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Old 10-14-2009, 01:24 PM   #1
Nate the great
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I'm glad Apple isn't making an ebook reader

For some time now I've been wondering what reading an an Apple device was like, so a few weeks back I got an Ipod Touch. If you want, you can read my rant about installing Itunes.

I think the Itouch is a bad ebook reader (when compared to other PDAs). Stanza is a fantastic program; it raises the reading experience from very bad to unremarkable. But Stanza isn't that stable or fault tolerant; the only thing it can do when it encounters a problem is crash. I will say, though, that I see the value of Stanza if you look at it as a bonus way to use your MP3 player.

I also don't like having a leashed shoved up my arse. I've never seen a handheld with such a closed system. And yes, it is locked down. I can only read on it with an app that I can only get from the App store. To get into the App store I have to have an Itunes account. And before you have an account you must first install Itunes. You can't even turn on the Ipod for the first time without plugging it into Itunes.

This dependancy on Itunes means that Apple has sold me a device that does not come with all the parts it needs to operate. I don't know if it's possible to convey what a colossal FAIL this was on the part of Apple.

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Old 10-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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Apple, and all its products represent a triumph of form over functionality. If you value functionality stay clear of them.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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Well, how can I say it? I have an iPhone because I like Amazon shop . Stanza is very good for me (perhaps, I haven't used a lot, I've only read about six books and I've loaded about twenty). So, about reading, I like it more than my PDA. About the rest of the device , well, how can I say it? Steve Jobs can say bye to my money forever .
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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If, however, you are the sort of person who LIKES macs, it is awfully nice to have a device that works seamlessly with your mac. Every other device is attuned more to the PC world, and requires some hoops to attach them to a mac. My iPhone and my Mac hold hands and are great friends! I had a Sony Rio music player device before that, which I never could get configured from my Mac.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:00 AM   #5
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Guys, the simple truth is that most iPod/iPhone/iTouch owners seem to be quite happily using iTunes, iTunes store, the App store etc... without any problems or issues. Now perhaps that's because they're easily pleased, perhaps it's because they don't know any better, or perhaps it's because the whole simple, straightforward painless process (which it is for most people) makes it easy to get content onto their player.

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Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Apple, and all its products represent a triumph of form over functionality. If you value functionality stay clear of them.
With respect, that depends very much on your view of 'functionality' doesn't it? For example, my elderly (mid-80s) father loves the fact that his iPod synchronises automatically with iTunes (running on Windows Vista, btw, which he set up on his own without any problem) when he plugs it in, but hates the way his Sony Reader needs some user intervention to transfer his latest books across. Interestingly, my teenage children feel exactly the same, and like, I suspect, the vast majority of people, that's all the functionality they need, and exactly what Apple provides.

And as an aside, have you noticed that it always seems to be the techies that get most upset with Apple - possibly because they're trying to do the very things that Apple don't want done? Or perhaps because they can see that it could be so much better if only.... - you know, part of the whole "push the door marked pull" thing??

So yes, on that level of 'functionality' Apple generally produces 'closed' systems (the original iPhone didn't even have a third-party App store at launch, remember) - but I'm a little bewildered as to why this seems to come as such a surprise to you...

Cheers, Pete.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:52 AM   #6
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No, no surprise. For me, the problem is I thought it was really like a PDA with phone, and it could be the center of my info, like my old PDA was, and I wouldn't need Internet, Wi-FI, etc, etc, to be able to make something so simple like having memos. Palm utility isn't for techie person either, but for me it's more complete.

The real problem for me: All goes from iTunes to iPhone, no bidirectional way, so I don't feel comfortable with it (four PCs, only one iPhone).
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:26 AM   #7
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Well, 99% of the time my ipod Touch, which I use as a PDA, just works. Calendar, Internet, email, notes and lists, reading, music, movies. The only thing I miss is 3G so I can connect on the go. Wifi hotspots are few and far between where I live.

I used to have an Dell Axim 51 PDA with Windows Mobile 5. I got it for a university project and thought it would be really nice for personal use as well. It hardly ever worked. Syncing with my desktop computer, for instance, worked about 1 time out of 5 - this was even a known issue and nothing I could do anything about - so I eventually gave up on it. I had to jump through hoops to connect to wifi. It was oh-so-slow. Starting up outlook or something for notetaking took a minute - and it was just overall sluggish. I only ever used it for reading. The Mobipocket application was the only thing worth using. Basically, Windows Mobile sucks big time and I'll never touch it again.

Apple was the first to design an interface for a small mobile device that *really* works. I'm not "religious" about Apple at all - or Windows for that matter - I just want my things to work without hassle.

But will I buy an iPhone? No, they're too expensive and too closed. I saw an HTC Hero recently, and I think that's going to replace my Touch. It'll work well with my gmail accounts and it appeared to be - if not 100%, then 95% - as responsive and easy to use as the Touch.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:50 AM   #8
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Well, I have a Palm E2, I don't use mail or Web at my iPhone, no music or movies, only Memos, Documents To Go and Mobipocket. It synchronizes always well. But it's no Windows Mobile but Palm OS, perhaps that's the difference. And I've had only a reason to buy iPhone (perhaps waiting I would have got the same with Palm Pre) and it's called Amazon.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:23 AM   #9
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I used Windows Mobile for years and made the big mistake of listening to the hype and buying an iphone. Well, its extremely limited functionality has been extremely disappointing to say the least -- even the basics like background operation and decent contact management are lacking. And forget customizing. Apple even fights jailbreaking every step of the way. Jesus, jailbreaking is the only way to overcome at least some of the iphone's limitations. Windows phones take some work, but they can do everything. The iphone is just for those who like to turn off their brains and be force fed. But now, with the Kindle app, it at least has some value to me. But I will get the new Touch HD2 as soon as it gets out. Can't wait to get my hands on a decent phone again!

