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Apple WWDC 2017 Kicked Off Today…

Today Apple launched their annual conference and here are a few major announcements that should excite anyone. I’m usually the first person to be unimpressed by Apple but heck the sheer volume of news is overwhelming.

WWDC 2017 Hot News

ARkit: a series of APIs for Augmented Reality on IOS. Apple demonstrated marker-less spatial awareness on stage. The APIs will have Unity support.

Revamped App Store : this is touted as the biggest revamp of the Store in 9 years.

IOS 11: this is being launched in beta for Devs who sign up for it. The OS has a slew of new and improved features including a mode to detect when you are driving for safety.

WWDC 2017 - IOS 11 feature list

New iMacs built for VR: Apple returns to the glory days of iMacs with powerhouse machines that are designed with spec to support VR. These iMacs are not the candy colored, plastic bubble desktops from the late 90’s. The design is not a lot different from last Apple desktops but it’s what’s inside that counts.

Mac OS High Sierra with Metal for VR built-in: hardware is important but the OS has to provide for the performance demands of VR.

XCode 9 announces over-your-LAN run / install / test /debug to your IOS devices wirelessly.

WWDC 2017 - Xcode wireless development

The Warptest POV

  • ARKit – does their markerless demo spell the end for AR trackers? If so, are Apple going to let it die a natural death or will they decide to restrict IOS AR apps to their APIs?
  • App Store revampbesides the App Store currently being a colossal pain for app discovery, how will these changes impact App Ranking. If there is something new to learn here, then the quickest studies will get a leg up on app rankings.
  • IOS 11 – the list of features is extensive but can I yell “finally” over driving mode and screen recording? Even though this is unquestionably a Beta release, expect the usual fear, angst and loathing as fanboi’s fight overtaxed servers, download and then cry foul at Beta meaning buggy.
  • iMacs with VR support & Metal for VR on Mac OS High SierraThis apparently needs a high-end Graphics card connected to the iMac / MacBook by cable to Thunderbolt port. Conclusion: Kludgy design for Apple but this might be the only way they could have delivered in time for WWDC.

 

In a nutshell, these are just some of the highlights. If you are a Mac or iPhone owner or developer then you should be reading up on what’s coming. I’m not going to grant Apple that they have finally innovated under Tim Cook but WWDC 2017 is going to shake things up and that’s good for Apple and good stimulus for competition.

Update: with the announcement that Apple have added screen splitting, drag and drop and “welcome to the 21st century” a File Explorer app, IOS 11 gets one step closer to Windows.

That’s fine, homage is the greatest admission that your competition got it right.

Game On.

WWDC 2016 Is Here…

I’m about as excited by WWDC 2016 as I was by their March 18th Product Launch. If Apple launches something innovative or ground breaking, it will be despite the management of Tim Cook. Not because of it.

WWDC 2016 - case in point

Everyone and their brother in the blogosphere are making predictions about what we can expect to see from Apple.

Don’t get me wrong, I want Apple to deliver radical, inspiring products. I want them to yell from the rooftops,

“Game on Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon.”

What’s Your Vision, Apple?

Tim Cook has not delivered a clear vision for Apple the company. Not the way Satya Nadella has at Microsoft.

  • Are we expecting new feature laden versions or sweeping bug fixes for iOS / OS X?
  • Can we expect better development tools? Will they be subscription or not?
  • Will there be thinner or bigger devices launched or a total reimagining of MacBook?
  • Will Apple finally get their thumb out and compete for the colossal Cloud computing market against Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure?
  • Are Apple going to jump into the Bot revolution like just about everyone else and come on Apple, Augmented and Virtual Reality?
  • Most important, which apps will Apple shamelessly have copied in time for WWDC?

Apple seems to tease us with rationed tastings of their vision but no overall mission statement, why?

