What’s Next for Apple

I have no inside information or insight, but historically Apple’s product improvements have strongly broadcasted where they’re going in the future. Here are six things I think are inevitable for Apple to do over the next decade, from most to least obvious: maps, iCloud, payments, TVs, search, and cars.

1. Maps

When the iPhone was first released Steve Jobs called Maps on iPhone the best version of Google Maps on the planet, with emphasis on what Apple’s designers had brought to Google’s raw technology (can’t find that link). Four years later, you can’t imagine such a core piece of the mobile experience reliant on their largest competitor. Hopefully this will also give Apple a chance to fill usability gaps in the maps experience today, like that you can’t click from the “where” field in a calendar appointment straight to maps. (Drives me crazy.) Note that the only “Google” branding in maps today is in the bottom left, they know they’re getting replaced and have done an admirable job on the Safari version of maps on iPhone and iPad.

Google Maps + Navigation on Android is my favorite mobile app of the past 3 years (haven’t used Siri yet) — it’s what Garmin should have built $8 billion in revenue and R&D ago. (Remember the Garmin Nüvifone?) Apple was smart to partner in the beginning, but they can, and should, raise the bar.

2. iCloud

The abstraction of documents, photos, videos, their equivalents in “bought” media (iBooks, music, movies, and TV shows from the iTunes store), the deemphasis of the filesystem with every iteration of OS X, and the rough ideas of things like MobileMe’s dock syncing, points to the combination of services that will ultimately disrupt the “magic folder” providers like Dropbox. I love Dropbox, but it’ll be impossible for them to do the deep OS integration needed to match the direction Apple is heading — never thinking about what is where, ever again, just having everything you’ve ever created or used available in the same place on all your devices.

They know this is best for consumers. My friend Rene told me how when his hard drive crashed last year he contacted Apple support and they gave him a link to re-download the past 4 years of music he’d purchased on iTunes. That’s obviously the right thing to do, even if labels have had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward it. By this time tomorrow it’ll just be part of the experience when he signs into iTunes on a new computer. Update: Apple released iTunes 10.5 a day early with this feature.

3. Payments

Your phone becomes your credit card. Apple doesn’t replace Visa or Mastercard, but they do replace all of those scammy rewards and branded cards that prey on unsophisticated consumers. Google will probably do this first, but it’ll be like Microsoft Surface, brilliant but two sandwiches short of a picnic.

4. TVs

I recently got one of the new Thunderbolt displays and man, a super-sized version of this would be killer in my living room. (The speakers are surprisingly good.) TVs are just so bad, not so much in the hardware which can be beautiful like Samsung’s C9000 but in the mediocre software, un-features like Auto Motion (which makes beautiful films look like they were shot by a Jersey Shore cameraman with a beer in his other hand), and interfaces that just don’t do anything you would expect. Hello — you can detect when a cable is plugged in, don’t make me switch between 15 sources when only one is connected. My TV takes 5-10 seconds longer to turn on than my iPad. “Smart TVs” look like “smart phones” did in 2005 — completely lacking in imagination or joy.

But to really imagine the strategic importance of this you need to think beyond a super-sized Thunderbolt display and imagine what replaces iMac, one of Apple’s most beautiful creations. People’s need for a desktop is seriously declining for the first time since pundits started predicted the decline of the PC a decade ago. The post-PC ecosystem is in place now — touch, battery life, mobile-first applications, ubiquity of internet access, flash memory. (In Steve Jobs introduction of the first iPod, two things stand out to me: that terrible font, and the fact one of the main features is 20 minutes of skip protection.) Mobile works and is getting better, and you won’t have what we call a desktop 10 years from now.

