Photo by Klean Denmark
Apple’s got all the money, so where is the innovation we’ve come to expect from the Tech giant? In 2007 Apple released the iPhone, a dramatic step forward in mobile computing. It was the first solid release of any Smartphone on the market. Sure, Blackberry had a huge following, but as far as ease of use, ability and most importantly, stability, Apple’s handy little iDevice forced manufacturers and software developers to plunge into something new.
Following the release of the first iPhone, Apple kept us interested by creating exciting new products, each touting new feature rich capabilities. The 3GS was a huge success and really solidified Apple’s dominance in the Smartphone market. However, since the iPhone 4, the excitement has simmered. Seriously, how many times can a person get excited over pixels?
With excitement wavering, stocks prices dropping and the competition revving up their releases, Apple engineers need to reach deep within their creative energies and release something that makes the competition play catch-up. Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive seem to have realized this in some manner and have taken steps to explore and create dramatic change within the upcoming iOS 7.
Unfortunately for Apple, this dramatic change may take some time to come to fruition. Their big Management shuffle last year has caused some serious delays in their mobile software development, leading to Apple’s Mac team being brought in to help their mobile-software team to get back on track. Teams that worked independently of each other under Jobs are now cooperating and attending the same meetings. This is great for a communal work environment, but may end up being detrimental to Apple’s never stop working ethic. When the teams were in direct competition, everyone had to give their all just to stay employed, now with Cook’s democratic approach, Apple employees might be starting to become a bit more comfortable in their positions.
Some of the “big changes” we’re hearing about with iOS 7 are things like removing the wooden finish on the iBook’s shelves, email and calendars are going to change somehow, and the overall feel of iOS is supposed to lose its high polished appearance. That’s great from a design standpoint, but what tech nerds really want is substance. Apple’s got to think of something that can get the publics mind off of Google’s Glass, or at least release something on par with it. The iPhone and iPad have forward and rear facing cameras and they’ve yet to utilize the potential for Augmented Reality in a way that’s truly fascinating and useful. With the staff on hand and the financial leeway to back them, Apple has everything they need to keep bringing the future to our present.
But can Apple continue or even improve on the track record set by Steve Jobs? Currently it seems doubtful. Jobs made it publicly known that he had little to no interest in releasing a 7-inch tablet, but the moment he was gone, we were inundated with ads telling us that we needed one. Where Apple was once the lead innovator, releasing products (iPad), that forced the competition to copy/paste similar products (Galaxy, Nook, Kindle, etc.), they’ve transitioned into releasing response products of those same competitors. There are also rumors going around that there are two iPhone models that Steve had a big hand in designing, but for some reason we’ve been given the 4S and iPhone 5 instead. Where’s the innovation in that? Ohh, the screen’s bigger! Big whoop.
iOS is still scheduled for a September release, but there are some in the industry that doubt that Apple will be able to provide a full demo come the World Wide Developer conference in June. Hopes are that everything will be caught up by that deadline, but it’s more likely that we’ll be receiving some minor tweaks from iOS 6 and will have to wait for incremental updates to see the truly new OS product.