I’ve largely stayed out of the Apple sphere of influence. I’m stuck on Windows XP at work and use Ubuntu at home.
The first – and last – Apple product I owned was a blueberry iMac.
I think it may have had an early version of OS X on it. It was fun enough, but I eventually replaced the OS with YellowDog.
Now I find myself in possession of a 16GB iPhone 3G. Nice! Or so I thought.
For various dull reasons, the iPhone is an unlocked Portuguese model. It was simplicity itself to set it to UK English and add my APN details etc. That’s where the fun & simplicity stopped.
I thought I’d try the fabled AppStore. Download a few free apps and the like – and thus the nightmare of “The-One-True-Apple-Way” descended on me.
First of all, all the apps were priced in €. I would have thought me manually setting the phone to UK & having a UK SIM in there & being on a UK network would have convinced Apple to price things in £. Not so.
When I tried to download a free app I was told to enter my iTunes account information. This was problematic for two reasons
1) It was a free app. On every other device I’ve ever owned I can click on a free app and install it without giving away so much as an email address.
2) I don’t have an iTunes account. As far as I can determine, there’s no way to obtain one from the phone.
This is meant to be a super-duper converged smartphone but apparently it can’t even handle a simple sign up process.
It turns out that the only way to get an iTunes account is to install the iTunes software. Again, this is problematic.
1) Not everyone has – or wants – a computer. Apple has drastically cut its user base for no reason as far as I can see.
2) Not everyone who has a computer has sole use of it. You might not be able to install iTunes on your work computer. If you & your family share a computer, how does iTunes handle multiple accounts?
3) How do you get the software? There’s no CD in the box, the iPhone doesn’t show up as a USB hard disk, so the software can’t stored on there like the Huawei/Vodafone 810.
So, off to the website to download iTunes.
It’s nearly 70MB! How the 40% of people without broadband are meant to grab this I have no idea.
The installation process was another of Apple’s famed usability triumphs…
I can’t choose my native language – “English (British)”. I can’t even trust it not to break Outlook.
It spent ~20 minutes installing the software, agreeing to two separate EULAs, only to be greeted by this screen.
So much for my language preferences.
Oh well, let’s ignore that. Let’s sign up for an account.
All the settings on my computer are set to UK, iTunes is set to English. My physical location is in the UK but I go through a proxy in Germany.
Would it be beyond the wit of Apple’s usability guru’s to add a “Choose Your Country” option? Apparently so.
It also turns out that Apple insist that their products look like OS X apps even when they run on Windows XP. Great, yet another interface language to learn. I’m sure that Apple’s products are the most amazing in the world – but this looks out of place on my system. Why should I have to mould myself to Apple? Shouldn’t they work for my needs? No, silly grasshopper, The-One-True-Apple-Way has one path that all must adhere to or face certain death.
At this point, I got bored. If was a paying customer, I’d be on the verge of returning the device.
I’m obviously missing the gene that makes me fall in love with Apple products. Or is the rabid Apple fanboism just an elaborate hoax? Come on guys, let me in on the joke…
May be I’ll try again tomorrow.