Digital Media Insights for Business Owners

Adobe’s Strategic Convenience on Apple – Use it.

It is clear to me now, after using the ipad for 2 days, that the device is great for consumption but not ideal for creation. Even though you can, just as with a rock you can hit a nail, it is probably best to use other tools for the job.

Now, is it great? It is gorgeous… You can read almost anything on the web the way is supposed to be. I said the word “almost” with a reason. What about the Flash experience right?

I am all for iPad, but I will be creating content in my MacPro, then consuming it in the Ipad…

Now, one of the things that I have contemplated this week is the back and forth battle between Apple and Adobe. Is it good to have Flash on the iPhone? Is it good for the platform?

Ok, let’s be frank for a second. Apple is what it is today because of Adobe. Think about it. All design is done in Adobe software. Every single piece of paper that Apple has ever published has been published in Adobe software. Every simple image that has been used by Apple has a 70% chance or better of coming from Photoshop. The question is: Is it fair for Apple to say to Adobe: “Hey yeah thanks for all the good stuff you do for our platform in the macOSX but we don’t really want you in the iPhone OS.” I don’t think so.

I think is a bit unethical. I am a big Apple fan, honestly, I have a MacPro for my office, I have a MacBook Pro for my laptop, I have a 3G iphone and my Iphone 2G is owned by my wife + also I gave her an ipod for her birthday. Finally, I got an Ipad the day it came out. So please don’t react to this post as if it came from a hater.

The problem that I see is this: When your interest in my money gets the best of you is when I have a problem. Why do you allow people to plug the iPad to a bigger screen but only allow photos and videos and perhaps presentations (if you get the extra app $9.99)? Why? Simple, because otherwise it eats up into the MacBook sales. Please read that word carefully: sales.

When I am giving a professional presentation I need to be able to show my clients websites. It is logical that I would love to fire up Safari and show them right there and then. But you can’t. Oh well, I guess I am going to be having to carry my MacBook Pro with me to those presentations, so why even bother with the Keynote for Ipad?

The other problem that I see is that if I want to produce an iPhone APP then I have to use only a certain kind of tools. Apple’s excuse is that the quality of Apps would go down. But hold on for a second, you have plenty of crappy apps already in the App Store. But most importantly, if you want quality then enforce quality: for example, deny bad quality apps. However, it is not really about the quality. It is about keeping the control of the ecosystem.

The problem with that is that if you control the timing of the developers, they will eventually get tired and sick of that timing and run to somebody that gives them freedom (hint: Android).

Imagine for a second an Ipad user that tries an Android based Slate computer that responses well, that allows Flash, that allows full projection, that allows tethering, that allows everything that you have been restricting… I can tell you one thing, if it is well executed, it will be the beginning of the end.

Adobe and Apple are excellent partners only for one reason: together they offer the best tools available – the tools that developers want to use. These days Apple wants to have some parts of the pie only for themselves. This goes against the spirit of providing the best value for your buck, and that bites in the end.

My recommendation to Adobe is to put pressure on Apple. How? Well, how about delaying the CS6 Versions for Mac a couple of months? So PC users have the best tools available first. Believe me, you won’t have to pull the trigger on that one. Apple understands the importance of Adobe software in MacOS X. And if they don’t then it will result in the value reduction of Adobe’s tools. In other words, if Adobe acts like its software is worthless then Apple is obviously going to respect them less. If Adobe acts like the most important piece of software in the every single Creative Agency in the world, then perhaps Apple will rethink their relationships.

My recommendation to Apple is simple too. Stop making calculations about features, cannibalization of profits and sales and go back to providing always top tools. There is nothing like the iPhone out there, period. So make the iPhone the best thing under the sun, make sure you continue to listen to the fans and adapt. Also keep your partners at bay. ATT is trying to exploit the data relationship because is a money bag: don’t let them get greedy. I think that the Verizon talks for Iphone are the best thing that could happen. I don’t really like Verizon, but just by having that possibility makes ATT a bit more aware.

I use Apple products because I like the experience and because it allows me some kind of additional pleasure. If that pleasure goes away by limitations and incapacities then I am sure I’ll start looking for the next big thing.

Best of luck to both.

Alex C.
Creative Director and Digital Media Strategist

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