Google vs Apple plus some extra video thoughts…

Was in the states for a whirlwind trip. San Francisco, Alta, Boston, and then Brooklyn. BTW – domestic US air travel still sucks but doesn’t seem as bad as it was.

Jetblue works well for tooling around the states.

Met up with a ton of peeps for work and to catch up with personal contacts. Was great to see all of you – I think my parents are still talking about their trip to the new Twitter HQ. Good times.

While I was in the states Google had their I/O conference. There were lots of little updates but I was mostly looking at the mobile stuff. I get a sense that things are going to change with Rubin being pushed out. There are the things you hear at the conference and then there are the rumors you get from your own Google network. Mine is telling me that Google is going to push on Chrome, like they are with Pixel, and eventually down play the mobile OS. The idea being that all you need is Chrome. It might work but I wonder how things will function in the mean time?

Given I work at Spuul – I am all about video and Android is a terrible ecosystem for video when it comes to being able to build a reliable streaming solution that is secure out of the box. Apple figured this out early with eHLS while Google pretended that open wins – but content producers need open and secure. Not just open. Since I was in the city I stopped by to hang out with the amazing zencoder.com folks and whilst in Boston I attended Brightcove Play. I could get deep into this but the main gist is that possibly the world will begin to centralize on some sort of segmented streaming standard like MPEG-DASH but with some hope of securing it. Please note that DRM is one thing – securing the stuff we pay to stream from lame people stealing it outright is another. I could care less about DRM – I just need to protect my business. A new standard might be all well and good but who knows what Apple will do. So far is looks like Apple and Google are facing off around video versus cooperating but that makes sense in general but maybe someone like Netflix can help influence.

Will be interesting to see what Apple talks about at WWDC since Google mentioned a few things around video and their codecs but nothing to deep around DASH, widevine or any ideas on where it is going. The fear is Google might just work on making Chrome, Android and YouTube better versus making the ecosystem better but of course Apple could be accused of the same thing. However HLS is turning into some sort of default cross platform standard since many people are using it outside of Apple.

Back to Google. In general I am impressed with their Android tools for the Play Store. Being able to reply to user comments is awesome and I think helps shops like us to dialogue and respond to users. Without this the app stores are a jungle and just a pain to deal with. Google also is doing a lot of good work around payments and we shall see how OPEN they stay around alternative forms of payments in the apps. Something Apple has zero openness around – zero. Google seems to have shipped some great stuff with the new IDE to help all of us ship and test better apps. The new managed beta thing looks super useful as well. Although building for Android is a pain – Google continues to improve it.

Thinking about WWDC coming I am hoping Apple will fix some things.

– Please allow developers to respond to comments. Your app store also is a jungle as well and not being able to respond to users sucks

– Please stop protecting iTunes and allow us to use in app purchase to rent, sell, stream or do whatever we want that the users want. Outright preventing companies with legal content from creating a rental platform is silly. You afraid of the competition – you should’t be since you get your 30% anyway.

– Open up Apple TV so we can build on it and allow us to use the payment hooks – plus fix the above item as well

– Give us the tools for large managed betas via the app store

– Allow us the ability to include alternative payment methods providing we also put front and center Apple payments as well

– Fix the app approval process. Sure – first time apps should be reviewed. Updates should not but create rules around what happens if a developer willfully does an update that is against the TOS. You have lots of money – spend some of it on addressing this issue so we can ship more and make the world better for users – most of us want to do right by the user but we always have one hand tied behind our back by Apple.

– Try to address the web video standards by throwing your weight around more – we need the new enhanced HLS. Make it something cross platform. Shake Google up some.

I am sure, like others have, that I could make a big list but I think I will keep it focused to the main stuff.

I will be watching WWDC and hoping to hear some good news.

ps. I played with Google Glass. Interesting stuff.

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