Which Tech Player is Playing Catchup?

Tony Yoon, from last week’s AMA thread:

Have you noticed that a lot of the stuff they talked about at WWDC was eerily similar to what Google announced at I/O – and that multi-functioning iPads are what the Microsoft Surface has been doing? Is Apple playing catch up?

This is how I see the question:

Have you noticed that [Company X] is now doing a lot of what [Company Y] is doing? And now they’re copying what [Company Z] has.

There is no winner in a race that never ends.

Is it “bad” to copy an excellent feature to potentially make another consumer-oriented experience better? Is the feature implemented in a similar, viable fashion – or is the feature implemented better than the original? Does competition increase or decrease? Who loses in these scenarios?

I can tell you who absolutely wins: consumers.

Even if your platform(s) of choice are the ones that are seemingly getting copied from, give the industry another year or two and you’ll find that your platform(s) of choice will likely modify themselves to be more competitive by taking what’s perceived as a value from an alliterative platform.

And, again, all consumers win.

Your product gets better – either directly or indirectly – because of competition. And, as much as religious zealots dislike the notion of rooting for the “enemy,” without a viable alternative, innovation will stall.

So, who is playing catch up in tech?

Everybody. All the time.

And you need it to be that way.

Xbox Backward Compatibility

One of the biggest announcements to come from Microsoft out of E3 2015 is backward compatibility for Xbox 360 games on Xbox One.

So, why wasn’t this feature baked into the first iteration of Xbox One? Despite it being a value to the player, I can think of three solid reasons off the top of my head:

  • Xbox One was originally positioned as a next-gen home entertainment (not necessarily gaming) device.
  • Xbox 360 game support would likely have attenuated interest in upgrading to a newer system.
  • It wasn’t considered a must-have feature to ship until Sony’s PS4 was beginning to dominate mindshare.

Well, no matter the reason, players appear to be quite happy – except for those who sold off most (if not all) of their Xbox 360 games. Me? Well, I currently have no horse in this race since I’m more of a casual (read: mobile) and retro game player.

What is (and What Isn’t) a PC?

My first personal computer (PC):

  • Forgot its previous state when you turned it off
  • Could use cassette tapes for backup
  • Supported 16 colors
  • Came with 64 kilobytes of memory
  • Did not come with built-in applications
  • Was unable to be moved around with convenience
  • Never connected to the Internet

My current smartphone:

  • Remembers where you left off
  • Is set up to use the Internet for auto backup
  • Supports 100% sRGB Color Gamut, full 24-bit color
  • Has a gigabyte of memory
  • Comes with several useful, default applications
  • Happens to be with me wherever I am
  • Remains connected to the Internet

Which one of these is more of a personal computer (PC)?

LG G4 Review

What I Like about the LG G4:

  • Photo quality in certain shots was outstanding
  • Default camera app is insanely configurable, stellar
  • Surprisingly, this is running the latest version of Android
  • Screen is vibrant and crisp
  • Back plate is swappable for another style
  • Battery swapping & SD card slot are a unique feature in flagships now
  • UI ethos intermingling with stock Android isn’t terribly jarring

What I Don’t Like about the LG G4:

  • The LG branding / logo on the front
  • Positions of buttons not “normal” (a crimp in my muscle memory)
  • All of LG’s modifications cannot be removed
  • Virtually impossible to use single-handedly
  • Any degree of default app duplication (Gallery)
  • Software button operation UX confusion (again, Gallery)
  • LG app updates handled independent of Google Play

Who do I think this is for?

  • Someone looking for a best-in-class smartphone camera
  • Someone who wants a mid-sized pocket computer
  • Someone who is ready to move on from their existing Android phone

Who do I think this isn’t for?

  • Anybody who doesn’t like any degree of default OS modifications
  • Anybody who does not value the camera in their smartphone
  • Anybody who does not value removable battery, SD card slot

My patrons were given priority attention in the construction of this review and the videos produced around it.

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