Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th May 2013 16:59 UTC
Apple At the D11 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook once again took the stage to be interviewed by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. While most of the interview can be replicated by picking and reading 10 random Apple fanblog stories - there were still a number of very interesting things that warrant some closer scrutiny.
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RE[6]: Missing Steve Jobs
by darknexus on Fri 31st May 2013 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Missing Steve Jobs"
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I think you are using a clumsy stereotype to try to simply thinking about complex stuff and a complex technology company. The real world is never so cut and dried.

I didn't imply anywhere that this was cut and dried. They didn't have to use KHtml, but they did. When doing that, they must comply with the license or run the risk of legal consequences. That part, since they are a US company and in the US, is very much cut and dried.

Apple didn't have to use KHtml or any open source solution for it's web browser. It chose to because it suited them to go open source.

More specifically, it suited them to use a web engine that had already been developed and that performed well, that was open source so they could tweak it. It saved them a lot of ground work, and meant they didn't have to license a web engine from others (i.e. pay some money for one). I see nothing wrong with that personally, but the fact that they adopted an engine that had to be kept open source was purely incidental. Had Khtml been BSD licensed, Webkit most likely would not be open source today. It is that simple.
Apple do not have an ideology of openness or closeness, they have an ideology of good design, maximising the quality of user experience and making profits doing so.

Jesus, how much do you get paid to market here? Apple does not have a philosophy in any case, the people who run it do. Jobs *did* very much have a philosophy of control, though not open or closed in the way you mean. He wished to control what you did, how you did it, and if he could have he'd have controlled when you did it and probably where as well. This is not healthy for the users, and can make things tedious to the point of insanity. Want to run a download in the background? Too bad. Do you like Atomic browser better than Safari? Well, too bad, you can't change your default. If Apple were still only dealing with iPhones, I could understand this to an extent but they have repeatedly tried to push the iPad as a general purpose computer replacement. Getting files on and off the device is more tedious than it needs to be, and you can't even back up your iTunes content without a computer (kind of funny that, considering the iPad's supposed to be the average Joe's computer replacement). This is why I'm hoping to see a relaxation of the controls without feeling that they need to be removed altogether. If it's about the users, and about user experience, then let the users at least choose parts of it and make it easy for the users to get their documents where they need to go when they need to go there.
One of the most overwhelmingly negative features of the the PC for the vast mass of ordinary computers users was the terrible fear of malware, virus and security breaches.

Quite the opposite, though I agree with your point in spirit. The problem is that the average users have *no* fear of viruses and malware until they get them, so they do not even attempt to be careful.
This was not an irrational fear. When the iOS model was first designed it was possible to start again from scratch and build a curated model where the stuff that people loaded on their devices was vetted and was thus safe to install.

Tell that to the people who got this:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/07/first-ios-malware-found/
It does make the removal and detection of Malware easier, so long as the app reviewers remain honest and do their duty. However, it is not and will never be perfect, so trying to imply that it is is dishonest at best and downright lies at worst.
The result of the curated model was not the reduction of choice or freedom but an explosion of choice and freedom.

I do not believe we're speaking the same language. Of course it results in a loss of choice and freedom. Whether it is a significant loss is a matter of perspective, but from an objective stance, every time there is a gate keeper of any kind, anywhere, choice is lost. That is, after all, the point of curating the ecosystem is it not?
People were now free to buy cheap and safe software and know that they were almost certainly safe. The result was a vast explosion of software consumption and software production, an explosion of choice.

Not really. Only an explosion of choice in fields that Apple permits. I still can't, say, design an application's UI on my iDevice. I cannot write a web browser and include a better Javascript engine in it. On top of this, what do I as a developer get for this privilege? The requirement that I must pay $99 annually, even if my apps are scott free with no ads. Sure, I can pick which fart or flashlight app I want, but I can't always find *any* app I want for a given task because Apple does not permit it. This is not an increase in choice by any definition of the English language. Perhaps you do not speak English natively, and that would explain some things.
It is almost certainly true that the average iOS device owner buys and uses far more software than they did in the old unregulated PC software markets.

Facts, not conjecture. Prove it or shut it. It's likely true that the average iOS device owner uses and buys more apps than previous *smart phone* owners, but computers? You're either a shill or completely insane to think that iOS in six years can match the amount and use of software that computers have had for going on three decades. Yes, the app store makes finding the statistics easy for you, but that only proves how much the app store is used. It proves nothing about the unregulated software markets precisely because they are unregulated, but I think it's damn safe to say that computers have had more software, and such software has been used far more, over the decades as opposed to a few years.
Designing, setting up, managing a regulatory structure for what is now a vast software ecosystem is not easy and runs into problems and issues sometimes but who wants to return to the insecurity of the old PC ecosystem, and what would be the advantage to the end user of doing so?

Ah, a point on which we do agree. Problem is, end users aren't the only people around and if Apple continues to suggest that devices like the iPad are computer replacements they're going to have to come to that realization eventually. End users are fine but, you do realize, someone does have to design the software for those users to actually use. I think what we're seeing now is the first step in that realization, and I welcome it.

Two can play the link game, see above.

Edited 2013-05-31 14:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Missing Steve Jobs
by Tony Swash on Fri 31st May 2013 16:45 in reply to "RE[6]: Missing Steve Jobs"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I guess I really poked a few of your buttons.

Of course average iOS device users install more software, which they do because it's cheap and safe and they have a simple enormous library of apps to choose from. That's freedom, that's choice.

The average number of apps sold per iOS user is 89. Fifty billion iOS apps have been download. 750,000 apps in the App Store. 250,000 new apps added last year. This is Tsunami of apps, a cornucopia of choice. Talk about lack of freedom in this context is just silly and juvenile. Apple's curated App store has been the biggest empowerment mechanism for users of computer devices and writers of software ever invented. And it's growing at a phenomenal rate.

Some people don't like the curated software model, and those people are free of course to choose an alternative uncurated platform, but what really ticks them off is that the model they don't like hundreds of millions of people do like and it's a raging success.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: Missing Steve Jobs
by Nelson on Fri 31st May 2013 17:01 in reply to "RE[7]: Missing Steve Jobs"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

To add to this, there is a need to thoughtful when introducing new APIs.

Every API comes with an implied legacy which means baggage, and it can have far reaching consequences into the platform. If you read the OldNewThing blog, a seasoned Windows developer routinely talks about APIs they made that were used in weird (often malicious) manners.

So in this new age where devices are much more personal. It is *your* tablet, its in your bag, in your hand most of the day, it has your very personal information on it. We need to have better reliability guarantees.

Realiability goes hand in hand with the quality of the developer platform. Bad platforms breed bad apps. You can see the open nature of Android start to work against them in some ways. Its a gift and a curse to be that open.

I think in the D11 interview, Mr. Cook spoke to the fact that Apple users essentially pay Apple to make some important decisions for them.

This is often spun by users here as a negative, but I'm not so sure. Often users know what they want, just not how to go about getting it. They know they want apps to say what they do, but they don't know that to achieve that goal you need a curated app store with very transparent capabilities.

They want all day battery, but don't understand that having that service running in the background and polling a web server isn't going to help that.

Samsung and others seem to have found an alternative strategy. Dump a whole bunch of features into a phone (barometer, dehumidifier, air gestures, coo coo clock) and hope that customers find them "good enough."

Apple has a much more engaged audience (you can see this from the usage statistics of iOS vs others) because their products genuinely seem to delight users. You might be accused of spitting marketing BS, but the numbers certainly speak for themselves.

Reply Parent Score: 4