Apple remains king of the technology industry’s profits for one big reason. Hardware. Every Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, and Apple TV comes with their respective operating systems built in; an OS which you cannot transport to other hardware.
Ipso fact and Voila! Apple is a hardware company and the software goes along for the ride to further differentiate what Apple sells from what every other tech company sells. Apple is different. Hardware is different. Software is different. That’s why Apple owns the profitshare wherever it goes. It’s also why I have device fatigue.
Central Office App
Sorry, but I don’t have a good name for what I propose as a cure for device fatigue, but Apple needs to recognize the danger that a hardware company with many products that mingle well together must face. Managing all this hardware takes time and effort. More hardware merely mores more settings, more configurations, more interoperability, and more settings after that.
There was a time, back just a couple of decades when co-founder Steve Jobs returned to Apple, that the Mac and Apple were synonymous. The Mac was Apple. Apple, which had ventured unsuccessfully into other products (Newton, LaserWriter printer, QuickTake camera, et al), was the Mac. That’s where the revenue came from and that’s where Apple remained profitable.
That era ended with iTunes and iPod in 2001. But even then, all the settings for iPods were handled via iTunes on the Mac. Even when Windows users could buy iPods and use the iTunes Music Store, all the settings for iPod were present on iTunes itself.
Those days are gone.
Today, each device is mostly standalone and that means standalone settings and configurations (Watch being the exception, and we know where that’s headed). Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and other Apple hardware all have a long list of settings and configurations that must be managed. There is no central location for device management, setup, or configuration. Each device stands on its own.
That needs to change.
I propose a Central Office app that runs everywhere. Mac, iPhone, iPad, and, what the hell, Apple TV, too. One familiar app that can manage the settings for each hardware device but from a single device. There are commercial apps that do some of that. There are remote options, including Apple’s own Apple Remote Desktop utility, but that’s gawd-awful expensive at nearly $80 and doesn’t do anything but the Mac. Central Station would be a decent name, too.
Regardless, what I propose is long overdue– a straightforward method to manage all the settings and configurations on every Apple device from a single app. This app would require each device to provide permissions and each device could easily have a list of what the Central Station app could control or not control, but the concept is a reality elsewhere in the corporate enterprise, so why not for the great unwashed billion or so Apple customers who have to manage each device they own, one-by-one, device after device.
If Central Station were the last One. More. Thing. Apple ever did under Tim Cook’s reign, I would be a happier sheeple.