How to know when Apple finally gets iCloud right

Gus Mueller, who creates the amazing Acorn, among other cool products:

WWDC 2013 is fast approaching, and chances are good that we’ll get some sort of preview and song and dance about how iCloud sync is even better than ever for developers. Honestly, would you expect Apple to say anything else?

But how are we going to know Apple has finally fixed iCloud syncing for developers and is really serious this time? And I’m not just talking about Core Data syncing, I’m also talking about the APIs developers are given to push document data back and forth. The broken stuff, the things developers laugh at Apple about and have given up on.

Here’s my short and inconclusive list of things that will let us know iCloud might be ready for real world developer use.

It’s a good list, and worth reading in full.

Stepping back though, the reason Apple consistently gets the cloud not quite right is the exact same reason Android’s UX, despite improvements, is still a little off.

I wrote last week in The Android Detour:

Apple invests in software, apps, and services to the extent necessary to preserve the profit they gain from hardware. To serve another platform would be actively detrimental to their bottom line. Google, on the other hand, spreads their services to as many places as possible – every platform they serve increases their addressable market.

So what about Android? I remain convinced that Android was, first and foremost, defensive. To own the bottom of the pyramid is to own access to the top, where Google’s profit lies. Android ensured that no one company would ever monopolize the bottom of the pyramid like Microsoft did for PCs.

Apple cares, and wants to make iCloud great, but the product they sell is the priority; Google cares, and wants to make Android great, but the services they provide are the priority. And anything that is not a priority will never be perfect.1

  1. I’d posit it’s more likely that Apple will internalize the idea of iCloud as a core component of their products than Google will internalize Android as what their company is about; I think Android development (within Google) may have peaked. It’s rather striking how much of a disconnect there seems to be between Android fans and Google itself [↩︎]