We’re no EU lawyers or iOS programmers but ….
Here at GoMo Towers we’re constantly reminded by Apple fanbois that the main reason why the Cupertino-based company can charge a premium for its products is that they are intuitive and easy to use. So when an Apple fan was demonstrating his latest discovery to us – Amazon’s AutoRip, we were more than a little astonished. AutoRip downloads MP3 music files from the Amazon store directly to your iPhone once you have made a purchase of any qualifying ‘AutoRiP’ CDs. When, GoMo News asked to see which tracks had arrived, our iPhone user immediately opened the AutoRip app. But why? There is a perfectly good icon on the iPhone’s home screen marked ‘Music’.
The MP3 tracks should have been there but they weren’t. Music only seemed to want to play tracks from an iTunes library.
That would be perfectly understandable if the icon had been named ‘iTunes’ or even ‘iPod’ but it wasn’t. It is named Music.
So as far as GoMo News is concerned, if the MP3 tracks are stored on the iPhone itself then they should become immediately visible. But they aren’t.
It then struck us that the only possible reason these tracks weren’t visible was because they had been downloaded from a rival app store to Apple’s iTunes – namely Amazon’s.
Now, we’re not even remotely connected to any team of EU lawyers but this would certainly appear to us to be anti-competitive behaviour.
It might seem perfectly natural in the USA but in the EU, we strongly suspect that you can’t block rivals’ offerings in such a way.
It could well be that our Apple fanboy hasn’t installed the Amazon AutoRip app correctly and there’s an option which will automatically send Amazon MP3s to the Music app.
There could also be another defence for Apple in that an entirely separate app should be used by iPhone owners ro listen to AutoRip MP3s.
Namely Amazon’s Cloud Player which you can download from here.
But even if Apple and Amazon are expecting consumers to make use of their rival cloud offerings, we still can’t see why the tracks don’t appear under Music.
GoMo News might well have stumbled across a major issue in its naivety. Or it could be Amazon’s fault entirely in not understanding how the iOS OS actually works. Who Knows?
But it does seem to go against the grain of Apple’s claim that everything is easy to use on iOS based devices.