Does Apple keep its own apps basic to promote App Store Innovation?

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by putongnihongo, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. putongnihongo macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    This question has been nagging on me for awhile. The app store provides iOS users with crazily inventive apps for things the iphone is already capable of. EG Fantastical replaces the iphone calender, its native language engine is incredible. A calculator app for the iPad that doesn't have a calculator interface but allows the user to draw complex formulas. Now if Apple kept pushing out crazily inventive apps for the iOS devices could it harm the iOS environment? We groan over the basic nature of Calendar, Calculator, Weather etc but it provides an opportunity for a developer to think of new ways of providing this information to the user. Going back to the calendar example, Fantastical is a standard calendar but what makes it unique is being able to write a sentence denoting time, place, with who without filling in forms. Tempo smart calendar on the other hand tries to treat the calendar like data hub. Would we have developers that are willing to spend time to create these great apps if apple with its billions in cash decided to compete with developers? With a recent interest in machine learning and linguistics, how would an app like fantastical exist if apple could offer a speech engine in 45 languages instead of 5? How could tempo compete with a calendar that has greater access to iOS allowing it to natively plug it into emails and contacts to turn the calendar in a hub ala tempo? Perhaps the reason why app development is so impressive and creative in iOS is that apple creates bare bones apps and allows people that want something more explore opportunities in the app store hence creating a healthy competitive environment. I find it hard to believe that Apple creates bare bones apps because that's the best they can do. Especially since looking at their job requirements many software engineers for iOS are encouraged to already have experience programming for iOS.
  2. iPusch macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2012
    Manhattan, New York
    Okk, I haven't read this but I bet many ppl think the same, it just is a bunch of text & nobody wants to begin to read this :D I am right huh? :)

    I may read it later^^ :apple:
    At least I brought your tread back on top :D wc
  3. Beeplance macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    This is a good point. Great examples are the mail app, calendar and reminders. Although they serve the basic functions, they all have superior counterparts in the App Store.

    Genuinely sounds like a part of Apple's grand scheme to promote better apps.
  4. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I don't think Apple thinks about things that much. They seem to struggle with maintaining their software, let alone have the ability to add features to core apps. For such a large company, they seem spread thin. If Apple did want purposefully hold back its own apps to help third party apps proliferate, you'd think they'd allow options to change the default browser and e-mail client.
  5. inselstudent macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    Don't forget Apple gets a 30% share for every app purchased on the app store. Maybe it's not their intention to provide the user with all their needs right out of the box, but they actually want developers to excel and outshine Apple. Especially because users' needs differ and it'd not be smart to bloat the device with software that's used only by a small percentage of users.

    Besides, I think the apps provided by Apple are all pretty much perfect as they are. By that I mean that there are no bugs at all (at least AFAIK ;).
  6. putongnihongo thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    I find it very hard to believe they are struggling. Maps and Siri are the big whoopsies because I think that Forstall wanted to be in control of every aspect of iOS and the key to Siri and Maps is Hadoop, internet services, and pipelines. Siri has an expert on search as its head now, machine learning specialists and linguists working on Siri. I'd be surprised if Maps in ios 7 was powered by a completely new backend making it more responsive to change considering all the different sources it gets for data.
  7. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    The thing is that Apple doesn't allow customers to change their default apps.
  8. cyks macrumors 68020


    Jul 24, 2002
    Westchester County, NY
    Bingo. If Apple allowed us to change our default apps, you'd have a great point and a perfect reason why Apple would intentionally hinder their own development.

    Unfortunately, we can't change them so, by keeping their own apps basic, they're not promoting innovation, they're simply making the iPhone dated.

    Either Apple will have to allow it's users to change the default apps (highly unlikely), update their own apps to match (or exceed) the competition or people will realize that the iPhone isn't the end-all-be-all it once was.

    They have the market share now, but it wasn't too long ago when the Blackberry was king or that everyone had a simple Razor flip phone. Apple is fooling themselves if they think the general population is loyal to a brand.
  9. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I don't use iOS as much as the Mac OS. But on iOS, one example of an app they seem to struggle with is Podcasts. Out of the gate, it was buggy and slow. Now that it's been updated, it still suffers from a really weird user interface.

    The Mac is a platform I've been using since the 1980s, and I can tell you that my experience is that Apple has been struggling (possibly without even knowing it) with software quality since around the time of Lion. I've posted bugs I've encountered elsewhere on this forum, but there are too many to keep up with, and Apple doesn't ever seem to respond to bug reports. Beyond that, I feel like iLife apps for the Mac have gotten worse (iPhoto and iMovie in particular) in terms of intuitiveness, and iWork has been largely not updated and in some cases, such as exporting video from Keynote, is very buggy. I know I'm not providing a lot of examples, but it's because there are so many. Let me pick a few random ones:

    If you have dock magnification turned on, and a lot of items in your dock, and a stack in fan view at the right end of your dock near the trash, the stack is a) a moving target and b) moves off screen completely when your mouse exits the dock and you try to click on an item.

    Ever since Mountain Lion's Messages came out, using the search field in that app causes it to crash or not respond for several minutes.

    I could provide a lot more. I've tried reporting these types of things to Apple, but they just don't listen anymore. I actually spent a lot of time—hours—trying to work with an Apple specialist getting him to understand bugs in Mountain Lion when it first came out that were then reported to engineering, and the engineering team sent back a boilerplate response that there were no problems.

    I get frustrated that a company with so many resources has given up on making OS X the world's best operating system. I still remember when I paid $29.95 for the beta of Mac OS X, it said that on the back of the folder it came in, something like, "Thanks for helping us make the world's best desktop operating system."

    That was more than I paid for Mountain Lion. I would like to pay more if it meant a better OS.

    Mac OS X was more basic back then, but in a lot of ways it was graphically and logically much more polished and felt modern. Now they add gimmicky stuff while adding bugs. I can't imagine Game Center, for example, in the first version of Mac OS X. It would have been considered hideous and not central to the aims of OS X. And I can't imagine the level of bugs that exist now existing back then. They would have quickly fixed the types of things that have now been plaguing OS X for years that never get fixed. For example, one of the coolest things in OS X was save sheets. They worked flawlessly. Now, when I'm working in TextEdit, I have this issue where if I save a lot of documents in a row, the save sheets persist all over the screen, even after I've closed the documents. And I have this issue on two different Macs. It didn't pop up till Mountain Lion. There's no one to log these issues with who will listen. There's a bug with the bug reporter ( where it won't accept my Apple ID for some reason, and I've e-mailed Apple about the error with the bug reporter several times starting probably 4 years ago and never heard back. So, instead I've tried reporting bugs through AppleCare and nothing gets done there.

    I know I probably wrote more than anyone wanted to read. I usually avoid writing about my frustration with Apple. I really keep hoping they'll turn their software quality around. Sometimes I think if I ignore the problems and wait a long enough period, they'll have to get around to fixing the problems, but they just haven't. They do add more features, I'll give them that. I don't really have any hope for them fixing these outstanding bugs with OS X. At this point, I think it's more likely that some new operating system will replace OS X instead of the bugs getting fixed.
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Yup. If I could run 10.5 on a retina macbook pro I would.

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