An unwillingness to upgrade to iOS 6 has landed me in Apple’s software baby jail – a virtual playpen where I can go only so far without permission or swearing allegiance to the iOS flag. I can’t upgrade iPhoto or certain other apps unless I upgrade to flawed iOS6. Irksome but I can live with that until I’m ready to make the switch. Worse, no matter how much I’ve invested in Apple devices — hint: typing this on my third MacBook Air 11” about an issue discovered on iPad 3 while iPhone 4S on the table – or iTunes apps, I can’t upgrade an app I’ve already paid for unless I accept the latest change in iTunes terms and conditions. This is on top of producing a new iOS that double-dog dares you not to install it because, as is so often the case with Apple, improvements and breakage come in the same package. (Before anyone jumps on me, I know Apple isn’t alone in breaking features but it leads the pack in making life without OS upgrades difficult. Try watching an Apple video without the latest version of Quicktime.)
It isn’t a new frustration but it’s a reminder of the kind of thinking that sent me to Microsoft and DOS from Apple IIC years ago. Apple’s version of the walled garden is considerably broader than it was back then when I went over the wall because it blocked the kind of software development encouraged by Microsoft. But it’s still a control freak’s paradise that requires a series of “Mother, may I’s” or “Please, sir, may I have anothers?” Today I blend them – I’m using Windows 7 on this MacBook Air and our other household computers are PCs. Every time I think about diving in, say going Mac for my new desktop, I run into a reminder that life in the virtual playpen is meant to work best when you don’t challenge the limits.