After about a week of using the iPad, I started deleting apps, because the websites themselves were perfectly adequate. This is the reverse experience of the iPhone. On the iPhone, the browser was used only in emergencies, and apps ruled. On the iPad, at least for now, the opposite is true – the browser is superb, and renders many apps superfluous.
Since you asked…
Similar to Zune, Google’s efforts with Android seemed really promising at the start. They took a different approach, attempting to be open from the start…and then went, what? six months without an update to the “public” source? That was just the first sign of trouble though, and the first indication that Google was not willing to do what it took to stand up to the carriers and stick by their original idea: an open phone OS.
Since then, we’ve seen time and again how Google has essentially just thrown this OS out there and the handset makers and service providers are free to do with it as they please… Want to never update the OS for your users? eh, Google doesn’t care. Want to provide a custom, potentially inferior, UI while still claiming the “Android” brand? bah, who cares about brand purity anyway, right?
Seriously, outside of the hacker community I don’t know of anyone who identifies their “Android” phone as an “Andriod” phone. In other words, Google seems to have done a giant favor to the handset makers by doing their job for them and demanding almost nothing in return, including nothing to improve the situation for Google’s customers. If I buy an HTC phone from Verizon running Android, who’s making sure I get what I want? and not just what happens to be most convenient and profitable for the companies involved?
When Apple went carrier shopping, they went to Verizon first. Verizon was the biggest. Verizon had the best network. But Verizon demanded their typical suite of extortions and lock-downs on the phone. Did Apple cave? Nope! GUTS! They said, “You know what? AT&T might not have the best network, but we see this as a platform. Trust us, the call quality might not be great, but we’re going to give you in a phone something no one has ever thought of giving you in a phone, and that’s going to change everything!”
Oh, and Google is no less schizophrenic of a company at the moment than Microsoft. Worse even! They seem to be frantically trying to find some way of earning money that doesn’t involve advertising, but at the same time they seem too timid to really put all their chips behind anything.
(edit: Oh, and yes…dropping “Computer” wasn’t huge, but I also didn’t mention the drastic change of processor architecture, the complete reinvention of their OS, cutting their product line down to 3 or 4 major SKUs…I could go on.)
These things I can guarantee about whatever Apple makes from this point forward: It will be original.
- It will be innovative.
- It will be exclusive.
- It will be expensive.
- It’s aesthetics will be impeccable.
The influence of developers, even influential developers like you, will be minimal. The influence of customers and users will be held in even higher contempt.
The influence of fellow business artisans such as Larry Ellison (and even Larry’s nemesis, Bill Gates) will be significant, though secondary at best to Steve’s own muse.
This isn’t some perceived risk, I can think of incidents where Apple reverted OS changes, dumped new APIs, or was forced to committing massive engineering resources to something it did not want to do because a Must Not Break™ app vendor told them to. Apple does not want to give anyone that sort of influence over them. So ultimately, preventing Flash on the platform is about control, but is not control over the user experience of the Flash applications, or even the languages used. It is about the runtimes they bring on to the system, and Apple’s control over future releases of iPhone OS.
Iulia and Natasha have set up a Facebook fan page. Search for “FSJ Blog” and click a button or something and then something happens and your life becomes just a tiny bit noisier and shittier than it already was. Seriously, I have no idea why we are doing this except that Iulia says the rule about social networking is that if something can be done, then everyone must do it. So now we have a Facebook page. Knock yourselves out.