iPhone apps are big business. There are hundreds of thousands in the iTunes store and they rely on a fascinating model of low price and very high volume for their success. After all, what’s 99 cents for an app, even if it turns out to be not so good? Of course, when 10 million people spend 99 cents, that’s a lot of money.

About half the 50 or so apps I’ve bought are pretty useless and I have removed them from my phone. I call these “crapps”.

Interestingly, some of the native iPhone apps are also turning out to be crapps. The iPhone Maps app has pretty much turned into a boondoggle, and I can’t see who could still be using this since the Google map app once again became available. It is so much better in every way.

Google also released its email app for the iPhone, once again demonstrating that simple is better, a concept one would have thought Apple would have mastered given that it’s the foundation of their success on the equipment/user experience side. But the iPhone email app is slow, cumbersome, and very resistant to user configuration. The Gmail app is lightning fast and easy to do batch deletes; a critical factor in today’s world of 10:1 spam ratios. It can of course, seek out emails from any provider and isn’t restricted to gmail addresses ( I don’t even use one).

To use a food metaphor (of course), I think that in the end, hardware and software are like making bread vs. pastry. In France, there are boulangers (bakers) and pattisiers (pastry makers) and the two rarely cross paths, each making what they do best.

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