The Macalope Daily: Obsession


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Mike Elgan is back (no, don’t get up) and he’s got a new fragrance! It’s called Mike Elgan’s Obsession for Apple and it smells like gym socks and low tide.

“How Apple’s Obsession with Google Is Hurting Apple” (tip o’ the antlers to Ash Furrow).

Or “How Mike Elgan’s Obsession with Apple Is Hurting the Macalope’s Brain.”

Every once in a while, a company becomes so obsessed with a competitor that it loses focus on its own customers. They start designing and positioning their products more to hurt rivals than thrill users.

Once again, as has been mentioned, no one outside of Apple and Google really knows who broke up with whom in this situation, but they’ve all decided it was big, bad Apple. Because that’s what you do. Cut yourself savagely on Occam’s Razor.

Everybody knows about Apple’s near-death experience in the 90s. But few appreciate why it happened.

School us, Mike.

From 1985 to 1997, Apple went in a series of bizarre product directions. Yes, Apple made some cool stuff back then. But they also made a lot of weird moves that would be inconceivable by the standards of today’s Apple.

Right. Because it was run by a continuing series of Moes, Larrys and Curlys.

The reason is that they become obsessed with Microsoft, and were throwing all kinds of spaghetti against the wall to see what would stick.

The Macalope doesn’t know that Microsoft was the sole motivator (how is the Newton a response to Microsoft?)—jthe bigger one was probably just trying to survive. But certainly things like cloning—which everyone in the tech industry sagely agreed Apple must do to survive, kind of like they all now agree Apple must lay off Google and Samsung—were part of an effort to compete with Redmond.

The previous default Maps application on iOS was Google’s Maps app, and it was—and is—incredibly good.

Back up there, Skippy. The old Maps app was made by Apple using Google’s data. The current Maps app is made by Apple with data from TomTom and others.

I’m not going to sugar-coat this for anyone: Apple put crapware on their most important product on purpose in order to screw a rival at the expense of users.

This will come as a shock to exactly no one, but Elgan has no idea if this is true. It’s generally Elgan’s M.O. to type first, ask questions later. How else to explain someone who suggested “the Zune scares Apple to its core”?

Yes, he really wrote that. The Macalope has to verify that every single time he writes about Elgan because no one will believe it. You’d think that someone who wrote something like that would skulk away and live in a cave for the rest of his life, but apparently Elgan lacks the proper sensibilities to do what’s right.

Question for Elgan: Was Apple also to blame for Google not giving Apple access to all the map data available on Android?

Probably. Somehow.

But that’s not the only place Apple is doing this. The company has also gotten into bed with both Twitter and Facebook on social networking, and doesn’t offer any out-of-the-box integration with Google+.

For all those people screaming for … Google+ integration.

Talk about throwing things against the wall to see if they stick.

Meanwhile, Google+ is the Google Maps of social networks.

Well, that’s no “The Zune scares Apple to its core,” but it is delightfully out of touch!

And more importantly, Google+ has a vastly superior user experience to Facebook and has a much brighter longterm future, in my opinion.

And we all know what that’s worth.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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