iOS 6 is now close to release.
Today, Apple made iOS 6 beta 4 available to registered developers.
From a developer's perspective, there's quite a lot of changes.
New APIs, new frameworks, changes in the default UI behavior, better iCloud support (let's say so), etc. As usual you may say.
It's not really the same from a user's perspective, except a few and discreet UI changes and a FaceBook integration (yeah, now my calendar is full of crappy events from «friends»!).
But wait... There's actually one more thing...
The first iOS 6 beta introduced a brand-new Maps app.
Google's technology is out. Apple rolled-out its own system (or so), now with 3D support. Neat!
But unfortunately, after a few uses, it turns out this new Maps app is slightly less usable than the previous one, which used Google-Map's services.
The 3D stuff is nice, indeed, but very limited (for now). And it's actually not as nice as the new 3D stuff from Google.
It seems Apple and Google are no-longer friends. Wait, were they once actually?
With iOS 6 beta 4, it's even worse: Apple removed the default YouTube app.
YouTube is owned by Google, so it's not really a surprise.
But again, let's think from a user's perspective, not from a lawyer's perspective, as Apple's engineers and decision makers seems to do now.
Accessing YouTube contents will now require downloading a third-party app, maps and associated services are now less accurate...
What's next? Maybe we'll have in a few weeks iOS 6 beta 5, with an Apple made search-engine for Safari and no option to use Google by default...
I really don't think this is the right way.
Apple's past shows us that sometimes custom proprietary technologies are not the right way of doing awesome stuff.
Personally, it remembers me stuff like ADC (Apple Display Connector) port. Remember that?
This was actually brilliant.
Back in 2000, introduced with the Power Mac G4 Cube (actually one of my most beloved machine), this was a proprietary modification of the DVI connector, allowing analog and digital display signals, USB and power from the very same cable.
It was just a dream. One cable to rule them all, finally!
I first thought that all displays (even PCs displays) would soon adopt this, as a new standard.
But this was unfortunately proprietary stuff, and the whole stuff ended as a flop.
I'm still crying when I see my 17-Inch CRT Apple Studio Display under my desk, covered with dust.
Recently, Apple rolled-out some amazing new technologies, in partnership with big companies, like Intel.
It seems they have finally learned from all that past.
Now we have for instance Thunderbolt. As it's also developed by Intel, it guarantees a standard, even in the PC world.
Having such a standard guarantees the technology won't go away, as the ADC did, and guarantees we'll have soon tons of compatible hardware from the PC market.
Note I previously said: «It seems they have finally learned from all that past».
With iOS 6, the new Maps app and the removal of YouTube, I'm quite afraid they are beginning to do the same mistake again.
Maybe (and let's hope so) it's just me. And I would really enjoy being wrong about all this.
But I can't stop thinking about it.
We'll see actually. And of course Apple is now strong enough to do mistakes that would have been hard to recover from a few years ago.
But thinking as lawyers is not thinking different.
So please guys, think about us, poor stupid users, who just don't care about all your patents...