Friday, November 2, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tech

A Chat With Our Tech Guru, GuyverV--

Often I get to chat technology, phones, tablets, and other devices with GuyverV.   But not often enough does his expertise reach this site for you to view.  Let's make him feel a little guilty about it.  In the meantime, as the holidays approach and new phones are ready to hit the stores, I'd like to share some highlights from a recent tech talk we had.

Surely this information will be of interest and help to you as you contemplate your next technological toy.

V: Apple has been in hot water with consumers over this new Maps/drop Google Maps thing.  What do you anticipate happening?

G:  They already have a significant number of people working on it. I think the issue was that the contract with Google ran out before they had a version of the software that would compete properly.  It's an interesting move because it's surprising that Apple would hinder user experience because of their backroom fights.

V:  So why break the partnership with Google?

G:  Steve Jobs and by extension Apple feel as though they were betrayed by Google.

V:  Why?  How?

G:  Because it wasn't until Eric Schmidt got on Apple's board that the Android phone began to look like the G1.  Allegedly.  Jobs was also supposedly mentoring some Google top guns.

V:  You think the decline in Apple loyalty is a result of the Maps debacle?  

G:  They said it's a lot of bad press about the lack of innovation as well.  Tech journalists have been saying for a while that the operating system (OS) is nice and works well, but it's boring.

V:  Do you agree Apple has stopped innovating?

G:  I don't think they can just throw around the word innovation like they do any not really do anything--which is what they have been doing.

V:  So do you think the iPhone 5 (iPhive as I like to call it) and mini were rushed? Too many devices all at once?

G:  They've released multiple products at once. I heard they terminated the maps deal with Google early.  Sounds like they should have just waited, gathered more data and then pounced.  My theory on their problem is that they came up with a winning formula first. Every other OS maker had to catch up to them in terms of polish and usability. Now that they've caught up, Apple's OS hasn't changed. It's stale.

V:  Will the changes at the top get them out of this? With their precedent, are other companies set to pass them?

G:  Scott Forstall was their OS guy, so I imagine that there will be some changes with the formula there. Google will and won't pass them because they haven't solved the carrier issue like Apple has. Windows is more likely to do it if they can catch on with their ecosystem.

V:  What's the carrier issue?

G:  Verizon is the #1 carrier, but they're very strict about their rules regarding LTE.  It pretty much can't be used without their say so. To get that, Google would have to compromise on their OS. They did that with the Galaxy Nexus and it was kind of a disaster. They could have done it with AT&T, but I guess they decided it wasn't worth it to them.

V:  So only Apple has the clearance to do what they want on the network without OS compromise?

G:  They built the brand and the demand.  When the iPhone first came out, Verizon said no.  So Apple went to AT&T who said yes.  

V:  You think Google should have gone exclusive with Android on T-Mobile at first?

G:  No.  Apple was able to create a product that everyone wanted through good design and marketing.  Google is only just getting there in terms of design, but their marketing strategy is crappy. Sometimes I wonder if it's because they don't want to compete with their OEM partners.

V:  I always wonder why they don't really market much.

G:  With phones I think I understand why. Everything else, I don't.

V:  Why with phones?

G:  Because it would depend on how they wanted to do it. If they promote Android, pure Android isn't represented by any OEM, not even their own.  They have no control over updates or patches, or design with those phones.  If they promote the Nexus line, they are directly competing with those hardware partners, again, even their own OEM.  It's kind of sticky.  Carriers, for whatever reason, don't want stock Android on their phones; probably because it gives them more power and leverage.  It prevents another Apple situation.

V:  So it gives Google the chance to have market share horizontally and vertically without offending partners in either direction?

G:  Yes. That's what I think their strategy is. I think it's a crappy one because people that want the cool new features don't know what to buy. Even buying a Nexus device last year didn't guarantee the latest updates because of Verizon interfering.

This is just a glimpse of the tech savvy GuyverV shares with us.  Hopefully we'll have more soon.  We wouldn't dare purchase a phone without his approval.  

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