Apple Needs An Idiot Switch

Apple, Inc. presumes that they know what is good for you. I guess that if they plan on continuing to only catering to the less sophisticated user base among us, then their opinion of what is good for you is certainly better than Microsoft’s greedy power grabbing tactics. But let’s be realistic, in the long run, such a presumption is grossly misguided and only serves to hurt the overall growth of their business.

There are many of us who not only don’t need hand holding, we disdain it and actively avoid it as if it were the plague. We don’t want easy, we just want straightforward and flexible. We don’t want a restrictive toll road, we want a byway where we can pull over whenever we chose to, so we can look at the the things that we think are pretty, rather the things Apple wants to draw our attention to.

For example, while I can mildly understand their viewpoint that allowing programs to run in the background on the iPhone risks draining the battery at an accelerated rate, it really should be the users choice to decide if the added functionality that backgrounding a particular processes provides is worth the additional cost in battery life. It’s not like Apple will warranty repair the battery anyways if it ceases to hold charges, they’ll just deny any such claim by stating that it’s a consumable in the same way that your car brakes and clutch have a very limited and restricted warranty. We can even expect to start seeing this soon with the 3G since, even without backgrounding, the battery drain on them is pretty pathetic compared to similar phones.

If I were on their Board I’d be pushing for there to be some sort of idiot switch that is turned on by default in all of their systems and devices. That way a user who knows what they are doing and who accepts the consequences, can turn it off if they decide that they want to take off the training wheels because they are being held back by them.

This would give them the best of both worlds. The ability to give power to the people who either need or want it and a way of sandboxing grandma so she doesn’t get confused by all of the extra buttons and menu items and then ends up doing something she probably doesn’t even realize is stupid.

Until they do that however, their Apple Geniuses will never look like the smart people that they want to market themselves as. Instead, they will continue to be what is essentially a bunch of underpaid pre-school teachers whose job is to handhold and explain over and over again to their customers why they need to stay between the lines that Apple drew for them. Sure, in comparison to a big chunk of their clientèle they’re geniuses, but don’t expect them to wow anyone at a party… unless of course, it’s a mock turtleneck party.

Don’t get me wrong, Apple puts out some amazing products. In fact, I’d be on the cusp of buying one myself if it weren’t for Apple’s own “It’s our way or our way” attitude. Well, that and I’d be paying one hell of a premium to end up just running Linux anyways.

Also, I don’t really want to dis the Geniuses, but seriously, if they are supposed to be so smart, why exactly are they still working in the mall?


~ by ghendar on June 2, 2009.