As Apple announces beta versions of various software, developers will go thru their annual 7 stages of coping:

  1. An Apple engineer leaves a new (unreleased) iPhone in a bar.
  2. WWDC 2016 announces the new betas: try to download and site is overloaded by requests.
  3. Downloads start working but lag is awful.
  4. Downloads of OS / Development tools / other software in beta installed to work devices and users begin reporting all the bugs.
  5. Apple reminds people these are beta versions.
  6. Remembering that this is just like last year.
  7. Guilt, anger, recrimination, despair and multiple conversations in Twitter and Facebook over how to roll back.

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The Warptest POV

Apple is THE frontrunner with consumer mobile devices. That said, Apple today is not Apple under Steve Jobs.

Meanwhile, Microsoft are planning a party for developers after WWDC and to truly rain on Apple’s parade, announced their acquisition of LinkedIn today.

Am I annoyed at Apple for not bringing their A Game? Yes. Challenge the market, push your competitors to compete and don’t fall back on the same old successes.

Forget “Game on Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon.”… “Game on APPLE, bring it.”

Another Apple Product Launch … Yawn

March 18th will see Apple Product Launch 2016. The Verge and others are predicting the iPhone5se and the iPad3.

This post will be the litmus test for if you are a real Apple fan. Hold onto your iHats.

So the annual Apple Product Launch event is on 18/03, so what? I can count on one hand innovations made over the last five years. The ugly battery case that slipped through when they (probably) locked Jony Ive in the store closet doesn’t count. Yes, the Apple watch is a thing of beauty, but where are the glory days of Apple innovation?

Apple Product Launch - ugly battery case

Apple = Gillette = Apple

So Apple will continue on their slippery slope of Gillette Mach X marketing, more blades or in this case bigger / smaller, thicker. There will no doubt be the usual integrations into the next version of iOS paying homage to various killer apps out there (cue cries of the death of said apps across various tech blogs) but you know what, I don’t care.

I’m totally, utterly unexcited. I have no high hopes from Apple. This is the point at which the Apple fans (note: lack of the term “fanboi”. I think it’s a bit derisive of the consumer who has a personal preference.) are getting really annoyed at this post.

To all of you feeling that way, hop in a time machine. I’m sure there were similar cautionary posts to Nokia and Blackberry on forums or early blogs. Of the Apple users I know about 50% dislike 3D touch on the iPhone, Developers are driven to tooth-gnashing rages at every Xcode update that breaks their deployment environments and then we have reports of software quality and security issues. Meanwhile Tim Cook spends more time trolling and trashing the competition than innovating.

Don’t get me wrong, other than that awful battery-case, Apple design remains a delight for the most. The Mac Book Air on my desk cons me every time I use it into subconsciously thinking it has a touch screen.

At Mobile World Congress today 3 companies are dazzling others, showing that features or design can be innovative:

CAT released their latest S60 Android field-rugged, waterproof phone with FLIR thermal imaging. No fad feature, this and the phone itself will be invaluable for builders, contractor and other professionals. Not just wannabe spies.

Apple Product Launch - CAT S60

LG launched their new G5 Android smartphone. The LG site shows a variety of LG branded modular add-ons ranging from custom, wireless earphones, camera grip, 360-degree camera and more. In addition, the phone (as seen below, image clipped from the LG site) has a unique battery changing method. Seeing clips of the battery being changed at MWC reminded me of something. Let me know what you see.

Apple Product Launch - LG G5

That’s right, this is day one at MWC, three weeks before the Apple Product Launch. What else are we going to see?

Meanwhile HP has caused half the professional tech blogs to ooh and ahh at their Elite x3 super-powered Windows Phone with their spin on Continuum support. Meanwhile the other half of the tech blogosphere is having meltdowns about how dare HP defy their reports that Windows Phone is dead, no less innovating.

The Warptest POV

I’m going to disappoint you. I want an innovative Apple. I want Tim Cook to get up at the Apple Product Launch and blow my socks off with new features and designs. Concepts that will push the competition to rethink their own ideas and raise the bar.

Stagnation does not benefit the consumer. Poor software quality and Developer tools undermine the industry.

