Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Three Things to Take Away From Apple’s WWDC Announcements (Video)

Just after Steve Jobs wrapped up his Worldwide Developer Conference Keynote, I had a chance to chat with The Wall Street Journal Digital Network’s Lauren Goode about what to take away from the big event. That video appears below, followed by a second post-event video with additional reflections.

Here are a few things that struck me.

1. Clearly, Apple is learning from the mobile competition.

Although Apple has had the lead in a lot of mobile areas, the new iOS 5 software picks up on a few things where the competition was ahead. The new operating system will offer improved notifications in a manner quite reminiscent of Android. Meanwhile, the new software will also be able to go straight to the camera app from the lock screen, a favorite feature of Windows Phone 7. The company is also taking over some ground previously handled by third-party applications, such as Instapaper.

2. Apple just might get sync right.

Microsoft has been trying to allow users to sync their data for a while via Windows Live Mesh and other services, but nothing they have proposed is as elegant as the iCloud service that Steve Jobs outlined on Monday. Google, meanwhile, has proposed a cloud-only approach.

But Apple’s approach seems to give users what they really want–their photos, documents and other data on all their devices, synchronized automatically while also stored locally on the device. Of course, the devil is in the details and we won’t be able to see just how effortlessly it all works until the service launches with iOS 5 this fall.

3. Apple’s Lion is interesting not just for its features, but also for how it is being distributed.

The features of Lion are interesting, particularly when compared with the also-mobile-influenced Windows 8. However, what struck me even more is the fact that Apple is distributing it in an entirely new way. Rather than sell it on discs through retailers, the new Mac OS X will come via the Mac App Store for just under $30.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work