I dumped my iPhone 4 for the Android Galaxy Nexus

Don't blame the iPhone; it's Apple's closed ecosystem that's trouble

I like a lot of things about my iPhone 4. For starters, even though I live in a dead zone for both AT&T and Verizon, right out of the box my AT&T iPhone 4 got noticeably better reception than my original iPhone. That whole "antennagate" thing was overblown. Lots of phones drop bars if you grip them a certain way while in a weak signal area. (My new Galaxy Nexus does.) A simple iPhone 4 case prevented any loss of signal reception due to hand shielding.

I've always felt that the iPhone 4's screen is too small. And the virtual keyboard is all but unusable to me. Even so, it wasn't the iPhone's fault that I decided to shelve it in favor of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Most of my frustration comes directly from Apple. After a long period of glasnost, Apple seems to be closing its ecosystem again.

CalDAV, really?

For example, after years of offering its SyncServices for calendar and contact syncing, Apple abruptly switched away from that service on the eve of the launches of both iCloud and Office 2011, falling back to CalDAV for calendar scheduling and syncing. The fact that Outlook 2011 for the Mac doesn't appear to support CalDAV is Microsoft's bad. Outlook 2011 does have support for Apple's abandoned SyncServices (go figure). The problem for me is that to sync with your Macs, iOS devices and iCloud, your calendar data must reside in iCloud (not on your computer where you can back it up). And iCloud's rendition of CalDAV isn't "compatible" with third-party CalDAV implementations. As a result -- shocker -- iCloud can't fully sync with Google's CalDAV setup for Google Calendar.

To get Google Calendar and iCal to fully sync, I had pull down my data from iCloud to my computer and purchase a third-party utility called Spanning Sync, which costs $25 a year. It really irks me when end users are forced to pay a price because vendors are locked in mortal combat. Customer first? Apple apparently doesn't care about that.

More surprises

Only a couple months later, my second Apple surprise occurred when I decided to migrate Apple Mail to Outlook 2011. That's when I discovered that OS X Lion users are locked into Apple Mail for all intents and purposes. When you upgrade to Lion, you're also upgrading Apple Mail's mailbox format. Apple decided to quietly abandon its support for the .mbox standard used by a wide variety of email applications. Beginning with Lion, Apple Mail now uses its own proprietary mailbox structure. Guess what? Outlook's email importer no longer works with Lion's version of Apple Mail. And Apple doesn't offer an exporter. Once again I'm stymied and stuck with Apple's ecosystem because of careless or planned Apple lock-in.

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