For those of you who wonder, I work with iPhones, assorted Android phones and possess an HTC 8x, Lumia 820 and 950XL Windows Phone. I have a Lenovo Yoga and Mac Book Air on my desk. I use Ubuntu at least several times a day. I’m about as exposed to cross-platform / device / OS as it gets and I hope that Apple really does something different.

Perhaps we will get radical battery redesign, beautiful looking but drop-proof, waterproof phones. The real thing that puzzles me is the limited exploration by Apple of the cloud. As Amazon, Microsoft, Rackspace and others boldly build for the cloud, what are Apple doing? iCloud is consumer storage and productivity apps. Where is the innovation to cloud development akin to Microsoft or have they ceded this race to Azure?

So is this the canary in the coal-mine, the warning sign, the tolling bell for Apple or should we prepare to be wowed? What do you think the Apple Product Launch has in store for us?


Tim Cook, CEO of Apple is Trolling Again…

It seems whenever Microsoft comes out with a new product that competes in Cook’s, excuse me Apple’s niche… there he is with something trollish to say on the subject.

This week was no exception, with Cook making spurious allegations that the Surface Book is “deluded”.

I’m pretty convinced that Tim Cook has not laid eyes on, let alone tested out a Surface Book.

Tim Cook Surface Book

Lacking the smallest smidgen of surprise, Cook’s comments come the week the iPad Pro is launched.

Tim Cook iPad Pro

But, but Microsoft Started

Okay Tim chill out man, yes it’s true in Microsoft’s launch event recently they did in fact mention Apple products once or twice.

When Panos Panay pulled out the Surface Book to an awed crowd he did compare performance of the Surface Book to the equivalent Mac Book. Notice the difference between,

Ours performs faster than yours AND I’m going to anthropomorphize your device by calling it deluded.

We get it Tim, we really do. The best defense is offense but, there’s a world of difference between “offense” and “offensive”.

Dude, you make incredible products that sell themselves on design and total ease of use… yes they sell themselves so why behave like a troll to your competition?

All you are showing the world is that Microsoft has you running scared with a product you can only compete with by trash-talking it.

FAILURE 1: this is not how we market Tim. It’s just not.

FAILURE 2: where is the innovation Tim, where?

I’m sorry Tim but the Surface Book is innovative, the Lumia 950 / 950 XL are innovative, promising a true Pocket PC experience  via Windows 10 Phone’s Continuum with a slew of other features.

The Warptest POV

The Warptest POV remains pretty darn consistent on the subject of competition:

  • Having competitors is a must: If you’re developing any product in a niche where you have no competition you had better start asking yourself, why?
  • Competition stimulates innovation: the best thing about Apple having Google and Microsoft is the constant competition benefits us, the consumers.
  • Consider it an homage not copying, not stealing: Metro UI New Windows UI begat Material Design and so on. The highest form of compliment is emulating your competition. It means you think they did something really, really right.

Competition is good, competition is our friend on every level but let’s keep it professional, let’s keep it real.

Tim Cook is the master of the gated community. Apple devices and the App Store define very stringently the rules of the game. This is why the PC is still relevant Tim, this is why consumers like choice.

A cautionary tale for Tim Cook is that this was as near to him channeling Steve Ballmer’s iPhone comments as he could get:

Nutshell, it’s time for Tim Cook to accept that there are amazing devices out there and they are made by Apple’s competitors. Positively market your products and let your respect for your competition stimulate some innovation. There lies the path to true success.

Are you thinking about going to try the Surface Book? At the least judge for yourself why it scares Tim Cook so much.

iOS9 Is Here To Fix Your Woes…

The blogosphere once again went totally ga-ga last week over the news that Apple will be releasing iOS9 later in the year. One such example was Ars Technica.

iOS9 - Bing Search

Whilst most people initially assumed this would mean more whiz-bang features, the bloggers explained that iOS 9 is expected to be a version devoted to resolving major bugs and performance issues.

iOS8 has had several bug fix versions of its own, following the customary ship it and fix it later attitude that Apple is renowned for and repeatedly forgiven for by their product lovers.

