Today comes news that Apple has started blanket-rejecting third-party eBook reader apps, claiming that because those apps can be used to read illegally obtained copyrighted content, they will no longer be published in the App Store. So what happens to eReader, Stanza, et al? I use both to read PDB eBooks that I have hand-built from my own written works.
Rumor has it that Apple is about to launch a 6″-8″ tablet-sized device which could compete with Amazon’s Kindle eBook device. This could be Apple’s way of clearing out the competition in the eBook space before launching their own solution. If that’s the case, it’s extremely distasteful and takes my opinion of Apple Computer down a huge, huge notch.
Edit: I should mention that the eBook reader ban rumor is apparently false. The reader app that touched off this firestorm was rejected because it allowed iPhone-to-iPhone sharing of eBooks, which could have potentially been a copyright violation.
2 thoughts to “Apple (Computer) is Starting to Piss Me Off”
Not to go all “wild-eyed hermit living with a HAM radio and a closet full of canned goods, bottled water and batteries” here, but stuff like this is why I roll my eyes whenever someone goes off about how great things will be when all content is delivered digitally and brick-and-mortar stores (and all physical media) are dead. Generally speaking, there’s nothing that can prevent me from reading a book (other than availability), whereas in something like this case, you’re gonna be screwed if you don’t kowtow to Apple. I admit there are plenty of advantages to digital distribution — availability, cost (sometimes), etc. — but it’s not the total panacea people like to claim.
And that’s without even going into things like hard drive space (not for PCs, but what about people with 20GB Xbox 360s who can’t afford the ridiculous prices Microsoft charges for their hard drives?) or bandwidth caps (which seem to be gaining traction with ISPs). And not to forget PC games (and sometimes music) with absolutely awful DRM tucked inside. Is it worth potentially screwing up your PC so you can listen to the latest pop music with utter ease, or play EA’s latest offering without leaving your room?
Yep, totally with you on all points. At times I feel a bit bipolar, what with my enjoyment of being immersed in technology, and yet my aversion to relying on it for certain types of content.
I read that next week’s Xbox 360 dashboard update will enable you to purchase certain Xbox 360 games (not Xbox 1 games) over Live, download them and run them from your console. Personally, when it comes to something as expensive as a $60+ video game, I will take the physical media every time. Especially when the digital version of that game is downloaded through a closed store with DRM controls, onto a proprietary device that I can’t back up in case it fails, and which costs an absurd amount of money to replace.
And then what if Microsoft decides to somehow change the way the game works at some point in the future? Not that it’s likely, but what if they issue a future dashboard update that breaks it? That deactivates it? That charges a fee to play it?
And with books, CDs, et al, I typically want at least one copy of the physical product somewhere. Electronic stuff is fleeting and may be lost due to corruption or drive crashing, deleted accidentally, or rendered unusable by the evolution of software and operating systems (e.g., Windows 98 games from 1999-2001 are hard to get running these days).
I still don’t know if this App Store eBook news is true — rumor has it that the origin of the story is a disgruntled developer who has had his app rejected by Apple reviewers almost a dozen times already — but if it is, this makes me very concerned about the future of the iPhone as a platform for third party software. I love the device, but if Apple doesn’t get this paranoia-fueled censorship and anti-competitive bullshit under control (all in the guise of “keeping things clean”), I will look into a Blackberry or Android phone.
But after this, I’ll never, ever buy anything from Palm. 😉
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