Disclaimer: Android bias. RealNetworks bias.
With that out of the way:
1. iCloud is great. I think this is excellent, the right approach, and to me it combines the best from Google Music, Amazon’s cloud drive, and Unifi. What’s Unifi you ask? Heh, it launches very soon with Vodafone Germany. It’s probably going to go through a phase of normal integration testing, in the comfort of a carrier’s closed garden. Google Music and iCloud are both public betas. Only Amazon’s cloud drive is gold. I mention these things rather than like most every other internet tech people who would drop “dropbox” in this comparison because that’s what those things are gunning for: ecosystem. Dropbox is not an ecosystem.
The cloud idea is old hat. It’s been around. But it is very difficult to execute the ideas Jobs told us today in the sense beyond a drag-drop file system (ie., all those dropbox clones). I actually think Google is the first company who was able to do it in any real sense in terms of their office suite on the web, but they were never able to rope in Picasa, contrary to my expectations.
More pertinently, Microsoft’s inability to get into the cloud despite its spending is another point to consider why this really hasn’t happened. Over at E3, they talked about cloud a bit at around the same time as WWDC’s keynote. But did we know how long it took them to build up MS Live this way? How much effort did Google put into their cloud app suite? (Some would consider it a moat for Goog rather than a genuine market opportunity, in that case.)
I think true multi-device cloud computing is still a wide-open field that is free-for-all. I think Google is by far the closest, but at this stage there’s no “neutral” way to go about it except with something like Unifi. Too bad Unifi develops like a slowass snail 🙁
2. I never noticed it so much with it at this WWDC keynote than any previous one, but iOS has a lot of shortcomings that were fixed by this iOS 5 update. I don’t even know about these things, because I never used iOS in earnest. In fact I think except the music match stuff and maybe 1 or 2 more features, every one of the features were present already on the Android ecosystem. I mean, sharing to Twitter requires a deep OS API? Are you kidding me? Today’s keynote is more like a list of bug fixes, where most of those bugs were already fixed in Android 1.6x. That’s besides the fact that every one of these “feature” is an app somewhere. Or a free app, if you’re on Android.
To drive this home, read this silly bullshit on Giz. Because if the dude’s dad bought a Honeycomb device, he would have none of those problems. None! It’s retarded. A list of bug fixes! That Android had for years! Oh joy now you can go back to your mediocre, non-competitive and low-value software ecosystem! Good job.
As for iOS vs Android, it’s nice to see the keynote start out with a bunch of “hey iOS is ahead” stats. I guess a lot of people do buy iPod touch and iPads, because it’s clearly all Android in the phone market. Seems kind of meaningless since with iPads you’re encroaching on PC territories. But I’m definitely being unfair here. The status quo as king of the hill is a difficult place, and Apple does innovate better than most, to maintain that lead.
3. Before the Keynote, we got a leak about iMessage that it would integrate SMS. That got me in defensive mode for a minute (because SMS is what pays the bill, for me and my team). After thinking about it, it made sense that they would just go for something more mundane; considering what Apple has accomplished via Facetime, iMessage is child’s play. It does open up an in for SMS integration in a way Google voice has been pioneering, but that would require the blessing of carriers, or alternatively, people like me. And that’s a much trickier game.
4. Lastly, it’s about timing. People were too busy being elated about $29 Lion than to note that iOS 5 is due this Fall. In iterative development terms, that’s almost on par with Unifi (actually Unifi is slightly ahead even), and maybe enough time for Google music to turn over a new leaf. Time will tell.