iPhone 4S Disappoints? What the hell is wrong with you people?

I’ve had this rant percolating in my head for the last few days, and can’t let it carry into the weekend, so you all with have to bear with me.

First, the caveat: I’m a happy iPhone/iPad/MacBook user. These products are (for me) so clearly better than the products from other manufacturers that they replaced that they have become a part of my daily life. I always have my iPhone. I almost always am carrying my iPad. I do the bulk of my recreational programming on my Macbook. That being said, I’m not relentlessly tied to the upgrade cycle: my MacBook is an old white one (so old in fact the latest Mac OS X release can’t be installed on it). I have a first gen iPad, and will probably not upgrade until the next generation comes out. I have an iPhone 4, but partly upgraded so I could cycle my old one to my sibling.

And I recognize that other products might be preferred by other people. People have specific reasons for picking the products they like. Many people refused to buy iPhones when they were tied to AT&T, and AT&T customer service sucks. It wasn’t ever clear to me that any other cellular carrier had better service, but who am I to argue? Some people like the (quasi-) open source model of Android. Or the cost of phones. Or whatever features float your boat. If you bought an Android phone and are happy with it, who am I to argue? Enjoy.

But I’ve read an astonishingly large number of reviews about the iPhone 4S intro lately which make the claim that the phone is “disappointing”. And I simply don’t get it. Here is one to check out:

Why Apple’s iPhone 4S Disappoints.

I’ll quote:

The iPhone 4S is hugely disappointing.

Let me repeat: Apple’s new iPhone 4S — with the fastest processor in a smartphone by miles, perhaps the most advanced and smartest voice command assistant on a piece of consumer technology ever, and the basic design and feel of the most wildly popular and beloved cell phone of all time — is a big fat, tremendous letdown of a device, and the event where Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the new iPhone was the Al Capone’s vault of product launches.

This boggles my mind: the author is conceding that it’s fast and pretty, with cool voice recognition and a great camera, but it’s disappointing?

What the hell is wrong with you people?

The phone delivers a bunch of cool features. The voice recognition technology seems very cool to me, integrated in a way we haven’t really seen in consumer applications. The camera is shoots 1080p video and has image stabilization. And of course it folds in all the features that my iPhone 4 will get next week as part of the iOS 5 upgrade,

It’s a terrific upgrade.

Am I going to pay the carrier-mandated extortion to go out and upgrade? No, to be honest, I probably am not. But to label this release as disappointing?

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Many commenters seem to ask “where is the pizzazz?” To me that seems like going into a restaurant, ordering a meal and then asking why they didn’t add more sugar. We all like sugar, after all. Or maybe we should put gold leaf on our food, just so we can crap out precious metals!

The implicit (or often explicit) claim that all this criticism seems to have is that the people who buy Apple products do so merely to show off their wealth. That the iPhone is bling, without any substance. That it doesn’t matter what actual features anything Apple has: the fanboys will dash out to buy them anyway.

The truth is actually exactly the reverse. People buy them because they love them. People love them because they are good. It is pure cynicism to presume that someone who chooses an Apple product does so purely on vanity.

The iPhone and iPad are great (but by no means perfect) products. In my opinion, they are simply take more care and provide better service for their products than alternatives. If that ever ceases to be the case, then I’ll take my business elsewhere. Thus far, I haven’t seen the better product.

Scrappy introduces my Arduino/Gameduino Satellite Tracker

My cat Scrappy decided it was time to film a brief progress video of my Arduino/Gameduino satellite tracker. I completed the basic port and testing of my Plan13 implementation to C++ for the Arduino, and got it running pretty well. It doesn’t seem to be much more compact than Bruce Robertson’s qrpTracker code, but it isn’t any worse, and I like the way I modularized and call it a bit better. Eventually all this code will be released on this website for anyone crazy enough to want to build one for themselves.

More progress as it occurs.