Warning: pissing and moaning ahead- if you’re not in the mood, click away now.
My daughter was lamenting today that her iPhone keeps filling up, no matter what she does to try to keep it’s storage lean. We’ll talk about that in a minute, as Rant #1. For Rant #2, I want you to to think about your mobile data plan, and the notion of paying for content you don’t want and have little control over.
Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you’re in control?
Well, I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
Just like me
– “Crazy”, Gnarles Barkley
Or is it?
I ran across this article that talks about Apple being sued by users who have had enough of numbers that you can’t trust and vendors who don’t seem to care about how much of OUR drives they squat on. We’ll see if it actually goes anywhere, but I’d be happy with two outcomes:
- An end to the industry wide practice of flat-out lying to people about what they are buying (don’t tell me it’s in the fine print)
- A separate partition on the on-board storage that delivers what the vendor is promising- some amount of storage that truly is yours to junk up as you so choose, that comes absolutely empty. No OS, no bloatware- that goes in another partition.
Data plans have so many bullshit aspects to them it’s just sinful. I don’t know how you fix this one, but for those of us who like to get what we pay for, it’s a travesty. Let’s say you pay $50 a month for a data plan that’s only so big, and when you exceed that usage, you pay overage fees. That’s not unreasonable, right?
Where we have a problem is that you reasonably assume that YOU will decide how your data plan gets used. Ah, you sweet naive kid.
You know all those apps that come on your phone? The ones that you have no use for and can’t uninstall? Some of them are sizable- and so are their updates that eat into your data plan. Think about how many times you open CNN or Reuters and an inline commercial or add kicks off- you’re paying for those too. If you’re saying “so what? I have commercials on cable TV and on my home Internet” then you’re forgetting that those subscriptions are not metered like your cellular data plan is. But there is all kind of force-fed content that helps itself to your data plan regardless of your interest.
The only defenses? Use Wi-Fi as much as possible, root the device to remove the apps you don’t want, or buy some kind of ad-blocker software (you’re still going to get a lot of video that just starts playing when you open web pages). But should consumers really have to go to these lengths to not have their data usage squandered by applications they didn’t invoke or ask for?
So… we got devices that aren’t as big as they claim to be and data plans that will never be ours alone to control, despite that they are ours alone to pay. And “the industry” couldn’t be doing better these days.
So is it me, are are we not in fact getting screwed?