No doubt about it, Apple devices have made a huge impact over the past few years with some amazing innovations, but at what price to our technological intelligence? Apple has swarmed the market with iPods, iPhones and iPads, basically all the same device in a different size (the phone makes calls, but that is about the only main difference). Steve Jobs has decided how the world should use portable devices with his ‘Apps’ and he has done a masterful job at it. Have you ever noticed that nothing ever ‘appears’ to crash on these Apple devices? That is because Steve is quite a good manipulator, he decided that he would pull the wool over our eyes and made it so that when an App on one of his devices has a problem, it just disappears – no warning, no error message, just poof, its gone. This is a great psychological dupe of people. Many people end up thinking that they accidentally closed the app with a bump, swipe, or touch, when in fact the app just crashed due to bad programming by Apple or the Apps maker.
The Apple devices like the iPad have taught us a different way of doing things – and many times that way is harder and more innefficient. Sure, the iPad is a great device for consumption of data, for viewing things, for reading, for surfing the web, but it is quite innefficient at data creation. I have seen many businesses fall for the lure of the iPad, not so much because it helps them, but because of the cool factor (many ‘thought’ it would help them, until they actually tried to use them). Don’t get me wrong, Tablets definitely have a place in business, but it is sad to see someone like a doctor struggle with trying to enter data on an iPad and taking 10 times longer than it would take to sit at the PC that is right there. I almost laugh out loud when I see people trying to use an App clumsily with their fingers that would be so much easier to do on a real computer with a mouse and keyboard. When it comes to using technology efficiently, Apple definitely makes us dumb.
Then of course we have the wonderful Apple marketing machine that has placed Apple devices in Schools wherever they can. This is so the young impressionable ones will see them and want one – and who wouldn’t want a sleek, aluminum body laptop, or all in one with that big Apple logo? Of course no one explains to the kids that learning how to use an Apple won’t get them squat when it comes to applying for a job. Businesses do not use Apple computer’s, they are not made for business, they are not secure, they do not have hardly any business software, and 99% of the worlds businesses run computers other than Apple. A security expert at the latest Black Hat security conference summed up the danger of using Apple’s Server computer in a business environment when he said “once you install OS X Server you’re toast“. Learning how to use a Mac will actually probably hurt students when it comes time to venture out into the business world as they will have to relearn many things. It may be ‘cool’ to have that Apple in class, but cool doesn’t pay the bills.
Now don’t get me wrong – Apple makes excellent quality devices, they pretty much always have (despite their massive exploitation of Chinese workers, but hey, everyone does that <sarc>), it is also true that you have less of a chance of getting malware or a virus on a Mac (not because they are more secure, that myth has been shattered), it’s because people write most viruses today to make money and infecting computers that hold such a small share of the market just isn’t that profitable. The iPad is slick, it has an easy to use interface, and it doesn’t show errors like Android devices (which do tell you when there is an error with the software). The iOS devices have a wealth of apps, which also make a wealth of money for Apple, and you can find an app for just about anything that Steve Jobs will allow you to have, because after all, it appears as if Steve wants people to be dumb when it comes to technology, that is how Apple has made their money.
Verizon is releasing the iPhone and many people here in Pensacola are getting ready to jump on the bandwagon, but it always pays to do a bit of research, and also it might be a good idea to wait to see what the first crop of adopters have to say about it. Some things to consider:
While Verizon rocks when it comes to coverage areas and voice service quality mostly, it’s data speeds are not quite as good as ATT in most areas, and much slower in some areas. Plus, there are some hardware/network differences between ATT and Verizon, such as the fact that you can’t talk and do web on Verizon’s network (I personally never cared about this feature, but some people do). Not that I am a fan of ATT, I personally think their service and customer service leaves much to be desired. If you have an iPhone on ATT and use it mostly for phone calls, then Verizon might be a better choice, but then again, if you use it mostly for phone calls, why have an iPhone?