Now imagine Apple has a shining 55″ monolith smack dab in the middle of your house. How big of a wifi antenna could they put in there? Could they crush all that lame Cisco teleconference stuff with TV FaceTime? Is there room for a few disk drives that don’t need to worry about skipping plus a SSD to make it fast? If you look at the direction Apple has been heading with Time Capsule locally caching software updates it’s not hard for something similar to work in the other direction, a digital hub that’s your media server for the house, a large-format display, a time capsule, and an Airplay target all in one. Imagine just one power cable coming out of it, and everything else wireless, just like the iMac, and a few killer apps we can’t even imagine yet.

Finally, home theatre needs disruption — this is a land of $200 Monster HDMI cables and similar gouging that functions like a state lottery, an intelligence tax. When I walk through Best Buy, which I try to do once every few months, it feels like it’s technology at its worst, the magic of progress used as smoke and mirrors to confuse and dupe consumers rather than make their lives better. The Apple TV is just another form factor for the unified experience Apple wants to create every time you touch an electronic device.

5. Search

There are hints of this in maps, but just like Craigslist is being killed not by a Craigslist-like clone but rather by a thousand highly focused replacements, so too Google will face its existential crisis not from another webpage with a centered white box, but from the interface and context of search changing completely. Many of Google’s searches aren’t that valuable, and a huge percentage of the ones that are aren’t going to happen at the desktop anymore .The context of your location (which your phone already knows) the “results page” of a fantastic map application and the input of a next-generation search interface, like Siri, completely changes the rules of engagement. Google’s not investing in mobile because they wanted a better phone.

6. Cars

This is the most far-out, but I think most certain. Voice-controlled search through Siri and Apple Maps provide the hands-free framework for a rich interactive experience while driving. Walk down the car stereo aisle in Best Buy and see what $800 gets you, or a $300 GPS from Garmin, vs an iPad or iPhone. The screens feel like a TI-92 calculator. The typography makes my eyes bleed. I find it morally reprehensible how bad these products are because it’s one of the areas of technology where a bad interface is most directly tied to injuries and deaths. Car folks are making their iPhone/iPod integrations better and better, which may be a glass of ice water in hell, but they’ll never make the jump to providing a beautiful marriage of media, search, and navigation that a great in-car experience needs. Right now you can spend 110k on a Tesla Roadster, a car of the future, and for an additional $4,500 (9 iPads!) get this Alpine head unit. (Watch that video and try not to laugh at how bad the interface is.) Retail it only sets you back 1.4 iPads. That’s just sad.

“People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” — Alan Kay, 1982. People who make hardware should get their software act together before Apple does for them.

Discussion on Hacker News.

85 thoughts on “What’s Next for Apple

  1. Apple will bring out the first truly smart phone.
    Effectively a dumb terminal (stick with me here) – you buy an iPhone for around £50, turn it on, log into your iCloud account and all your photos, videos, contacts, music, email etc is accessible.

    You lose it, or more likely it’s stolen, no problem, you just buy another and, most importantly, you lose no data as it’s all stored on iCloud.

    1. Have you heard of Android? That is EXACTLY what google does with Android. It is ALL in the cloud… everything you mentioned I have gone through every time I replace an Android phone… it is genius… but Apple cant be the first to do it because it is already done by Google.

      1. It’s not about being first, it’s about being best. The Neanderthal was first and look what happened to him. Google may have done cloud tech first, but Apple will *probably* do it better. I’m a Blackberry user for the last three years but I’m switching to an iPhone 4S. The only other Apple product I have is an iPod Nano. Apple did music players better. They do smartphones better. They’re monetising piracy with the next iteration of iTunes, and their Cloud will be (in all likelihood) the best ‘experience’ out there.

      2. and it took them until 2011 to backup Contacts via the cloud… better? Seriously fanboys how hard is it to do that, let alone do it “better”? I add a contact on my Google phone and within 15 seconds its on my desktop, and vice-versa. This isn’t about better, it’s about it working, and it’s worked for me with Google mobile since 2009.

      3. Uh, well it’s done exactly that via MobileMe on iPhones, OS X & Windows for several years too (since iPhone launch in 2007 I think – I certainly don’t recall it ever not doing it).

