The News‎ > ‎

Buying a smartphone? Welcome to the cult

posted Jun 14, 2012, 1:44 AM by Tom Otomanski   [ updated Jun 14, 2012, 1:47 AM ]

Gone are the days when you had a phone to make phone calls, and send the odd SMS… and to play snake. Gone are the days where you wouldn’t be woken up in the middle of the night by some stranger phoning the wrong number, twice; where you could pick up your phone after dropping it 2 storeys and not even bother checking to see if anything had broken. Gone are the days where you got what you paid for, nothing more, nothing less, unless you bought anything other than a Nokia 3310.

As technology has progressed, so has our demand of what our devices that we carry around with every day can do. Few people have a tolerance level high enough to realise that not everybody has a Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Apple, Windows Live ID account. The worrying part is the fact that most people have no idea that when they buy that first new Smartphone, they’ll be signing a contract with the devil.

Whether it is your Service Provider, the OEM that made your phone, or the developer of the OS, everybody is trying to pigeonhole you into staying with them for as long as possible. It is getting increasingly difficult to get something whether it is free or paid for without having to sign-up with some or other service. And once they have you, you’re stuck with them, for life, like an inmate on death row.

This brings me to my next point. I picked up a glaring issue on iOS with their social network integration. A few weeks ago, Google released an update for their Google+ app on iOS. The response it received was phenomenal, Android users we up in the air asking Google why they chose to deploy it onto the iOS platform of all places. I for one understand why and the upcoming release of iOS 6 cements my theory firmly in place.

One of the major features of iOS 6 is Facebook Integration. Now, while some of you spend endless hours wasting away on virtual farming or creating a psychic vampire warrior, I despise Facebook for what it has become another breed of social parasite. What was once a great place to hook-up with friends has now turned into my version of the zombie apocalypse. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t have to fleet away thoughts of self-mutilation that might distract me from its bloated and infested UI.

Why has Apple not done any Google+ integration? Why can’t I upload a photo from my library directly onto Google+ without having to launch the app? Why can’t I share an article I read on the iOS app onto Google+? WHY? WHY? WHY?

Why am I being pigeonholed into using only Facebook to share what I want to?

The worst part is that the majority of people are ignorant to the fact that they’re being forced to use Facebook to share their personal info, and let’s face it, FB doesn’t exactly have the best set of standards with regards to data privacy.

So if you think freedom of choice exists, take a closer look at the services you’re using… it’s a dog eat dog world out there.