The iPad 3, the ‘new iPad’, is a wonderful piece of kit, but somehow it manages to be a bit dull IMHO. In fact if you look at most tablets on the market today, even the non Apple ones, the hardware is pretty impressive. Nice bright high resolution screens, speedy CPUs, more than enough storage for most people’s needs, respectable battery life. However in the end they are just fine foundations for the really exciting part – the software.
The software gives the device its soul, its personality. It decides if you will love it, or if it will drive you mad. iOS has led the way for a while now and the Apple ecosystem has caused Microsoft to take a knee jerk direction with Metro and Windows 8, a decision that seems to be alienating Microsoft’s desktop users. Google is doing an admirable job with Android but it is Amazon that made it work by reworking the user experience in the Kindle fire.
Apple on the other hand has been quietly deploying vast amounts of hardware into people’s homes. iPhones, iPads and Apple TV’s are everywhere, the true Apple TV is rumoured to be imminent as well. At the moment iOS powers it all, and it mostly works, but there is one other attribute that will give Apple the opportunity to pull off it’s master stroke – it updates itself easily and efficiently.
That will be important for what I believe will be Apple’s next move – the iPhone 5 and a new version of iOS, version 6. You see, the updates that we’ve had lately in iOS have been fairly small. Surely with Apple’s resources they should be doing better – they have to do better to maintain their lead. With iOS 6 Apple can make all of their deployed (auto-upgrading) hardware really sing. Especially if Apple can sign some new content licenses with Hollywood.
There are few companies that can pull off the same trick, Samsung would be my favourite, followed by Sony and Panasonic, but frankly their software up until now has been disappointing to say the least. Lacking vision and direction. Sony in particular could convert all those obsolete Bluray players into SMART boxes. Maybe they will form a consortium together to beat Apple, or form some sort of open developer ecosystem/paradise
They’ve got 6 to 9 months to get it right I would say.
What’s this got to do with us? We believe in making great software that enhances rather than annoys, or restricts, you and it’s instructive to watch these great battles unfold. To watch companies rise and fall due in no small part to the talents of the software engineers and what their managers will let them do. We write software to Transform Learning and we are passionate about growing with our current – and future – customers!
They might be a bit dull, but iPad’s are still selling reasonably well 🙂