  2. So let me get this straight… Apple comes out with the iphone 4 over a year ago and now — with how far phones have jumped even since then — release nothing more than a processor bump? Not even a redesign at all, just an identical body, screen, and all with a better processor and nicer camera. That’s the innovation we can expect?

    1. People said the same thing about the iPhone 3Gs, and the iPhone 4, which came out a while later, was an enormous improvement in every regard.

      If Apple like the form factor and screen, why should they change it? There’s nothing that says that a new form factor is automatically better.

    2. Yet another person who hasn’t understood that the iPhone is not about tech specs, it is about software and usability.

      iPhone 4S runs Siri, and who knows what other amazing pieces of software that take full advantage of the 4S will come out in the next year. Phone buyers seem to understand that just fine — but tech geeks like us mostly keep not getting it.

    3. Apple is not playing the same game as Android. They chose the screen size that they did for a reason. Why change it now? Look at the Parker 51, the Pentax K1000, the Zippo lighter, the Thermos bottle, and the Mag Lite. These products are not iconic because their manufacturers came out with a new version every nine months. They’re iconic because they are high quality, reliable, and built to last. I don’t see Android as even trying to compete in that sphere.

      1. I’d agree with that; I don’t associate any of the Androids with “iconic” or “built to last” either. Android relies on the lure of new features through rapid churn and differentiation, and with the fact that none of the Android phone hardware makers are Apple or (too visibly) Microsoft-beholden. Users have shown remarkable willingness to put up with misfeatures like fragmentation (not all apps work the same way on all phones running a given Android version; not all “new” Android phones can run the same versions of the software), security/malware, and the lack of a trustable ecosystem. What many people see as deal-breaking problems, Android fans are willing to put up with because “hey, Google says it’s free software (even though you can’t get and build things yourself) and hey, it’s not Apple!!!1!

        For those of us who just want the freedom to use our phones/handheld computers to do interesting and useful things, we’ll go elsewhere — and gladly live without the oversized screens on what are supposed to be one-handed devices.

    4. That’s exactly how German cars are engineered. Here in the U.S. we’re all about the big flashy changes to appearance whereas the Germans are more concerned with function. Take a look at Mercedes and notice how little their lines change over the years. Yet, in the 1960s they had fuel injection and seat belts.

  3. I think you are right about Thunderbolt and possibly TV. Though I believe that Robert Cringley has it right about the display and GPU merging. One thin processor/display makes sense as it eliminates the connection bottle neck, provides for a more scalable design, and paves the future for AirDisplay like/compatible devices everywhere. But most importantly, Retina Display will be technologically feasible for the first time at sizes resolutions that will blow our minds (remember, the density is exponential and that is some serious processing power in order to drive it).

  4. Great content. These things excite me beyond belief. The distinction between Apple and all other companies to me is that they truly take content creation to the excellent level from serviceable from other companies (Which is why I’m excited about the TV, car, search, Maps that you mentioned above). They’re distinct in a lot of ways, but the glaring difference is they know what sucks that shouldn’t suck, and make it a much better experience, across the framework of that particular technology. Love it.

  5. I recently watched a video about a guy in the audience of WWDC back in ’97 insulted Steve Jobs ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF-tKLISfPE ) and his response was so fantastic. One thing he said is that Apple never tried to make the software fit the hardware. They always worked from the user backwards to the hardware. Looking at the way people are using technology it seems somewhat obvious that Apple will cover every aspect of consumer multimedia experiences…very soon.

  6. Honestly, Apple will fall down the drain. When Jobs left the first time apple almost fell off the face of the earth. When he cam back he brought apple out of the death bed and back onto the map with all the new inventions, mostly being the mac and then the ipod. If Apple doesn’t manage to mess up what they got and have learned to “fish” then they can feed them selves and continue on. How ever as history has shown us….I can’t see this company lasting for more then a decade or two….

