Failed Oracle

I (sometimes) write stuff here because I find some stuff fascinating, or ground-breaking or weird. More often than not, I tend to express some kind of prophecy, because who doesn’t look at the future and make some bets, right?

Well, I apparently suck at it.

Apple TV

A decade ago, I wrote that I was excited about the possibilities inherent to the AppleTV. I did it again a couple of years ago.

Despite the many rumors and excitement, Apple TV is simply going nowhere. There’s a variety of reasons for that, but predominantly, it’s in the name : it’s about TV. Sure, it helps put on TV stuff that comes through AirPlay, and consume content that isn’t going through <insert the normal way you get your TV here>, but it could have been so much more. Open up a way to plug stuff in there? blueray players and really smart DVR are on the horizon. Lift the ban on emulation (within legal constraints, of course), and all that retro-gaming stuff is a done deal. At the very least open it up as a network access point, or a network extender.

But the years pass, and we hear a lot of exciting rumors (none of which anyone but the US denizens care about), and it’s still mostly a netflix/itunes/airplay box.

Multipeer Connectivity

I did several talks on Multipeer tech, spread the gospel, etc.

I wasn’t alone in that, judging from NSHipster (2013):

Multipeer Connectivity is a ground-breaking API, whose value is only just starting to be fully understood. Although full support for features like AirDrop are currently limited to latest-gen devices, you should expect to see this kind of functionality become expected behavior. As you look forward to the possibilities of the new year ahead, get your head out of the cloud, and start to consider the incredible possibilities around you.

But apart from AirDrop, and Continuity (when it works) is there any serious uses of the technology? If you answered yes, are there any outside of Apple?

Why?

Why am I talking that nostalgic trip? There is a battle of sorts waged in the Apple punditry about the iPad. Is it a failure? Is it underrated? Underused? What’s its future?

I have an opinion, but given my track record, I’ll keep it to myself.

One things for certain though: cool tech that appeal to geeks such as myself, or to old-timer Apple people (such as myself, again) don’t necessarily go the whole way. Revolutionary the iPhone may seem, and don’t get me wrong, it’s a very cool device, it’s actually not revolutionary, and wasn’t at the time. What made is special is that Apple used all of its creative genius and tech know-how to make the best damn phone they could and it was a success. But just remember that originally, we weren’t supposed to develop apps for it. Apps are arguably what makes a smartphone popular (I’m looking at you Metro). Cool tech is all well and good but it has to become widespread use to be relevant. And the mechanics of that process baffle me, and I suspect they baffle most commentators, whether they realize it or not.