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September 13, 2008

Apple is a black box company

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

The iPhone is my first experience being an Apple customer.  After a few months now, I have one thing to say to Steve Jobs and Co - Set my people free!  They talk about Microsoft locking you in?  Apple  makes Microsoft look like libertarians.

A few days ago I wrote about a frustrating experience I had flying across the country. I had a file attachment in an email on my iPhone.  It was a Power Point file. I wanted to edit it before I had to present in the morning.  There was just no way to get it off my phone on the computer, without mailing it to myself, which I could not do on the plane.  It was frustrating for me because for the last two years I had Windows mobile phones.  When you plugged in the USB, the phone became a mounted drive and you could drag and drop files back and forth between the phone and your computer.  Not with the iPhone it seems.  Even though when you plug it in and it syncs with iTunes, is not any different, Apple does not want you to be able to move your own files on and off the phone.

I received a note from a reader telling me that a new app was available called Air Sharing that would let you do this.  I downloaded the app and tried it out.  First of all you still can't just plug in the USB and move files.  It works by setting up a web server on your iPhone that can only be accessed via a wireless network connection.  So for the plane scenario that started this, it was basically useless.

I had music on my iPhone that was there from my old computer. It was my own MP3 files, not bought from iTunes and no DMR issues. I have been trying to get them on my new computer from the iPhone.  But again because of Apple's totalitarian philosophy, if you want to sync your iPhone with iTunes it will wipe out your iPhone music and replace it with what you have in your iTunes library.  Again, it is the Apple way or no way.  Well it turns out that Air Sharing is the same garbage. You can move files from your computer to the iPhone but not the other way.  What good is that?  I could just attach and mail them to myself and do the same thing.  I don't blame the developers of Air Sharing, their hands are tied by Apple.

In spite of this uselessness, the Apple fan boy crowd can't stop crowing about the legendary Apple user experience that this App allows and how great it is.  Here is a news flash for you:  You want to see how it should really work, go check out a Windows mobile phone! In the meantime I am in countdown mode to when I can ditch the iPhone.  I am tired of dropped calls, poor signals and black box controls. 

My message to Apple is - Set the people and their files free!

More on Apple.  Mitchell sent me a wav file to edit for our next podcast. I clicked the link it opens in my browser and the quicktime plug in that I don't even remember giving permission to install starts playing the wave file.  Go to save the file and it tells me I have to buy Quicktime Pro.  The heck with that. I opened the URL in Windows media play and clicked save file as.  Easy pizy,

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