Name another technology gadget maker that has more platforms than Apple? Not Google. Not Microsoft. Samsung? Maybe, especially if you count washers, dryers, televisions, and the like. None of those work the way Apple’s ecosystem of platforms work.
Look at how platforms have blossomed since Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. Back then the Mac and Apple were mostly synonymous. The Mac brought in the jack. Then along came Apple Stores and the retail explosion began. I think of retail as a platform for sales. What else?
Talk To Me, Baby
The iPod was a platform, though it exists as a subset of the iPhone these days. And, yes, iOS for iPhone and iPad is a platform which enables developers to publish applications, and that means revenue for everyone involved except the customer (who supply the revenue). And, of course, Apple TV’s tvOS is a platform, and so is Watch with watchOS.
What else? How about Apple’s Messages? It runs on Mac, iPHone, iPad, and Watch and since developers are involved, that makes it a platform, too.
One more, and perhaps the most important and most ubiquitous Apple platform– Siri.
I bring Siri to the forefront because Apple has it embedded in just about every product. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, Apple TV, AirPod, and the upcoming HomePod music speaker system. Did I miss anything? Siri is everywhere, and with continued integration, we may develop a personal relationship with Apple’s talking, listening, personal intelligent assistant.
In some respects, I see Siri of the future as the icing on Apple’s operating system cakes. Think about this for a moment. Siri is ubiquitous, and while we humans haven’t gone too overboard with our talking assistants, an improved Siri with more capability and greater integration into all of Apple’s devices sets the stage for the near term future.
I’ve had the pleasure of playing with iOS 11 on an older iPad, and that includes the new 2017 Siri. What you’re going to get in iOS 11 is more Siri. On iPhone, iPad, and Watch; and not to mention having Siri built-in to AirPods and the coming-soon-maybe HomePod. Siri 2017 sounds better; more human, more inviting, less cordial and yet warmer, friendlier. That means Siri feels more accessible.
If you haven’t used Siri in awhile, try some dictation. Apple is getting dictation down these days. That accuracy also means improvements in queries and requests, more so as Siri becomes integrated into third party applications. In other words, Siri is so good in iOS 11 that you’ll want to use it. Her. Him. Whatever.
While each of Apple’s operating systems share some common code and functionality– Steve Jobs bragged that the original iPhone had OS X inside– where macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS are different versions of a similar underlying architecture, it’s Siri which reigns on top of each one. Siri is the future way we’ll use mobile devices and remove ourselves from the drudgery of touch typing– that might be a bit of pie in the sky, because you’ll have to take my Mac’s keyboard from my cold dead hands first.
Regardless, Siri is the common denominator for each of Apple’s products, operating system, and the entire ecosystem.