No, I don't want to install an app to use these earbuds.

No, I don't want to install an app to activate my cable modem.

No, I don't want to install an app to powerup my dishwasher

No, I don't want to install an app to control my heating and lights.

Why are we taking away the interfaces that directly control these things? Apps can be helpful as an alternative interface and even increase accessibility, but when they are the only option it has the opposite effect.

This post brought to you by the fact that I'm setting up an old phone as a sandbox just to get the Xfinity app up and running so I can activate my cable modem and just use it.

Also, I did try to just temporarily install the app on my current phone. I had to jump through a bunch of hoops as my phone doesn't support the Play store. Got it installed, and it just crashes because my phone doesn't support some proprietary library.

So, I need to setup an entire different device with a different OS to run an app where I press a button to tell the cable modem to connect.

@polymerwitch well… honestly that’s just total garbage. Why would you make an assumption about a consumer having another device that you rely on set up your device… I recently wired up a car and had to program the transmission ecu from my phone connected to out over wifi. It freaked me out, that should never be a thing.

@polymerwitch I assume it saves money somewhere or they wouldn't do it. oh and it looks cool and techy to non-tech folks. To tech folks it looks idiotic. xkcd 2030

@swansinflight It's also because they then have a side-channel into your other device for sending you notifications and reading personal metadata that the app is given permissions for.

@swansinflight @polymerwitch

I suspect theres some horse(meat) trading of the data gathered by these apps which is processed separately and/or sold to advertising/marketing companies.

I really do not like the whole concept of "strong" appliances (eg those with heating elements) being able to be remotely powered on/off via potentially insecure mobile apps, it presents all sorts of safety risks


as for the ODB2 scanner/coder, I have one myself and I'm not so worried as I don't drive around with the device installed (there are even security warnings on the app *not* to do so unless really necessary such as part of a performance/road test), but I'd far rather have something that plugs into a laptop - its also a larger, more comfortable screen to work with with a real keyboard and you don't want to make coding mistakes on what is safety critical data..


@polymerwitch @swansinflight apps are cheap. Buttons and screens are expensive. Web interfaces you direct connect to are confusing for most people

@cinebox @polymerwitch @swansinflight then pre-configure devices properly.

There's #TR069 for that specific case!
After all the ISP knows that customer X has modem Y with MAC Z, so they can autoconfure that crap.

@polymerwitch I just experienced something similar. I wanted to change my wifi password & network name and had was unable to without using Spectrums mobile app.
@polymerwitch when I got an xfinity modem, they gave me a phone number I could call to activate. I think it's also possible to activate using a website.

IIRC, I just used the app though.

@polymerwitch WTF is that a trashy crap!?

I mean even the worst ISPs in Germany offer theor #CPEs preconfigured so they can be setup with a regular laptop wia ethernet or wifi.

Forced app useage is a clear #WontBuy for me!
Espechally when you need a shitty account to a shitty app store to get it in the first place!

@k3vk4 I wrote this thread last week, but as an update: when I got the equipment home I wondered "can I just locally access this and activate it over ethernet?" There was zero documentation, and the case was rebranded. I did some searching and found the chipset info, got the default username/password. Logged in and configured the router manually.

Again there was zero documentation. Two different technicians told me it was impossible. But reverse engineering worked.

@polymerwitch this really confirms the perception of cable companies in the USA being dick-ish to customers...

Personally I'm just glad my ISP just send me a stupid CPE that provides me with Ethernet ports where I plug my #pfSense into.

Simply because all #OffTheShelf Routers I know can't handle multiple WAN IPs on the same NIC - or even an entire /29 IPv4 subnet!

@k3vk4 Yeah, I hunted around and at my place my only other ISP possibility was getting a cellular modem.

I'm slowly rebuilding my LAN infrastructure, but I don't want to spend a lot. My plan is to use the cable modem as a gateway only, then an OPNSense router behind that connected to my WAP and switch.

@polymerwitch makes sense.

Due to #TR069 being a powerful #backdoor, I'd always use #CPE's as "media converters"...

@polymerwitch Don't you want to install an app to play this video file ? It's great music, and you can only play it 8 time for 2 days before you need to re-check something on some cursed website. ✌️ (XXI's libraries)

@polymerwitch I'm gonna guess : coding a generic phone app is cheaper than designing an ad-hoc user-interface for each appliance, with buttons, lights, even a small LCD screen...

Now you just put a wifi/bluetooth-capable SoC on there and call it a day :/

And I guess hoovering customer's personal data is a nice bonus too

@polymerwitch I feel you. Some time ago i saw a bike which was really great, just what I'd been looking for. I didn't buy it though, installing an app was mandatory to switch on the lamps. It's disgusting.

@polymerwitch No, I don't want to install an app to access banking and other essential service.

How is it even legal to provide services that depend on owning a smartphone?

@federico3 And how is it legal that many workers are forced to bring their own smartphones to access work functions which then grab metadata, location, contacts, etc in the background even during off hours?

No, I don't want to install an ap to see the menu card of the restaurant I am currently visiting (yes, this really was the case a few days ago)

@polymerwitch even if the app has a simple API that others also provide alternative apps for... people wouldn't understand that this is the case and it could be propriatory app only the next time.. So gotta have more direct control..

@polymerwitch Maybe it’s just part of the anti-skeuomorphism jihad?🤔

@polymerwitch BuT IoT sTufF iS juST sO CooL!

Plus, if it’s in an app your can be harvested. Isn’t that like the whole enchilada?


Why? To harvest and monetize your data, cheap out on hardware, embed built-in obsolescence, avoid right to repair.

But hey I'm sure their website claims they're so green and worried about the environment.


We need do it too: If you want my help, enter my house, delivere me a pizza, you have to use my matrix/xmpp/ openpgp/gpg Crypto Software/Mastodon/ to send me a Messag or get access at my smart Doorbell.

You want to teach my Child? Here use this Account for Homeschooling and No Whatsapp, Facebook, Windows, Apple, Metaverse Shit!

@polymerwitch This is why I like the lock I got for my front door, you can use a key, app or 6 digit code to unlock the door.

@polymerwitch While I agree in general and would never buy such “only controlled by apps” devices (well, exclusing software defined radios (SDRs)), knobs and buttons both cost money and break. WiFi requires a chip and an antenna, both I’m sure pretty cheap and obviously without moving parts.

If your phone breaks, you can use another to run the app. Except of course when the app stops getting updated and no longer runs on any phone you have or reasonably can be expected to procure and maintain. Consider that a sign based on the history of the company like how long the warranty is.

@polymerwitch +9001%

I want my household to be stupid and have the option to not have the RF spectrum noise level of a fucking schoolyard.

Those things only increase pricing and I do demand the option to not have that crap if not completely kill it in hardware for security reasons!

@polymerwitch I also feel making one have to use an app is like selling a product that is incomplete. It can't be used without buying a phone or tablet. Seems dumb to me and frustrating.

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