There are some nice things, the ipod is a good media player, they helped popularize phones with larger screens, and thanks to Apple other phones got cheaper.

Anyway, hats off to Apple. They have perfected the art of the hype, and the way they cultivated the loyalty of those infamous Apple fanboys is in important case study for every business student! I sincerely believe that they have paid off a lot of the bloggers and journalists, some of the comments ("beyond awesome", etc) are just too ridiculous.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:37 AM   #10
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Guys, the simple truth is that most iPod/iPhone/iTouch owners seem to be quite happily using iTunes, iTunes store, the App store etc... without any problems or issues. Now perhaps that's because they're easily pleased, perhaps it's because they don't know any better, or perhaps it's because the whole simple, straightforward painless process (which it is for most people) makes it easy to get content onto their player.
Count me amongst the easily-pleased, ignorant, majority in that case, then. It just works. No fuss, no mess. If only all gadgets worked as well.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:52 AM   #11
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Frustration with Apple

There are definitely pluses and minuses to Apple's decision to control the flow of content. I think pluses vastly outweigh minuses. I don't know about you, but I have NEVER had a virus on any of my apple computers in 10 years. I suspect the reason is two fold. They have have small market share and no fun for scumbag hackers. But more importantly, apple controls the content between the computer and its devices through iTunes. iTunes basically serves as a conduit. But that conduit preserves the integrity of what goes in and out of your computer, unlike Windows. I think if you give your iTouch some time and download some useful apps, that you may change your view. I don't work for Apple; I am just a 22 year satisfied customer. Sincerely, Webby
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:28 AM   #12
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Count me amongst the easily-pleased, ignorant, majority in that case, then. It just works. No fuss, no mess. If only all gadgets worked as well.
Yes, what little it can do does work. Easy to make things work when you set the bar so incredibly low (you will always have fewer technical problems with a bicycle than you will with a car). One version of the hardware only, no background operation, strict control over 3rd party apps. And it doesn't work always well. When I have as little as 3 browser windows open in Safari on the iphone I have to wait ages for anything to happen. And even when you jailbreak it, you constantly have to close the Apple apps because otherwise memory goes down below 6MB (!) everything slows to a crawl and Apple closes the apps you really want to keep open. All because Apple wanted to save a few pennies on memory and the battery.

I have no problem with the iphone being a closed system, makes it easy for those who never had a phone that could do anything but make calls before. For these folks and for those who don't want to spend any time learning some of the basics of an advanced phone the iphone may seem like a great design. But I have a big problem with the hype they create (revolutionary, advanced, way ahead of the competition) for doing things that others could do 3 or 5 years ago. And while still being unable to perform some really basic functions.

If you need to use your phone like a real computer (like I do), then run from the iphone as fast as you can.

Last edited by HansTWN; 10-15-2009 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:37 AM   #13
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Count me amongst the easily-pleased, ignorant, majority in that case, then. It just works. No fuss, no mess. If only all gadgets worked as well.
Aye, I hear you, Harry.

As many here can vouch, I'm just an ignorant, brain-dead, mouth-breathing blob that's just been waiting for Apple marketing to imprint its hype and logo and shiny-shinies into that willing bowl of grey porridge contained by my bowl of a skull. Would that I could progress beyond these reflexive, beastial urges inspired by flashy corporate design, and perhaps extend myself along the evolutionary branch beyond my iPod Touch and newly purchased iPhone to maybe reach those who have left me in their independently intelligent wake...but, alas, I am destined to struggle, be constrained, distracted, by my overwhelming need to be like everyone else - part of the cool crowd - and to fight the bondage of my own tiny forebrain bashing against this wall of proprietary, technical limitations.

I wish I was a better person.
Perhaps I can learn from the enlightened. One can only hope.

Yours humbly,
Marc
Sent from my iPhone

Last edited by montsnmags; 10-15-2009 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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Hehe, we will be easy on you. You suffered enough typing all that on that iphone keyboard (oh wait, we finally got a landscape version that can be used in a few select programs last June!). Sorry, for the rant. Just pointing out that the iphone is easy to use but with very limited functionality. And after all we non-believers have to take all that incessant chanting from those Apple fanboys (who must inject their nonsense into every discussion about any phone on the web, it seems) we have to get our voices heard occasionally. Enjoy your iphone!
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
For some time now I've been wondering what reading an an Apple device was like, so a few weeks back I got an Ipod Touch. If you want, you can read my rant about installing Itunes.

I think the Itouch is a bad ebook reader (when compared to other PDAs). Stanza is a fantastic program; it raises the reading experience from very bad to unremarkable. But Stanza isn't that stable or fault tolerant; the only thing it can do when it encounters a problem is crash. I will say, though, that I see the value of Stanza if you look at it as a bonus way to use your MP3 player.

I also don't like having a leashed shoved up my arse. I've never seen a handheld with such a closed system. And yes, it is locked down. I can only read on it with an app that I can only get from the App store. To get into the App store I have to have an Itunes account. And before you have an account you must first install Itunes. You can't even turn on the Ipod for the first time without plugging it into Itunes.

This dependancy on Itunes means that Apple has sold me a device that does not come with all the parts it needs to operate. I don't know if it's possible to convey what a colossal FAIL this was on the part of Apple.
Wow, bro – I'm never had any problems running iTunes under Windows. I'm currently using Windows Vista and it works great. The new version of iTunes even incorporates a function called "Home Sharing" that allows me to link via my router to the iTunes on my iMac and easily and quickly synchronize the two libraries. Sorry to hear it gave your system such a hassle.

Yes, everything Apple is a closed system. If it weren't, the majority of PCs today would probably be Macs. I guess some folks never learn.
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