What is interesting to note about the mobile ecosystem is that there are some aspects that don’t get nearly enough recognition despite their truly revolutionary nature. Here are five examples of mobile apps I use almost daily that had Steve Jobs been behind them, would have received a lot more appreciation and hype.
Since the passing of Steve Jobs, so much has been said about the man and his legacy. Some think he was the biggest visionary the world has ever seen while others think he did nothing but steal other people’s ideas. Whatever the case may be, Jobs has gotten quite a bit of recognition for revolutionizing industries such as mobile, music, movies, computers and even books.
Waze is all over the news because Google just bought the small Israeli startup for north of a billion bucks, but not many have focused on why. Yes, social, crowdsourcing, yada yada, but really, why? Why do people love Waze so much? Why did Google buy the company? The answer is, much like Instagram, product, product, product. Waze is a truly revolutionary idea that was executed to perfection, which again, is something we saw under Steve Jobs for years. Some will say Waze has gotten the recognition it deserves but I say if Jobs has given his stamp of approval, Waze would have changed the mobile mapping world forever.
“Oh great, here comes another Instagram fanboy talking about how great this non unique, no technology product is.” Forgive me in advance, but yes, that’s pretty much exactly what I am about to do… Instagram did what any app developer should do—focused on creating the best product they possibly can. And the result is that people like Om Malik spend an hour a day in the app. AN HOUR. It is not about technology, it is not even about business, it is purely about the little things that create perfection. Instagram is not resting and they recently added video, but that is a topic for another time. The bottom line is, the Instagram experience is so good, it feels like it came straight out of the Apple labs, headed up by Steve Jobs himself.
Jobs definitely left an impact on the movie industry both via his role at Pixar and the invention of iTunes, but what Netflix has done to the way we consume movies or TV is just astounding. The company did so many things right with the Netflix experience that it truly feels like an Apple product. There are not many apps out there I enjoy as much as Netflix and while Apple didn’t invent it, I am not sure why they are not acquiring it.
Same as above, disruption. Dropbox has changed the way we all share things. I mean, people have been sharing things since forever, but if you think about it, the digital revolution didn’t fundamentally change the way we shared things, it just made it faster. Dropbox did and it is for this reason that Jobs himself wanted to buy the company, an offer they respectfully declined. Why? Because he wanted to integrate Dropbox as a feature—they wanted to create a revolution.
If you have been reading my content or following me on the Web, you must know by now that there are not many people out there who are bigger Flipboard fans than me. Why do I love Flipboard so much? Not because its founder, Mike McCue is pretty much the nicest man on the planet. Even the beautiful transitions, which I love so much, are not the main reason that I love Flipboard. So why? Well, because at the risk of using a much over-used word, Flipboard disrupted a space that none of us knew needed disruption. Reading content on the web was a chore before Flipboard. It was not an engaging and social experience and more importantly, it was not a fun experience. Flipboard changed all that and I can’t get enough. I could just see all the headlines: “Jobs works for years on Flipboard, a beautiful social news reader that just works.”