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Stevenf Extends Finger

'A tiny tadpole flapping his tail helplessly at the ocean.'


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Steven Frank's code hasn't always been popular in this corner of the world but if his coding today is on a par with his op-ed writing then there are some good software titles out there for people to look closer at.

Frank not only co-founded Panic but also started a popular developer central. Say what you want but Frank is nothing but enthusiastic. And always has been.

But sooner or later one's ability to understand and forgive turns sour. 'Nothing before has ever suggested to me that Apple are actively malicious', he writes today at his blog.

'After an entire year of continuous bad decisions that are hostile to developers and consumers alike, we've moved on from 'working out the kinks' to good old-fashioned getting fucked.'

Frank is not an iPhone developer and never was. Much like staff at this site and mostly for the same reasons. But he's been using an iPhone up to now - and now he's going to dump the device. 'I'm furious with Apple and AT&T right now', he writes.

As to the question who was behind the trashing of Google Voice, Frank writes: 'who cares?' And he's right. He goes on however to point out a few salient and for Apple embarrassing facts.

  • AT&T already sell a Blackberry with the Google Voice client.
  • Apple continue to sell iPhone apps that permit you to send free SMS messages.
  • Apple can't stop people from using Google Voice as Safari can access the service's web interface. 'I doubt they'll pull Safari from the iPhone, although that would be the logically consistent thing to do', comments Frank sarcastically.

'I haven't heard a single explanation for the rejection of the Google Voice app that makes a shred of sense at all.'

Toxic Ecosystem

The Apple iPhone third party software development system is plain nuts, Frank now admits. He's seen what's going on but has been 'patient' with Apple up to now. Now his patience has run out.

'There's been no indication that Apple want to do anything to resolve the problems with app store policies that have been laid bare a hundred times over. There's no indication of anything, as a matter of fact. Nothing. After a year. It's a black hole yawning back at us. How much has been written about this over the last year? What reason is there to believe anything's going to change in another year if the policies (whatever they are, who knows) seem to be just getting worse over time?

I've reached a point where I can no longer just sit back and watch this. The iPhone ecosystem is toxic, and I can't participate any more until it is fixed. As people have told me so many times: It's Apple's ballgame, and Apple gets to make the rules, and if I don't like it, I can leave. So, I don't like it, and I'm leaving.

Three Point Programme

Three things Frank says he's doing immediately.

  1. Convert his iPhone SIM to a DataConnect SIM for his laptop. 'For now, at least, Apple can't dictate which Mac applications I can run. And should the day come that they decide to try, I'm off the platform.'
  2. Switching to the Pre for voice and light data usage. 'I am voluntarily going to make my own life a bit worse because I believe in certain principles. But I'm going to love not supporting a rotten App Store.'
  3. Refuse to buy into further iPhone OS based devices. Including the rumoured tablet.

Good for you, Stevenf. There's only one way to deal with the situation and he's found it. And he's far from alone.

I know I'm a tiny tadpole flapping his tail helplessly in anger at the ocean. But at least my conscience is clear. I'm really going to miss my iPhone terribly. I'm frustrated and disappointed at the whole situation.
 - Steven Frank

See Also
stevenf.com: On Apple and the iPhone
TechCrunch: Fed Up, A Popular Mac Developer Quits The iPhone

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