What Are we Even Debating?

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 1 min read

After listening to the most recent episode of The Talk Show, I'm not really sure what the argument about iPads not being general purpose computers even means. It sounds to me like we're debating a technicality but don't actually disagree on the outcome.

What Are we Even Debating?

I was listening to the latest episode of The Talk Show today and of course, the hosts agreed on the "iPhones and iPads are consoles" position, but what baffles me is that while the show went on a for a while on how the iPad and iPhone are "app consoles" and will never be general purpose computers, they then argued that Apple should:

  1. Enable a mode that lets you run arbitrary software outside the App Store.
  2. That same mode would let you write software for the platform.
  3. Developers should be able to use their own payment methods for App Store apps if they pass certain criteria.

This all happened in the last 10 minutes of the episode and I just threw my hands in the air and exclaimed, "then what the hell are we arguing about?" If you think that the iPhone and iPad are consoles in that you think they can only run software approved by Apple, but you also think that Apple should enable users to opt out of this restriction, then what the hell are we talking about here? Macs and Windows machines can be set up (and some ship this way by default) to only run App Store apps, but users can toggle those restrictions off...what is the difference? The state of these platforms in 2008?

Header photo by Jackson Hayes on Unsplash