Wall Street has GOOG as a darling, yet the company is wholly dependent upon traditional online advertising sales for revenue and profits; both of which are good, yes, but Google and Alphabet just don’t have anything else ready to push the needle. Guess what? There’s trouble in paradise.
Nest? No. Swift? Yes.
This is a simple story, a common rags to riches to rags meme we’ve read about ad nauseam in the tech industry. Apple executive leaves the fatherland to start his own, well, startup. In this case it was the iPod guru Tony Fadell who left Apple and started Nest, the home thermostat company.
Nest was bought by Google when it was Google and before it was Alphabet (I know, it gets confusing, right?) and now Nest is having problems. An unlimited budget and a dictator will do that to a company. Word on the streets says engineers are leaving Nest like rats surrying from a sinking ship (rats is not a good analogy; how about ‘pleasant, hard-working, somewhat nocturnal creatures?‘). Losses are mounting and tension is building because apparently someone at Google (or, Alphabet; I’m not sure where Nest nests) is counting the beans and the number of beans isn’t pretty.
Meanwhile, not much has changed at
What’s about to get borrowed?
Apple has this crazy-assed habit of sharing technology with those who just don’t deserve it. Remember Mac OS and point and click? Apple let Microsoft copy the company’s most profound technology, sued the Windows maker (back then, the DOS maker), and lost everything; including marketshare, money, and barely managed a Steve Jobs induced comeback after going on life support.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt had a seat on Apple’s board of directors and ipso facto and Voila! Android smartphone became iPhone knockoffs. So much for innovation, huh, Google?
Apple did it again. This time the company introduced the new and exciting Swift programming language that became all the rage in just months, thanks to developers clamoring for better tools to create more apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch, and Apple TV.
Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language created for iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS and Linux development by Apple Inc. Swift is designed to work with Apple’s Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks and the large body of existing Objective-C code written for Apple products. Swift is intended to be more resilient to erroneous code (“safer”) than Objective-C and also more concise. It is built with the LLVM compiler framework included in Xcode 6 and later and uses the Objective-C runtime, which allows C, Objective-C, C++ and Swift code to run within a single program.
That’s techno-babble for a programming language that’s new, modern, pretty cool, and getting better fast. That’s Swift. From Apple. Or, rather, it was from Apple.
Guess what? Apple decided that Swift should be open source, somehow hoping that will spur faster development and more adoption.
Swift is now open source!
We are excited by this new chapter in the story of Swift. After Apple unveiled the Swift programming language, it quickly became one of the fastest growing languages in history. Swift makes it easy to write software that is incredibly fast and safe by design. Now that Swift is open source, you can help make the best general purpose programming language available everywhere.
Uh oh. Anybody see a problem there?
Word on the proverbial streets says Google might want to use Swift as a so-called ‘first class‘ programming language for Android. Right now, Java is the ‘first class‘ language for programmers who write applications for Android OS.
There are some hurdles to overcome before Swift gets completely stolen, integrated, assimilated by Google but it could happen; just make Android’s library Swift-ready, build a runtime for Swift, rewrite a gazillion high level API’s from C++. You get the idea. Complicated.
What I don’t understand about Apple is why the company is so intent on developing cool products and then setting them up to be shared (confiscated?) by competitors.