Hello fellow iMorians, and welcome back to another installment of "From the Editor's Desk" from yours truly!
There has been a lot going on this week between the FBI and Apple, and our own Stephen Warwick has wrote a great comparison piece that talks about the two very similar cases that have so far occurred in San Bernardino, California and Pensacola, Florida. If you haven't checked it out yet, make sure to give it a look.
I know it's a very controversial topic, but I'm going to throw my hat into the ring: what the FBI is requesting of Apple may seem innocent enough on the surface, but it will do nothing but cause a huge slippery slope. If Apple were to create a "backdoor" to allow government officials access to a locked and encrypted iPhone, it would open up a whole can of worms if this "master key" ever fell into the wrong hands. And let's face it — the government is not necessarily one figure of authority, so this master key would need to be duplicated for multiple people. And having more than one point of access would mean it's easier for criminals or other "shady" characters to get their hands on it.
So while yes, the government has a valid reason to request access to these devices from Apple (to investigate the suspects in acts of terrorism), the result would be far too dangerous for the rest of us. Our iPhones have incredibly sensitive data and information about all of us individually, and if someone were to be able to bypass our own security measures and gain access to all of it, well, that may cause a bunch of headaches for those affected. Apple (and other similar tech companies) is merely trying to protect the privacy of millions at the cost of a few.
Speaking of Apple, there was an interesting (to say the least) Slate article this week, entitled 'Against the Cult of Apple,' and our own Joe Keller wrote an excellent counter-point to it earlier this week.
I want to reiterate the point Joe makes, about how millions of people buy new Apple products every year, not because we think we're in a special club or anything like that, but because they're good products. I got my first Apple product in 2008, and that was the first-generation iPhone. Prior to this, I was using Windows and my last PC was a Dell, and having my first iPhone led me down the rabbit hole of the Apple ecosystem. I began a yearly tradition of upgrading to the latest iPhone every year, I ended up with a few different iPod models before streaming music was a thing, I ditched PCs for MacBooks (the white one was my first), and I got iPads and Apple Watches — you get the idea.
Again, I'm familiar with Windows and even Android, and despite all of the flexibility those platforms offer, I simply prefer to stick with Apple. Why? My various MacBooks last at least six years or more (I'm typing this on a late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro as we speak) without any issue, which is not something I can attest to with my previous PCs, which end up becoming unbearably slow and annoying. I've dabbled with some Android devices, and while I like being able to customize, I just feel iOS is more streamlined and easier to pick up and get set up. Plus, the iPhone hardware never feels cheap for the models I've gotten. I've used other activity and fitness trackers, like Fitbit and Garmin, but I always prefer going back to my Apple Watch, because of, well, everything, on top of accurate activity measurements.
I honestly could go on, but my point is that I stick with Apple because they know how to make great products, not because I feel like I'm in a "special club." While yes, some of their recent software iterations are a bit buggy, to say the least, I still prefer it over the alternatives. It works for my lifestyle, the hardware feels premium and lasts a good while, and Apple provides some of the best customer service I've seen.
In non-Apple news, Rise of the Resistance officially opened up at Disneyland in Anaheim, California this weekend. I have not experienced it just yet, because those crowds are going to be insane, but I will definitely be checking it out soon (I live minutes from DLR and have an Annual Passport). It's just madness at the moment, so I may wait at least a week or so. It's definitely exciting, though!
Anyways, let's see what this upcoming week will bring, yeah?
- Christine Romero-Chan