    1. When Steve Jobs left Apple left the first time, it was because he was forced out by a management team that had lost faith in him and disagreed with him on the company’s direction. This time he leaves behind a hand-picked team who he has worked with for years to create the most successful company on earth. His DNA is deep in the company now.

      Apple may fail eventually (nothing lasts forever), but it won’t be like last time. Steve Jobs is not the only one who can think of cool products. There are plenty of great ideas still to be developed. Apple just needs to keep doing what it has been doing:

      Focus on a relatively small number of products.
      Identify ideas and technologies whose time has come.
      Look for ways to eliminate complexity and drudgery that is currently taken for granted.
      Strive for excellence in execution.
      Be bold in style.
      Make the priority the user experience, rather than raw specs and feature lists.
      Under promise and over deliver.
      Focus on the ordinary user.
      Don’t try to please everyone (especially the hypercritical techno-geeks).
      Don’t release any product before it is ready. If you can’t be the first, at least be the best.
      Never coast… Keep steadily innovating.
      Keep your plans and development efforts secret.
      Make significant product release announcements dramatic.
      Control the “whole widget” from the sales experience through hardware, software, services, and support.
      Sue the hell out of companies that steal your intellectual property.

      This formula may not appeal to everyone, but it has been proven successful.

      1. That’s a pretty comprehensive thumbnail sketch of “excellence” in ANYTHING, actually; if auto makers or home builders or soft-drink companies or (insert completely unrelated product-oriented line here) did that consistently and well, they’d (rightfully) own their markets. It’s also amazing how price-insensitive people become when you consistently deliver superlative quality; think Sony back in the day or Apple now. Nobody but nobody in the computer industry has the profitability Apple have, yet most customers (*NOT* “consumers”) feel like they get their money’s worth.

        It’s amazing how many management gurus and company leaders have laid the pieces out, from Jobs to Peters to Akio Morita to Peter Drucker, and how few “successful” businesses follow their lead. Then again, in a world where “enhancing value” to your (mostly institutional) shareholders is more important than delivering value to your customers, not so surprising after all.

  7. That was a great read, I enjoyed your thoughts.

    Sometimes technology is real slow in certain area’s while jumping by leaps and bounds in others.

    Only time will tell if the technology will be where it need to be across all devices.

  8. Siri’s just in beta, but you can tell where Apple is headed with it. Using Google as just another data source alongside other, more specific ones, is brilliant and an incredibly Apple-like move (just the way cellular carriers are just platform for Apple’s phones — remember when every cell phone’s interface was either Cingular orange or Verizon red?

    I’ve become mildly obsessed with Tesla because I feel like they’re Apple’s automotive doppelgänger. Their attention to both industrial and graphic design is incredibly thoughtful; the Model S is an electric car that looks like it was designed for families, not just nerds. I hope they’re successful in using design to make consumers fall in love with electric cars. If they’re not, we’re going to have to wait for Apple to do it. :)

  9. It’s funny but I was just talking last Thursday with some colleagues and said the next big thing Apple wanted to remove was the file system. As 40 somethings who have never known a computer without our folders, the prospect frightened some of us. But I have to agree that we have a long history of Apple’s attempts to kill the file system. Watson would be the first thing I can point to on that road. We’ll see what iCloud brings.

    I’ll be honest and say I still have complicated file systems but am intrigued by the thought of not having one.

    1. Wouldn’t it be glorious though to just call for the thing you want and have it appear… without having to worry about where you put it? I can dig it.

    2. Newton had no file system back in 1993. All apps could access all data, which could spread transparently across multiple storage devices. From a user POV, iPhone clearly inherited a lot from Newton (the way apps work is essentally identical). While iPhone solved the hardware problems Newton couldn’t, I suspect many valuable lessons were learned on the software side.
      One bugbear remains for me: Newton had a realistic 3-month battery life, despite only running on normal AAs and having a decent 267MHz CPU.

