Everyone has a list of what’s coming at Macworld. What did we miss? What did we forget?
Apple’s most important secret. The Mac is the center of the Digital Hub, and the center of Apple’s most important Mac secret. iTunes.
This is so obvious I’m surprised “this secret” hasn’t shown up on anybody’s Macworld Wish List.
Sure, we all want OS X Leopard, faster Macs, an Apple iPod that’s also a cell phone, new iLife and iWork applications, a Mac tablet, MacBook Pro mini, lower prices, and world peace.
What really shows up at Macworld is always less than we want, less than what we expect, but sufficient to satisfy us—for a few more months.
What did we forget? We forgot that the Mac is the center of the digital hub. The big secret tucked into each Mac is iTunes. Fortunately, iTunes is also tucked into about 60-million Windows PCs.
iTunes is a secret? Yes, and no. The secret trick in iTunes is synchronization between computer and device; notably the iPod. On the Mac, sync is dead dog simple. Easy. A digital no brainer.
So, think of iTunes synchronization as an element of Mac OS X’s iSync capability. I don’t know if iSync is involved in iTunes communicating with an iPod, or any other device, but it doesn’t matter—it is communication and Apple makes it an ultra simple effort.
That’s the secret. Apple makes what is troublesome at best on PCs a very simple operation using iTunes and the iPod.
People love that. Mac users take it for granted.
When Apple releases an iPod that’s also a cell phone it will have to connect to iTunes, and iTunes is synchronization and communication heaven. It just works.
Cell phone makers and cell phone companies haven’t figured it out. Cell phones can play music but can’t get it back to iTunes on a PC or Mac.
Cell phones can take pictures but it’s a pain to get the photos back to the PC or Mac? Why? Cell phone operators are greedy. They want to charge you to send photos, and charge you to download music.
They charge for features that should be simple, easy to use, and get done what you want. Cell phone companies don’t understand that, so their products are a pain to use the way we want to use them.
A cell phone that’s also an iPod is a killer beast—IF. If it synchronizes seamlessly with Mac or PC and allows a free exchange, back and forth, of everything on this list:
Music, photos, ring tones, contacts, schedules, notes, maybe movie clips, and anything else. Cell phones for PCs don’t do any of that with ease. Neither do PDAs. That’s Apple’s secret. Make it easy.
Quick, easy, elegant synchronization; the moving of files and data seamlessly, effortlessly from PC and Mac to iPod cell phone.
Now, take that simple secret and move it to iTV. There’s that synchronization and movement process again. It’s a pain on any device, right? That’s why it’s not being done well by any device.
Enter Apple’s iTV which will allow simple synchronization and movement between Mac and TV screen. My bet is that iTV also works with Windows PCs using iTunes.
What moves? What synchronizes? Movies, photos, slide shows, music, and anything else on your Mac or PC. This whole secret already works seamlessly between Mac and digital camera, Mac and video camera, Mac and iPod.
Think of the solution Apple brings to the table with iTV and an iPod cell phone, both of which actually synchronize and communicate effortlessly with Macs and PCs. PC users love their iPods because Apple makes music the focus of the effort, not a confusing interface or a cumbersome way to communicate between devices.
That’s Apple’s secret for Macworld 2007. Convergence. Communication. Synchronization. The Mac remains the premier digital hub, but Apple brings Mac-like elegance to Windows PC users with a version of iTunes that communicates with iPod cell phones, and the television.
It’s Apple’s most important secret and I just spilled the beans.