The Holy Grail

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Apple, Google, and Samsung are all rushing to launch the next revolutionary device. Whether it be smart glasses, a smart watch, or a smart TV, it’s a dumb thing to launch. As public companies, they all feel obligated to keep hype high and to launch new things. Yet the biggest opportunity is still to improve upon what they have.

Touch screen devices have beautiful high resolution displays, impressive processing power, intuitive user interfaces, decent local storage, accelerometers, GPS, cameras, and the ability to wirelessly connect with your other devices both near and far. They are by far the most amazing leap forward in technology that most of us will see in our lifetime. The way that we communicate, share, travel, purchase, research, explore, and carry things will never be the same.

So why the hell are Apple, Google, and Samsung all so worried about a damn watch? Samsung is the only one keeping their foot on the smartphone pedal while they research their next device. The new galaxy responds to non-touch, visual stimuli like the wave of a hand to answer a call. I don’t find that useful but at least there not sitting on their asses. The new Galaxy also tracks your eye movement and pauses videos when you look away from the screen. That sounds annoying but, again, at least they aren’t doing nothing. If nothing else, it is getting them a lot of PR.

Apple and Google are overlooking the holy grail just a few years after discovering it. They’re leaving the future up to app developers to add value to the iPhone and iPad.

Stop looking for new products! Pause, Get Clarity, and Get Creative! You’ve got an open palette. Quite literally… It’s a touch screen, there are no hard buttons…

Here are a few thoughts on innovations:

I would love to see a better App Store that allows for more rewarding exploration. Both companies tote hundreds of thousands of apps. Yet most of us download and use the same few hundred. Tim Cook can give me all the stats on usage he wants, for every category I would bet the top dozen apps make up 90% of the category downloads, like below:

Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintress, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, WordPress, Hootsuite, MyPad

Media: Shazam, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Songza, Netflix, AmazonPrime, Hulu, HBO Go, Apple Trailers, IMDB

News: ABC, Bloomberg, CNN, ESPN, FOX, NPR, NYTimes, Times, WSJ, etc. Flipboard, Pulse, Gamefly

So how many useful apps are there? A few hundred? Maybe a thousand? So for every good app, we have to ignore several thousand. I don’t get a weekly email from Apple, saying hear are the latest apps you might like. Your phone doesn’t realize you have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram which prompts a suggestion to download MyPad so you can manage them all from one spot. It doesn’t realize that I listen to music for hours almost everyday, and recommends a music discovery app. There’s no central news feed. If I want my Gamefly news, BBC news, WordPress news, and YouTube blogger videos from the same place then I’m out of luck.

My photos are in iPhoto and on Facebook, luckily I don’t have them on Flickr and Instagram as well. Videos I’m watching are on Netflix, YouTube, TED, and in my Apple library. Is this really 2013? These amazing devices still make me go to five places to get one thing.

Their is more music, video, and news out there than any person can handle on their own. The device that can tame the media beast and make it substantially more manageable, they win he device war.

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