Saturday, 29 October 2011

Fighting Fruit

Last night I decided to start paying for the Spotify Premium service (more on that later).  10 euros a month does not seem too much, and I get to play the songs on my phone and a large catalogue of songs for a relatively small amount each month.

Once I paid for the account I realized that I have an old iPhone in the living room hocked up to the stereo. I used this as an iPod for a while, but seeing as it has WiFi as well I thought that I could use it for streaming and not have to try and find a way of plugging the computers into the stereo.

I very quickly regretted that decision...  I had downloaded the application to my Android phones and got it working very quickly.  I was expecting the same with the iPhone - go to the app store and download the application.  But things were not quite so smooth.

First off it wasn't connected to my network.  So I logged into my router and added it's MAC address to the filter.  OK - I am not going to count this is my complaint against the phone, I have good security on my network and it takes time to allow new devices to connect.

So MAC address entered (though it's hidden away on iOS and not that easy to find!) I tried to connect.  Several times!  The pasword screen refused to let me use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, so the password was always incorrect.

In the end I had to switch between the letter and number keypad each time I wanted to return to lower case letters.  It took some time but I finally managed to get it to work.

Go to the app store and download the free app.  Err...  No.  It refused to let me at first.  I don't know what was wrong but if I tapped the 'free' button it turned into 'Install' - so far so good - but then when I tapped it a second time it returned to 'Free'.  I had to press and hold the install button for it to actually install.

It returned me to the home screen and the app appeared to be downloading and I thought that it would be fairly quick to do.  But no...  Apple has changed their terms and conditions again and so you have to accept these new conditions.  So I scrolled down the accept button and clicked it.  And then...  You have to start the damn process again!  I was in the middle of downloading the app, why on earth did not carry on from where it had left off!

So back into store, download the app again and...  iTunes AppStore password needed.  WTF!  You just let me accept terms and conditions without me confirming me who I am, but won't let me download a *free* application without my password.

OK, enter password and the app downloads.  Doesn't run, but it does download.  I assumed that it was an incompatibility between the app and the version of iOS so I plugged it into my apple to upgrade it to the latest version.

The upgrade went very smoothly - I really don't have anything to say about that.  I plugged it in and it upgraded.  Easy.

Seeing as the upgrade was going to wipe the whole machine I decided to download Spotify from iTunes rather than on the phone again.  That was another set of problems.  I got the password wrong twice (oops ;p) and it forced me to the Apple site to reset it.  After two attempts!  Fine.  Did that and signed in.  And it complained that the computer was not authorized for the iTunes account.  It didn't offer me the chance to do it. No it made me go through a menu to do it.  Where it told me that I could only authorize another two computers after this one for my iTunes account.  I hope that I can easily remove authorizations without having the machines - I have no idea which the other two are!

So after the phone upgraded I tried to use it and... No.  You have activate your phone.  The same phone I have activated two or three times in the past!  But, fine just do it.  Oh no!  You can't, the phone doesn't have a SIM card in it! WTF!  I am not allowed to activate the phone without a SIM card!  At this point I was seriously reconsidering the reuse of the kit.  But, I dismantled my new phone and stuck the SIM card in the iPhone.  And it didn't recognize it until a hard reset.  Even then it took some time to pick it up.

Sim card in, pin code entered and activate!  'This may take several minutes.'  That was an understatement, it took a bloody age!

My Desire has been annoying me a little this week - there are things that Android phone makers really have to address to really make the phones great. I was really wondering what an iPhone 4S would be like - especially the 64GB version.  But after the crap I went though last night with the iPhone I will not be buying a new version in the future!

Apple - It Just Works.  Eventually.  When you have fought with it for hours on end.  And swore like a sailer.  And ran lots of updates.  And swore some more.

But it is pretty (well the computers, the phones not so much...)


  1. Lesser mortals would have given up and thrown it out of the window!

    I love the interface and design but they don't make it as easy as they would have you believe to get things to work together...

  2. Updates. Swearing. Frustration. You sure you're not running Windows? :-)

    I hear you can push the Windows Mobile OS on to the device. I'm not sure how legal this is, but a close family friend managed it. His reasons where that he was fed up with the straight jacket, sorry: "wall garden"

  3. Caroline: What can I say? I have always tried not to give up when working on computers. I guess that's why I made them my career... But, god, do they test me at times :)

    Having used the MacBook Pro for a couple of months now the jury is still out for me on the design. It looks very pretty - that is for sure - but it looks pretty when on a desk. After it's been in and out of a bag 30 or 40 times the aluminium starts to get marked and it quickly looks scruffy. Our interaction designer has one a year or so older than mine and it looks ancient with the marks - something my Windows machines that are coming up for 10 years old don't have.

    Lynn: The first time I used OSX trying to get my father in laws machine working that was exactly my thought! He got his brand new machine that refused to connect to his wireless network (again MAC security was the problem, and he has an awful router that tries to make life easier whilst actually making it a nightmare - but the windows machines and smart phones of all flavors connected without a problem.) When it did eventually connect it had to download 1.6GB of updates, then restart, then download some more, then restart, then install some more, then restart. When I got mine I had exactly the same. In the two or three months I have had my machine I have had multiple EFI updates, and enough system updates to make people on a 10GB per month data limit get worried about costs!

    Oh, and Mac minutes and seconds make Windows look accurate!

    As for the phone... I don't suppose you could get instructions could you :)


  4. Stacw, if this is your experience then what hope is there for the rest of us ?

    Joking apart, its really just annoying. You start with good intentions and the next thing you know, hours have vaporised replaced by a desire never to do that again !

  5. Stace: I can't lay my hands on the instructions, which suggests one of two things. One, it's a hoax, or two; it's an underground thing.

    On another note though:

  6. Becca: Yup... The problem is whilst I ignored the walled garden and went to Android when I thought it was a good idea, I did have a dock connected to the stereo!

    It can be used with the android phone, but not as nicely as the iPhone... Hohum I suppose...

    Lynn: When I went looking I could find lots of 'Themes' but nothing that was actually about installing it.

    Again hohum... I will check out the android link though and see what I can do :)