Apple Can’t Have My $20

Claimer: I have an iPod Touch. Not an iPhone. When the iPhone gets to 32GB of disk space, I will get one. The only reason I have an iPod Touch is because of the generosity of a couple of friends of mine. Otherwise I’d have trundled on with my 4th Gen iPod.

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Yesterday’s announcement of many things Apple-related caused quite a stir, in one way or another, around the web. As it usually does. For the most part, I wasn’t impressed. The MacBook Air is impressive from an engineering standpoint (on the surface) but frankly, I don’t get it. Yes, it’s cool. But I am with others on this: if someone gave it to me I’d be pleased but there’s no way I’d ever buy one. I am tough enough to carry the burden of 2 extra pounds and more on-the-go functionality for $700 less out of my account.

The Air aside, not much else sparked my interest. I was glad to see AppleTV do away with requiring a computer elsewhere in the house in order to work. Was never sure why it required that in the first place. And I’d still get a Mac Mini anyway.

I do like the idea of Time Capsule though. That’s one thing I may go get, but it’s certainly nothing I need right away.

That’s all well and good. But what I was somewhat excited to get was the 1.1.3 upgrade for the iPod Touch. More excited than anything else because that’s what affected me immediately since I have one.

I, like others, looked at the 5 new “apps” listed with the update and thought it all came as one. It wasn’t apparent until I downloaded the new iTunes, found the not-jumping-out-at-me link for “current Touch users” on the Touch page, and wound my way into the iTunes Store, that I found out those 5 apps cost me $20.

Uh. No. Let’s break down my “no.”

Mail. I have mail: gmail.com. And a few days ago, the fine folks at Google updated the UI for iPhone and iPod Touch users. It looks and acts very similar to what Apple released. I still need wifi access to make Mail work, so I am not sure what advantage it has over Gmail for me.

Maps. I have maps: maps.google.com. Biggest advantage I see is the “you are here (roughly)” feature. Right now I say meh to this. Most of the time I know where I am at, it’s where I need to get to that’s the problem. I still need wifi access to make Maps work, so I am not sure what advantage it has over Google Maps for me.

Weather. I have… well, let’s just say that these days you can get the weather from any number of sources online. Plus, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” I still need wifi access to make Weather work, so I am not sure what advantage it has over even The Weather Channel (and its dancing, animated ads) for me.

Notes. This one I could almost see using. No need for web access with this one. Then again, a pencil and a scrap of paper are usually faster than typing on this interface. And if I am really hard up, I can use the Notes field on a calendar entry.

Stocks. I want the stock market to do well. Beyond that, I don’t really care. Certainly I can wait to find out how AAPL is doing once I get to a “real” computer. I still need wifi access to make Stocks work, so I am not sure what advantage it has over just having some patience to get back to the office.

4 out of 5 of these new apps require wifi and have as good equivalents elsewhere on the web. So why would I pay $20 to get them, when I already have them? Given this was a 1.1.x upgrade, I really expected these extras for free. Isn’t it normal that Apple doesn’t charge for the x.x.x updates, but does charge for the x.x ones? Regardless, I still get the Customizable Home Screen, right?

Uh. No. Apparently this is the 6th app and comes with the $20 bundle.

What did I get with my 1.1.3 upgrade? Some bug fixes. Which is good. One of the main bugs (an issue with Safari) is gone and I am happy about it. Thanks Apple! Seriously.

However, I don’t like the Mac Pro background for the “dock.” Without jailbreaking, can I make it go away? Please? It really doesn’t fit with the styling of the Touch and reduces contrast for the icons and the text beneath them.

5 replies on “Apple Can’t Have My $20”

  1. It is not so much the value of the apps – I simply resent being made pay for something that was deliberately withheld and is now not anymore.

    And I have another issue with time capsule. When time machine was first presented it featured network backups to hard discs attached to an airport extreme base station. That feature was not present in the shipped version of Leopard. Now they sell an airport extreme with the hard disc built in to offer exactly that. So can I expect that a software patch will help extreme owners or am I expected to buy the new version (time capsule)? Not good…

  2. I didn’t realise that about Time Machine. Given they went out and created a new product instead of releasing an update to give promised features, my guess is they won’t be offering the update.

    Which seems to go against everything the Air represents. “Everything is wireless. Apple leads the way.”

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