In a break from the monotony of soup reviews, I bring you a take on technology.
Conversations with some friends lately about new mobile phones inevitably led in one direction – “I don’t like Apple, I don’t want to buy an iPhone.” It’s a semi-rational objection, merging a dislike of Apple’s corporate practices and the known limitations of the iPhone – lack of replaceable battery, no multitasking, no native Gmail app etc.
The implication of the non-technological objection seems to be that if they start on this slippery slope, they are endorsing all the ‘closed’ business practice that Apple espouses — from App approval in the AppStore, to a relatively constrained development platform, to their close-lipped strategy around announcing new technology.
My view? Nonsense. Buying an iPhone doesn’t convert you to the Cult of Jobs and owning a Windows PC doesn’t make you inherently unfun or David Mitchell-esque. Of course, if Apple’s business practices extended into human rights violations then I think the argument might extend, but to the best of my knowledge this isn’t the case… you’re just making a decision about the technology you use, not advocating any greater moral principles. The iPhone, I admit, should come with a health warning – “this phone may make you whitter on tediously about its greatness.” And I do think it is great, but I nonetheless manage to maintain my broader dislike of Apple’s corporattitude.
I live a multiplatform life; I use Windows 7 PCs at home and at work, a Windows XP netbook, most of my ‘applications’ live in the cloud (we planned our wedding in Google Docs), but use Microsoft Office applicatons for much client work, I use Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Cisco Webex Connect and I own an iPhone – previously I’d used Windows Mobile handsets – since 2001!
I have nothing against Linux but I have no use for it, and I prefer Windows 7 to OSX. I may well try Android when it comes round to 3.0 and I’m next due an upgrade. I have an Xbox 360, a Wii and a PS3. I use a Sony e-Reader. I have a Nikon DSLR and a Canon compact digital. I use Twitter and Facebook for my status updates and social network interaction.
My digital life is complex… I won’t be pigeonholed by my choice of phone. Will you?