Monday, June 20, 2011

Portable Media - The Beginning of Apple Domination?

Last Friday I blogged about Chrome OS and the pontificated on life using only browser-based applications. I was thinking over the weekend about the impending release of iOS 5 and Lion for the Mac - and I came up with an interesting theory. Could Apple being trying its own hand at an instant-on, lightweight OS "experience"... ummmm... "for the rest of us?"

Think about it - one of the hallmarks of Apple's success is that all their products are very easy to use (not to mention "pretty"). From the Airport that seamlessly and automatically detected my old router settings and automatically applied them, to the game-changing visual voicemail and iPhone form factor - to the iPad. Everything is simple, pretty, and works without having to mess around with settings, config files, and endless dialog boxes.

Now, with iOS 5 and Lion - they're aiming to remove the (absolutely hideous) requirement that you use iTunes as the central hub of your backup and synchronization. Instead, they will just move all your music, media and iOS applications into the "iCloud" automatically - allowing you to move your media, email, contacts, calendar, device settings, text and MMS messages, ringtones and even the way you organize your application folders in sync between all your computers and devices.

Not only that - but when you buy a new device, say an iPad, all the content (and apps) from your iPhone will just automatically sync to it - without iTunes, without wires - it will just work.

So if they can do all that (or will in the fall) - what's the "next step?"

Well, how about browser synch? The tabs you open and bookmarks or that Keynote, Pages or Numbers document you're working on - couldn't the entire state of your current session just be pushed to another device? I mean they are coming out with a "Resume" feature in Lion next month where you can just shut down the computer and when you restart everything will open right where you left off. They are already allowing you to "share" applications you've purchased among up to 5 devices - so couldn't you have stuff open on your iPad on the plane, and then go to a colleague's office and just "resume" your session on a MacBook?


I think that's the way Apple is headed.

They want you to buy their hardware, buy all your music and applications from their App Store (the new version of Mac OS Lion will only be available through their online store!), buy additional storage on iCloud ($24.99/year) so that even songs you've ripped from your own CDs will be available on all your devices - in short, they want your computing universe to be 100% Apple. Apple Mobile (iPhone, iPod), Apple Portable (iPad, MacBook), Apple Desktop all tied up with nicely with an Apple Online Store, Apple Physical Store, Apple iCloud for backup and wireless synch and then to top it all off Apple Anywhere... or ... ummmm... iRestore... or i-something.

Man, I better start saving my pennies for my next iDevice...

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