Apple’s new connector is a big mistake (and other reasons why I abandoned Apple and iOS)

Since the first iPhone was introduced we’ve purchased four iPhone models in our household as well as an iPad 2. Prior to the launch of the iPhone 5, I became the proud owner of an Android device (the wonderful Galaxy Note), but my wife still preferred the iPhone, primarily because we have an iPhone speaker, a Bose SoundDock 2 that we like a lot.

That investment was the reason she was holding out for the iPhone 5, but now, because the iPhone 5′s connector has changed, and because the SoundDock requires the old iPhone connector, she is going to buy a Samsung Galaxy S3.

All I have to say is ‘Hallelujah’. Apple has been getting on my nerves for quite some time for a growing number of reasons, not least of which is the notion that they ‘own’ the pinch to zoom concept. Here’s a quick list of other things I dislike about Apple and iOS.

Goobye iOS

  1. The fact that Apple makes it not-very-easy to get your own media on the iPhone while making it as easy as can be to get media from iTunes. With Android, I can move media files from my laptop to my mobile device wirelessly, without converting them first, and a host of media player apps will play any format that you throw at them. (Go here for a fantastic list of free Android apps, including apps to beam files to your device wirelessly, and to view media without converting them first).
  2. The fact that iTunes is an overgrown, clunky, un-user friendly piece of crap that will take over your computer if you’re not careful. This from a company who are supposedly masters of user friendly design. Getting rid of iTunes alone was worth the move to Android.
  3. I honestly like Android a lot better than iOS. I don’t know much about iOS 6, but I do know that it was refreshing, when I first got Android, to see that you can do other things with it than the rows of icons that is iOS5 (e.g. widgets, custom launchers and interface tweaks).
  4. The fact that you could never simply install an SD card into an iPhone in order expand its memory. I bought a 32 gig SD card for my Galaxy Note for about $50.
  5. The fact that you cannot replace the battery for iOS devices. If your battery becomes faulty or inefficient, it is quite expensive to get a replacement, and you might as well get a new phone.
  6. The fact that Apple suddenly takes apps off the appstore, without having to explain why, and the fact that they need to ‘approve’ apps before you can install them. (With Android, there are several appstores and you don’t need to use them, you can install apps after downloading them straight from the author’s site).

Would love to hear your thoughts!


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
flattr this!
  • Nosgoroth

    You have a very valid opinion. This is my take:

    1) There’s a video player that I use called AV Player that can play any format, can slurp video files from FTP or become an FTP server for you to transfer video files from your computer wirelessly, and that’s only one of the apps. AirVideo, VLC Streamer are apps I recommend wholeheartedly to stream media from the computer to iOS. I use VLC Streamer daily, and have been getting wonderful support from its creator.
    2) iTunes is heavy and and a horrible resource hog, but I like the interface. There’s a redesign coming next month regardless, we’ll see if that changes anything.
    3) I do prefer iOS after some jailbreak interface tweaks, but hey, that’s just me.
    4) YESYESYES. SD card expansion is a godsend on any device.
    5) Yes to that too.
    6) Well, much has been written on the pros and cons of the walled garden approach, I don’t want to go there.

    And regarding the connector, you do know that an adapter comes in the box with the iPhone, right?

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ Nosgoroth: thanks for letting me know about AV Player, a must have app for iOS. I was using Airplayit to stream videos from my laptop to my iPhone and iPad, which is a decent app and is free (and available ofr iOS and Android).

      Sadly, Apple is not shipping a connector with every iPhone, as Echodawg below points out, although that’s probably what they should have done, instead of turning it into an opportunity to extract more money from their customers who, as in our case, have already invested hundreds of dollars in peripherals.

  • Paparazzi

    Hallelujah indeed!!! Come to think of it … you got your freedom on Software Freedom day which means on this day thou shalt celebrate both Software & Hardware Freedom day :D

    I’ve always disliked iOS for both 1 & 2. Another convenience of Android is the ability to use it as a quick flash drive. I sometimes copy stuff onto my mobile and then use the copied stuff wherever I please. Had I been using an Apple product, I would be in a position where in I would have to first install iTunes on another PC or go through the inconvenience of logging in to a friends itunes with my id … and all that is assuming that the content copied is media. If for example I needed to copy a software (exe) or text or xls files, I’d be doomed as iOD just does not let me place them on my mobile unless I choose to go the dropbox / email route!

    Can we now presume freeware android app reviews ;)

    Cheers, Congrats to your wife on her new REAL phone and tell her to enjoy her phone :)

    Ps … am looking forward to see how WM8 turns out.

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ Paparazzi: I am also looking forward to WM8. The Nokia Lumia 900 in particular looks like it is going to be terriffic.

      As for more Android app reviews, yes. Although we have already published quite a few Android app reviews and/or articles relating to Android.

  • Brody

    As much as I despise iTunes there just some pod-casts that I can’t seem to get any where else. So it’s iTunes or do with out. I choose to do without. I did discover there were three main things that made iTunes so clunky. One was being forced to install Quick Time (which I never used) the fact that it installed other software I didn’t need (Like Bon Jour) and then those hated dozens of language packs in several files (some hidden) that I didn’t need. I believe the last time I installed iTunes on a friends computer Quick Time was not required. As for all those unnecessary language packs I had to root out every single one and uninstalled Bon Jour and and a couple other things. After doing all that I cut the size of iTunes almost in half! Of course doing all that is a huge PITA and every time you upgrade you have to redo everything. Which makes just easier to dump iTunes in my book. Which is a shame since so many people have been bitten by the iTunes flea and only make their product available through there.

  • Echodawg

    Nope…sorry Nosgoroth, ” Apple is confirming that the iPhone 5 will NOT ship with a 30-pin to Lightning adapter”. So, there’s another $30(each) My GF has a dock in her car, one on her nightstand and one in her office, so thats $90 of Lightning adapters. Who wants to carry a phone with the adapter attached to it or banging around in the bottom of your pocket. And now how will the iPhone be supported in the docks? The adapter looks to be an inch or so tall. It would have been a better design to make it more of an extension of the phone. How many times will it get twisted or bent a little before the connection starts to short out or weaken?

    Jailbreaking isn’t something that many people will do to their iPhone just to customize the interface, in android you can tailor your phone to you, launchers, keyboards, widgets… without jailbreaking.

    Setting up FTP isn’t always that simple and your home PC has to be up and running all the time to stream. In android I can just click “keep on device” to any song, album or playlist or just stream from Google Play Music.

    Android has a “Walled Garden” too, “Play Store”, but this garden has a lock and you are given a key(in the settings menu) to allow unknown sources. It’s MY phone! I can do what I want with it.

    I can also download and pay for an app once and put it on my Galaxy S3, then put it on my Xoom and then again on my HP Touchpad(rooted running Android – Cyanogen Mod 9) Pay once and done.

    All of my info(including apps) is backed up by Google(if I want) and all I have to do is log in and sync when I get a new device. Done, no need to make sure I backed up my phone before I drop it.

    I’m with Samer here, As innovative as Apple is, I hate that they are afraid of competition.
    My GF is going to switch to Android because of the adapter too.

    Finally !!!

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ Echodawg: pay once and you’re done for app is a great point; I should have put it on the list.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Akro

        Pay once and done is identical on the iOS App Store. I can install an app I bought on my iPhone to my iPad and to my son’s iPod Touch.

    • DaPesto

      You don’t keep your PC on all the time? My runs 24/7.. is a media server for my TIVO machines as well as the tv’s in the house… and my iphone/ipad. I agree about the connector… foul ball apple!

      And… the inability to add memory via microSD is another stupid idea… but the app store itself, the games/programs for the iphone… TOP notch.

      BTW: I haven’t used itunes for anything in about 2 years… not even installed on my system… with icloud backup/synching, etc…

      Just waiting on the jailbreak.. then it will be complete again!

  • http://www.portablefreeware.com webfork

    Absolutely agree. I’ve been getting the sense for years that when I buy something from Apple, I’m actually just renting it. The fact that they bricked phones that used non-standard firmware and the way you can’t do anything with your device unless you use their software and their methods?

    The real break for me was when they banned VLC from the app store because it had an incompatible license. Maybe the best media player program and you don’t want it on your platform? Meanwhile, Android is happy to have it along with Firefox and FBReader. All this when Mac OS X and iOS both use core components from the free and openly developed FreeBSD? It’s just absurd.

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ webfork: I also was disappointed when VLC disappeared. I got it before it was banned, and still use it.

  • Toni

    Last year or something my wife got an iPod for christmas from her boss. After I played with it for a while I wondered why anyone ever would buy that thing. Especially after my wife asked my help, because she couldn’t figure out how to transfer any of her files to the stupid thing and I was forced to download iTunes, which took over my computer and started to make a copy of all the mediafiles on it, converting them to Apple-format. Really… what’s the point?

    Just today a colleague of mine said she was heading for the store after work just to buy the newest Apple -earphones. She was all excited about it. When I asked her why, she answered: ‘I am just an Apple-slut’

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ Toni: that happened to me, someone who considers himself tech-savvy – iTunes re-arranged my music and started converting. It took some work to get everything back to the way it was.

      A free iPad is not a bad thing at all, though ;)

      • dikbozo

        Hey, my kid’s crack dealer just said something like that too.

  • Adam Smith

    Wonderful article.
    Nothing is more insightful than articles which inform readers of flaws/faults, not just regurgitate the press releases
    Your article was really helpful to me :)

  • Gwamma

    Don’t be such a tightwad. Buy an adapter and all is well with your Bose. That’s what I did. Or…just dedicate your old phone to your Bose.

    • Samer Kurdi

      Gwamma. I didn’t know you followed my blog! Dedicating my old iPhone to the Bose is a good idea, actually. Greetings to Gwampa.

  • Balatsokas

    No more iOS, Apple, and iPhone for me, too.
    Android all the way!!!

  • Aziz

    Man i hate apple too and am an android fan, but just for the record, converter for your speaker dock.

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/iphone-5-adapter-revealed-lightning-to-30-pin-for-25

  • Dantv

    Two reasons I’m sticking with Apple and iOS:

    1-Google / Android is SPYWARE.

    2-I will never support Samsung and those scummy Asian companies that copy American IP and hurt the American economy.

    • Paparazzi

      So, do you not buy Chinese products? What about clothes made in India or Bangladesh? What about French wine or Petrol from the Middle East? Is it just the IP you are concerned about? How about the social factors? Not concerned that guys working in Foxconn have been committing suicide in China almost on a regular basis because of poor working conditions? Or, are you just saying damn the rest of the world?

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ Dantv: don’t kid yourself, Google and Apple will both siphon as much information about you as technically possible. Even if you just download free apps iTunes will want to have your credit card info.

      Also remember that Samsung phones run Android, which was created in the US. Which is to say that both Apple and Samsung give you phones that are manufactured in SouthEast Asia and run software created in the US.

    • dikbozo

      Please don’t feed the troll.

    • http://www.paleografie.tk Cerberus

      And don’t forget that Apple buys many parts of its Iphones directly from Samsung! All electronics are Asian and made in China. Almost all anyway.

  • Dantv

    Seriously Samer,

    I would love to see a serious discussion why anyone, especially geeks, would use anything from Google. They make their money by tracking and spying on its users completely violating their privacy. They are no better than a pervert that hands out free candy to a child!

    Google is the company that I trust the least.

    • Echodawg

      You do realize that you don’t HAVE to use the Google services.

      ALL cell phones and providers collect your data.

      From Apples TOS…
      “Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device,” reads the new section of Apple’s privacy policy”.

      And that’s just the part about location, there’s lots more info they sell as well.

    • http://www.paleografie.tk Cerberus

      What Samer says. In addition, Android is open-source: the OS itself doesn’t spy on you. The spying only begins when you use a Google account on it and have it synchronize with Google. You can just create a Google account on your phone, then tell it not to synchronise, and Google gets no more data from you. The temptation to enable synchronisation is admittedly great, because you can some nice cloud services, but you could use other applications for that on your phone.

  • cpeter

    i am not an apple fan, but…
    don’t you guys feel SAMSUNG design and quality is very bad that worth the honor of junk?

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ cpeter: in this blog, I like to call it as I see it. As an owner of several Apple products AND a Samsung Galaxy note, and as someone who has played with the Galaxy S3, I can tell you that both Samsung phones are remarkable feats of engineering.

  • Duncan

    One single argument in favour of Apple’s iProducts – they are simple.

    Apple products are so dumbed down and polished off that I encourage all my techno-phobic family members to use them. They are limited with what they can do with them so there are far fewer things to go wrong or need technical support for.

    When they do inevitably turn to me for help I like being able to reply with “that’s an Apple product, so I can’t help you there. Try the Apple store.”

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ Duncan: I agree with you on that one. Android is slightly more invovled as a user interface than Apple. The genius bar or whatever it is at the Apple store is definitely a competitive advantage for Apple.

      But despite all of this, I still have to help my mother with her iPad, on a weekly basis, and I don’t even let her deal with iTunes. I can’t say that things would be worse if she was using Android, they may even be better, if I were to tell her that she can always go back using Android’s back button.

  • Suja

    I hate apple for their services. I purchased ipod nano which failed after 6 mpnths and my friends ipod failed after one month and their srrvice was crap.

  • http://theflitters.com bolgwrad

    I bought a 15″ MacBook Pro a year ago – because I had the cash at the time – imagining it might transform my working methods as a musician, eg easy and fast music/video editing, etc. The only thing I would use it for now, apart from watching movies, is with Waveburner as a dumb benchmark to compare my CDs to commercial products. All the other applications are no better and in most cases far less convenient than Windows software, eg Reaper (uncrippled tryware), IrfanView (free), Foobar (free). VirtualDub (free) is much, much easier to use than the OSX movie studio. Don’t get me started on iTunes, which is the software equivalent of a call center. iTunes is the very reason an iPhone or iPod are of no interest to me. I suppose Apple have done something right, in that their major commercial applications are simply not worth pirating.

  • Dario

    Whoa! More sources that indicate that Apple might be going down. I am following a bunch of blogs and YouTube channels and some of them also posted that they are abandoning Apple for another product. Also the many ‘longphone’ and ‘no innovation’ remarks from the public on the new iPhone 5, and right they are. What I do not understand is Apple’s own slogan ‘think different’, but they have been thinking ‘the same’ ever since the first iPhone and ever since Mac OS (where Mac OS 9 looks just like Mac OS 1 except with more colors). If it wasn’t for Steve Jobs who quit Apple to work on OSX only to come back to Apple, they would probably be R.I.P by now. Even the ‘not so creative’ Microsoft already came out with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 in the meantime since OSX. Now I would call THAT ‘thinking different’. My prediction is Apple is going down, Windows is going slightly up, Google OS will be a flop, and Ubuntu is starting to rise.

  • bruno

    You read my mind before writing your article. Exact same situation, I no own an Galaxy note, and all your points are the one that made me change as well.

    I still think that IOs could be a better option for computer-avert type of people (like my wife). Sometimes, lesser customization options are better.

  • Dan

    who want to buy product from a company that claims (and I quote): “our phone will gives shape and purpose to previously empty and meaningless lives “or “We believe that the iPhone 5 will make your current relationship obsolete.”

    Apple is a highly pretentious elitist despising company. I admire they design (software and hardware) which is light years ahead of the competition, but they are building prison walls in the digital world which should remain open and free. If you want to be a milk cow and contribute to the 10 billion quarterly revenue of apple by paying premium price for shiny product, be my guest. Maybe it is naive or stupid, but there are lines i d never cross.

    itunes -> music bee (much better)
    iphone -> htc/samsung (half price)

  • Greg

    Hello Samer,

    It’s been awhile since I wrote you but I do keep an eye on your blog feed.

    As a multi-platform type of guy, I thought my comments might be interesting. I’ll reference by your numbered points.

    1. Honestly, this isn’t really a big problem, if you use the right third party apps and wifi. VLC has a streamer add-on and app that work really well to iDevices, and no conversion is needed. Another good one is AirDisk Pro which is the most functional bidirectional file transfer app I’ve found.

    Still more clunky than Android, for sure, but do-able.

    2. Ah, iTunes! Butt ugly, disorganized and several others adjectives I won’t resort to here. But I don’t see how it “takes over your computer”. Maybe you mean via claiming File Associations? Well, I never let that happen with iTunes or any other software – I choose what runs which media.

    3. User interface. Certainly Apple’s HIG are a straight-jacket that many find uncomfortable. But there is a predictability there that others like, too. In an enterprise setting, the iOS (boring) consistency does make training easier.

    4. Media expansion. No argument here – you’re absolutely right. The only hope we have is if anyone ever makes wifi external solid state storage that actually works properly. It’s not that hard, Kingston!

    5. Maintainability. You win – no contest. As the good folks as iFixit have shown lately, Apple is getting worse in this regard with the greater use of adhesives. Is the mm or two they save worth it? I don’t think so.

    6. App store ecosystem. Yes, Apple are a bunch of arbitrary fascists with the app store. They let through complete crap and shameless clones, and worthy updates from dedicated developers get held up or even rejected. I hear you on the app disappearance thing, too. Evernote recently bought CocoaBox for its app Penultimate. All of the other old CocoaBox apps disappeared, and although that was probably an Evernote decision, it is not good for the existing users of those now-gone apps.

    I hope the Apple “fanboys” don’t give you too much heat, mate. Some of us Apple users are fair and balanced.

  • Yaron

    1. It is indeed a bit hard to get media on to the devices without iTunes. With it, it is quite easy but it is not that clear what exactly gets transferred to where.
    2. iTunes is terrible, but I have yet to see it “take over a computer” or any such nonsense. Similar to any other bloated software, it comes with many components and settings that may prove to be unwelcome to some users and if they do not pay attention to the installation process or any questions the software may present, they will probably get a cluttered environment.
    3. Android is indeed much more customizable out of the box (no jailbreak needed). On the other hand, I am pretty sure an overwhelming majority of users does not require any such customization and just wants the phone to work. iPhone “just works” almost all the time.
    4. Storage expansion is very much missing on iDevices. You can backup to iCloud, use DropBox, box.net, SkyDrive of Google drive and use all kinds of apps to FTP in and out of the device, but simply adding more GB to the device is non-existent, and that’s a shame. I guess you could buy something like this: http://www.airstash.com.
    I, for one, have never faced a shortage of storage before (on my iPhone 3G), but on the 4S 16GB I am getting there.
    As a side note, I think iCloud syncs all your data and apps across all your iDevices.
    5. Over the past 4 years I have had several iDevices at home and workplace (iPhone 3G/4/4S, iPod 3/4) and have never needed to replace a battery or, in fact, perform any sort of repair whatsoever (except once when my daughter totally demolished one of the connectors on the old iPhone). Does that mean a replaceable battery is not on my wish list? Not at all, but it does mean that the devices, batteries included, are extremely durable. I have yet to hear someone complain about poor Apple craftsmanship.
    6. Apple’s seemingly arbitrary store policy may be annoying, but with the unbelievable abundance of apps of all types (new ones coming out daily and so many of them free (although plagued with Ads)), I fail to see it as a real shortcoming.

    The decision to change the connector is a problematic one indeed. I would expect Apple to provide people upgrading from previous versions of their devices with free (or nearly free) adapters.

    My short experience with older Android devices has proven to be frustrating at best. The operating system, in my opinion, is far inferior to iOS in terms of user interface, smoothness and ease of use. We also had problems using corporate mail servers (Microsoft Exchange) with the built-in mail app. I assume newer versions have made some improvements in those areas but I am not sure Google have caught up with Apple in that regard yet.

    Anyone seeking privacy on the Internet is deluding himself. You may try to hide yourself through obscurity (which I do to some degree) or keep your private information secured using 2-factor authentication and encryption (which I do to a far lesser degree), but the fact is everyone and everything is spying on everyone else for the simple purpose of making more money. Assume that any service you receive has to gain something from your registration and that something is primarily information about yourself. Google and Facebook are notorious in that regard, but I guess Apple and the myriad of app developers in its ecosystem are not that far behind.

    As a final note I will say that Windows 8 phones and tablets may prove to be very interesting contenders in the near future, especially for enterprise users.

    • http://www.paleografie.tk Cerberus

      Ad 5: replacing the battery usually only becomes an issue after several years. If you buy a new phone every one or two years, you probably won’t need it. And you seem to do so, if you say have have used Iphones 3G, 4, and 4S.

      In addition, a few Android phones don’t have a replaceable battery either. And some don’t even have a card slot, like the Nexus phones, which is very, very bad. I fear that Google is trying to rip us off by demanding too much money for versions with larger internal memory. But at least there are still enough new Android phones with card readers.

      As to Android’s interface, perhaps you should try Android 4, because it has made great strides. From several video comparisons I have seen, Android is said to be slightly ahead now. I have never used IOS much, so I wouldn’t know; but I will tell you that my Android 4.1 works extremely well. Everything is very intuitive, flexible, and it “just works”.

      A comparison of the latest versions of IOS and Android:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwwJ8kgmcdc

  • Kirk

    crApple is the Monsanto of IT.

  • JohnR

    never bought apple products for precisely the reasons you list.

  • Tenzing

    I agree that the iPhone and anything related to the company, is slowly turning into a money-hog; nothing more. Well, we love our hard-earned cash, don’t we? With quarterly profits in billions, I had expected Apple to create iPhone 5 as a truly revolutionary device. Why? Because with the release of 4S last year, Apple had already pissed off many of its customers and now with iPhone 5, I have nothing more to say.

    With so much of Apple’s profits and wads of cash to invest, I thought holographic girls would be dancing on my table right out of the iPhone 5. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Not even NFC.

    So although I did not like Samsung, I switched to Galaxy S3 last week.

    And what is that iPhone camera? Shoots panorama? Wow! But did Apple forget that panoramas are already out of fashion since 1999? Or maybe Apple should stop producing iPhones and start a brand new business of iCamera with Aluminium matte finish – in two colors. I have a business plan.