Personal Musing 9/21/12: iOS6 and App Updates, Train Simulator 2013 and more…

Yeah, I’ll be giving Apple a break after this post…

My Latest Musings:

Good evening all. Its been quite the Friday. Today at work was a bit unusual. We had a potluck with all my co-workers at the office. Some good food I might add. Then everyone but the students and a few other staff went on some retreat across the campus. I wasn’t invited but I didn’t mind. I had to attend a meeting about my CIS major at the same time and I felt that was more important. It was a meeting where the faculty told us what resources we had available, what clubs there were that were relevant to our major and a bunch of other info. After that, I came home and finished up some things. Also went on campus to help with some Navigator stuff. Got to help out with some Blackjack, I haven’t played that game in a long time.

I was thinking of making this next part a separate musing post, but decided I didn’t have enough I wanted to talk about. So here goes. My university uses a college system called Blackboard. Basically, it allows our professors to post documents and announcements relevant to the class, among other things. This a free service for the students that attend the college. Well, free in the sense that it comes with the tuition package.  Blackboard has an official app for iPhone and iPad and last year it was free to use. So long as the University footed the bill. But in the latest update to Blackboard, they decided in their wisdom that the students should also share the burden of paying for the app. So there are now two subscription options. $1.99 per term and $5.99 for a lifetime subscription. For an app that used to be free. For a service that is still free to use if we access browsers. And they no longer allow Universities to foot the bill anymore.

It would be one thing if the iOS and Android apps were actually reliable and easy to use. But my experience with them hasn’t been all that satisfactory. They are prone to crashing, some documents do not show up in the app and there has been a multitude of other problems over the year. So I usually check blackboard from home just to make sure I didn’t miss anything important when in class. Now Blackboard believes that their app is a premium service that you have to pay for to use. I really, really dislike that. Its not like Blackboard is getting chump change to license their system out to Universities to use. If they aren’t getting enough money to fund these apps, then maybe they should ask more from the University, don’t you think? In any case, it really ticks me off. If Blackboard Inc wants to do this, then I’ll use mobile chrome to access their website free of charge. This is just a money grab. Pure and simple and its disgusting that Blackboard is trying to grab money from already poor college students.

I am really starting to severely dislike iOS app updates of late. Several of my Apple apps will not allow me to update because I don’t have the iPhone 4S. Considering that my phone is less than two years old and is still being sold by Apple is a real slap in the face. More of them still won’t let me update because I’m not on iOS 6. Now apps like Blackboard are forcing paid-subscription services on me because they feel that the app is a “premium”. Its getting to the point that every other update one of my app gets asks for more and more money for the same features or maybe a few additional ones. And its getting to the point of frustration and annoyance. Its made even worse that iOS6 is generally an unimpressive update. The maps app is having a lot of problems and the iOS update takes a lot of Google out of the software. A move that doesn’t sit right with me. This is Apple trying to reign everything under one umbrella. Their umbrella. Instead of releasing an iPhone 5 with micro-usb, its Lightening. Instead of NFC they use Passbook. And instead of Google Maps which is generally recognized as a good consumer map system, Apple decides to make their own. And the consumers of iOS are now stuck with a subpar app that doesn’t always work. Its a really questionable move. Why Apple couldn’t go to standard technologies like NFC and Micro-usb continues to make me wonder. Would it be such a big loss? I don’t think so.

I don’t know what’s fair for the developers, but all I’ve been seeing is a huge imbalance for the developers making money and the customers getting less value for what they’re buying. Freemium is not a fair price and neither is forcing paid subscriptions to use a free website for us students. I wish I had the answers to this problem because I get that developers need to be paid for the work they do. Its just, this isn’t the way to do things. Its really making me question my current decision to be in iOS.

News of Relevance:

Something I forgot to talk about yesterday is that Train Simulator 2012 is now Train Simulator 2013. One of its big new features is Steam Workshop integration, among other features. Features such as new trains and routes, enhanced graphics and performance and more. This is a game I really want to play more from time to time, but my plate is pretty full. If you had the previous version of 2012, its a free update to 2013 and I definitely appreciate that they update us for free. Cause the truth is, I wouldn’t pay to upgrade every year. This game isn’t worth it. So good on these devs for being that generous. Even if you are funded by the insane amount of DLC that the game has ;). (Which is still cheaper than building a model train set in real life I might add).

Audio To Hear:

Sid Icarus, enjoyed this song.

Captured Internet Photos:

I can’t believe its that time of the year already

Computer helper, I used to have one like that.

Videos To See:

My friend Moonshine Fox is maybe starting a Let’s Play series on FTL. Its a rather amusing play in the game, hope you enjoy!

I have wanted to sing…err shout this sometimes when I take tests. I won’t deny it.

Until next time…


Leave a Reply