I Am Officially A Prisoner

And my jail is Apple. And my jailer is Steve Jobs, may he rest in peace. Now, to be clear, I am an Apple disciple. I’ve had an Apple since my first, a IIc eons ago. I have an iPhone (5 on preorder), iPad2, and few Macbook Pros. And we’re all happily living in iCloud. So I’m believer. The beauty is everything works pretty seamlessly together, convergence is happening, and it’s all going the way it’s supposed to. That’s what Jobs wanted, and that’s the problem. He has made me a prisoner. I’m trapped inside the Apple ecosystem. And it’s not an ecosystem, rather a terrarium with a lid on it. I can’t get out. And if they do something I don’t like, I got no choice.

For years they did nothing I didn’t like. With Mountain Lion and the new iOS6, things are changing and the key to my cell has been thrown out, the door never to be unlocked. And I’m feeling the downside. I can’t get Google Maps anymore, bummer, because there’s no public transit data on Apple Maps, and there is no Google Maps app to download. Great, Seri and tell me directions, but I live in NYC and want to see the damn subway system. No choice.

And with Contacts, Mail, Notes, and Calendar, well, I got problems. I understand digital skeuomorphic GUI design principles and can see their benefit in the user experience across all devices. But to the lack of functionality? Not acceptable. If feels that these core and essential applications have been brought down to the lowest common denominator at the sacrifice of the power user who needs to simply do more than these apps now allow. And of course I again got no choice. Are there? Will a 3rd party mail client or calendar app cleanly sync with iCloud and my devices? Can I manage my contacts with a better contact app that is iCloud friendly? Not that I know of. I hate to say it, but I always thought Outlook was a better solution for these tasks. Not pretty, but better. These apps from Apple all feel like prison food to me; barely enough nutrition to get by.

Well done Steve. I am now your prisoner, just as you envisioned. An Apple brand advocate since the early 80’s, now a prisoner for life. Interesting brand relationship we’re having.