Why Does iOS 8 Need Fixing?

Besides the just ship it mentality resulting in patch fixes the impact may be felt by end-users but the consequences to App Developers are more severe.

After investing limited funds in the necessary tools to develop one’s app and the app then being accepted by the App Store, the end user suffers from buggy apps and crashes which ultimately are due to the OS.

The problem is that the end user rarely associates an app crash with the OS and the app in question ends up with bad reviews on the app store or simply is deleted by the user from their phone.

ZDNet reported that iOS8 has 78% higher crash rates than iOS7: that is an astounding metric for a newer version of an Operating System (on either existing upgraded devices or new iPhone 6 / 6+).

Now imagine you’re that App Developer or Startup who knows that railing at Apple over this, is about as useful as shouting at the rain to stop.

iOS9 Frustrated

The Warptest POV

Recently, not a day goes by without dealing with App crashes in iOS8 without crash logs that are hard if not impossible to reproduce in iOS7. One hopes that iOS9 lives up to its fanfair and will in fact deal with many of the bugs that recur.

The appeal of iPhones and iPads is easy to grasp, you only have to use them to understand it and the mass adoption that followed it. That said, the rise and fall of giants like Nokia and Blackberry are a lesson to those who fail to evolve and improve, no matter how big.

My advice to Apple’s iOS9 team are to invest heavily in testing; not just in-the-lab testing but get your hands dirty, take the devices outside testing. Explore as many real world use cases and scenarios with iOS9 and make sure that the mistakes of iOS8 are not repeated.

iOS9 App Rejection

In a nutshell, iOS9 had better be good because iOS8 probably wouldn’t pass Apple’s own App Store standards were it an external submission.

What do you think?

The Smart Watch Is Hot, Hot, Hot …

I mean just look, according to Techcrunch, everyone at Google I/O just got a choice of Android Wear based LG G3, Samsung Gear and when available a Motorola Moto 360.

Meanwhile while every techie, blogger and their brother are strapping on their Pebble, one of the above or other and arguing the spec of the pending / alleged Apple iWatch there are people saying,

“But I love my watch because it’s a classy, stylish watch. I don’t want a piece of tech on my wrist instead of a fashion statement.”

Are The Tech Companies Missing The Point?

People wear watches for a variety of reasons and most of them involve a brand choice based on good old personal preference.

Whether it’s a Swatch, Casio, Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Bell & Ross, Luminox or other brand the watch answers functional and other requirements… for some of us it may be the only jewelry that adorns our body and it can be an extension of who we are.

Along come Apple, Google, Samsung, Motorola, Google et cetera and launch these amazingly innovative wearables. Whilst they aren’t as in your face as Google Glass they are asking us to be seduced by convenient access to increased connectivity without pulling our Smart phones from our pockets. Don’t get me wrong I’m not anti-Smart watch but what we are also trading is that familiar feeling of comfort from shooting our cuff, raising our arm and seeing the face of the watch we know so well. There’s a reason we anthropomorphize watches with words like “face”.

Harley-Davidson Livewire

Harley-Davidson announced just several days ago the Livewire Electric motorbike (E-Hog?) which looks like a stunning piece of engineering and that’s the point. Instead of a tech company trying to encroach the motorbike industry with an E-Bike, Harley-Davidson expanded into the electric vehicle arena themselves and preserved brand, design and engineering integrity.

Harkey Davidson Livewire - Smart watch allegory

What’s the lesson here for the Smart watch industry? Techies will snap up Smart watches made by tech companies. No doubt every Apple or Microsoft fan out there will go wild for their Smart watch offerings but what about the people who love their watches as watches?

The Warptest POV

The Smart watch industry is going to mature if and when watch companies follow the Harley-Davidson example and innovate into the technology arena and merge their designs and engineering with wearable technologies. The encroachment factor for those who want their watch to be their watch will be lessened by having a familiar, favorite brand on your wrist that also has the tech aboard.

