Editor's desk: Mainstream geniuses, Olympic rights, and streaming wrongs
I spent most of last week laughing it up in Winnipeg with my fellow fuzzball's from Mobile Nations -- that'd be Phil Nickinson of Android Central, Daniel Rubino of WPCentral, and Kevin Michaluk from CrackBerry.com, in order. We spent a few days figuring out where the network was, and most importantly, where we're going through the rest of 2012 and into 2013. You'll be hearings -- and seeing -- a lot about that soon.
But let's jump back out of hyperspace for a moment and take a look at the week that was...
Stressing over Apple's new Genius ads
Apple aired three new ads during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, and the first ads I'm aware of focusing on Apple Retail. Some folks didn't like them, some folks did. Whether or not we like something is different than whether or not that thing is good or bad. I dislike a great many things I'll happily admit are good or even brilliant.
Here are the only two questions that matter when it comes to the new Apple ads:
- Who was the target?
- Did Apple hit that target?
Far as I could tell, Apple was aiming squarely at people for whom computers and computing situations are stressful. People with no idea how to handle their digital photos, videos, presentations, or even purchases. People who want to make an anniversary video or photo book or just have their stuff work.
As much as iOS isn't for geeks, neither are these ads (and neither is Mountain Lion for that matter). They're for the mainstream. They were the Apple Store equivalent of the Midas Muffler guy commercial. And the message was simple -- don't stress over computers or computing tasks, just come to Apple and the Apple Store, and the Mac, and everything will be okay.
If you already know about Apple Stores, if you know the difference between a Genius and a Creative, if you couldn't care less about photo books and long ago set up your perfect Keynote deck, then these ads clearly weren't for you.
Apple already has you. They want everyone else.
Speaking of the Olympics
While NBC's Olympic coverage sounds like a bag of hurt, CTV (Canadian TV) is doing a bang up job, at least on the iPhone app. You can pick your events and stream them right to your iPhone, both live and previously recorded. There are a lot of events I want to watch that don't get a lot of TV coverage, like Judo and fencing. With the CTV Olympics app on iPhone, I simply pick Judo and watch, even on my TV. Yeah, there are ads I can't skip, but the app is free so that's no big deal.
There's no AirPlay in the app itself, but the main AirPlay controls in the Fast App Switcher aren't blocked, so they work, even if the picture is letter boxed and pillar boxed, making it needlessly small).
If NBC is really doing that bad a job, shame on them. Those that embrace the future will inherit it. Cheers to CTV for doing it better.
Now let's get it right.
Speaking of streaming
It's great that Apple's got iTunes in the Cloud music, movies, and TV shows in a lot more countries now. What's not so great is that, while I can stream all of the above to my Apple TV, I can't do the same on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. I have to download them.
And that sucks, because typically I just want to watch something once, and right away, and not wait for a download and then delete it right after to save space.
Other than licensing restrictions and typical Hollywood myopia, why can't this just work across iOS and iTunes?
Back to business
Keeping it short this week so I can work on something big for tomorrow. And something small. Any guesses?
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