The DOJ knocking on Apple’s iron closed doors

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Recent news that Apple has surpassed Microsoft for the King of Technology title (http://tinyurl.com/38oxxjz) has stirred up some additional controversies with regards to the DOJ(Department of Justice) wanting to start an antitrust investigation into Apple’s iTunes music monopoly and everything else.

It seems that Apple has been making shady deals with the music labels (http://tinyurl.com/354mssu) to only release their new titles on iTunes before any other major on-line competitors such as Amazon or Walmart. Amazon and Walmart only account for 12% of on-line music sales while Apple’s iTunes accounts for 70%. Well this 70% is whats got the DOJ knocking on Apple’s iron closed doors.

Now lets add to this that Apple has recently announced that they will be launching an advertising platform (http://tinyurl.com/ybfdwrk) which will compete against Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and wait for it Adobe’s ad platform (http://www.gigya.com/public/Content/Widget.aspx). This explains their recent rejection of flash no matter what Steve Jobs tells the press or how many letters he writes about Adobe Flash being too resource intensive and not performing up to part on the iPhone or iPad. Steve Jobs claims do have some merit but is not an excuse to dump Flash period.

The DOJ is also looking in to the fact that Apple only wants to have developers use their very own development tools to develop applications for the iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch and the iPad. This means that you must buy a Mac and sign-up for a developers account through Apple’s website. Developers can’t just say well “I’m going to use Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org/) to develop my applications” no you must have a Mac. The one thing that’s got me puzzled is why would Apple do this when they provide an SDK for these devices. Developers should have a choice in writing their applications in whatever IDE they see fit.

Take the Android OS for instance; It lets developers use whatever tool they want and across a variety of platforms/operating systems. This could be due to the fact that Android is open source and has no specific platform which is trying to push. This could also explain the recently high numbers Android’s got in sales (http://tinyurl.com/2b2yrvu).

This leads me to the conclusion that Apple is worst than Microsoft when it comes to vendor-lock in schemes. Not only do they make you buy a Mac so you can create software for their devices but also lock down these devices so that they only function with a Mac/iTunes.

So yes I say let the DOJ have their way with Apple and I hope that they bring that iron closed door down. Because if this happens it will benefit us consumers a great deal.

On a side note there were some rumors that Steve Ballmer would address developers at WWDC

on how they can write/develop applications for Apple devices through Visual Studio 2010. Is Visual Studio 2010 not a third party tool; If this is true why can they do this but not any other small tech firm who sells third party development tools?

What’s so great about the Apple iPad?

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As I was watching the tube last night, yes it was a geeky show on the Discovery channel! So I came across this iPad commercial which looked nothing like the I’m a Mac or their iPod commercials and I realized that there is nothing great about the iPad. Why? Because there is nothing special about it. It behaves exactly like my iPod touch.

We recently got a hold of one at the office so we could test all of our web applications, designs and to our surprise it behaved again just like my iPod touch. So basically this thing is a big iPod touch with nothing new. You can use the existing applications which you can use on your iPhone or iPod touch(http://tinyurl.com/y8j5s22) and the darn thing has Wi-Fi connectivity issues; out of all things that could go wrong is the Wi-Fi.

All the web applications behaved just like they would on a Mac/PC or on any other standards compliant web browser(Internet Explorer does not count). Some of the form controls on the web applications were a bit out of place although the CSS for these web applications validates without any errors and they are design with WebKit in mind.

Also I recently read some disturbing articles about how Apple wants developers to only use their tools to create applications for all their devices this just does not seem right. A developer should be able to use what ever tools he/she deems fit to create applications. So I’m starting to wonder how long can their devices survive starting with the iPad. Sure the iPhone was great when it first arrived and so was the iPod but these devices are quickly being dismissed by other products which are more open for development and less expensive such as the Android.

There are tons of small tech firms coming out with tablet devices based on Android as well such as the WePad(http://tinyurl.com/y8wvbxs) and the Adam by NotionInk(http://www.notionink.in/adamoverview.php).

So going back to the commercial on the tube it stated that it is already a revolution but why? There is nothing revolutionary about the device in fact touch screen tablets have been around since the year 2000. So why would Apple make such a claim. I honestly think that is because people like the Apple designs but not because there is anything revolutionary about it.

The one thing I liked about it is that is light and it is slick just like all of Apple’s products. But besides this nothing else stands out. If you guys have a different take on this device please share it or if you plan to get one or wait for the competition to arrive. I would like to be enlighten.