The Baking ‘Apple’ – the sourer side of using the iPhone

Posted by James Brindle on May 17, 2010.

Firstly, I absolutely love my iPhone – I never thought I could love a gadget so much.  I was opposed to one, I kept saying things like “not bloody likely” or “over my dead rotting windows-mobile-loving carcass!” – and then it happened, just like all addictions – someone introduced me to it – my brother!  He’d decided he wanted one and kept waiving it under my nose and just like the scent of a good meal, I was slowly drawn towards it and distracted by it’s shineyness and so I got one a few months ago.

I’ve been playing about now with it and a few things come to light about it – some stuff in the would be nice category for sure such as customising icons for things like the photo library and the ability to easily manage your pictures through iTunes (well why not, you do everything else there!) but then there’s some stuff that you just consider to be downright missing from such an awesome device.

In this category as a lead off is the ability to block and filter calls silently.  On my HTC Touch HD, I used to have an app that would act as gatekeeper – it’d block withheld numbers – they’d just get voicemailed and I could even put certain visible numbers on a growing blocklist – namely call centres.  I won’t rant on about it but in the UK, we’re getting bombarded endlessly by people trying to “help” you with debt (translation make your situation worse off) and sell you things – worst of all is a block of numbers starting with (0844) 686 that just have a recording which filled up 14 minutes of my voicemail the other day after I rejected the call.  Anyway, you can see how this is annoying.  Additionally I used to have a list for so-called collectors who I refuse to talk to on the phone and conduct all business in writing with but yet they still want to try and talk it over with you.  So, you can see how much I miss this app that I can’t have without jailbreaking my iPhone :(

Now, i’m traditionally pro-homebrew but I can see Apple’s viewpoint and the reason why they’re so vigorously opposing jailbreaking – good luck with that by the way, unless you totally encrypt your firmware package to the point of uselessness somebody will reverse engineer it but I digress.

Apple want to keep a virgin-like environment and purity of apps – ok, there’s a commercial sidepoint to this but ultimately if you oversee the release of apps to the masses and verify that they don’t do sinister things then people will trust the source and the device stays relatively trouble free.

Anyway, the sourer side of this is that it hinders progression of certain classifications of apps – namely backup of things or the afforementioned call filtering.

I wanted a way to back up my SMS store, there’s a lot of messages i’d like to keep and should I have to replace the handset, i’d like to get all the stuff back on there or at least refer to it.

I came across a site called YouArchive.It which offers an online service that can transfer your SMS to a web archive so you can read it, it seemed to be syncable so I could clear down older messages and read them online!  YAY!  Unfortunately i’m too late.  Due to several reasons – one of which being Apple itself, they’re closing down. 

You can read their full reasoning here, they’ll be taking the site down pretty soon so i’ll contact them for permission to re-post their article and put it on here because until such time as my freedom of speech is revoked i’ll keep the reasons behind things disappearing or being opposed by Apple available for all to read.

This page will form the start of a large section of “why does apple?” or more to the point “why doesn’t apple?” type articles.

I’m welcoming comments about this topic – if there’s a jailbreak way of doing something and then there becomes a legitimate way of doing it – I want to know so I can update the posts.

About the Author

James Brindle is a freelance technology consultant based in Blackburn, Lancashire with over 20 years of experience in the IT, Media and Telecommunications industries with specialties in Web and Mobile Application development, Voice over IP (VoIP) deployment and integration, media storage and distribution systems and wide area solutions. He has a passion for retro gaming and volunteers as a presenter and acts as vice-chairman of Blackburn's Hospital Radio service.

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  1. Cummo says: June 2, 2010

    Hi James, nice article


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