If you’ve spent more than ten minutes and half a bottle of cheap plonk in my company in the last several years, you’re no doubt sick to fucking death of hearing me champion Android. But if you’ve somehow managed to withstand my mind-numbing polemicism, you might have realised that my position is not so much because I think Android’s an impeccable example of mobile innovation, as because it suits my delicate sensibilities better than does it’s chief rival, that ubiquitous bit of shiny, hipster, backlit fruit.
It’s worth noting, before we go any further, that despite my vitriolic commentary on Apple, and my often grossly inappropriate bashing of the late Sith Lord, Darth Jobs, I’m not really as much of a hater as I might come across – not like my esteemed fucking retarded colleague who despises Apple entirely because it’s trendy amongst the regurgitative Warhammer 40,000 fraternity to do so, and certainly not because he has ever seen a bit of Apple tech in real life. I mean for fuck’s sake, the guy continually lambasts Instagram, without ever having used it, for being nothing but a stream of poor quality, amateur photos disguised by a bloody sepia filter … hmm … Ok he might have a point there …
But truth be told, I’m quite turned on by Apple’s stuff, being as I am a bit of a sucker for sexy design principles after all. Better though, if said sexy involves climbing gear, or anything to do with coffee – I mean, just look at this bad boy:
The Slayer. Totally jizzworthy. And far sexier and more practical than anything Apple has made. Ever.
But Apple does know how to make some nice, shiny shit, I’ll give them that. And like a closet, self-recriminating poof, who likes to watch other boys have fun, but who can never bring himself to join in, I just sit at the bar with a stiffy while all those who’re comfortable with their hipster sexuality are out on the dance floor, dry humping their iPads and Macbook Pros.
Nice-looking pads and phones and shit, however, are not really the point – though, again I feel I should make clear, that despite my appreciation for their general focus on design, I don’t necessarily think, at least on a case by case basis, that Apple makes nicer looking gizmos than, say, HTC, or Samsung. But all questions of who copied who copying who aside, it’s the ideological impetus behind Android that draws me away from the ‘other’ guys.
Having a collaborative, open ecosystem that anyone can use, abuse, and improve to suit their own needs, is exactly the sort of egalitarian thinking that suits my own ideological utopia. Whereas, on the ‘other’ hand, being offered a Ferrari, but only if it comes with a chauffeur that will stick to a predetermined set of road rules in which you have no say at all is, well, limiting, and fucking frustrating, and slightly insulting … Is it really worth it?
Or so I used to ask.
I’m not building up to a total about-face here, a cessation of the oft repeated lamentations of the innovation-stifling patent practices of the corporate Apple machine. Nor am I pretending that I think that their marketing monster – that manages disturbingly well to convince everyone that Apple came up with all these ideas first (when the evidence, the EVIDENCE, so blatantly says otherwise) and that they’re so hard done by, what with all these people trying to rip off their rip-offs – is not an utterly deplorable, self-serving, and disgusting rort. It is.
And your arguments to the contrary are so easily refutable, so you can shut the fuck up now.
Neither, however, am I suggesting that by saying all these things and even remotely continuing to consider spending any of my fat-ass durty dollars on their filthy gizmos that I am not a totally hypocritical technowhore. I am. But I gave up any right to a position of ethical superiority when I realised every other shoe manufacturer was just as bad as Nike, and just bought whatever the hell was cheap and looked good, and screw those seven year-old midgets in factories all over China.
Whoredom aside, I am beginning to reconsider my position … a bit …
I do continue to have an ideological problem with the whole closed ecosystem thing – and no, despite the fact that it has become accepted parlance and it’s almost impossible to get away with not using it, I do not like this use of the term ecosystem, and the implication that we have some living, self-sustaining little world in which the decomposition of our outdated gadgets somehow feeds the growth of newer, shinier ones … but only if they’re part of that same ecosystem … because new season Apples grow not from the bones of decommissioned Androids, and vice versa …
Everyone seems to have decided on whose screen technology they are going to display a disturbingly large amount of their self-worth. They’ve chosen their world, or are in the process of, and never the twain shall … take a look at each other and say: actually that’s some pretty cool shit you have there, and thems some fucking good ideas, and maybe we could use a couple, and you could use this idea, and this one, because even you have to admit, they’re a little bit better than how you’re doing it, and yeah, see how much better off we all are now, and you know, I love you guys, and … what? … you’re taking me to court? And I have to pay you like a billion dollaroos? Because I thought it was a good idea for a touch screen to be, you know, touched … well … fuck.
So, while I’m not exactly ready to give up this whole Willy Wallace “go back to Apple and tell them there that our phones and tablets are yours no more” thing, there’s a balance to be had. Being all open-source and transparent and all that is all nice and touchy feely, but it doesn’t mean you have to let every fucking code-monkey on the planet upload their shitty attempts at an app into the Google Play Store – which by the way is as fucking stupid a title as the rest of Google’s bloody names – yes I’m looking at you FroYo, and Ice Cream Sandwich. Taking on just a bit of Apple’s stricter vetting process might really be a good thing. And I just can’t help but think that perhaps some of that customisable, geeky goodness, some of the laissez faire attitude toward what we do with the stuff that we own, might be worth trading off for stuff that just. Fucking. Works.
See what I did there?
Mind you, now that I think about it, trading off freedom and the occasional frustration for a life of certainty and limitation smacks just a little bit of dogmatism to me.
Also, just to go back to the whole Darth Jobs thing a bit, I am amazed, and maybe even reluctantly impressed – you know, in that same way you kind of have to admire McDonald’s for being the biggest distributor of toys on the planet – that for a guy who is worshipped as being the tech world’s sexy, free loving, alternative thinker, he was really into putting his disciples into a box and telling them that they didn’t need to think outside it because, well, there’s really nothing worthwhile out there.
And on that note …