Commentaries and opinions on Apple and technology news by your friendly neighborhood Solowalker.
As I wrote before, Apple’s ‘iRadio’ should have been called Genius Radio. It would have leveraged established features and would have been a seamless transition from one to another. But what did they end up calling it?
While I still think Genius Radio would have been a better name, I can understand the choice given the way they are positioning it. It’s not a seamless experience and isn’t meant to be triggered from a song in your library (though I wish it were); it’s primary purpose is to coax you into buying more music from iTunes. Hence, the name iTunes Radio.
It works well enough and what few stations I’ve tried have worked well and have played music that was pleasingly similar, probably better than what I experienced with my limited attempts at using Pandora. The one down side is the seemingly limited catalog of songs to start a station with compared to Pandora. Feels like it’s strictly major label acts here. I hope indie and other labels can get it on this soon. Not having ads because I pay for iTunes Match is a nice plus, though. Very high quality streams, too.
So I was surprised and disappointed as to the name and un-integratedness of it. But it is what it is and will likely do quite well.
The perfect marketing and feature progression for Apple’s new iRadio feature would be to call it Genius Radio.
Want a quick playlist of similar music to one song? Genius Playlist. How about an endless mix created for you of your stuff that fits together? Genius Mix. A radio station centered around a song, artist, or playlist you already have that includes songs pulled from the iTunes Store so you can discover new material? Genius Radio.
Honestly, I’ll be surprised if its called anything else. But Apple didn’t ask me so what do I know?
Nearly two months have come and gone since Apple announced WWDC and the keynote for the conference is tomorrow morning, a mere 13 hours away and counting. We think we know some things but even if all of those things were true, it’s still relatively little. 2 or 3 new OS X features, maybe new laptops, and a handful of iOS tidbits. Not anywhere near a full keynote’s worth of information. But the big problem?
All these rumors could be entirely wrong. We could be completely in the dark.
The well-connected (and usually spot-on because of it) John Gruber shared this weekend in his podcast The Talk Show that he’s been told “all the leaks are wrong,” though he himself doesn’t even know what that means. He expounded a little today, essentially saying that while the details may not be correct at very least the idea that iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 may be large updates with dramatic changes may be true. ”The training wheels can now come off,” he opines, echoing the oft repeated sentiment as of late that iOS was purposefully designed in 2007 to be as simple, inviting, and novice-friendly as possible to facilitate Apple introducing new computing paradigms in an entirely new form factor.
The question is, does Apple have another way of doing touchscreen interfaces that is as simple and intuitive as the current implementation? Gruber quotes Steve Jobs about the difference between design and veneer, implying that any change to the OS interface would be functional as well as visual. Can anyone think of any other way to do touch UIs? Can any change be that dramatic of a departure from current paradigms? The only people I can think of who have done anything remotely different than Apple that I’ve seen is Microsoft with Windows Phone and Windows 8. But even with that, it still is mostly the same methods and gestures used for interacting with the interface that it’s just about close enough.
What could Apple possibly have up their sleeves that would be so “polarizing,” as Gruber also said he heard? And what about this aspect of iOS could also translate well enough to desktops to use in OS X? This whole train of thought has me very intrigued. iOS’s take on the world is so ingrained in all of us that I don’t know if we could shake it. Google and others sure really haven’t been able to. But perhaps this is what is meant.
I’d love to be blown away but I’m trying really hard to temper my expectations. By this time tomorrow, I’ll probably have both OSes installed on my devices and may have formed my opinion of them already. Which side of the polarizing line will I be on? I can’t wait to find out.