iPhone fixation: It’s all on Apple


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It appears that some of you have an iPhone fixation!

The Macalope is, of course, talking about the members of the tech punditry corps, who only ever look at the iPhone whenever there’s a problem.

Writing for The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo says “It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip, D_CMills and @JonyIveParody.)

Stop making us like your devices already! Maybe if they could smell bad or zap us with an electronic shock after a few hours. Just iPhones, though. Are there even any other kinds of phones?!

It’s not Apple’s fault that you feel enslaved by your phone.



…Apple’s the only company we’re going to talk about in regards to this problem.

…the company that gave the world the modern smartphone has a perfect opportunity this year to create a brave and groundbreaking new take on that device: a phone that encourages you to use it more thoughtfully, more deliberately — and a lot less.

Apple kind of already has addressed this by shipping the Apple Watch. The Watch allows you to tailor the things you want to see on an ongoing basis without having to pull out your phone constantly.

Of course, it has address it in a way that requires you to spend an addition few hundred bucks, so… not for everyone. But it’s also introduced features like Do Not Disturb While Driving. Maybe it could do more, but it’s not doing nothing.

Tech “addiction” is a topic of rising national concern.

It’s the very broad term “tech addiction,” so we’re focusing solely on one company, the one that has the smallest market share in every market except smartwatches, a device that’s arguably designed to reduce “tech addiction.”

OK. Makes sense.

Apple is the one expected to fix issues related to:

…distraction, productivity, how social networks alter our emotional lives and relationships, and what they’re doing to children.

WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN? And by “someone” we mean “Apple and only Apple ever because, lol, like Google would do something about it, hahaha, get out of here with that crazy talk.”

Government regulation and more restraint from users might also help…

Personal responsibility might help but we really don’t know because no one has ever exercised any so we have no data to back that up.

I got to thinking about Apple’s responsibility last week…

“What has Apple done to fix society all on its own lately?” I thought.

This piece goes to great lengths to explain why it’s all on Apple, but this is the best part:

…there’s another, more important reason for Apple to take on tech addiction: because it would probably do an elegant job of addressing the problem.

Everyone else sucks at doing things so they can’t be held responsible. This after hearing just the other day how Android manufacturers aren’t following Apple’s lead anymore.

“Android” does not appear in this article. “Samsung” does not appear in this article. “Google” appears only once and the one instance is hi-lar-ious.

“I do think this is [Apple’s] time to step up,” said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google who now runs Time Well Spent, an organization working to improve technology’s impact on society.

The Macalope supposes he had to leave Google to work on improving society. He couldn’t do it while he was there. And he was a design ethicist.

And if you think that’s just pro-Apple snark from a mythical beast with a head shaped like a Classic Mac, well, sit down, Gretchen, because Harris seems to think the same thing.

“In fact,” Mr. Harris added, “they may be our only hope.”

It’s certainly not the place I used to work! As if!

It must be super nice for Google to have the larger market share and zero responsibility. As a matter of fact, its gross business model absolves it of any responsibility.

For one thing, Apple’s business model does not depend on tech addiction.

Yes, well, once you’ve ruled out users and government and the companies that are profiting from the problem, the only responsible party left is Apple. QED.

The Macalope would love to see Apple add features that would make it easier for people to reduce their device dependence (particularly while driving which is a huge pet peeve since many of his relatives have been road kill) and the second half of the article provides some nice suggestions. But laying it all at Apple’s doorstep is…

Well, it’s typical, is really what it is.

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