Rambly rant about my Apple fan boy coworker and tech illiteracy

So, I had dinner with other people in my company today (as of when I started this post). One of them are absolute Apple fan boys. He knows that I piratically a VR resident. And the topic of Apple's new Vision Pro headset showed up. I expressed my view that I don't like it and it does nothing what current VR users want. And that I'm not their target audience. Also what Apple is doing is nothing new. We have it for ages. The Quest 2 have vision hand tracking. Quest Pro/Vive Pro eye/Pico 4 Pro have eye tracking. There's external mouth tracking addons have existed for a long time. And talking through an avatar is what the entire game of VRChat is about. Go get a VR headset and hop into VRChat for even an hour. See what the frontier is like. That's where innovation and new ideas are. Guess the reply "I don't care about innovation. It's not Apple and it's not a convinent package".

I wanted to facepalm myself immediately. I asked myself. Seriously, this man wants to wait for a 3500 dollars headset that does nothing new. Just.. argh!.

Photo taken while casually chatting with a good friend in VRChat.
Image: Photo taken while casually chatting with a good friend in VRChat.

Let me do a quick check list...

  • Talk to people through an avatar?
  • See the other people's expressions?
  • Able to look into the other people's eyes?
  • Able to use body language to express your self?

All check, but

  • No anime waifus? (Ok, I admit, I'm a weeb and it's not for everyone)
  • With ugly avatars? Which you CAN'T make your own in Blender?
  • Without props and effects?

Like, WTF dude. We don't need Apple reinventing the wheel. We don't need yet another giant tech company replicating what the community has been doing. Let the community do what it does.

Let me put it in another way. Imagine Apple pushed "new feature" that's already done to death by other vendors for ages. And charging a premium for it. And people actually think that's new and innovation. Oh, right! They do that all the time!. Nevertheless, people wants to socialize. That's also one of the marketed feature that Apple shows on WWDC. And that's what VRChat does. Not just one on one, but also an entire group at a time!

Me and a bunch of friends in a single virtual room. In front of a mirror.
Image: Me and a bunch of friends in a single virtual room. In front of a mirror.

Seriously, what Apple does is not new. And I'm very frustrated that people think they are an innovative company. Hell no. They are a marketing company and luxery brand. Later on, the age old topic of MacOS vs Windows showed up. He says, well.. no engineers seems to use Windows. Implying that MacOS must be better. I had to explain that most engineers are splitted into 2 camps. One uses Macs and are fine with it. And the other runs Linux everywhere and takes issues into their own hand. And that I'm in that latter camp. Linux allows engineers to look into the details of how things work. And I spend my weekends and evenings writing code that I eventually share with everyone. And that's how a bunch of engineers improved themselves. Reply? "I don't care about how my system works. That's Apple's job".

"You gotta be kidding me" I said to myself again. Fine, there's a lot the open source community needs do. That's how we solve most of the pressing problems in software. And that's how we make things better. We work on the most annoying, pressing and not commercially viable problems that no company would dare to touch. Like communication tools for people in oppressed countries, system designs that improve security from the fundamental level, investigate obscure behaviors of the internet itself and lots of anime waifus. Yes, I do care. And I do care a lot. Tech is not magic, it's made by man and can be broken by men. It's not secret knowledge from the heavens nor the evil from the fallen angels.

I mean, you can not care about how your Mac works. But you can't say you don't want people fixing what they feel is wrong (which by process, learns how the system works). Maybe he just doesn't know how wrong and dangerous stuff are right now. In security, we always have a threat model. And we assume the worse that could happen under that threat model. For me, I don't trust any company with my data. Not Apple, not Google, not Microsoft. I know what I'm doing and I know what I'm risking. And I decided to host my stuff.

Final thing that comes up. He shared that iPhones can share it's clipboard with a MacBook and/or iPad. And claimed that it works without Airdrop (works by using local network). Oh my flying spaghetti. That means it's sending your clipboard through the cloud. And you don't know how secure that communication channel is. It could be a simple TLS connection. Which means the sever knows what's in your clipboard. What happens if it contains your password? Apple could claim it's safe. But who knows. I kept myself quiet. But I'm glad I use Android and will be using GrapheneOS soon.

Update: Gemini user adia pointed out that it's more then likely my friend is wrong as per Apple's instructions
- all gizmos signed in with the same Apple ID
- all gizmos have Bluetooth and WiFi turned on
- all gizmos have Handoff turned on

And the fact that it can be flaky to use at times. It's unlikely there's some Apple server fallback.
Thanks for pointing that out! I'm glad I'm wrong.

There is no cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
Image: There is no cloud. It's just someone else's computer.

End of my late night rambling.

Author's profile. Photo taken in VRChat by my friend Tast+
Martin Chang
Systems software, HPC, GPGPU and AI. I mostly write stupid C++ code. Sometimes does AI research. Chronic VRChat addict

I run TLGS, a major search engine on Gemini. Used by Buran by default.

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