When Will Apple Build a Car?

I recently took my vehicle down to the shop for maintenance. Well, it wasn’t voluntary, the battery died. I mean died. It took a tow truck to jump it and even then, when I stopped at the service department, they couldn’t restart it again.

As always, there were plenty of other nifty (and expensive) repairs on the docket. One had me scratching my head. My car needed a software update. I get this all the time for my iPhone or laptop. But a car? Plus I had to shell out a c-note for the update (no wireless download for me, thank you).

Then I thought: when will Apple build a car? The idea isn’t so far fetched. Google has created a driverless car. So why can’t Apple join the fray? People thought Apple was nuts when it teamed with AT&T to make a cell phone. Look what happened there.

An Italian designer, Liviu Tudoran, created a car prototype inspired by Macintosh and iPod products. Check out all the specs here. For a look at a Microsoft developed car, check this out.

Imagine it. The new Ford powered by Apple. It could happen. At least then I could get my software downloaded off the cloud. Hey, I’d probably be able to get all the schematics on my vehicle’s performance sent to my phone. That’d put all those specialized mechanics out of work. Plus, think of the apps you could download.

Food for thought.

Tim Kane

Google+ What’s the Big Deal?

We writers like to stay up on the whole social media thing. I tweet and blog. Inevitably, I knew I’d have to check out Google+, the newest shiny network on the block. I can’t say I was bowled over.

The interface looks like a milquetoast version of Facebook. Yet it doesn’t seem to have the social factor boiled in the way Facebook does. Ultimately I could see Google+ killing Facebook. After all, Facebook seems to mess with their privacy settings on a monthly basis.

On the surface, the circles function of Google+ seems like a superior solution. Yet there’s something to be said for Facebook’s simplicity. On Google+, I needed to move all my friends to circles. I’m not sure what would happen if I had more than would fit in that little circle. Now on Facebook, I have close to 100 friends. If I could port these over to Facebook, I’d have to manually move them into circles. What a pain.

One strange limitation about Google+ is that you can’t direct message someone or write on their wall. When I wanted to send a message to just one friend, I had to remember their exact name and then add that to my post. Plus, my message would simply appear in their stream. It could get lost.

Folks say Google+ will take down Twitter. Frankly, I don’t see it. Google+ feels too cold and logical. Everything is thought out. Twitter is funky. It has this bizarre system of hashtags that doesn’t follow any rules. Just like the English language, it evolves. I couldn’t imagine Google+ used as a revolutionary tool in countries around the world.

My final complaint with Google+ is the lack of a good iPad app. Without it, I can only access the mobile site. Have you ever seen the mobile site? It feels like I’m working on a computer terminal circa 1985. Almost DOS like. It’s horrific. And this is the best Google can do? I know that Apple is their competition, but if they want to woo users over, they have to jazz up the joint.

Tim Kane