I’ve Been Apple-Sized

apple-sized16Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s there was a PC war going on. In reality, it was two PC wars. The first was between IBM and companies, like Compaq, that were making IBM-compatible computers. The second was between Apple and IBM for supremacy of the computer market. I was also starting out in business and I needed to make some decisions as to the direction I was going to take my company.

The war between IBM and the compatible was somewhat settled by IBM allowing other companies to make peripherals, such as keyboards, and even compatible computers. IBM settled on focusing on the operating system, while Apple wanted to control the whole market – the hardware and the software. Apple became the sole-source for both the computer, the operating system and now controls how you sell software to users of Apple products. Unlike, IBM, Apple became the hub for all its computer products.

Most users today do not realize that Apple lost the first battles, but I soon realized, not the war. IBM got the lion’s share of the market and Apple was a distant second. I started out by writing custom software for my clients. As IBM had the largest market, I decided to focus on the business computer market and thus I embraced the IBM architecture for my business. The reason for this is that computer technology is very agile – changing on an almost monthly basis. As a provider of products and services I need to stay abreast of the latest technology. Supporting two architectures is cost and time prohibitive for small businesses. Additionally, the IBM market was much larger and thus it gave me a better opportunity for success. Thus, my whole tech was IBM-centric, or Microsoft operating system based.

I kept an eye on the Apple line sometimes envious about some of the cool features. In late 2004, I finally broke down and bought my first Apple product, an iPod Classic with a color screen. After living in Europe, Mexico and South America, I had settled in El Paso a few years earlier. Through the various moves, it had been difficult keeping track of my extensive CD and record collection and had lost a few along the way. The iPod offered me the ability to take my music collection with me.

That Apple iPod still has over 1,000 songs on it and I have used it every day since I bought it. I work comfortably with music blaring in the background. The iPod was the first Apple device I owned. When the first Apple iPhone was announced, I was one of the first to get one. I upgrade my iPhone each time a new one is announced. I rationalize it as part of my business development but the truth is that I love gadgets, especially that one.

For many years, it was the Apple iPod and the iPhone while all my other computer technology was Windows-driven. That was until the iPad came out. At first, I resisted it, but a tablet made travelling much easier, plus it reminded me of Star Trek. The iPad became part of my Apple repertoire, but I still used Windows-based computers for my business activities.

But, Apple has an insidious marketing scheme that Apple-sizes anyone that falls for one of their gadgets. Apple has kept to its initial scheme – a closed architecture that makes Apple the hub for all its computer technology, from the operating system, to the software and on to the computer accessories. It started out as an iPod, it grew through the iPhone and then on through the iPad.

As I was closing out the year, I completed my traditional inventory of what I owned and what needed to be refreshed. I also planned on what I would focus on in 2017.

I was shocked to see how Apple had infiltrated me.

First, it was the trusty old iPod Classic still playing my music. Then the iPhone and then the iPad. But as I took stock of my inventory, I soon realized that it wasn’t just one iPad but two, one for my daily use and a Mini for my drone. But it soon got worse as Apple releases new technology each year and thus my iPads and iPhones soon infiltrated the rest of my family as each was passed down the chain. Even the cats have one of the old iPads to play cat games on.

But, that wasn’t the whole lot of it. We now watch Netflix on Apple TV and I recently started wearing an Apple Watch. Apple had taken over as my technology driver for almost everything, except that I still use Windows computers for my blogging and business.

Apple slowly, over the years, infiltrated my technology by simply keeping to its original strategy of controlling all aspects of its architecture. It integrated everything together. When I buy music today, it automatically gets downloaded into every music-capable device that I have and thus I bought Apple products for my home life. It was easier than dealing with transferring movies, photographs and music to a Surface, for example.

I still resist Apple for business-related activities. However, as I was planning 2017, I realized that I needed to create a native iOS applications for my Amitor® product. My business app runs on both Android and Apple but it is not native to either. I thought that was enough, but my users wanted an app they can download from the Apple store and install on their Apple device. From a technical stand point, there is no difference between running Amitor® from your browser or running it as an installed program. The features are almost identical.

But users have insisted on a native app for their Apple devices. A native app is one where it gets installed on the device. It is downloaded from the Apple store. My Amitor® app installs a button on the Apple device but in actuality, it runs as a website through the device’s web browser. My users just want to feel like they downloaded something unto their device. Additionally, as a native application, my app can push messages directly to the users’ Apple devices. This works great for messaging and reminders, among other services.

But, Apple is insidious, or marketing geniuses, depending on your point of view. For me to develop an Amitor® app for the Apple devices, I needed to buy my first Apple computer, an Apple Air, and become an Apple Developer. Thus, I am now using an Apple computer to create an app for my users.

The Apple marketing genius eventually forced me to come full circle and I actually use an Apple computer today. The circle is not complete as I still use Windows computers for almost all of my other business activities, but as I took stock of how Apple has infiltrated my tech, I soon realized that I would not be surprised to find out that Windows might become obsolete in my technology world in the next year, or so. Especially now that technology is racing towards cloud-hosted solutions where computers are nothing more than screens, keyboards and mice or touch pads to interact with them.

Advertisements