  10. Agreed on the car thing – I recently put an in dash Nav / Stereo (Pioneer) in my car, and the interface is horrific. For the first time, I’ve been inspired to investigate how it could be hacked to perhaps run Android or something – anything – better.

  11. This is exactly how I feel about cellphone service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. I checked out the process of buying an iPhone out of curiosity, and they tried to sell me on its features: Email and internet! Plus a required 10/month 3G service fee.

    Wow! I am so tired of BS.

  12. Apple is heading the Bill Gates 3 screens in your life way, re: TV, iPhone, iPad.

    Siri will provide the glue using a better and more natural of the “best pointing device known to man”, voice.

    Search won’t matter much in the future as Siri becomes more of an Alfred and predict what you want before you actually want it. Think of today’s Google Prediction API analyzing people’s timelines with data from iCloud, location, image recognition, voice recognition, social graph etc.

    Pretty much same with maps, as people tend to move in patterns and specific areas most of the times. Maps will be navigation and discovery only for places around your personal area and comfort zone, especially with gas prices / energy costs going up.

    payments i don’t know, cars for sure.

  13. Funny how the list reads like a “what happened” in Android for the past three years.

    Great maps integration with voice navigation, intelligent links, turn-by-turn.

    Cloud storage of almost anything

    A working and well-supported payments API including NFC support and “digital wallet” functionality,

    TV is there and sucks as bad and the Apple TV version, search is insanely useful if you know how to use it (“Wake Up. Search all conversations with John after this Monday. Read.”)

    But, of course, it’s not Apple :)

    1. Come on, I’m a google fan, but the Cloud Storage thing hasn’t happened for Google and won’t until they figure out how to let third party apps use it directly. Apple’s solution integrates directly into their recommended data storage API, seamlessly syncing all of that content automatically.

      It’s really shocking that Google doesn’t get this, and it goes well beyond just this one API. There was another post on Hacker News or TechMeme about some dude hooking up Android_x86 to make the android emulator not suck. Why hasn’t Google fixed this in all this time.

      Android would be leaps and bounds better if they would just keep improving their dev tools faster than they update the OS.

      1. I think they got it, and are planning to release it as google drive. But lets see how things pan out.

      2. Well, I have email, calendar, and contact sync via Google. That’s what 99% of all users seem to use the iCloud for, judging from the threads elsewhere. My pictures are shared seamlessly between my cellphone, my iMac, my iPad, and my Xoom (with the iPad limping behind) via Google Images/Picasa, and my documents are as well (mounted as a drive on the iMac) via Google Docs.

        The one thing Google doesn’t offer is a backup of my Mac. I am using a backup provider for that and get a DVD in the mail every three months with the incrementals (Iron Mountain).

    2. Of course. Apple never does anything FIRST, but when they do it, it blows off anything that existed.

  14. Matt, I have been asking myself why Apple hasn’t launched a TV? They have the best displays out there and they compress everything into an awesome function piece of hardware. I guess we will have to hope they do reinvent that market. Nice post and very true. I think SIRI will compete with Google Voice, if the networks can keep up with the growing data streaming demands.

  15. Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey is the ultimate computer, a computer that dialogs with you. Apple is going there with Siri.
    As far as car integration mentioned in the article, Apple already has very close ties with BMW integrating the BMW Idrive to iPad and iPhone, fantastic.

  16. The whole idea of cars and the experience of driving needs to be reinvented. (Sorry, I am a petrol head as much as the next person)

    Cars will be personal transport and controlled by computers linked to sat nav and the latest road traffic information. Set your destination and take your seat. Watch TV or play games, listen to music, work, sleep, eat or just watch the world go by. No accidents – cars will communicate with each other. Steady motion with non of the stop start driving caused by humans. That is also going to make for greater fuel efficiency and vehicles will last longer.

