menu

frog design: Why iCloud Will Be As Important As The iPod

frog design: Why iCloud Will Be As Important As The iPod
Advertising

Design mind discusses points of iCloud that could indicate same success as iPod.

frog
  • 13 june 2011

Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference keynote last week will be remembered for two things: the bloodbath of disrupted developers and apps it left in its wake, and that it was as important for cloud services as the iPod was for digital music, and that the iPhone was for smartphones.

The Developer Bloodbath

Despite the many cheers from the crowd of developers at the keynote, I reckon there were several hundred third party developers and apps collectively put on notice (and maybe put out of business) by the various announcements. As the NY Times wryly put it, “How do you know if you’ve created a really great, useful iPhone app? Apple tries to put you out of business.” (The Times provides a handy list of apps now scrambling for a second act.)

In truth, quite a few of the things that Apple announced – such as a basic to-do list app, and ways of storing web articles offline for later reading – have become such fundamental needs for so many people that they deserved to be part of the core OS. Unfortunately they are also the bread and butter of many niches developers who saw the same need and leapt to fill it in the intervening years. They will have to rethink and improve what they do, and many of them will I’m sure.

Such is life in the shadow of an ecosystem behemoth. Apple giveth (App Store to give independent developers more visibility and access) and Apple taketh away (obviating the need for those apps in the first place).

Apple has been pretty consistent in adopting good ideas from third parties into its core offerings. Perhaps most famously, Apple introduced the Dashboard feature (a precursor to the iconized app view on the iPhone), to loud complaints of it ripping off a third party developer, Konfabulator who had created something very similar.

As problematic as this can be, it’s all part of Apple’s plan. Chetan Sharma put it succinctly: “Apple’s goal is to commoditize the software, Microsoft’s goal is to commoditize the hardware, Google – both”

Apple has high tolerance for making software free, even if it makes life painful for its developers, because it makes almost all its profit on hardware. For the time being at least, Apple has enough strength and/or momentum relative to Google, Microsoft, media companies and service providers that it can thrive with this approach.

The Mainstreaming of Cloud Services

The announcement of iCloud was met with both enthusiasm and incredulity.

Apple has been firing on all cylinders for years with hardware and software, but has consistently stumbled with services, whether it be the expensive and lackluster MobileMe (the launch of which even Jobs had to admit at the keynote was “not our finest hour”), or the weak reception to its music “social networking” service Ping. (This isn’t a new phenomenon – anyone remember eWorld?) The only service area where Apple has really sung is with its retail stores.

With iCloud, Apple is cinching up the ecosystem it has painstakingly built up, cinching it so tight that it will become increasingly difficult for others – even ones as big as Google – to crack open.

MobileMe was an expensive, under-performing sideshow, but iCloud aims to reach deep into all the other Apple devices and make them all work together better. What was announced on Monday is surely only a hint of what lies ahead in the next 18 months for iCloud, iOS, and OS X all finally getting in sync.

(Continue reading here.)

[Written by Adam Richardson. Reprinted with kind permission from design mind, a publication of global innovation firm frog design.]

design mind is a publication of global innovation firm frog design that is updated daily to keep the design and innovation community updated with fresh perspectives on industry trends, emerging technologies, and global consumer culture. Learn more about design mind and frog design.

Adam Richardson, the VP of Marketing Strategy, oversees marketing strategy and thought leadership for frog design and its 9, 400 person parent organization Aricent. He is also the author of Innovation X: Why a Company’s Toughest Problems are its Greatest Advantage. Learn more about Adam Richardson.


Advertising
Trending

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

PURPLELIST EXPERTS

Joyce Shen

Start Up Incubator

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.