Tuesday, June 7, 2011

With Lion And iOS 5, Apple Still At Snail's Pace With Social Strategy

We know by now that Apple is allowing Twitter to ride shotgun on the iOS platform and Ping is likely going to get shown the door.  But it's hard to see just what Apple has planned for its social plays.  While I had hoped to hear something more substantive from Apple regarding social networks, it appears Apple will take its time.  After all, Google has throw effort after effort against Facebook and nothing has stick so far.

Here's what we know right now beyond Twitter.  We know that Game Center will gain more social features.  Turn-based support is added as is icons.  I thought I heard support for messaging is added but I can't find that anywhere on Apple's iOS 5 website.

Also, iMessage will bring messaging to iOS users.  This is a big play.  A very big play in fact.  Analysts are talking about Apple killing of SMS plans or RIM but it could be the foundation for something more.  Should Twitter piss Apple off in any way, iMessage may step in someday.  

And while this may not see like it, iOS devices are not PC-free.  Get an iOS capable device like the iPod touch, activate it without first having to go home and hook it up to your home computer, and you're mobile.  

Also, notification enhancements in iOS should also serve as a good foundation for future social network endeavors.  It can display stocks, messages, and even weather information.  I'm sure Apple can easily add more capabilities in future improvements.  

So far, there doesn't seem to be anything that ties all of the separate features with social potentials together.  Could it be iCloud?  Maybe. So far, we know about the six main iCloud apps Steve Jobs introduced on Monday's WWDC keynote event but I walked away thinking there are a few things about it that they were not ready to share with the world just yet.  Regardless, I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited right about now for iOS 6 and iOS 7 to see what social apps and functions Apple come up with.

As for Lion, well, a few podcasts I listened to today mentioned that it stands to gain from missing iOS 5 features.  Well, like Steve Jobs has said when they first showed us Lion months back, they've learned quite a few things from iOS like Mission Control.  So while we won't see notification, iMessage, or deeper Twitter in Lion, we probably will see more iOS features.  

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