I had a dream

7 11 2013

On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King said at the Washington D.C. Civil Rights March:

I have a dream.

In 2013 I would like to follow him although my dream is profane, not well-worded (because my native language is German) and refers to news about a company we all like with enthusiasm. Maybe not solely because of it’s products (competitors have highly powerful devices as well) but also because of a great personality who had a massive impact on our today’s lives. His work was based on a philosophy and that might be the reason why he was so successful and admired by many people all over the world.

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Steve Jobs initiated the biggest step forward in improving our mobility. Some years ago we just made calls with mobile phones and today we manage bank accounts, purchase via smartphones, write down ideas we have on-the-go, contact far away family members by using video chats, and even share what’s going on in our brain on social networks with people regardless of their color, religion, age, or political opinion.

You may have recognized that I used the past tense of ‘I have a dream’ for my headline. It’s why I’m sure my dream won’t come true.

The reasons …

I became an Apple fan in 2010 when buying my first Apple product, an iPhone 3GS. I first saw this small device when my two sons (one of them is now on Android devices and I still don’t know why) showed it to me. I was highly impressed by this little machine because of the many more useful features compared with my 30$ Nokia TELEPHONE.

Why? Well, I started programming with the first available computer here in Germany. It was the iconic Z80 based Sharp MZ 80 K (Zilog Inc. Semiconductors, founded 1974 by Federico Faggin, former employee of Intel) and then continued programming on an IBM XT in 1987. Since then I did my work bounded to a fully wired work desk in the office.

The same happened with my brain. I saw it plugged into my work desk.

Looking on the devices of my sons I quickly recognized that owning such a micro computer would be a new kind of freedom (for my brain). I hate gaming and I never did it and so I focussed on the little helper apps to improve performance. Coming from Microsoft Windows it was a rocky road (and btw an expensive journey) to find out which apps really can help me. It took me about one year to separate software garbage from apps helping me to do the things easier and reduce the many sheets of paper I used at home to write down ideas.

I’m a freak of documentation systems and so I decided to write about my experiences for not loosing essential steps and force discussions with others residing in the scene for a long time. A suitable way of doing this is to register on WordPress and get a free blogging platform without taking care of all the tasks you have to settle when administrating your own website. Following Steve Job’s confidence to set a FOCUS, my blog is solely about Apple’s iOS devices with a focus on a more or less relevant usage of these devices. My blog is solely managed with iOS devices, I do not use a PC. Trust me, it’s still an adventure to move into the Post-PC era.

The iPhone and the iPad changed the life of many people including me.

Using a mobile device can

  • 1 improve knowledge, skills, and even personality
  • 2 connect people anytime and independent of their current location
  • 3 evoke obsessive features to replace the actual device by a new designed one
  • 4 build up a new battle arena followed by one-sideness and loss of respect for different opinions when engaging in G+ communities dedicated to brands like Apple, Samsung, or Android

Points 3 and 4 relate to people being convinced of their preferred brand, Google with it’s Android and Apple with it’s iOS and it should be seen as a criticism to many posts we see in Apple as well as Android communities.

What we also see are uncountable rumors and stats often not well-researched and posted just for getting attention. Admittedly there are authors (like Storm Williams, The TechStorm) who do their work accurately, publish high-quality articles, and are like mentalists when it comes to validate their rumors after the release of new products. If published material is serious it’s fascinating if there is no relation to reality and Apple’s strategy it’s boring.

If Apple coughs we see hundreds of posts about this ‘EVENT’.

After the release of a new device it takes about 4 weeks when rumors about a follow-up start again, just as less validated as before and duplicated hundreds of times with just slight differences. Another dream-killer is manifested in the two kinds of users building completely different environments:

  • Gadget environment
    where an iPhone is reduced to a gadget and the main task is to look for new wallpapers and change them at least two times a day
  • Apple’s environment
    where productivity, connectivity, innovation, and seamless usage is made for improving our lives
  • Look at the mind map above what the intentions of Steve Jobs have been and what the intentions of todays management still are.

I moved into Apple’s ecosystem to be part of the fascinating technique and strategy of this company. The engagement in social networks like Google+ killed major parts of my dream. It was too naive to think that communities dedicated to the brand reflect all the considerations and beliefs of the people staying behind the company. But please do not misunderstand me. There are community members who contribute rich content, a I think it’s a percentage of 0.1 % or less.

Focus on the way how to efficiently use a device, discuss the pros and cons, compare with other vendors, and show us the apps which improve knowledge, personality, and skills is not what I predominantly found. So, engaging on Google+ led to many disappointments. As an old man I’m surely a bit more detached than all the young people hastily flying from one device to the ultimate next forgetting that an existing device can be used for lots of relevant tasks and a new device doesn’t necessarily help because it’s not the CPU which makes the difference, it’s still our brain.

Admittedly I’m highly interested in tec news like many other people in these kinds of communities. Deep inside we are all geeks, including me. Otherwise, I assume, we wouldn’t be there. But all these news published here should be well-commented, validated, and extracted from reliable sources but principally RELEVANT.

To not only criticize but being constructive-minded, look at the features of iOS and the productivity apps in the AppStore. Lots of articles could be posted about these topics added by personal experiences. Going through community posts I think everyone can agree that the number of posts having no durable impact on us and do not help us to use the devices more efficiently is quite nominal.

To be or not to be an Apple fan is not a question of enthusiasm but of recognizing the products Steve Jobs, Tim Cook and all the outstanding technicians gave to the world followed by noteworthy changes of the everyday lives of many people. A bit more focussing on relevant things is what we could learn from these great personalities. But for too many people it seems to be out of interest and they set their focus to superficialities.

As proof see these community activities (and trust me, I could fill a whole Kindle Paperwhite with examples):

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Further improvements of content is always possible as you can see here.

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Keep in mind that this is my very personal opinion and it’s definitely not my intention to argue against gamers, accessory freaks, or any other group of people. People are different and different thinking must always go along with accepting this fact. But anyway this kind of content destroys parts of my dream. I assume I will get comments for this post like:

  • Beware of the teacher
  • I love bells and whistles
  • Rumors and dreams are what gives it that extra something
  • Your thoughts are out of touch with relaity, return to earth
  • Get lost, man
  • Hmmm
  • You are a German, right?

All comments are welcome because listening to different opinions is what makes a social network really great. Giving a +1 is an easy job, commenting on topic a bit more difficult and hitting the nail right on the head qualifies people for more and usually let me tap on ‘Add to Circles’.

Summary …

Here is the summary of my experiences regarding the usage of Apple’s mobile devices and engagement in social networks about electronic gadgets:

  • Secrecy has gone.
  • World War III between Android’s and Apple’s is still going on.
  • Posting of useless content on social networks cannot be stopped.
  • Poverty of thoughts, absence of respect, indiscretion, vague responses decrease mutual understanding.
  • Perfunctoriness is and was part of our life but sadly increases.
  • Liking the company and particularly Steve Jobs and Tim Cook is often not followed by adopting the persuasive parts of the philosophy.

Thankfully these experiences are not generalizable but sadly evident.

If this post gives you wings to become a poster contributing useful content to the Apple community it’s a good one. If not, I cannot do anything except waiting for members to get older, a bit more detached, and recognizing the many new perspectives you get when buying an Apple device.

Thanks for your attention as well as any comments (as long as they are on topic).


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