You’ll be surprised to learn why Apple provides public iOS betas

Tim Cook Joao Canziani photo Fast Company

Fast Company today published a wide ranging interview with Apple’s boss Tim Cook, software boss Craig Federighi and Eddy Cue, who is in charge of Internet software and services, that touches upon a number of interesting topics, including competition, iPhone sales slowdown, why public iOS betas exist (the real reason is now what you think) and more.

Cook also comments on the gloom-and-doom sentiment that has always surrounded Apple while admitting that the company does make mistakes along the way, and more.

Here are some choice quotes:

“You’re only as good as the last thing you did”

Tim Cook’s Apple isn’t resting on its laurels, says Cue:

Look, one thing you know if you’ve been in technology a while, you’re only as good as the last thing you did. No one wants an original iPod. No one wants an iPhone 3GS.

The article suggests that even though the executives wouldn’t acknowledge it the company is now moving beyond Steve Jobs’s vision. “It’s a subtle, evolutionary change,” reads the article. “Cook is pushing Apple into a future that is bigger and broader than anything Jobs could effect during his too-short life,” writes the publication.

“I want Apple to be here, you know, forever,” Cook said.

We want to be there from when you wake up till when you decide to go to sleep. Our strategy is to help you in every part of your life that we can, whether you’re sitting in the living room, on your desktop, on your phone or in your car.

“Our reason for being is the same as it’s always been,” Cook continued. “To make the world’s best products that really enrich people’s lives.”

“We sometimes fall short”

The doom and gloom sentiment that has more or less consistently surrounded the Cupertino firm isn’t lost on Tim Cook, but he’s not losing sleep over it.

Is Apple making more mistakes than we used to? I don’t have a tracker on that. We have never said that we’re perfect. We’ve said that we seek that. But we sometimes fall short.

The most important thing is, do you have the courage to admit that you’re wrong? And do you change? The most important thing to me as a CEO is that we keep the courage.

Context: Apple lost a whopping $180 billion in market value in the past 17 months.

What tends to happen with Apple, not just today but in the 18 years I’ve been here is that invariably some people compare what we’re doing now to a vision or a product that somebody says they will create in the future.

“The world thinks we delivered a breakthrough every year while Steve was here,” says Cue. “Those products were developed over a long period of time.”

Why public iOS betas exist

Apple now does public beta testing of its most significant software projects, something that Jobs never liked to do. Last year, they provided public betas of iOS for people to play with, not just to help identify bugs in the software but because of Maps.

Take it from Cue and Federighi :

The reason you as a customer are going to be able to test iOS is because of Maps. We made significant changes to all of our development processes because of it.

To all of us living in Cupertino, the maps for here were pretty darn good. Right? So the problem wasn’t obvious to us. We were never able to take it out to a large number of users to get that feedback. Now we do.

Maps is this core organizing structure for the physical world in which you interact. The map is a foundation for building all kinds of value on the platform, just as our operating systems are a foundation.

Cue then offered an example of something he’d like to see implemented on Apple Maps:

Let’s say I’m at home doing email before work. I’d like Maps to tell me, ‘Don’t leave now. Your commute will be cut by 15 minutes if you stay home for a while.’

Now, that would be very helpful.


Is Cook concerned about the “Apple is doomed” narrative?

While acknowledging that he doesn’t “read all the coverage on Apple that there is,” Cook said, “The way that I look at that is, I really know the truth.”

Apple with its HealthKit, ResearchKit and CareKit frameworks is now invested in some aspects of the $9 trillion healthcare industry:

We’ve gotten into the health arena and we started looking at wellness, that took us to pulling a string to thinking about research, pulling that string a little further took us to some patient-care stuff, and that pulled a string that’s taking us into some other stuff.

Also, this image of Federighi is cool.

Craig Federighi Joao Canziani photo Fast Company

The whole interview is definitely worth your time as it contains a bunch of other quotes and thoughts on a number of other topics so hit the source link right below to enjoy the whole read now or save it for later.

Source: Fast Company