are legitimate security concerns that Apple needs to consider before such things are allowed.

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