The Window of Conversation has Shifted
I saw this tweet yesterday and it really struck a chord with me.
This tweet really sums up a bunch of stuff going on right now. First, the is the idea of choice. You don't have to buy an iPhone or iPad, you can get an Android phone or tablet, right? Well sure, but it's kind of funny to hear that from people who spend all day and night telling other people how terrible Android is and how you'd be a fool to get anything besides and iOS device. It's also like how I have a "choice" not to get Comcast internet in my area. I could get AT&T, but that's the same cost for about 1/20the speed. Choice!
The iOS vs Android choice is certainly better than the internet "options" most people have though, I'll give you that.
Second, this tweet brings up the "misplaced anger" people feel about this whole situation. "Why aren't you all mad at PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch platforms as well?" is a common refrain these days. As John Siracusa points out on this week's ATP, it's a matter of maintaining relationships and keeping their customers and partners happy so they don't get sued or build up resentment.
If it were just Epic making a stink that would be one thing, but I think you have a lot of people begrudgingly siding with Epic because it plays into a frustration (anger?) that has been building for years.
Third, we really need to talk about how far the conversation has shifted in recent years. It's like we've gone from "you should be able to own the things you buy and you should be able to do what you want with them after they come into your posession. This was the core of the right to repair argument, it is an argument against streaming music servies, and it's a common refrain in mainstream culture. This tweet brings this up a thing you agree to when you buy an iPhone, and fair enough, but it's just crazy to see how far the conversation has shifted from even a year ago. It used to be "should you be able to fix your own iPhone if it breaks?" and "iPads and Macs are PCs, but one is a car and one is a truck" to "Apple gets 100% control, deal with it" and "an iPad is no different from a PS4."
And finally, as I mentioned on my surprise episode of The BirchTree Podcast, this is not a matter of "can Apple do this" it's a matter of "do I want Apple to do this". Not once in my articles about this tuff have I ever said that Apple is legally required to make the changes I wish they would make, but that doesn't mean I can't wish that they made those changes. Being a fan of something means celebrating it, but also being a tough critic of it. I love the iPad, I love iOS and iPadOs, I love Apple's privacy policies, and I love the third party apps I run on Apple platforms, so I really don't want to switch to Android over my disagreements with App Store policies.