I've tried to love the iPhone.
Really... I've tried.
I work on Macs. I only work on Macs. I'd probably refuse to take a job that didn't allow me to work on a Mac.
I'm not an Apple fanboy -- I just like working with tools that allow me to get the job done.
The trouble is that I want to choose how I use these tools. If I think the best way to peel ginger is with a spoon not a vegetable peeler (which is a fact btw) then I want to be able to use a spoon -- even if the person making my tools thinks I should use a peeler.
And this is why I hate the iPhone.
I want the freedom to use my tools the way I want to use them - and I want to be able to customize these tools to work best for me. I honestly don't care what Apple thinks is the best (or "right") tool for the job - or how they think I should use these tools. I know what works for me.
So I use Android phones.
And today's experience with my phone is a perfect illustration of both how well this works for me -- and why it works so poorly.
I got a replacement phone in the mail from TMobile (warranty replacement for a phone that their own over-the-air update had bricked on me). The phone sucked.
As it was when I got it.
There was an enormous amount of bloatware pre-installed on the phone (seriously, does anyone want a copy of Avatar on their phone - with custom video player?). Various standard Android applications had been replaced by inferior custom ones (the calendar that eliminates a number of critical options for creating new Google Calendar events for example). Various interface elements had been replaced but in a half-assed and unintegrated manner (resulting in UI and UX consistency issues all over the place).
And all of this was locked. I could not uninstall or change any of it.
Just like the fucking iPhone. Right?
Well.... no. Not really.
With almost no effort at all I preceded to root my phone (enable superuser access to the phone). This then allowed me to install an app to manage files etc on my phone - including system ones. I used this to delete all the bloatware. I installed a ROM (package) manager application and replaced a bunch of the crap carrier / OEM replacements with the stock Android versions (calendar, wifi tethering, launcher, etc). I deleted all the horrible widgets and replaced them. I changed all the various interface elements and styles to what I wanted (yeah... including changing the system font to Frutiger - so sue me, I like the font).
And now I have a phone that works the way I want it to work.
Not the way the carrier wants me to use it.
Not the way the OEM thinks I should use it.
The way I want to use it.
But here is the problem.
I've now violated my warranty.
I can't accept OTA updates without waiting to see what happens to other guinea pigs.
I'm on my own for support.
And that's bullshit.
I'm not blaming Android (or Google). Yeah... I'm still pissed about the Nexus One, the wireless spectrum auction, and Google blowing it on their chance to castrate the carriers for once and for all. But really... they're offering freedom -- and freedom is not just for me, but for douchebags like cellular carriers.
And that's who I'm blaming this on.
So cellular carrier douchebags. If any of you are reading this, listen up.
We hate you.
No... let me rephrase that...
We all fucking hate you.
We hate you because you suck. We hate you because you refuse to give us what we want and what we need and instead give us what is going to make you the most money -- and then overcharge us for using the devices we don't want. We hate you for your over-promising and under-delivering. We hate you for your lying. We hate everything about you.
And one of these days someone is going to come along and break your back the way that Google could have done.
And we're going to throw a party to celebrate.
You've been warned.