Yesterday, Apple announced their upcoming iPhone operating system version 4.0. It’s chock-full of new features. The big one is multitasking, which many people have been clamouring for.
As I read through the descriptions of how the multitasking will function, it occurred to me that the company would not support the older hardware models forever. Would my first-generation device be able to handle the extra work required to run all these new features?
It was a prescient thought, because after all the new goodies were detailed, they revealed that the new firmware would not support the first generation iPod Touch and iPhone. My trusty iPod already has the last update it will ever receive. The firmware will support the second generation models, but not all the new features will be available to them, and in particular, multitasking. I’m not entirely surprised because the third generation devices doubled the memory and significantly increased the processing power and graphics capabilities. Apple could have allowed second generation devices to use the new features, but the performance would be unacceptable.
It makes me a bit sad that my iPod has reached the end of the upgrade line, but I’m not upset. Many are, however. To read the comments on the stories reporting this news, you’d think Steve Jobs broke into the home of every owner of first and second generation iPod Touch and iPhone devices, and destroyed them. “Apple screws the customer again,” was the common reply. And my rejoinder? “What a bunch of fucking whiners!”
I bought my iPod Touch in November 2007. At that time there was no app store. The applications that came on the device were all you had. At that time, there was no Maps, Stocks, Notes, Weather, and not even an e‑mail client. The iPhone had them, but the iPod Touch did not. The calendar was no great shakes as it would display the appointments you created on your computer, but you could not add any directly on the iPod itself. They released a software update to add these missing applications in early 2008. Firmware version 2 came out in June 2008, including the new app store, which opened the sluice gates.
My point is that I bought it knowing full well what I was getting. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have bought it. All of the functionality added after I purchased it was pure gravy. All of those whiners still have the same iPod or iPhone they purchased and it works exactly the same, or better. Just because the new features need hardware that their devices don’t have, they feel ripped off. Talk about ridiculous!
Next month I’ll have had my iPod for 2½ years and I like it just fine, thanks. Up to this point, the only new features unavailable to me were those that required the hardware added to newer models, such as Bluetooth, a speaker, hardware volume controls, and voice control. From here on, I’ll be getting nothing new. But you know what? That’s okay.
The iPod I have now is easily twice the iPod I purchased. To complain that I can’t get even more would show a level of selfish entitlement that I don’t understand, much less feel. Until it dies or I feel compelled to replace it with something else, we’ll continue along nicely, just as we have for years now, thanks.