    At the heart of the car, a couple of Macs (one being a back up system). We have to learn to enjoy the journey and not the drive.

  17. Good, comprehensive overview, a decade is a realistic timeframe to understand how trends already set in motion will play out and ripple into other areas of our lives.

    Steve has left Apple in great shape, having had 14 years to imprint the idea that you should make things as good as they can possibly be.

    I don’t know why so few companies can grasp that simple concept, but Apple does and that advantage will allow them to continue as industry leaders despite the loss of Steve. I fully expect to see incredible new innovations blossoming forth from their new spaceship campus for decades to come.

  18. Completely agree re: cars. This summer I drove my Mom’s new Lincoln SUV. It had in it the Microsoft powered system (Sync?). What a nightmare! This system will be responsible for many, many traffic accidents.

    Apple could own this and do it in a way that matches current business profile: i.e. a way to sell and simply install new versions; some sort of universal doc into which goes a smaller-than-an-iPad device.

  19. This has been on my read list (I thought for a couple of days) … definitely thought provoking.

    My only concern is the single-source supplier ramifications that could follow some of these ideas.

  20. Matt why is it that on your Craigslist screenshot, “Services/Adult” is the only visited link? Lol…

  21. 8. iSpecs: Augmented Reality Eyeware.

    When you add sound UI for controls, you get hands-free AR calls for. Allow for Moore’s Law and you’re in Matt’s 10 year window. iSpecs become a new platform for innovation, engagement, fashion, and marketing. AR holds promise for deep location apps, human interaction, and revealing the Internet-of-Things. They are nearly always on for a full-day lifestyle.

    Would you like your iSpecs in Jobs Rimless, Bollywood Aviator, or RayBan Transitions?

  22. When I first installed wordpress, I thought that I could just drag things around to a header, content etc and create a website! I’m not kidding…:)

    1. It will get to that point eventually, I believe.

      But before WordPress can reach that level of flexibility, it has to squash a few bugs in the existing implemention.

      :)

  23. Going to add to your number 3 – based on a post I read a few months ago – that it’ll be Apple and Amazon that own that type of business.

    People trust their credit card information already with those 2 brands; with Amazon building off of Android for the Kindle Fire, they’ll be a more real competitor on that front than Google on its own (with the irony that Amazon will be doing it with their version of Android).

  24. Auto Motion… is that what that crappy TV (un)feature is called? I saw Law and Order on at a bar the other day and it was like I was watching The Office.

    I was so confused because I was pretty sure the last time I saw that episode on re-run there wasn’t that much camera wobble. Who on earth thinks thats a good idea? Made me nauseous to watch.

    Technology… 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

      1. I thought I was watching some weird new 3d TV earlier today. You mean they really made the TV look like garbage on purpose?

        Someone deserves the Darwin 2011 Award for that.

        Wayne

    1. Ryan, you mean you felt nauseated? If you were nauseous, you probably would have cleared out the bar pretty quickly.

  25. Great post Matt, I’ve been thinking about these areas a lot, especially after I just paid $100+ on a iPod hookup for my car stereo. And Apple is already addressing the HDMI price gauging. I was in Target last weekend and the cheapest HDMI cable in the store was the $19 AppleTV cable (which is still a lot but cheap when you consider Apple charges $30 for earbuds).

  26. Great insight and information Matt, what you wrote makes a lot of sense and gives great information. I like how you broke it down into different sections of Apple information due to the fact that Apple products can pretty much do anything.

  27. Apple will get into gaming…..right after they control the TV with their own OS, they will be able to send you up games without having to buy a separate box. They will have the store to sell it to you, the payment system to charge you and the TV……..

  28. Google has the advantage currently in automotive–if for no other reason than its Google and not Apple who has autonomous car technology.

