Is Apple Planning iPhoto for Windows?
Six years ago Apple released iTunes, a digital media player. At the time it was Mac only. You would load songs from your CDs and play them on your computer. Nothing new, other apps had been doing that for years, so no one batted an eyelid.
Ten months later though, things started to change. Apple released the first iPod, and guess what, it could download songs from iTunes. With the second generation model another ten months later, Apple introduced Windows support via the third-party app, Musicmatch Jukebox.
In April 2003, the iTunes Music Store hit and the revolution really began to rock and roll. But there was one piece missing in the puzzle to complete the picture. A fire extinguisher and blizzard were required. Apple had to port one of its iLife applications to Windows. Not to say Apple had no previous Windows applications, for instance, Filemaker and Quicktime.
And so, six months later, Apple released a Windows version of iTunes. But iTunes, being part of iLife, was one of the enticements for people to switch, so there was an element of risk.
The risk seems to have paid off, as more than a few switchers, including my friend “Halo Girl,” switched because they were impressed with iTunes. Everyone talked about the iPod halo effect, but it’s possible that iTunes had a significant effect too.
The iPod has been Apple’s effort to conquer the mobile media market, and there’s no question of its success. But would it have succeeded without iTunes for Windows?
The question now, though, is will history repeat itself?
In March, Apple began shipping Apple TV, its device to conquer the non-mobile media market that is found in living rooms.
Reading about the Apple TV and early user experiences made me realize that now more than ever, Apple needs iPhoto for Windows.
Quoting the Apple TV webpage, “Apple TV puts your iTunes library—movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts—plus movie trailers from Apple.com on your TV. And your digital photos from iPhoto on a Mac or Adobe Photoshop Elements or Adobe Album on a Windows PC appear in high definition.”
How long do you think Apple will tolerate that situation of using the Adobe apps for photo viewing on PCs connected to Apple TVs? Mind you, I’m not suggesting any ill will in the Apple-Adobe relationship.
(Now you could point out the iTMS as being crucial to Apple needing a Windows version of iTunes, and since there’s no equivalent for digital photography, is there really a need for iPhoto on Windows?)
It’s about the Apple experience and Apple having control.
iTunes for Windows gave users a taste of the apple and created a more seamless integration with the iPod—whether perceived or real. Plus then Apple also had control over the feature set.
Likewise a Windows version of iPhoto will give users a further taste of the apple and create a more seamless integration with the Apple TV—whether perceived or real. Plus then Apple will also have control over the feature set.
Considering these points, and the ever booming digital photography market, it really can’t be too long before Apple completes the puzzle for Windows using Apple TV owners, and releases iPhoto for Windows.
And then, who knows, maybe Apple will go the whole hog, and port all the iLife apps across.
With Apple TV, now it makes sense.