The Apple Social Network

Originally posted on the forums over at theverge.com: http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/1/2992121/the-apple-social-network

Apple don’t really get the internet. It’s been shown by how terrible Ping was. The seemingly still going iTunes component that let you share what you were listening to with others. This didn’t really work out as people don’t really like sharing what they’ve just bought or listening to as it’s probably Abba or something else along those lines. No one needs to know.

But Apple still has a problem with many its services; No one knows if their friends are on it! The problem usually arises if you have an iPad and you want to iMessage someone. The problem is you must have the other person’s email address attached to their contact details. Even if you have their email you have no idea if they have iMessage enabled. The same problem also rears its head with FaceTime and Game Center.

So what can Apple do to solve this? In my opinion it needs to create some way of people having an iCloud profile that you can search for your friends. Now being Apple it would have to be highly controlled. I imagine that everything would be locked except for your name and maybe a profile picture. Maybe even knows if you have contacts in common to make sure you’re adding the right Jonny Appleseed.

You could then request to be iCloud buddies and the person receiving the request can decide what to share. Say your best friends, then mobile, home email address, permission for Find My Friends, Game Center, maybe even published iPhoto journals. Say it was a work colleague who you don’t want to have all that information, then you could just give access to your work email address. It would be very basic and just and online contact listing. It would not be mined by Google and you can only search if you’re signed up for iCloud.

It could even be an app included in iOS 6 with no real online presence. It would just sync contact details and allow you to find others. Sure it would have to be super secure to try to avoid hacking in some way but I could see it happening. Would you want to have some way to find your fellow iPhone and iPad friends?

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The iPhone Thingy-Me-Bob

Right now there are lots of rumors flying around about the next iPhone and it seems people are unsure of what Apple are going to call it. It seems some people believe it called be called the 4S while others think it could be the 5. So here is why I think they will probably call it the 5 rather than the 4S.

1. It’s less confusing

Originally you had the iPhone which didn’t have a number, that was then followed by the 3G. That was then followed by the 3GS and then we have the 4. It seems Apple just want to keep it obvious which is the newest iPhone. Calling the next one 4S will create consumer confusion with them probably thinking that there’s no difference between the two models.

2. S is for Speed

This is the worst acronym I can think of to try and prove why your newer phone is better than your older. It is also very un-Apple as they now like to use words like ‘Magical’ and’Breathtaking’ etc. Speed doesn’t really mean anything and the visible difference between this current and next iPhone will probably be hard to distinguish anyway.

3. iOS 5

One thing that will definitely happen will be  that the next iPhone will run and come installed with iOS 5. Having a 4S run iOS 5 just sounds silly and by the time they would release an iPhone 5, Apple will have brought out iOS 6 to make it even more confusing.

So those are my reasons for why I think it will be the iPhone 5. In relation to the title of this post though, it won’t matter what it’s called as it will still sell in the millions. What do you think it will be called then?

For further reading on this see Boy Genius Report.