Originally Posted by addabox
So given all that, let me ask you a question that I've asked before, in a different context:
Why do you think Apple is approaching this the way they are?
Is it because they are lazy? Incompetent? Stupid? Is that that they inexplicably want the iPhone to be less competitive? They hate their customers? Steve Jobs is insane?
According to you, the barriers to multitasking are trivial. All their competitors can do it, kids in their basement with jail-broken phones can do it, and Apple's "excuses" are all laughable. It's not really about CPU heft or battery life or complexity. They're lying.
Why? Apple seems to have done pretty well with the iPhone, to date, so they can't be complete idiots/hellspawn/crazy. In fact, failure to implement such a vital feature, which is so simple to do, would be seem to be a genuinely bizarre lapse, given Apple's track record here.
Can you maybe clarify what you think Apple's motives are, for failing to deliver a wonderful feature that would require almost no effort, have no down side, and massively enhance the iPhone's desirability?
The question "Why" is a good one, I think one can only guess. One can further extend the series of WHY questions:
- when people were crying for third party apps on the iphone platform, WHY did Steve Jobs insist on having a half baked (you can use the same duct tape metaphor here if you like) web applications instead of native applications?
- when people did the jailbreaking, why did Apple finally give up its grip (a little bit) and created an app store with native third party apps with a severely limited SDK?
- Why is there no real Gmail app like the one found in BlackBerry for example, almost any other phone has a specific gmail app?
- Why would the skype app not take benefit of the 3G even though Skype executives are publicly saying that there is nothing wrong with the app and it would work perfectly on 3G? (and it does, just this morning I was on it for 15 minutes with my dad overseas)
- Why is Iphone available only through AT&T?
- Why is there no MMS?
- Why can't you have horizontal keyboard (3.0 will do this it seems)
- Why no video recording?
- Why initially support DRM and now we are DRM-Free? Why are videos still with DRM? Why is the rental only 24 hours but not 48 or 72 making Apple TV useless in my opinion?
Most people would consider the iphone a platform that is very attractive for mobile computing. The gateway to this platform is currently controlled by Apple through the SDK and App Store process. It is a business decision to have this control in place. When iphone first came out, the control was absolute, only Apple could provide applications, then the grass roots efforts became so loud that Apple had to relent and open up App Store. Now there is similar grumbling against the decision of not allowing background applications and against draconian artificial controls, and this grumbling will eventually force Apple to re-consider their current policies, piece by piece, just like they did since the launch of this platform.
I do feel that Steve Jobs has a great vision and the talent to monetize innovation. It is only natural to try to control the revenue stream whether it is by protecting your strategic alliances (don't allow tethering, don't allow Skype on 3G for the sake of AT&T's phone minute revenues).
Sometimes, our (consumers) interests and the interests of the corporations that provide us these innovative products and services may not be perfectly aligned, thus it is quite natural to see friction. We had friction since the launch of the iphone platform and this friction is the reason the platform got better and better which each iteration and I welcome it.
Companies need to maximize their revenues, and we consumers also want maximum satisfaction from the products we buy. It is in my interest to have as many features as possible on my iphone, such as background apps, skype, horizontal keyboard, MMS, video recording, etc. As a single user, I can only have a tiny voice in nudging the corporation to what I believe the direction of the product's development should take. The biggest testament of this relationship can be seen by simply looking at the near past and the interaction between the customers and the corporation. Now Apple no longer bricks iphones. Now you don't have to go to the store to activate an iphone, soon you will get "notifications" and soon after everybody hates it, you will get true background processing, because those notifications are simply not good enough.
I guess the answer to "why" is complex, but I certainly don't believe the team at Apple is lazy or malicious. They are just trying to make sure they get the maximum benefit for Apple and by constructively discussing these issues, we are also contributing to this innovation and helping out the company deliver products that we really want and enjoy.
Sorry, I could not deliver a straight forward answer to your "why" question...