Some of us will probably hold out for that Microsoft “Surface” Watch but have a regular dress watch in the drawer for special occasions too. Others will wait for that Swatch, Omega, Breitling or other watch to launch their Smart Watch too.

Microsoft Surface Smart Watch - Mock up

Hopefully, some of the tech companies may take a bold step and partner up with an existing watch company to launch a Smart watch that trades on the brand loyalty yet still creates one more way to tie you to their technological ecosystem / platform.

Which kind of Smart watch do you want?

The Most Frustrating Thing About Web Apps …

… is when they are not working and you aren’t sure if it’s just you or if the service is suffering an outage.

Web Apps - Confusing

Earlier this week I read this question in the Warptest mailbag,

“Dear Warptest, how can I tell if my Gmail, iCloud or other web services are down or if it’s just me?” <redacted>

The Answer(s)

Ok <redacted> let’s take a closer look at the popular web apps: –

Google App Status

  • The Apps status page (like most Google services) is geolocated and no doubt provides status on the servers my Gmail, Apps, Google+ etc are running from.
  • The page displays a chart of status for the past 7 days, you can scroll back in time and there is a handy RSS feed for each set of services.
  • The web services are divided between those covered by the Google Apps SLA and those not.
  • There is a link to the Apps help page and from there you can report an issue. This is one click more than either Apple or Microsoft’s page requires.

Apple Apps Status

  • The Apps status page displays the time as UTC +03 which is not my timezone. Is this a bug or does Apple not geolocate? Unsure.
  • The page displays an extensive list of web services (who knew there were so many?) and below a nice date / time slider bar to check status for different times.
  • A nice touch is the link on this page to contact Apple support for further help.

Microsoft Apps Status

  • The App status page UI is in keeping with the typographic New Windows UI and displays current status in the main pane.
  • For historical details you need to click on a specific service and the page will display past, recent issues related to the service selected.
  • Again you can report your issue from the web page

If you want your finger on the pulse regarding web apps like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or other popular Apps then DownRightNow is the site for you.

  • The site provides a central dashboard for all these apps, their status and history.
  • The site encourages an element of crowdsourcing allowing users to report new issues via the site or their Twitter account. They have a good FAQ to explain the recommended hashtags when you tweet.

The Warptest POV

These are useful tools for techies who are faced with issues with Gmail, iCloud, Facetime or other popular services.

The real problem is what do you do next if according to the App Status your web apps (is/) are working properly?

One trick is if you have a smartphone, then check the mobile app for the service too. Even if you have issues with the desktop app, you may still be able to keep on working on your phone.

Of course, if it’s a recurring problem only with you then I expect I’ll be hearing from you to see if I can help out.

That should answer our mailbag question today. If you have a question of your own then send it in, don’t be a stranger.

The Nokia Lumia 1020…

… Some disagree on it being innovative but for sure it’s making people think. My thanks to insightful, gentleman tweep @BrianSHall for stimulating my grey cells this morning while I was on the train. He posted a tweet about Apple needing to compete with the Nokia Lumia 1020 which led me to totally rewrite this post, thanks Brian.

My response was two words Retina Camera.

Don’t Make Me Repeat Myself

I’ve already written my opinion of the Nokia Lumia 1020 shortly after the launch event. This is more about market ramifications for all the other Smartphones out there but especially Apple.

Nokia Lumia 1020

What are HTC, Apple and all the others doing in response to the Lumia 1020 raising the bar?

Word of the day is once again, “opportunity”.

The Warptest POV

Tim Cook and Apple had a wake-up call last year with the Nokia 808 PureView. This was truly the shape of things to come.

Nokia Pureview 808

Anyone who didn’t realize this technology was being integrated into the Lumia Windows Phone was asleep at the wheel.

Is a year plus long enough for Apple to build the iPhone 5S/6 with a Retina Camera, associated Apps and an SDK like Nokia has?

That depends on a combination of ego and policy more than development and testing. The bottom line is, which is more important to Apple: seeing their product spec driven by competitors’ innovations and not their own or maintaining a competitive edge?

iphone

With thanks to Apple for the image.

