Friday, 29 January 2016

Apple is shite too

With the recent postings about Windows 10 being so utterly useless, a few people have suggested alternative operating systems. The trouble is:

  • Linux is hard work

Just to get a printer working with it is difficult. It's not that I'm not particularly "tech-savvy". I know how computers work. I just think it's unnecessarily difficult to get a lot of hardware working with Linux. And anyone who says otherwise is usually a little bit sneery about not understanding which command to use at the terminal line, or which sudo apt get package to install.
And the truth is, they don't understand it either - they're just quicker at getting Google to reveal the answer! That's not knowledge, nor understanding. That's just knowing which key words to throw at a search engine to find how someone else did it. That's a useful skill too. But it's not understanding of the system.

  • Apple is evil

Mac computers - on the face of it - look nice. But the all-encompassing power-crazed embrace that Apple put around their technology makes it really difficult to do anything useful with.
Want to hand over some money to install the latest app from the app store? We'll make that easy for you.
Want to hand over some money to listen to music? That's a doddle.
Want to hand over some money to stand in a queue to have your phone looked at by one of our experts because we won't give you the tools to fix things yourself? We'll make that easy for you.
Want to hand over some money to upgrade part of your hardware or toolchain because we don't think hardware should be inter-operable and only Apple should dictate what talks with what? We'll make that easy.
Want to hand over some money to join our developer programme so you can deploy your own software onto Apple devices? We'll make that easy....

Apple makes giving them money easy.
Everything else on a Mac is really difficult.
Try getting some code running on a tablet or phone.
On Android it's easy: create an apk, install on the device. Done!

Don't even try to compile for iOS on a non-Mac device (I tried it. It's just about possible. But really, really difficult). So to target Apple's operating system, you need to use Apple's hardware. And Apple's XCode toolchain. And create certificates. And provisioning profiles. And ensure the provisioning profile matches exactly the one piece of hardware you've identified you want to put the code on. Then piss around some more with a mix of online (web-based) forms plus some local (application-based) settings, download some files (really, why mix online and offline building methods in the same process??!) and finally you might get your code to compile. To run on just one device.

On top of all this, I recently tried to compile a simple Unity app for an iOS device.
It took exactly four minutes on a Windows machine, from launching Unity, to creating an .apk that I could put onto my Android phone. Easy!

I booted up my Mac Mini that was last switched on over a year ago (which was then used to compile some Flash files into an application for iPhone).

  • I had to upgrade the device firmware.
  • Then I had to re-install Unity.
  • Then I had to download and install a massive 4.3Gb complier for iOS.
  • XCode wasn't up-to-date enough for the new compiler, so I had to upate that.
  • But XCode wouldn't update without upgrading the entire operating system.
  • It took nearly two hours to download and re-install Unity and the iOS compiler.
  • It took over two hours to download and install OS X El Capitan.
  • Then I had to re-install XCode. That took nearly three hours.

Having wasted a day, just to get my Mac up to a spec that Apple approved of, I then had to spend about seventy quid renewing my Apple developer licence. Just to make a bouncing ball go up and down on an iPhone screen.

Microsoft might be rubbish. But that's down to their incompetence.
Apple are evil. Because they actually planned this shit.