If you use your iPhone on ATT for what an iPhone is for mostly (data, web, etc) then you will more than likely be disappointed on Verizon. If you are currently on Verizon and are getting an iPhone because you want to do the things an iPhone can do, then you really might want to take a look at some of the new Android based phones which have really improved in this past year. In my opinion, you can get a lot more better free apps on Android than on iPhone. Sure there are more iPhone apps, but a lot of them are crap and way overpriced. Plus remember that every iPhone app you buy, 30% of the profit goes right to Steve Jobs and Apple, whereas Android software developers profit much more from the hard work they put into their apps. Another consideration is that it is so much easier to customize and tweak an Android phone and benefit from the huge community of open source software people who are constantly developing custom ROM’s and tweaks for Android phones (for free). With Android it is also much easier to do things like tether your laptop/tablet without having to fork out additional monthly fees
Another big consideration, it won’t be too much longer until the next iPhone comes out, if you buy one now, you will be basically stuck with it for the next 2 years which would be a drag considering the iPhone 5 is supposed to be released in a few months. If you absolutely must have an iPhone for whatever reason it would be prudent to wait until the next generation on Verizon, or better yet, get an Android phone today and see what you can do on it
If you do get an iPhone on Verizon, be sure to read all the fine print as they have been changing their plans and offerings in regards to data and such a lot lately!
This past year has seen a huge explosion in the mobile phone market with the newest crop of Android phones jumping past the iPhone and Blackberry’s as the most popular – and for good reason: Android is a much more open platform, allowing developers to make applications freely while also not being subjected to the draconian Apple apps rules and fees. While both the Blackberry devices and the iPhone offer some pretty good features (the Blackberry still being the best for Enterprise business users), there are things that have contributed to their losing market share, such as the crappy ATT service (Pensacola ATT service is spotty at best in many places).
So if you are looking for a new phone, the question comes, what to buy? One of the biggest factors is what you need your phone to do, as well as how much you want to pay for it – the initial cost of the phone is usually not as much of a factor as the continuing cost of the service. Smart-phone costs can add up quite quickly, especially with the added services such as tethering or mobile hot spots and high usage data plans (ATT has stopped their unlimited data plans and now requires you to pay in blocks which can be very expensive if you use just a little bit too much in a month.). Personally I have found that Verizon coverage is some of the best -Pensacola Verizon service is pretty good, and it definitely is one of the best when travelling across the US, however their pricing is not the cheapest so it is a trade-off between cost and benefits.
I currently am using a Droid (the original, although I plan on moving to a newer Android device in the near future). One of the things that I love about the current crop of Android phones is their ability to view Flash websites and play Flash games, something that the iPhone will never be able to do thanks to Steve (wanna be god) Jobs. In addition, I do like the easy integration with Google apps (gmail, google maps, etc). Also, with the soon to be released Android and Windows based tablets (like the Samsung Galaxy), the wireless hotspot capabilities may come in handy (while I currently have an iPad, I hate being hampered with its shortcomings such as the lack of flash, no usb ports, no camera, etc).
In the end, it comes down to a dizzying array of choices when it comes to phones, so be sure to take some time and do a bit of research before taking the plunge, and look carefully at all the associated costs.
Don’t get me wrong, Apple does make some fairly good products – their iPod’s are pretty good, the iPhone has certainly changed the way we look at mobile devices, and the Mac’s have always been pretty well made computers……but
Apple as a company today leaves much to be desired, and due to a number of factors, I refuse to support such a company until they make some serious changes.
First of all, Apple has seriously exploited workers in China for quite a while. In Apples own reports from last year (in which they try to cover the abuses by stating that they are working towards change – what a crock and a pitiful excuse!) 45 of 83 factories that were audited in China that built products for Apple were illegally not paying overtime to their workers, and 23 of these weren’t even paying some of their workers China’s minimum wage. Furthermore, 25 of these 83 were guilty of descrimination, and 22 of them (over 25% of the factories) didn’t meet environmental standards. (details here: http://bit.ly/appleExploitation ). In addition to these problems, just last week there was a strike at a factory in China that is a component supplier for Apple’s iPhone. Employees there went on strike after they said four employees died after exposure to hexane, a very toxic chemical that they used to clean touchscreen panels and can cause nervous system failures in humans.
