Fast Company Stories October 3, 2013

This one is a head scratcher: FastCompanyDesign named Google Maps for iOS a design award winner in the Interactive category. “The app’s continued polish is a testament to the power of focused iteration”.

If any of us ever took Google Maps for granted, that impulse ended the moment Apple released its mapping software. Apple’s PR nightmare reminded us all just how hard this whole navigation space can be. But Google Maps for iPhone not only rescued us from bad directions, it did so through a more refined UI than ever before. “I think Maps is iterative…but I don’t think we should penalize for that,” says Doug Bowman, creative director at Twitter. “It’s even harder to get folks’ attention when something has been up for a while…it speaks to what Google, as a large company, can actually focus a team on.”

Someone show them Maps on Android?

Fast Company Stories September 10, 2013

Apple built Google Glass-like prototypes, says former Senior VP of iPod division

Tony Fadell, the Nest CEO who was Senior VP of Apple’s division from 2006 to 2008, says that Apple built prototypes of a similar device to Google Glass but “didn’t have time” to turn them into actual products.

Interviewed as part of Fast Company‘s Oral History of Apple Design series, Fadell said:

At Apple, we were always asking, What else can we revolutionize? We looked at video cameras and remote controls. The craziest thing we talked about was something like Google Glass. We said, “What if we make visors, so it’s like you’re sitting in a theater?” I built a bunch of those prototypes. But we had such success with the things we were already doing that we didn’t have time.

From the description, the prototypes sound rather more like virtual reality headsets than Google Glass, so there may be some exaggeration going on here. But it wouldn’t be a tremendous surprise to find that Apple has toyed with almost every tech idea under the sun: it has the resources needed to experiment at will.

The notion that Apple didn’t pursue the concept for lack of time seems rather more fanciful: it’s not like the company couldn’t have run out and hired a complete team for the project had it wished to do so.

Apple has always had a philosophy of focusing all its efforts on a very small number of products. Back in 2011, iPod, iPhone and iOS product marketing head Greg Joswiak described “saying no” as one of Apple’s four keys to success.

It means saying no, not saying yes. We do very few things at Apple. We are $100bn in revenue with very few products. There are only so many grade A players. If you spread yourself out over too many things, none of them will be great.

Tim Cook said in May of this year that broad range appeal for Google Glass was “tough to see.”

Powered by WordPress.com VIP