tannoy blog — apple’s app store

Apple’s iMac App store—in my opinion, a big fail.

With the latest upgrade to Snow Leopard comes Apple’s App Store, and, so far as I can see, they’ve got it pretty wrong.

First of all, when you log in, you have to use one of their accounts. Now, in principle, that’s not a problem. The difficulty is their customer accounting system is strongly nationalist. It does not comprehend that people living in one country might prefer to speak another country’s language—or to be accurate, it will let you switch languages, but as soon as you want to make a purchase, insists on switching back. I’m British, I want to make a purchase in English: the fact that I live in France should be irrelevant … and it usually is online.

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It does not comprehend that the Eurozone covers 17 countries, and that a eurozone credit card can be used in any of them. Indeed, credit cards are pretty global. Yet Apple told me an Irish credit card didn’t work in the UK, never mind I use it there all the time. When I lived in Luxembourg, they wouldn’t let me use my Belgium iTunes account, because they told me one country’s currency didn’t in the other country—never mind that the two countries have been in currency union for around 170 years. They’re talking complete nonsense. I don’t know what their real reasons for this stupidity are, but I wish they’d drop the idiot lies. That, or Apple doesn’t grasp that, for most of Europe, it’s a doddle to cross boundaries. Except with Apple, I can live in one European country and buy goods from another. They've really got it wrong. Amazon get it right, Apple get it wrong.

As you can tell, I really don’t like the nationalist politics that lies underneath the App store, they way they try for force separation between inhabitants of different European countries. They don’t understand Europe, & I don’t have a clue why an American company like Apple is making such a negative statement on a continent where nationalism has historically done such damage. I should strongly suggest to Apple that they stop presuming that someone’s culture must be connected with where they live. I’ll give Apple, they’re not the only American company to make this mistake. I’ve not found a European company that screws things up in this way, and I would suggest to Apple that they get their act together, see how European companies tend to behave, and stop being so nationalist.

The App store is very carefully designed to prevent you finding out about anything before you download it. They use colours from the nursery school, where people are of course told what to do and follow guidance because they’re too young to work things out for themselves. They expect you to select apps on the basis of pukely coloured icons rather than knowing what the product does, or at least is supposed to do. They assure you if you click on the icons, product descriptions are offered, but all the icons I’ve clicked on have offered one or two lines of texts. No product specs, no product descriptions, no requirements, no contractual information, nothing. It's bloody useless.

Obviously, this is early days. Mind you, judging by the press, their early days have badly screwed up their security, so there is quite a lot of thieving going on, it seems.

So it’s a disaster. My advice is to avoid it until they sort it out, and drop the nationalism.