Apple of course states that they are working on improving conditions, but in my eyes that is a cheap cop-out. Hey Apple, here’s an idea – why don’t you only contract to places and companies that follow the rules to begin with instead of exploiting people! Of course Apple could give back to the countries where it makes the most money by making their products there, but nooooo, that would cut into their profit pie too much and it is so much easier to use basically slave labor.
Then of course, there is the whole using other’s technology (stealing). Apple has a long history of illegally using other technology in their products without paying for it. And people say, yeah but other companies do the same thing – so fricking what! Apple should be responsible for their own actions regardless of other companies. Latest are the suits by Nokia, a long time player in the mobile phone market which has sued Apple for illegally using their technology in Apple products – this is the same technology that 40 other companies pay Nokia to use, but Apple sees themselves as above the law and refuses to pay. Apple introduces the iPhone (their first phone) only 2 years ago, whereas Nokia has been in the business for many years – do you honestly think that all the technology in the iPhone was all Apple’s idea? While technology theft and failure to pay fees for using another’s technology are commonplace, Apple’s philosophy though is that whenever someone sues them, they make up some BS countersuit and tie things up in courts for years and years, and why not, they are reaping (raping) profits the whole time.
Then of course is the whole ripping off of developers that Apple has been doing for years – I mean come on 30% cut off the top for iPhone apps? What a crock! Apple does very little except exercise it’s godlike powers in deciding what apps you can and can’t have on your phone, and yet it gets 30% of the profit of someone elses hard work! Not to mention the appropriation into the Mac OS of apps and such that were developed outside of Apple with no compensation or even credit given to the original developers – of course these individuals could sue Apple (and a few have) but Apple will just flex it’s legal muscles and countersue, or drag things out in the courts forever.
In addition, something that Apple gets away with that really pisses me off – it’s ok to run Windows on a Mac, Apple even supports it to help them sell more of their products, but woe forbid someone tries to install the Mac OS on a computer that Apple didn’t profit off of and they immediatley issue C&D orders – what kind of crap is that? If that isn’t a seriously wrong double standard I don’t know what is.
So if you want to buy an Apple product, just be aware that by doing so you are supporting Apple’s exploitation of Chinese workers, their illegal use of other companies technology, their abuse and ripping off of developers, and their wonderful double standards. To Apple it’s all about the profit, and things like morals and ethics don’t even get in the back seat, but rather get dragged under the bus. While I know that plenty of others do much the same, that is simply not an excuse for Apple to do it too!
Pensacola cell phone users who have service with Verizon and ATT will need to check with their carriers starting next week to see if there is a better and cheaper plan available. Starting Monday, Verizon is dropping the prices on many of its popular service packages, some with a significant savings! According to Verizon, switching plans will be free and there is no requirement to extend your current contract. AT&T, faced with so much bad press lately, responded with their own price cuts after the Verizon announcement
This is great news for cell phone users, but of course there is a catch. There will soon be mandatory data fees for all phones capable of internet accesss (all the smart phones like the new Droid already have these fees). That coupled with the fact that you still have to ask for the switch in plans is sure to bring Verizon some increased revenues. In a time when the cell phone carriers are battling, Verizon has taken the first swing which has forced the faltering AT&T to step up with a price cut of their own. AT&T has been recently battling a wave of negative publicity due to their poorly rated customer service and 3G coverage areas, not to mention all the bad press with Apple, and the iPhone (with Apple being sued by many huge companies for technology theft/patent infringement there is a good chance that they are either going to be paying a lot, or losing the ability to sell their current products).
For those with cell phone plans with Verizon or AT&T, be sure to check with them in the next week or so to see if you can save some money by switching to one of their new plans!!