Thursday, May 6, 2010

Apple should be making washing machines.

Apple makes great devices, outside of a few mis-steps and step-children (Apple TV) Apple has done a great job of breaking design and innovation to the world of hardware and software. If only Apple made washing machines.

When Maytag releases a washer nobody necessarily expects for it to have the ability to add programmable wash cycles that you can share with others. However the second you add the internet to a device people want openess. Why is this? The internet has always been the work of many, from the very beginning the internet was more than the word of Tim Berners-Lee and Al gore, it took many creative and brilliant people to create the world we know today.

This brain trust has made people come to expect that if its on the internet than they can tweak it, make it better. This wouldn't be a problem with a washing machine but with a Cell phone (or touch screen mid) it certainly is, especially when that device is made by Apple.

Apple likes for their devices to exist within a walled garden, meaning you can enjoy the flowers and the vegetables within but if you want pizza, you are out of luck because Domino's doesn't deliver there and you can't leave. This wouldn't be a problem, but unfortunetly for those unlucky Apple users, their walled garden has the internet so they can browse Domino's website and see what they COULD order, but they can't. Why?

Apple likes to say that by using the walled garden approach they can control the experience so that it is up the standard that Apple thinks their products should be. Theres no argument that Apple is great at providing a cohesive experience, but look at the app store and how many of those apps are really up to Apple's standard? Obviously the walled garden isn't doing them any favors.

The real reason Apple is a walled garden is purely financial. If you have to use Apples tool chain and Apples code, it makes it costly to develop for any other platform. Since Apple is the biggest, thats where people go, forget about Android or Rim or WebOS or Windows Mobile. Companies like Adobe are like a bridge over the wall, so that your hard work can work on multiple fronts and so that everyone can enjoy a slice of pizza, whenever it suits them. Apple users can enjoy their garden, but there is a revolution on its way. Adobe is the sleeping giant, I don't know if Apple realizes how much Adobe means to the Mac platform, if not the iphone. What happens if Adobe pulls Photoshop from Mac support? or even worse, stops developing flash for the Mac (ok, that probably wont happen.)

Apple likes to say that HTML5 will do anything that Flash can do, this isnt really true and even the things that it does recreate, it currently does at a slower performance level. HTML5 is amazing which is why Google is throwing its support behind it and why Microsoft is taking a huge risk by accelerating HTML5 in hardware in windows 9, but HTML5 is complimentary to flash, it isn't a replacement. Not at this time.

Apple needs to realize that they do not make washing machines and that people like pizza and if they aren't willing to open the door, they may see their users start to leave their garden to greener (and more open) android pastures.

Posted via web from Robert Headley's posterous

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