(My hope is companies like HTC read the writing on the wall too but that’s a different kettle of fish).

After the “so-so” reception of the iPhone 5 can Apple afford not to deliver their next iPhone / iPad with a Retina Camera? The Smartphone wars may be flaring up again and the consumers are the ones who will benefit from this.

tim meh

Are you on the fence over which Smartphone will be your next and does the idea of having the best camera on your phone make the difference to your decision?

No Entry To App Store

iPhone5 iPadsApple Are Tightening Their Rules …

The Standards defined by Apple for an App to be accepted and remain in the App Store are changing again on May 1st.

According to various tech blogs including Engadget 3 Acceptance Criteria are set to change and not just new submissions but for existing apps too.

Acceptance Criteria Update

  • Apps cannot access UDID any longer. Apps and their servers will have to use Vendor or Advertising Identifiers instead.
  • Apps must be built to support Retina display devices.
  • iPhone Apps must be built to support the 4 inch (larger) display on the iPhone5.

Fragmentation: Zero Tolerance

Whilst the issue of Retina and iPhone5 add one or two more devices to the mix Apple are squaring off to ensure no nasty fragmentation issues ever crop up.

One has to assume that iPhone6 will have some other substantial hardware differences too. Apple cannot rely on their brand maintaining high sales simply by releasing a bigger/smaller screen.

If so then the precedent set here will continue and App developers should anticipate a similar zero tolerance cutoff date for apps to be compelled to support iPhone6 too.

The smarter, more proactive developers will ensure they are compliant earlier rather than later.

App Lifecycle Ramifications

If you are a sole developer, Startup or big Software House invested in App development then this has some ramifications for you: –

    • Your team are going to have to have access to all the devices you support Retina and earlier, iPhone and iPad to ensure your App detects the device type and renders the app accordingly.
    • First and foremost your QA are going to need to bring their A Game and ensure comprehensive test coverage for these changes.
    • Your QA are going to need access to these devices ASAP to ensure that these new criteria are incorporated into their testcases and are fully tested:
      • The basic testcases are simple:
        • Retina devices: UI elements and text should display visibly and where touch enables should be large enough to be easily and distinctly touched.
        • Retina devices: graphics that may be part of the app e.g. images of items for sale on e-commerce apps should render at the correct size.
        • Non-Retina: conversely UI / graphics should render proportionate to display resolution i.e. not hard coded for Retina and thus oversized.
    • As for replacing UDID well this is a ticking clock. If you snoozed and missed this one you weren’t paying attention in class were you.
    • All said and done the cost of developing your App just increased substantially.

The Warptest POV

If Bloomberg’s Business Week article is to be believed then Apple may be facing a drop in profits and as a result no one in Apple sales will shed a tear if this change in App Acceptance criteria force increased device sales to App Developers and Testers.

Whilst I’m not cynical enough to believe this was raison d’etre behind this move, I have to ask,

How is this going to affect the face of the App Store?

Are we going to see multiple Apps thrown out by Apple where the Developer cannot afford to support these changes?

Is this going to drive some Apps away from the App Store and to Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry 10?

What do you think?

Trouser and fashion designers everywhere were up in arms yesterday after the new and longer iPhone 5 release. A source close to the President of the International Tailors Federation was quoted,

“We can’t keep redesigning pockets to keep up with the increase in Smartphone size and length. Pant pocket technology is lagging still at turn of the century candybar and flipper phone design. Consumers are angry with us for not keeping up with rapid changes to phone size. We’ve asked Apple, Google, Microsoft and Blackberry repeatedly to keep us in the loop but they simply won’t .. it’s very frustrating. This new iPhone 5 release is a classic example, how are pockets going to accommodate that?”

When asked consumer organizations everywhere said the pocket issue was serious and they just wished that the tailors and designers could stop getting caught with their pants down.

 

Blinkered by a brand-name:

I find myself once again awed at the ability of some people to be blinded by the Microsoft brand. Many people are once again indulging in Redmond bashing over Microsoft’s Surface.

