Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch are some of the most popular tech gadgets in the world and a large part of that popularity is due to the wide range of applications available. Apple has over 100,000 apps available that pretty much cover just about anything you can think of, and even some stuff that you would never bother to think of!
Ranging from free to expensive, these apps are a giant force behind the wave of Apple sales that have swept most of the civilized world. Much to the chagrin of app developers though Apple has final say on what can and cannot be put on the devices. They have developed a strict review process that dictates what programs get approved for sale or free download through the app store.
This has made many app developers a little pissy. Many have been put off by what they see as Apple's interference with their freedoms as developers. High profile programmers have abandoned iPhone projects in favor of other platforms that are not as tightly controlled. While I agree that there should not be restrictions placed on the creativity of developers and that interference is inherently wrong, there is something to be said for Apple's level of control.
Apple is running a business not trying to give software designers around the world a platform to show off their skills. They have to make sure that the apps provided to the growing legions of users are useful and serve some sort of purpose. Furthermore, these are our phones we're talking about. If you download a bad piece of software you could be hit with anything from slowed performance to a total system meltdown. Imagine that on your phone!
Sure now you would have a great excuse why you don't call your mom as often as she'd like but imagine the headaches. "Oh sorry I missed that important conference call today, see I downloaded a Girls of Hooters calendar app and the next thing I know my phone was calling 1-900 numbers in China. . ."
However, Adam White claims that the Apple has a "secret, undocumented, unquestionable, random process for deciding which applications to "˜allow' onto the deck." The process by which Apple allows apps to be included in their system has even raised eyebrows at the FCC. They are checking into Apple to make sure they are not engaged in monopolistic or unfair business practices by blocking potential competitors like Google from producing apps.
So what is a tech fan supposed to do?
Well some developers are focusing more on other platforms like the Google Android or Black Berry phones. These apparently have more of an open source type format and allow a lot more leeway when it comes to what is allowable.
If you're not ready to part with your iPhone just yet, and quite honestly you'd be nuts to, there are other options. Some of the hardcore out there have turned to hacking their phones. These "jailbreak" phones can run any apps you can get your mitts on and also aren't tied to the AT&T network.
I guess some people will do anything to get away from Ma Bell, no matter what Owen Wilson says.
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