I think Apple should do search, and here’s why.
Goodbye Gmail, Hello iCloud
Like most people, I have a Gmail account. It’s tied me to Google’s ecosystem for years. But no more. I’m dumping it, and most of Google’s services that go along with it.
I’ve been using iOS 5 for a while now, with iCloud. I managed to resurrect my .me Email address from my old MobileMe account that I had let lapse some months back, since it’s free with iCloud.
Why iCloud kicks Google’s Gmail and online services in the teeth:
1. The online version of iCloud: Email, Contacts, Documents, Calenders, and Find my iPhone are beautiful, and perform incredibly well. The interface is to die for.
2. No ads.
3. Music sync, in the cloud, along with the iTunes match system, is sick integration with iTunes across all my Apple devices.
4. Apple’s seemless integration of all of these applications and the respective content across the Web, mobile, and desktop, along with their features and performance, makes Google’s stuff look like droopy eyed armless children. It shows me that the Web alone… is not enough. Native Apps are here to stay.
So I’m saying goodbye to Google. Goodbye to their ugly interfaces and constrained approach to computing that’s limited to the browser. Instead of Google Docs, I’m rocking iWork: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Instead of Gmail, I’m throwing down with .me. In place of Google’s music locker, I’m all about Apple’s iCloud version.
Stepping Stone to Search
All this got me to thinking though. I’m still having to use Google to search on the Web. There’s nothing better out there, and I give Google a lot of credit for being the best at search. But what if there were something even better? What if all the junk, all the noise, all the 1990s blue, underlined hyperlinks just disappeared, replaced with a much nicer, cleaner, more powerful iteration? A new paradigm of search.
I think Steve Jobs’ next big thing should be search. To completely unsuck it. Now that he’s no longer with us, I’ll refer to it as Apple’s, rather than Steve’s, next big thing.
Apple should take on Google and Bing and whatever else and do its own search engine. This would seal off pretty much everything for them in terms of a complete, cohesive computing ecosystem. They have the devices. They have the operating systems and applications. Now they’d have search, a huge part of the Web. A part that’s missing from their repertoire.
They could finally take iAds to the next level. Now that they have Siri, they could integrate voice activated search and artificial intelligence into it. And iCloud would really come into its own as a free cloud based service, competing directly with Google, but doing it the Apple way. They have a chance to reinvent the whole thing.
All that spam and junk and crap all over the Web? Gone. I can imagine it sort of like their App Store. Virtually spam and virus free. A cleaned up Web with gorgeous ads, artificial intelligence, and a beautiful interface. All integrated well into Safari, OS X, and iOS.
I realise people want to keep the Web open, and so do I. But at least we’d have a choice: both Google and Apple can co-exist here, just like they do in the mobile space with Android and iOS.