Thanks to YouTube poster Maherbars for the Frankenstein clip.

We are seeing comments and blog posts more focused on who invented tablets Apple or Microsoft and the subsequent “typical Redmond for copying Apple not innovating”.

I have one thing to say on this,

It doesn’t really matter where the concept came from Apple, Microsoft, Gene Roddenberry or Isaac Asimov. This is the milestone we stand at in terms of technological development and should be embraced.

Did Microsoft just burn every OEM bridge they had?

Microsoft went ahead and made the Surface themselves and apparently left their OEMs behind on this. I was watching twit.tv last night commenting about the Windows Phone 8 news. They believed that Microsoft didn’t clue in the OEMs simply because they didn’t want leaks prior to the news. On one level you could say this holds true for the Surface on another this generated a frenzy of predictions online, all that was missing was for Microsoft to open a betting pool or have a competition with the person with best prediction could win a Surface.

I don’t believe Microsoft has trashed their relationship with their OEMs…

The Warptest prediction…

Microsoft knew that the Surface is a radical departure from everything they have done with the PC ecosystem until now and they decided to lead the way rather than pushing the OEMs to shoulder the risk of developing the first of these devices. This is sound leadership and will probably pay off in terms of seeing an inspired bunch of OEMs creating some amazing devices in the vein of Surface.

So if you are looking at the picture of the Surface and grinding your teeth remember this: –

  1. You are going to need those teeth unless you are a huge fan of eating apple sauce so count to ten.
  2. Remember when there is competition like this then the consumer always benefits.
  3. Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates gave us the first tablets …

image

image thanks to IMDB.com

I’m convinced that my next laptop like device will probably be the Windows 8 Surface and I would love it Microsoft if you’re reading this, if I could go hands on before that to blog about the experience.

How about you then?

Blood on the water in the App Store?

The dust from Apple WWDC is only starting to settle and many a startup who had an App in the App Store is discovering that the announcements yesterday may have made their contribution to the App Store redundant. One example of this that everyone in my twitter feed cited is the marvelous whose social GPS and mapping app may be feeling the heat from Apple implementing their own maps but I’m not so sure.

My question though is why are people acting so surprised?

Quotes…

Let’s refresh our memory how they feel at Apple:

“We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.” this was a quote from Steve Jobs in a Download Squad article explaining why they were slapping down Adobe.

App Store - steve-jobs-3g-iphone

“They are lazy. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don’t do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it is because of Flash. No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5,” also credited to Steve Jobs.

Hindsight is always 20-20…

It’s easy to look back and slap your forehead as you see your app “emulated” by new features in iOS6 and wonder why you exclusively developed for the App Store.

If you have to roll the dice and have limited resources for development then of course you are going to gamble on the biggest market share and most popular platform.

Still you have to ask, “What does Apple view as the point of the App Store? Is it what it seems or is it a proving ground to discover and emulate 3rd Party Apps for incorporation as new features into the next iOS?”

The Warptest perspective…

I don’t believe that Apple ever intended to use the App Store in this manner but the analytics that come from consumer habits and purchases are a siren call to market researchers that simply cannot be ignored.

  • In reality no unicorns were slaughtered or dreams were shattered yesterday.
  • There was a huge wakeup call to App Startups that the competition got tougher from yesterday.
  • If you are a Startup or App developer intent on success you had better release a new groundbreaking App shortly after WWDC to gain the maximum ground in your niche.

The knock-on effect is that long term Apple has just given a huge boost to Windows Phone and to an extent Android as well.

app store - smartphones101

Apple are not the only game in town and the Windows Marketplace is virgin territory, until now mostly ignored by many of the same Startups and App Developers who are feeling the pain right now.

App store - The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

(Image courtesy of IMDB’s prodigious movie database)

So if you are reading this and you have ignored Windows Phone development then let me say you continue to do so at your own peril. The Windows Phone SDK download link is .. it’s a brave new world for those willing to seize it, are you?