  29. I would like to see Apple in the enterprise. I have seen employees held back by such hideous software that it’s hard to imagine that anything gets done. If Apple were to move into the enterprise and set strict guidelines for development with their sense of interface design and usability we could see a true revolution. I think part of the reason Steve Jobs developed such a following was people wished he worked in their company. Things are sad out there in organizations because nobody cares about what kind of experience employees are having in trying to do their jobs. Imagine calling a financial institution and instantly getting an answer instead of waiting 15 minutes for an employee to find it on their system – Apple can make things waayyyyy better for organizations.

  30. I really don’t see Apple getting into the payments field. That’s a tough nut to crack and so much regulation.

    As for search, I think Twitter will emerge as the replacement for Google. I already use it more than Google for anything happening at the moment.

    I do think the TV and consumer electronic equipment are more plausible because Apple already has a loyal customer base for their products.

    Apple isn’t like Google, going in 500 different directions all at once. Most of their products are designed to compliment each other and work together which is why they have such a loyal customer base.

  31. I think it might be smart for them to buy AOL, odd right? But, AOL has AIM and MapQuest. They may be able to sell the news side to ABC/Disney. Then they can cure there odd alliance with AIM, and have their own under-rated mapping to integrate through their products. It also gives them more chips against FaceBook and Nokia/MS. Also, their going to need to step up messaging after MS/Skype figures themselves out.

  32. Don’t you think Apple should concentrate on their core (pun intended) business? “Jack of all trades and master of none” springs to mind. Personally, I would like to see them focus more on computers. There hasn’t been any real excitement in that department for a while.

    1. I think they’ve shown a history of being able to thoughtfully move into other spaces while their core stuff doesn’t suffer.

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  34. How exactly do branded cards prey on unsophisticated consumers? It’s the merchants, not the card holders, that pay a higher rate or an extra fee when a branded card is used to make a purchase.

  35. Apple “get it”, and that’s Steve’s legacy. Siri is the game changer that opens the next battleground for tech advancement.

    There was the move from MDI and punched tape to a small timber box with a keyboard and a display (albeit a TV) that brought the computer to a broader market.

    I would argue that there was not another leap in tech until the PC (Apple and MS) went GIU.

    In the phone world Nokia ruled, an guys like RIM and MS made a few dents that market. When Apple entered the room, the game changed.

    Apple (Steve) was the catalyst 2, maybe 3 out of 3 times. They did not so much change the tools we use to do what we do, they changed the way we interface with them.

    This Siri thing looks like it’s the next big step. It could change forever the way we interface with machines at a fundamental level.

    Until we can imbed or invent something that reads minds, this is where the action is.

    It’s early days, but bring it on!

  36. Can someone just make an AirPlay car stereo please? I’m sick to friggin death of cables and FM transmitters like it’s 1995…

    Please make it with no visible interface what-so-ever, all user interaction via the iDevice (and Siri when actually driving).

    Call it the iCar :)

  37. BMW already has great integration with the iPad. Agree 100% that I rather put my IPad on the dashboard than use any car stereo.

    SIRI is the future, voice activated computing like in 2001 Space Odyssey.

  38. Matt,

    The one thing Apple needs is a vision caster. They have always had some of the best developers. And they have always had great ideas. They have held customer loyalty and employee loyalty.

    But, if they lose vision again …. I like my apple air. And I would love a world with fewer technical problems to fix.

    So, I hope they don’t lose focus.

  39. Sometimes losing focus is the only way we spring to new heights of ingenuity. I saw something a couple weeks ago on GoodMorningAmerica. The guy who designed the iPod, was mid-construction of his new home. Not only could he find a decent user friendly thermostat to install, but he was further frustrated at his own lack of creative vision for “yet another” generation. He suddenly came upon an novel, and super-slick thermostat using smart-tech, and he integrated X-Bee, so that the cool new smart thermostat as it hangs on the wall lights up when you touch it and rotate its smartsceen, but it can also be controlled remotely because of the X-Bee shields he integrated…way cool therapy for the proverbial writers’ block…

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