My first smartphone was an iPhone, the iPhone 4 to be exact. Why? Well back then I was a young man and my girlfriend at the time worked at the biggest mobile carrier in Austria: A1. She got me a good deal on one of these, or the be more precise, I didn’t pay a cent for it. A little before that I got my first Mac, a 2011 or 2010 MacBook Pro 15 inch, can’t recall which it was, but it was a company laptop and once my boss got annoyed by it, I was told to take it home and keep it, because he didn’t want to see it again.
I had contact with Apple before, I had an iPod, when I got the Mac I could not help but wonder, why a mp3 Player company was making laptops now…
Yeah, I really didn’t know about them. I knew Windows, which was the thing coming with your PC and I also knew Linux, thanks to my teachers in HTL (tech collage in Austria), which was that other thing you could run on your PC.
Whatever, but my first real impression to Apple was this: I could get their stuff for free it would seem.
I rather soon learned this wasn’t the case at all, they are on the expensive side of things, so I drifted back to Windows, sported a all Windows setup for a while, including what to this day is the best mobile OS ever in my eyes, a Windows Phone. It was nice as long as it lasted.
What followed was my all Linux and free software phase, but the fact that custom roms on android had their fair share of issues and battery life on Linux laptops was very poor mixed by the release of the “Apple Silicone” series of Macs lead me right back to the fruit based platform.
Still having a backend based around free software (cloud, home automation etc) caused some issues with running my clients on Apple Software, but after all it wasn’t that bad.
The EU as branded Apple as a Gatekeeper under the Digital Markets Act and informed them to open up their platform to alternative app stores and to allow browsers to use a different engine to WebKit.
All good news right? Now we would be getting all the nice free software on the iOS/iPadOS devices and even a useable Browser (Firefox) with all their AddOns. Brilliant.
But, what happened is something else entirely. Apple navigated the legal boundaries of the Digital Markets Act perfectly and came up with new rules for deploying to their devices that basically makes it impossible to distribute free software on them, even browser won’t be releasing true versions of their product, because the would have double the workload and no gain in the end. Not at all unexpected from Apple.
But here is the big one. Coming iOS 17.4 for EU users, and yes, only for them, progressive web apps will be disabled on iOS devices.
Apple is taking away functionality of devices already sold to customers for no other reason than to make sure that everything running on their products comes through the AppStore in the end, so they can take their cut and overcome the EU regulations.
I think this is the final straw for me, my old iPad Air is reaching end of life and this time around won’t be replaced with a new iPad. Samsung and Lenovo have some very interesting options, and Lenovo with the Duet 3i even one that could run Linux. All of them way cheaper than Apples offerings and all of them running whatever program I want to run.
Also I have been given a Samsung Phone by my new employer, I will be looking closer at it now.
I guess, just like Ross and Rachel, Apple and I are officially on a break now…