Apple’s Next Battleground Isn’t TV; It’s Web Services

Smart piece by John Paczkowski:

Apple, of course, already knows this. That’s why it undertook audacious initiatives like Maps and iTunes Match in the first place. But the company clearly underestimated the effort and skill needed to pull them off with excellence. And now, with all the world watching, it can’t afford to do so again. Maps, iTunes Match, iCloud … they all must “just work.” That’s what consumers expect.

A big area where iCloud is falling short is for third-party developers. The tip of the iceberg is the out-of-the-box experience — the iCloud features supported by the apps built into iOS. Calendar, Mail, contact syncing, Safari tab and bookmark syncing. And that stuff actually works very well. That deserves no kudos, though, because everyone else’s cloud services for that stuff works well today too.

Under the surface, though, iCloud is just not there yet when it comes to being a platform for third-party developers. You know how mobile developers rave about how on iOS it’s easier to create great apps — better looking graphics, better performance, smoother animation? You hear the opposite when it comes to things like iCloud Core Data syncing. Last decade it was enough for iOS to be a platform for great native apps. This decade, iCloud needs to be a platform for great cloud syncing and storage.

Thursday, 10 January 2013