The killer iOS feature Apple will never add

Over the past few months, Google has released great updates to their suite of iOS apps. For the first time, I could replace Apple’s entire application layer with the Google equivalents, and be better off.


Google has always beaten Apple in online services, but the new apps also have a sense of quality and design that is new for Google.

The issue is that every time I download a Google app (or sometimes even update one), I have to login. When using 2 factor auth, this is a pain.


I want to sign in to my Google account once, and have all apps on my iPhone use that auth token. This is what iOS already does for iCloud, Twitter, and Facebook. And Android already does this with Google accounts.

Even better, I’d love to sign in to multiple Google Apps accounts, and easily switch between them. I could do this within a single app, or globally for the entire phone.

But Apple doesn’t want this. They want you to use Apple Mail, Apple Maps, Safari, and other apps which, frankly, are not that great anymore.

Is this the right move for Apple? Do they need you locked in to their apps?

The better approach would be for Apple to build the best hardware, best operating system, and best application platform. Sell that, and let users choose what apps they want to use.

Today, no one will choose to use iCloud over Google apps. It’s in Apple’s court to make a better product and win us over.

Apple fucked up with iOS 6 maps. But they are NOT obsessed with Google

We all know the reason why Apple is doing these things. They’re more focused now on hurting Google than thrilling users, just like they were with Microsoft in the 90s.

It sucks. And it’s a recipe for longterm failure.

They say that those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.

The history that Apple is repeating is its own history. It’s time to get smart, bury the hatchet, make peace with Google and start putting users first again.

Disagree. Google is obsessed with Apple. They are building phones, tablets, laptops, music stores, and other products that THEY SUCK AT.

Google still makes its money on two products: search and ads. That’s it. All their other products are, frankly, underwhelming.

Yes, Apple messed up with the new maps. It’s not a typical Apple quality product. But I therefore assume it happened because they were forced to do it.

Apple probably had a five year license for Google Maps and Youtube apps. The original iphone was released in 2007. That means it was up.

Upon renewal of this agreement, Google could have demanded some insane fees. Maybe Google tried to force Apple to preinstall other Google apps. Maybe they tried to make Apple sign an exclusive on their search engine for 10 more years.

We don’t know the details. But Apple has always focused on building products that are best in class. They have never built something out of obsession, or even something for the sake of filling a feature matrix.

I think there are forces here we don’t know about, which required an early ship date for iOS 6 Maps. Too early. But I see no evidence of a Google obsession. If Apple ever builds a search engine: that’s another story.

How Steve Jobs ensured Apple’s culture wouldn’t change after he left

From Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

In order to institutionalize the lessons that he and his team were learning, Jobs started an in-house center called Apple University. He hired Joel Podolny, who was dean of the Yale School of Management, to compile a series of case studies analyzing important decisions the company had made, including the switch to the Intel microprocessor and the decision to open the Apple Stores. Top executives spent time teaching the cases to new employees, so that the Apple style of decision making would be embedded in the culture.


We’re fine with growing old. We’re not fine with growing stale.

Ron’s big day starts out with a two-page ad in major papers (above). This is his Think different moment, where he puts forth the philosophy that will guide JCPenney under his leadership.

I’ve never been excited to shop at JC Penney before. I can’t wait to see what Ron Johnson (former Senior VP of Retail at Apple) does with the chain.

iTunes Match and Siri: a match made in heaven

This week Apple released iTunes Match. iTunes Match scans your iTunes library and makes all your music available over the internet. Just seconds after the scanning had completed on my iMac, my iPhone showed my entire 8,000 song music library. Amazing.

My favorite aspect of the original iPod was that it held all your music. I didn’t have to think about what to sync. I didn’t have to think about what I could play. I always had everything. With the iPod Nano and iPhone, managing music became a pain.

Yesterday while driving to Palo Alto, I tested Siri and iTunes Match. “Shuffle songs by Smashing Pumpkins.” A few seconds later, music started playing. But here’s the amazing part: my phone didn’t have Smashing Pumpkins on it! The music was streaming from iCloud.

iTunes Match and Siri means I don’t have to think as much anymore. I don’t have to worry about syncing music. I don’t have to worry about how to control an interface while driving.

While it may seem like this is making us lazier (it is), it’s also making us more powerful. Building great products isn’t about adding complexity, it’s about adding simplicity. Technology like this is  approachable by more people. And it’s magical.


My Memories of Apple

I’ve been a fanboy for almost 20 years now. I fought for Apple when no one believed in the company, and I was lucky to have spent time on the inside.

Apple isn’t just a company I love, it’s a part of who I am.

Apple is not gone, but it won’t be the same without Steve. It’s his DNA that made me fall in love. These past few weeks, I couldn’t help but remember all the great times I had with the company.

I’m sure Apple has a long history ahead of it, and I hope many more great memories to come.

1992 – My first Mac

I remember waking up one morning to find a strange man setting up a Mac LC II in my room. I don’t know who he was or why we chose to buy an Apple computer, but on that day, history was made.

CompUSA volunteer

When OS 8.5 was released, Apple called for volunteers to work at CompUSA and help sell Macs. Free labor, talk about fanboys! I did get this free shirt.


On staff

Ok, this isn’t a specific memory. But through junior high, high school, and college, I help various staff positions because of my Apple expertise/nerdiness. In high school I was on yearbook staff as the computer guy, helping with desktop publishing.

And in college I took care of the cluster computers in the dorms, which allowed me to skip the housing draw every year and live in awesome houses.

Steve Keynote, Macworld 1999

This is the first keynote I remember watching. I think being at Stanford was the first time I had an internet connection that allowed this.

Seybold, 2000

The first time I saw Steve live, on stage.


2001, Woz

Woz was giving a guest lecture at a class I wasn’t taking. Eric and I dropped in and got to meet the legend.


First person in the Palo Alto Apple store

I stood/slept in line for 21 hours to be the first customer in the Apple Store on University Avenue. One of the greatest experiences of my life. I got to meet the entire Apple executive team, including Steve himself.


Apple Store, Stanford

To pay off my college loans and car loan, I bought Macs from the bookstore and sold them on eBay. This consumed my life for about 3 weeks.


Interview at Apple

I parked next to Steve when I went for my first interview.


Internship offer

I got my internship offer on the phone while I was driving around campus loop. I remember negotiating it against a better offer from Handspring. Apple didn’t budge, but I took their offer anyway.

Full time offer

I clearly remember pacing back and forth in my room at Bob House when I got this offer. I was negotiating against a better offer from Amazon, and Apple did match it this time.

Original iPod announcement

I was in Town Hall watching Steve Jobs unveil the very first iPod. The room was for press only but they had a few empty seats and I was at the right place at the right time. It was a great presentation, but no one knew what the iPod would do to Apple. You can see me in the intro video at 5:30.

WWDC 2004 with Jimmy Eat World on campus

The only year I was able to attend most of WWDC. I loved the party we had on campus each year, and I love Jimmy Eat World.


iPhone announcement

I watched the iPhone announcement live via webcast from Apple’s offices on the 50th floor of the Citigroup building. I don’t think there was ever a presentation with more gasps and amazement. Unlike the iPod unveiling, this time you knew this device was going to change the world.


I’m lucky to be surrounded by Apple fanboys just like me. During Apple keynotes, the entire company gets around a conference table and watches the magic together.