iPhone killed tinkering, but only if you want to tinker with iPhone


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/29/iphone-killed-tinkering-but-o.html


#2

Video killed the radio star, 2017 edition


#3


#4

What this guy is really saying is I used to like to tinker, then I became a lazy zombie when I bought an iPhone. I blame Apple.


#5

The lack of the ability to tinker with the iPhone’s innards and files, tweaking everything from its font to its home screen layout to the way it displays app icons is the main complaint of friends of mine who use home-brew/hacked Android OS’s. Then again, their phones seem to always be crashing, freezing, and refusing to operate properly. But they weren’t forced to use a font they didn’t want, so I guess it all balances out.


#6

Sorry @beschizza, not falling for the click bait this time.

Happy Holy Wars :wink:


#7
If anything I've had the opposite experience. I hate having to fiddle with technology because I have to if I want it to do something interesting, or simply to work in the first place. But now tinkering is all creation. Experimentation, hacking--all of it is freed from whatever technical needs I have.

I guess I don’t understand what you mean by “tinkering” in the latter sense. Yes, you can create artistic works with no understanding or interest of the technology used, but is that “tinkering”?


#8

I don’t really see where holy wars come into this. I’m an Android user phone-wise but it is pretty obvious that the current smartphone experience is descended from the iPhone. Yes, you can bring up PalmOS and Symbian and even WindowsCE but they were all awkward failures phone-wise because they thought what people wanted was a cramped laptop, not a new type of device.


#9

If anything I’ve had the opposite experience. I hate having to fiddle with technology because I have to if I want it to do something interesting, or simply to work in the first place. But now tinkering is all creation. Experimentation, hacking–all of it is freed from whatever technical needs I have.

I find that I increasingly have to fiddle with shit (often for family members) just to get it to do what it says on the box, and more and more often the answer is, “I don’t know, I guess we can’t do that.”


#10

I run a rooted, unlocked, and tweaked Android with a custom ROM, and it’s worked fine. The reason is probably that I usually use hardware that’s at least one generation old, so the most serious flaws are known and corrected.

My preference for tinkering/customisation is one of the reasons I don’t use an iPhone, but I can understand that most people aren’t like that.


#11

No, it just means that I’m tinkering with a raspberry pi or LineageOS for fun or great justice instead of tinkering with my daily driver because if I don’t it will be lame or broke.


#12

There is an interesting parallel in nerd culture generally.

Once upon a time, to know, experience and feel the universe of comics and superheroes you had to invest deeply of yourself, mentally and emotionally, to enter those worlds and bring them to life. Special effects and pre-charistmatic actors now do all the work, and the door is open to the casual passer-by to consume.

Video games are in this stream as well. You had to give of yourself generously, to suspend disbelief entirely, and invest in imagined, or external backstory, art and detail to experience worlds rendered in limited dimensions and blocky pixels. Video games are now mainstream, as the game meets you far more than halfway in creating an immersive experience.

These aren’t bad developments, and they aren’t destructive to genres, but they do render the imaginary labor into pixels and pages as part of a nostalgiac/minimalist art experience, rather than a rite of passage into an exclusive world.


#13

I still have a Palm Pre 2 that I occasionally boot for amusement.
webOS was a failure because HP didn’t realise how much there was to play for. The inherent UI model was excellent - and widely copied since.


#14

Sometimes I want to tinker, sometimes I want an iPhone.


#15

Look at that smug fucker, Jobs. The first thing I thought of when I saw that photo: “How many child sized fingerprints are inside that phone?”


#16

Few to none.


#17

apple-sorkin-children-factcheck (permalink for that article) sounds like a alternate International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet message regarding the American Security Council Foundation (or, if you prefer, the Association For Special Children)…


#18

Same here. I had a real disdain for building computers back when I had to do it. It’s much more fun to do it because I want to. I do most of my gaming on console because I like the “it just works” simplicity (also the couch and the big screen) but I built a gaming PC because I could, and I enjoyed doing it because I wanted to.

It’s the difference between tinkering with a “classic” car on the weekend and trying to fix the car you need to take to work. Gadgets that do with they’re supposed to do take the pressure off goofing around with technology.


#19

Shhh, he’s being righteous, don’t interrupt with your facts.


#20

I wanted a cramped laptop.