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iOS 5 and iCloud

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Admins: When you have multiple, separate ideas on a common topic, is the right user behavior to create multiple, separate replies? I don't know, but I'm giving it a shot. ;)

I think it's incredible Apple has been able to offer, effectively, amnesty to digital music piracy for $25/yr. I have no idea how they got the labels to agree to that one. Jeez.

..and let's ask the logical next question. With such loose access to the iTunes library, is Apple setting the stage for an eventual free or cheap access plan to all of iTunes?

Although, IIRC, they said they sold something like 15 billion iTunes songs already. That's alot of coin.

Apple is taking the stance that most consumers will do the right thing if it is convenient and relatively inexpensive to do so. The labels realize that at scale this allows them to better target and market to consumers, so this should turn out to be a win/win for the post-Compact Disc era.

P.S. -- You did the right thing creating multiple, separate threads in response to the original topic. :)

As far as general iOS 5 feelings...

I think notifications are well overdue.

The newsstand will be awesome. I can finally leave my iPad out as the ultimate coffee table device and have all of my magazine subscriptions inside of it.

Airplay iPad screen mirroring shall be awesome. They're really making that $100 little AppleTV look attractive, if only for the home networking features it offers.

OTA UPDATES YES. It is a glorious day.

Agreed about all those features. Notifications overhaul is super important.

I'm excited about iMessages and surprised that Siri isn't going mainstream in iOS 5.

On the whole though, I'm growing concerned that iOS will now start it's move into clutterdom. Remember how we didn't have copy and paste for the longest time? That militant attitude towards functional simplicity seems to be relenting a little bit - iCal just got a new 'year' view.

Sure, it makes complete business sense to support a wider audience and appeal to customer wants. But it seems like we might be witnessing the beginning of a slippery slope for a company that prides itself on 'easy to use', 'just works', and 'not fragmented'.

To your point, they haven't even make a decent folding system for the Photos app. Come on!

Against your point the steady OS X releases over the past decade have been a beautiful progression of continual improvement.

I'm also super super concerned about how Apple essentially gobbled up a lot of the market for Dropbox, Todo app, ReadItLater, etc overnight. Is this how it's going to be, moving forward? Will big, monolithic software companies release features that eclipse what small - even medium-sized - startups are trying to do and gobble up their industry overnight?

I can only imagine that a few CEO hearts sank during the announcement of some of these features.

Mind you, this same thing just happened last week with Twitter and separate Twitter photosharing services!

Instapaper founder is 'tentatively optimistic':

Well, all of those companies still have the ability to beat Apple by being on non-Apple platforms. Dropbox is super useful because it connects PCs, and Instapaper on Kindle is awesome.

What amazes me is how Apple just showed Facebook it doesn't need Facebook Connect by demonstrating a world in which Twitter is deeply integrated but Facebook is not.

And now we know why Twitter decided to do its own photosharing: it's to support Apple cameras posting directly to Twitter!

True, good point. There's... life outside of the Apple ecosystem!

Yeah, I'd bet Facebook had their shot to be integrated into the iPhone. That'd be such a sweet integration. I'm sure they balked on it, due to the historical tension between Apple and Facebook (think 'onerous terms', for starters).

That's crazy about the photosharing situation, too. It would seem like Apple had the upper hand on Twitter in the deal if Twitter had to bend over backwards to implement photo infrastructure.

Oh, and I suspect Scott Forstall signing up for Twitter just about a year ago now makes alot more sense. ;)

It reminds me of the recent South Park episode where Apple inflicts its terms on everyone else.

It's hard for big companies to work with each other because each wants to dictate terms.

Facebook is learning the hard way that it's not as big as Apple or Google.

And Twitter seems more than willing to play ball.

If you think of software like Richard Stallman does, then its more like a law than a product. The OS, in particular, is the end all be all law of the land, and because of that, it will always absorb ideas that have broad base appeal and stabilize things on a larger scale. Only massive, niche apps, like Photoshop or FinalCut Pro, are immune to this, precisely because they are specific and targetted at a certain group.

Planet Money interviewed Marco Arment in January and he discussed Apple copying Instapaper. Podcast is worth a listen.

Thanks Eric. What's the gist of Marco's discussion?

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