Why Apple is evil: They can’t design a phone worth a crap

Well. Looks like Apple can’t make a phone worth a crap.

For starters, the iPhone 4 has antenna issues, it seems. Remember how Steve Jobs made a big deal about the antenna design? Turns out, if you hold the phone in your left hand, it might stop working. Great design, Apple. Oh, and what does Steve Jobs say? “Just avoid holding it in this way.” (Alternately, one of those iPhone 4 bumpers will apparently fix it.) Yeahhhhhh. It’s totally user error, not a design flaw.

Of course, there’s reports of yellow spots on the displays of new iPhone 4s, too. The rumor mill says that this is because they’re shipping the phones before adhesives have fully cured, and it’ll go away for a few days… um, if they haven’t fully cured, then you’re not supposed to ship them.

Next up, Apple’s said that the iPhone 4 is extremely scratch-resistant. Umm… no, it seems, even in normal use, despite being 30x harder than plastic.

So, let’s say you’ve somehow avoided all of these problems, and then you drop your phone.

Yep, it shatters. (Actually, the fact that it’s 20x stiffer might be part of the problem, there.)

Good job, Apple.

Sources: Engadget (1, 2), CrunchGear (1, 2)

How first person shooters could not suck on the 3DS

I’ve seen a fair amount of complaints about how the 3DS will suck for first person shooters, because it doesn’t have two analog sticks.

Various suggestions in reply to those complaints have been made, along the lines of “it has accelerometers” and “it has a touchscreen.” Honestly, I think both of those solutions aren’t satisfactory, because the accelerometers might put you out of the 3D sweet spot, and the touchscreen gets your hands away from the controls.

However, there are plenty of controls available that don’t have that problem.

Use the slide pad for aiming, of course. But, rather than use the touchscreen or the accelerometers for movement (or vice-versa,) use the A/B/X/Y buttons for movement. In PC FPSes, using digital buttons is acceptable for movement, so why not on the 3DS?

Now, you’ve got two hands solidly on the console, one for aiming, one for moving. Oh, and you’ve got the L and R triggers under your fingers, so now you can get primary and alternate fire.

As for switching weapons, well, you’ve got the D-pad that’s not in use, for left-handed weapon switching, and this is also a good use of the touchscreen – have all of the weapons displayed on the touchscreen, as well as data that would normally be in a HUD, keeping it off of the main display.

This way, you’re effectively using every control except for the accelerometers on the console, you’ve got a solid grip on the console, you’re playing with the most convenient controls for an FPS that are on the console, and secondary controls are effectively used for secondary functions.

Why Apple is evil: Want iOS 4? You have to agree to location info being shared

First things first, yes, Android and webOS do the same thing… but on the implementations I’ve seen, you get an option upon first run, and are forced to choose between enabling location (and therefore opting in) or disabling location.

Disable location, and you don’t have to agree to that.

It looks like iOS 4 changes all of that, by requiring that you agree to Apple sharing your location data with third parties upon install. Apparently, there is an opt-out option at http://oo.apple.com (visit on an iOS 4 device if you wish to opt out,) but you’re still agreeing to the terms. Which are…

To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

I don’t have a problem with companies using the data. On the webOS device that I had for a week, and on the Android builds I’ve run on my HTC Touch Pro, I’ve opted in. It was clearly presented, in a separate screen from all other setup processes, and gave me my options. (As I understand, Apple’s location sharing is buried within a EULA. Agree to the EULA, and you automatically agree to that.)

I have a problem with companies requiring you to agree to them using the data, even if there is an opt-out option later on.

Source: Gizmodo

Speculation on the Nintendo 3DS’s tech specs

First off, I’ll note that this will probably sound horribly uninformed, and is probably wrong. I’m not a hardware designer, and I’m not a programmer. I may get some facts horribly wrong. Please correct me if they’re wrong.

But, I’ve got some ideas about what’s in the 3DS, based on the rumors that are out there, and what is known about both it and previous DSes. Continue reading

This just got real – Droid X appears to have a 720p screen

So, Apple upped the ante in smartphone resolutions with the iPhone 4’s 960×640 screen, at 330 PPI.

