Nokia’s new N9 phone based on MeeGo looks wonderful and according to Engadget, it’s a delight to use as well. But supposedly it’s dead on arrival because it’s not going to have a massive platform. Excuse my french, but fuck the platform.
For all the 200,000 apps in Apple’s app store, I use two on a regular basis: Echofon and Bloomberg. Once in a while, I use Instapaper and play Civilization. And yet I use my iPhone all the time. It’s my favorite piece of technology and has been for years.
Do you know why? Because Apple nailed the basics. Safari, Camera, iPod, Clock, Weather, Photos, Messages, Mail, and Maps are the apps that I use 95% of the time. Those are the ones that made me buy the phone and stick with it. If I had to read Bloomberg on the web and couldn’t play Civilization, I’d be sad, but my day would surely go on.
I know I’m not alone. The pattern I’ve seen for many people new to iOS is a rush to try a bunch of apps and then never use most of them again. There’s a large market for people who just want the core ten apps executed even better. I’d be happy to trade my iPhone for a N9, if that core experience was stronger.
But the established wisdom now is that you cannot win without hundreds of thousands of apps. And unfortunately Nokia bought that “wisdom” and now they’re just going to become a WinPhone distributor with benefits. Woopedidoo.