Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some People Lie

Jesper and Steven Frank have posted their thoughts on the quote that I mentioned from Steve Jobs: “We don’t run to the press and say, this guy is a son-of-a-bitch liar!” That’s actually pretty much what he just did, except that he planted a vague enough seed of FUD that none of the accused can defend themselves. And tarred all developers with it.


The most distressing App Store stories I’ve run across have been open about their entire communication with Apple. No one would blame you for pointing out fabrications in those stories, and you have chosen not to, which leads me to believe that at least some of them are true—probably all of them. I have a hard time stomaching treating your developers in this backhand, “walled garden,” “curated” way in the first place. It’s getting tough when you reject perfectly fine apps because you don’t feel like it (so much for the “customer benefit”).

I think I draw the line when you call the developers you mistreated “liars”.

It’s making Jesper want to buy an Android phone, a strange lowering of standards:

…that kind of thinking is right now inventing vulnerabilities where they’d otherwise have precious little.

Steven Frank:

Perhaps the very problem is this whole Apple stoically “taking it on the chin” business. Apple’s near total silence on really incredibly important matters is indeed a huge part of why so many developers, myself included, just don’t trust the damn thing. It’s like a black hole from which no information escapes.

Apple probably sees the black hole as a feature. Trust is less important than control and deniability.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Android's nothing to be sneezed at, but the reason I don't already have one of them is really that they're still behind. If you allow apps from everywhere, what's the point of having a "marketplace" where you can't list for-pay apps? (I understand the US gets them, and that Sweden is not part of the US.) And the fragmentation and... limited firmware upgrade paths does drive me a bit nuts, but it's also an emergent property of a more open system in combination with the kind of manufacturers we have today.

Not to mention how far behind the developer culture and SDK seems in comparison. (The Evil in Apple's approach starts from the Apple-rooted certificate requirement and onward; I can pretty much get onboard with everything before that, including mandatory code signing.)

Android's far from perfect, and even sufficiently far from iPhone. My point is that as far from perfect as they are right now, it's starting to look more and more attractive based on other factors. And when they catch up with stuff the rest of the world cares about as well, then what does Apple do?

"Android's nothing to be sneezed at, but the reason I don't already have one of them is really that they're still behind."

Or put another way, at the moment, Android is to be sneezed at.

But the moment will likely pass.

It's funny. The world really did witness a war just like this from the mid-80's until 1995. The cliche is that history never repeats exactly, but we'll see in this case...

Apple lies all the time. I had this interaction with its senior manager for iTunes store and App Store about a possible collaboration. He took enormous interests in the beginning, and then went on to give time and failing to show up like "I will call you tomorrow with more details", "I was sick, so will take a few days to catch up", "I am mostly caught up, will be in contact by Monday" etc but never doing anything about it. I failed to understand whether it was he or someone commanding him was behaving unethically. But lies nonetheless.

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