That’s a fairly impressive resolution and pixel density – the highest resolution, and close to the highest pixel density (the LG CYON LU1400, a Korean TV phone from 2008, had a slightly higher 333 PPI on its 800×480 screen) ever sold on a phone.

However, if Verizon’s site is to be believed, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Verizon is claiming that the Droid X, one of the latest wave of 4.3″ “let’s make a small tablet and call it a phone” Android devices, has 720p resolution – 1280×720. That’s a mind-blowing 342 PPI.

If this is real, the PPI race is on like Donkey Kong.

Source: Engadget

Why Apple is evil: Allowing critical browser flaws to remain unfixed

Seems that Safari has a flaw allowing the browser to become a zombie (usually has NSFW ads,) even behind a firewall, essentially.

Well, the desktop version was fixed, but the iPad and iPhone? Still vulnerable.

I’ll stress that merely having the security flaw isn’t being evil, but when fixing it, not fixing it on a platform that’s also affected (and was shown in the initial disclosure) is evil against the entire Internet, and against customers of the platform.

Especially given AT&T’s new 3G limits, that’s just lovely.

Source: Engadget

Question for how to proceed with my “Why Apple is evil” series

So, you might notice that I’ve fallen behind in my posting schedule for this blog. My goal was to post a piece of news about why Apple is evil every day.

I’ve failed in that goal, so far – at this point, I should have 61 articles up, yet I only have 26.

So, how would you like me to proceed? There’s two options.

My first option is to stick with the date that I had originally planned to end this series, in September 2015. I’ll post articles as I get them, but I most likely won’t hit my target of one article per day, even averaged out – so there won’t be 1,984 days of bad PR, but the series will last 1,984 days still.

The other option is to only stop once I have 1,984 articles posted. My fear with that is, I’ll still be trying to update this thing 20 years from now, to catch up. Apple may be evil, but that doesn’t mean that they’re CONSTANTLY doing evil things – news of them doing something evil seems to come out in bursts.

Opinions?

There’s a poll in the sidebar on this topic, please vote.

Why Apple is evil: Inconsistent censorship of non-pornographic nudity… after age checks

Two graphic novels were rejected from the iPad due to sexual content, Ulysses “Seen” and a graphic novel version of The Importance of Being Earnest (Amazon link, no affiliate info).

One thing I’ll emphasize, first, is that Apple does have every right to control content that they distribute.

However, the content in both of these graphic novels wasn’t intended to be pornographic in nature.

The publishers were willing to work with Apple, to get their novels published. In the case of Ulysses “Seen”, some panels had to be completely redrawn – even pixelation or fig leaves weren’t sufficient. As for the The Importance of Being Earnest graphic novel, one entire page had major parts of the story blacked out, involving partial nudity (but no genitalia shown) of two male characters together.

Again, Apple has the right to control content they distribute.

However, a heterosexual sex scene was preserved in an approved comic, Kick-Ass. So that doesn’t fly. (The content in Ulysses “Seen” was completely non-sexual in nature, and less was shown in The Importance of Being Earnest.)

Apple did ultimately reverse their decision, and asked both publishers to resubmit their apps, but only after the uproar about their actions. (Yes, I’m slow to post this, sue me.)

Sources (possibly NSFW): Boing Boing, Gizmodo

Why Apple is evil: Making life hell for developers releasing bugfixes on apps that accept user-submitted content

It appears that Reddit has abandoned their iPhone app.

Apparently, when Reddit has released bugfixes for approval, an approver happened to stumble upon some user-submitted content that was bad, and rejected the app. Multiple times.

So, Reddit gave up on the iPhone app, is making a new web interface, and is open sourcing the app.

This is why the approval process needs some serious work, or better yet, a way to break out of the walled garden.

Source: App Rejections

Resolution, pixel density, viewing distances, and retina displays

For once, I actually post an entry that’s not bashing Apple. In fact, I’m going to defend Apple somewhat.

So, with the iPhone 4, Apple’s announced something they call a “Retina Display.”

That’s marketing speak for a display with higher resolution than the human eye – the human eye cannot discern pixels on a display of that pixel density, at one foot viewing distance.

One critic has claimed that Apple’s claims are false… which is only true if you ignore 20/20 vision, and go straight to 20/12, according to someone who worked on the optics for the Hubble Space Telescope. Continue reading