The rumor mill has been churning again. But for a pleasant change of pace, we’re hearing about changes to Apple’s software instead of some leaked internal screen connector for a forthcoming iPhone 5S. If you are a feed subscriber, you’ve probably noticed there hasn’t been much writing happening here lately. Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about smart watches and Apple TV sets that seem imminent on odd numbered days, and anybody’s guess the rest of the time.
If you have an ear turned to the Apple news beat, it seems as though new hardware product launches are all anyone cares about. While actually, software is responsible for an overwhelming majority of our experience using Apple platforms. This fact has been deemphasized by the Apple community over the last few years as we rush to see the next new device for our pockets, and it’s about time software gets its share of the attention.
Honestly, what more can we expect out of Apple’s hardware in the short term? Are we really as excited about NFC chips and thumbprint technology as this guy (turn your speakers on) who almost lost his morning latte over the gyroscope? We’d all like to see improved battery life, but do we need a higher res camera? Photos already take up too much space on my phone. Does it really change your life if you can use your phone to pay for gas instead of your debit card?
Software is the real frontier on our new mobile platforms. Apple’s new hardware breakthroughs come on the order of decades, not years. Yes, I’m judging iPhone and iPad as a single line of innovation, because that’s how it really shakes out. Do the platforms serve different needs, yes, but they come from the same core ideas and design compromises. If you’re waiting for a watch to come change your life, you might as well buy Google Glass (is that supposed to be plural, I can never tell) and get it out of your system.
iPhone and iPad are becoming mature platforms, and as with the Macintosh we’re going to see the real advances come in the software. Feel free to keep linking to articles about some new leak from a parts vendor, and I will keep not clicking on them. My bet is on software to make the most meaningful developments to our technology for the next decade or two.