iCloud vs Apple and Amazon (and just about every music subscription service)
Leading most discussions in the wake of WWDC is iCloud, Apple’s new cloud storage service, arriving just a few weeks shy of Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Music Beta. Completely free for 5GB, the service is intended to succeed (and far surpass) Apple’s pricey MobileMe, a cloud platform for hosting files like photos and music.
All anyone really seems to care about is the music service.
Amazon is in trouble, right off the bat. The online retailer, which famously cut the cost of its Kindle e-reader as soon as Barnes & Noble announces the Nook’s price, just got a taste of its own medicine: iCloud only costs $24.99 per year, letting users upload up to 25,000 songs. Compare that with Amazon, which charges $50 per year for 5,000 songs or $200 per year for 20,000 songs. (Google has yet to release a pricing plan for its Music Beta cloud service.)
Beyond Amazon and Google, smaller companies like MOG and Rdio might be in even more trouble. The least expensive pricing plans from those services run around $5 per month, on par with Amazon’s yearly cost. And they don’t even let you upload your own music, so if they’re missing your favorite song, you’re out of luck.
Twitter integration vs Facebook Connect
By baking deep Twitter integration into its iOS 5 platform, Apple has done the microblogging company a huge favor. No longer will Twitter sit in the shadow of its social networking sibling Facebook, since it will soon have instant and daily visibility to the millions of iPhone and iPad users around the world. Why Apple decided to natively enable single sign-on for Twitter and not Facebook is anyone’s guess, but you can bet Facebook isn’t too happy about being snubbed.
iMessages vs BlackBerry (or just about every wireless provider)
Apple’s new cross-platform messaging application isn’t just a shiny version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The service provides group messaging, a way to send multimedia, contacts, and location, and you can even see when the other person is typing, like on a desktop or Web chat service. It may not kill SMS anytime soon, since, believe it or not, many people still do not own iPhones, but it’s still not great for RIM, looking more and more like a dying species.
…and the third-party developers
Several of Apple’s announcements represent pretty large-scale attacks on, as in the case of mobile messaging above, a whole plethora of third-party developers. The running mentality (think: Twitter) is that the 800-pound gorilla of a company is an absolute jerk for copying the same services provided by small developers on its own platform.
But maybe that’s not the case. Maybe you don’t just call it quits because Apple or Twitter started doing what you’re doing.
One prominent developer, Instapaper creator Marco Arment, is actually positive about competing with a native Apple feature:
“If Reading List [for Safari] gets widely adopted and millions of people start saving pages for later reading, a portion of those people will be interested in upgrading to a dedicated, deluxe app and service to serve their needs better. And they’ll quickly find Instapaper in the App Store.”
That’s right, all you Twitter developers. Stop complaining and just make something better.