What jumped out at me in yesterday’s keynote was not the new features or the capabilities per say, it was the world in which Apple wants us to live and work. I knew before what I am about to say but I’m not certain I internalized it like I did today.
Apple cares about one thing and one thing only: getting you to buy more Apple products. The best way to do this is to make it brain-dead simple to move data between and use each of their products. The lens that I will see every feature and every request through now is this lens, and I believe that will help me understand the company that much better. Let me outline a few things for you:
- The same apps run on iPhone and iPad and much of the framework is the same for Mac as well. This ability to have the same apps everywhere is a key component of what makes iOS and OS X so simple for users.
- These apps can all be connected via the cloud. And now apps can even be created for the cloud that are comparable to their desktop and mobile peers. Apple introduces some of the most complicated mobile apps to re-create — Pages, Numbers and Keynote — all on the web. Anything created on the desktop syncs and can be viewed and edited in the cloud which can be viewed and edited on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
- Gaming data is connected across all of your devices and connecting to other gamers is through the same, simple process.
- Notifications on one iOS or Mac device, when removed, are also removed on all the other devices.
- iTunes music can be synced to the cloud, synced to their devices, and now integrated with iTunes Radio, a free web radio service that offers integrated music purchasing.
- Sharing photos and now video across Apple devices is as simple as adding it to a stream of photos and videos. Anyone can be invited to see that stream and even contribute their own photos to it.
- Moving photos or other documents from one user to another is as simple as selecting their name in a popup. Apple figures out which Apple devices are near you automatically.
- Soon music, maps and communications will automatically connect to a special in-dash car system. There will no longer be a need to look down at your device while driving.
- Apps that used to only be available for iOS, like maps and iBooks, are now on OS X as well.
It is really easy to see what features are logically coming and which aren’t once we see everything through the “buy more devices” lens. Apps for Apple TV? No brainer. It will come eventually as without it Apple can’t move you seamlessly from individual devices to family entertainment. How about app trials? Probably never, as trials don’t help Apple sell more devices.
If you buy into Apple’s approach, if you adopt yourself to work within Apple’s preferred mode of operation, it will get easier and easier to buy the next generation of Apple gear. And that, my friends, is what makes Apple’s bottom line look so darned good.
That and the fact that they make more margin on each product than anyone else. They make great stuff that people love. People use their stuff more, and so, get hooked into the ecosystem. This is all good in that usability is the most important metric (not a feature list) and from usability comes even more use and with more use comes the idea that maybe another (connected) device will make life easier. An iWatch? A no brainer (yes).
More form factors make sense as long as Apple can connect it with other Apple devices and Apple feels they can sell enough of them at some desired and undisclosed margin. Timing, however, is not clear from this lens. I’m not certain we can say whether apps for Apple TV, for instance, will come this year, next year or ten years from now, just that they will likely come. An iWatch, through this lens, makes sense. It may be ten years before we see one though.
On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 8:06 AM, Elia Insider
Elia: I think we’ll see an iWatch sooner than later (in a year or so). The expansion of AppleTV isn’t just a technology hurdle, it’s also working with cable and content companies and given what Apple is doing through right now in New York with the eBook trial no doubt Eddie Cue is a bit gunshy about making the kinds of deals Apple is famous for. I’m surprised iTunes Radio came out the other day given the eBooks trial (which I think Apple will walk away from unscathed).
It’s all interesting and even though I own a bit of stock and have owned a lot of stock in the past, I’m first and foremost a user and as a user I think they’re firing on all cylinders.