A step too far

I haven't ordered an iPad and I'm not sure I will. It looks lovely but I can't justify spending hundreds of pounds on something to browse the web from my bed. Maybe when they make version 2 and I've found out what the compelling use case is.

But at the back of my mind there is also an unease about what the success of the, increasingly locked down, iXXXX machines means. At each step Apple have, rather than loosening the reins, tightened them.

Locking down the iPhone OS seemed relatively justifiable to me. My iPhone is, first and foremost, a phone. I'm happy to make a lot of small compromises to ensure that it works well in that role. Compromises I wouldn't dream of accepting in a laptop.

But I wonder whether those compromises are the very things that have robbed me, despite my familiarity with Objective-C & Cocoa, of any desire to build for the iPhone platform. It doesn't feel like a playful space to be in.

Now it would appear that Apple are trying to control the tools used to build applications for the iPhone OS platform, blocking developers from using things like Flash or .NET even as creation tools.

Nobody who knows me will be under any illusions that I have any love for Flash, Adobe, .NET, or Microsoft. I don't want to see applications written using those tools on my devices. I'd rather people learned the native platform and used Objective-C & CocoaTouch directly. But I wouldn't wish it to be so at gun point.

Apple appear to consider complete control and dominance of the platform as the No.1 priority. It's understandable I guess, why let other people drive your agenda. But, at the same time, if they successfully execute this strategy I wonder what kind of sterile future we are looking at. Innovation grows in the cracks and Apple appear to be plastering over them as fast as they are discovered.

So part of my problem with the iPad is that it's not really a computer. It's more of an Apple-terminal, nice but expensive. And I don't just mean the price ticket.

10/04/2010 09:24 by Matt Mower | Permalink
More about: