Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Apple: Innovative, dominant or just control freaks?

Despite their über cool kit, and oh so easy to use OS's, Apple have a habit of rubbing it's own users up the wrong way from time to time.

One of the things that irritates a lot of people about the iPhone and iOS, is Apple's insistence on approving everything, and apparently vetoing apps that it thinks are too similar to it's own offerings. They usually cite the need for control and having a closed ecosystem does have positives, but I struggle to understand the rationale why when developers are coding better apps than Apple can provide.

Now I think it's fair to say that the general consensus, certainly amongst nearly all the iPhone users I know, personally and online, is that the iPhone's default calendar app is pretty crap.

There are all sorts of things that someone who makes a lot of use of a calendar (which is most of us I guess), that the in-built offering can't do. It's views are limited, it can't set a default alarm for new entries, and more.

So inevitably a plethora of alternative have sprung up. Some are relatively simplistic like Agenda and some like Pocket Informant try to cram loads of features in.

I like the principle of the default app but want something a bit more. Utilitap's Week Cal fits the bill perfectly and I've been using it for some months. I particularly like the the various views the app offers.

Tonight I noticed there was another update for this in the App Store , but imagine my suprise when checking the details of the update, its said, and I quote:

Apple ordered us to change the old month and change the day overview from Week Calendar. We had no choice but to comply, otherwise there would be no Week Calendar app anymore

This is astounding.

Apple must be aware that users want more from the in-built Calendar app - if they don't their head is in the sand. They are clearly aware that there are better apps than theirs out there. But to make a developer remove functionality and stubbornly fail to develop their own app to provide the functionality that users want (unless by some miracle it's coming in the iPhone 5) beggars belief and is arrogance in the extreme.

I am seeing more and more people starting to talk about the closed nature of the iOS system as a problem rather than a plus. If Apple keep doing this, developers will get fed up, and they'll go and code for Android (if they're not already).

Apple needs to take a long hard look at itself in relation to this. Idiots.

I've "downgraded" Week Cal with the latest update, but I'm never going back to the default Calendar app. It's been long consigned to an "unused apps" folder, along interestingly with the default weather app, the default stocks app.....get my drift?

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