OK you might have seen the propaganda campaign from the Free Software Foundation? – here’s a copy from Leigh Blackhall’s Blog : – learnonline.wordpress.com
- iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can’t be on everyone’s phones.
- iPhone endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology.
- iPhone exposes your whereabouts and provides ways for others to track you without your knowledge.
- iPhone won’t play patent- and DRM-free formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora.
- iPhone is not the only option. There are better alternatives on the horizon that respect your freedom, don’t spy on you, play free media formats, and let you use free software — like the FreeRunner.
- Its way over priced for something that WILL break in your pocket (OK, I added the last one
I don’t agree with some of the assertions being made so lets look at them 1 at a time.
iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can’t be on everyone’s phones.
If you can write software you can download the software development kit for free ( $0). if you choose to publish the application you create and give it away for free ($0) apple will host it on i Tunes for free ( if it meets software quality and meets apples broad criteria (ie no Porn).
If you choose to charge for your software apple will take a cut – but why should that worry the free software foundation ????
One thing I will agree on, is at the moment there is no way for a developer to share source code and techniques with other developers – and they are grumbling a bit about that. I expect apple will relax this rule soon.)
iPhone endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology.
no surprise there. if apple was going to get the record labels and the movie companies to provide content at an affordable price for quick and easy download then yes the iPhone would have to support DRM.
So what! – the iPhone also supports un-DRM’ed content so you are not locked out of using your music and videos the way you please. and although its not quite legal there are utilities readily available to remove DRM if you so desire.
iPhone exposes your whereabouts and provides ways for others to track you without your knowledge.
Oh Come on! – the FSF are really clutching at straws here.
when an application on the iPhone wants to use GPS location data, it gives you – the user, the option to allow or deny access to location data. and that permission routine is built into the operating system. it cant be bypassed.
iPhone won’t play patent- and DRM-free formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora.
no. and it wont play Betamax video tapes either.
The iPhone supports MP3 (the most popular format) and AAC ( and open standard). converting files from one format to the other is usually a trivial task on a computer. People like mp3 – and the iPhone does it.
If the FSF are so cut-up about this, why don’t they commission someone to write an iPhone app that plays OGG and Theora files??? instead of just whinging about it?
iPhone is not the only option. There are better alternatives on the horizon that respect your freedom, don’t spy on you, play free media formats, and let you use free software — like the FreeRunner.
err no. other initiatives like Google’s Android phone OS are nothing but “vapourware” at this point while the iPhone is here and now. The iPhone breaks new ground as a sophisticated Internet device, multimedia player, and mobile phone. and they are selling MILLIONS of them . So why complain ? As consumers we will all benefit from the competition that the iPhone brings to the market.
Its way over priced for something that WILL break in your pocket (OK, I added the last one
Leigh added this one – and i don’t think its too dear. 2years ago I bought a Motorola SLVR – an almost smart phone on contract. Through Optus I got a 16gig iPhone and the contract was only 7 dollars a month dearer than my previous phone, and I get 250mb of data a month thrown in. ( I will be using wifi mostly). So in comparison I don’t think its overpriced – (its not cheap either!)
Lastly jailbreaking an iPhone isnt legal, but its not too difficult either. so if you really want to get your own content onto an iPhone, its possible through this avenue.
You also don’t have to deploy applications to the iPhone through the iTunes store. the software development kit also allows you to deploy an application to up to 100 iPhones through a wifi enabled network. this can be used by enterprises that want to deploy an in-house application to their workforce.
Frankly I am tiring of the FOSS movement’s shrill condemnation of anything that doesn’t meet their narrow outlook when it comes to computing technology. Their techno-bigotry is not winning the hearts and minds of consumers – they need to rethink their strategies. as the saying goes – you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.