Charlie Sorrel’s tweet
It is the DMZ week between the two major developer conferences of the year, #Google I/O and Appple’s WWDC. Shots were fired by Google in the form of free and unlimited photo storage and an omnipresent search assistant for its upcoming OS update. #Apple fans have already begun reflexively asserting that “Google ain’t no thing”:
Everything has a price. With Apple, you typically pay them money, and they sell you premium products and services in return. That type of cost and relationship is easy to understand.
With Google, you typically pay them attention and data, and they give you free or cheap products and services in return. That cost and relationship is harder to understand.
First of all, no, it is not hard to understand. For decades if not longer, services have used advertising to mitigate cost to the user. Ever listened to a radio, or read a newspaper, or received junk mail?
Second (and more nitpicky), you would be hard pressed to find anyone else making the argument for Apple offering users more choice. I am running a custom launcher, a third-party SMS client, and readily switch between three different browsers depending on my use cases. Ever tried that on iOS? /android-troll
Apple CEO Tim Cook even joined in:
“We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for god knows what advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is.”
The first takeaway from this is that the Apple camp is placing a priority on #privacy while at the same time knocking “so-called free services” down a peg. This implies that privacy is only available to those who can afford it. This sentiment is much larger moral hazard than allowing tailored advertising to subsidize service.
The most important takeaway, however, is that this sentiment could turn into Apple’s Waterloo if they don’t make some major improvements to their services. Google Photos has long been superior to iPhoto, only to be hamstrung by its dependence on Google’s misunderstood social network. Google solved that problem this year by separating them. Apple needs to give people a reason to pay out the nose for their competing product besides “hey, we won’t check out your pictures.”
Google offers value in exchange for information, which is why they are seen as a pinnacle of innovation. Apple offers value in exchange for cold hard cash, which is why they are seen as a walled garden surrounding a mountain of cash. Hopefully Apple’s private #cloud will open up and rain some new ideas on WWDC this year, instead of nude photos of celebrities. /terrible-apple-troll-pun
Here is a clickbait-y headline for you: “The 15 most important announcements from the Apple Watch, iPhone 6 event.” Here are all the items from the article, and how not new they are.
|Awesome Apple Thing||Already Been Done By…|
|Bigger Phones! 4.7 and 5.5 inches!||Moto X (2013) and Galaxy Note (2011)|
|Optical Image Stabilization!||LG G2 (2013), and likely before that|
|Landscape Mode! Power button on the side!||Practically every Samsung phone|
|NFC Payments! Secure element!||Galaxy Nexus (2011) (although NFC on top makes more sense – call this a draw)|
|Watch “crown” wheel!||iPod click wheel (2001)|
|Watch “communication button”!||Nextel push-to-talk (mid-00’s)|
|You can long press the watch screen!||Android 2.0, if not before that|
|Screen widgets! Custom keyboards!||Android 1.0, Swiftkey/Swype (2011)|
|Here’s U2 to play at the end!||…|
These things are all kind of cool, but it is dumb to assume that Apple will “bowl over” its competition by, essentially, osmosis. All the things will soon be 5.15-inch metal-rimmed slabs. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.