The Macalope Daily: Dear Apple, I have too much time on my hands
Prep your fainting couches because Apple has once again outrageously—outrageously!— violated the sacred trust between giant computer company and its shrillest and most sensitive customers!
VentureBeat’s John Koetsier keys “Dear Apple: Deleting your users’ apps without notification is rude and arrogant” (tip o’ the antlers to my glass eye).
“But, Macalope,” you say. “A VentureBeat writer who comes off like an over-privileged, powdered-wig-wearing 18th-century monarch? Surely that cannot be right.” Oh, but it is.
Yesterday, I pulled up the YouTube app on my recently updated iOS 6-sporting iPhone 4S. Or, I tried to.
Oh, no! Has someone stolen Koetsier’s phone? Are his hands enfeebled by the condition known as “hot dog fingers”? Are aliens stealing our apps?
Turns out that Apple killed the app silently in the process of upgrading my phone to iOS 6.
NOOOOOOOO! Now how are we going to get Rickrolled while on the go?!
And I, a long-time Apple user with multiple Apple products and a technology journalist who covers Apple, had missed that little factoid about the latest and greatest mobile Apple operating system.
Which is apparently somehow Apple’s fault.
It also turns out I’m not the only one who has done so.
Ten thousand people have viewed this question on Apple’s forums about the missing YouTube app, and another thousand have viewed this one.
So, 11,000 out of, what? 200 million? That’s certainly damning.
But let’s stop and think about this for a moment.
Imagine that this was your Mac (or your PC).
Uh, OK. Sherlock ring a bell? Flash? Java? Apple (and Microsoft) remove things from their desktop operating systems all the time. Sounds like someone missed out on writing some whiny articles over the years.
But, lo! The Macalope is looking at his iPhone running iOS 6 right now and … there’s a YouTube application on it! How could that be?! Because Google’s now making its own app. Which you can download from the App Store. No longer bundling an app for watching cat videos, however, is somehow rant-worthy.
And, in an upgrade to a new version of the operating system, Apple or Microsoft deleted applications on your device. Instead of PhotoShop, you now get NewAwesomeImageEditor, and instead of Skype, you get … nothing.
Well, if Apple or Microsoft deleted someone else’s application that you paid for and replaced it with their own software, that would certainly be an issue. That is, of course, not at all what happened here. You’d think someone who is a “long-time Apple user with multiple Apple products and a technology journalist who covers Apple” would know that the YouTube app was made by Apple and included for free.
Koetsier may know that but it’s irrelevant because at VentureBeat, drama is king!
This is outrageous.
Killing the YouTube app and replacing it with nothing is even more annoying [than replacing Google-powered Maps]. But it’s also insulting. And maybe even evil.
Evil. He wrote that. Every once in a while the Macalope feels he needs to verify with his readers that, yes, these are actual quotes from the article he’s skewering because frequently they are so very unbelievable.
A mobile phone is an intensely personal piece of technology. My phone is mine. I bought it, I pay for it, I use it, and I fill it with apps.
And apparently you upgrade it without checking to see what the upgrade does.
…no one seems to be talking about the arrogance that it takes to update an operating system and delete apps that users may have enjoyed, become accustomed to, and relied on.
Possibly because we’re not so horribly put out by simply having to download the new YouTube app. Maybe it’s the Macalope but downloading seems a lot easier than devoting over 800 words to an angry rant about it.
Consumers, incidentally, are speaking with their fingers right now: Google’s YouTube is the top free app by downloads in the app store today.
Which, the Macalope is sure, Apple is positively devastated about.
Are we so conditioned to having limited control over the iDevices we purchase that we just take this for granted?
What part of “You chose to upgrade to iOS 6!” aren’t you understanding?
Behavior like this may seem minor and inconsequential.
Because it is.
This is just unconscionable…
And it’s just plain not right.
Koetsier seems like the kind of guy who gets really upset when all-you-can-eat restaurants put a limit on how many shrimp you can take at one time.
Note: I did ask Apple for comment on this story, but I have not yet received a reply.
Oh, no, they did reply. You just couldn’t hear them rolling their eyes.
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]