Apple ported iTunes to Windows, so why can't it do the same for Android?
That was just one of the comments made by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in a Q&A on tech-news site Slashdot yesterday.
Although he and Steve Jobs built Apple from the ground up, Woz has remained technology neutral, enjoying hardware from a variety of companies and competitors. As an Android device owner, he'd like to see Apple enter that arena as well.
"If you remember, we ported iTunes to Windows," Woz said in a response to one question. "We now addressed 100 percent of the world's market with this integrated system (iPod/iTunes) and it began the era of Apple that we are now in. So why don't we port iTunes to Android? Did something get closed up? I love Apple products and iTunes and wish it were on my Android products too."
Woz seemed to answer his own question by citing one reason why iTunes will never show up on Android. Apple does maintain a closed and controlled system and has always kept iTunes away from other mobile devices.
In 2009, Apple battled back and forth with Palm to keep its devices from syncing with iTunes. Windows compatibility is a different ballgame since that affects just the computer and not different mobile devices. The patent war between Apple and Android also makes it unlikely that Android users will ever be able to run iTunes.
Woz also took aim at the surge in patent lawsuits, complaining that they stifle innovative features in tech products.
"I wish that instead of all these lawsuits Apple was sitting down and cross-licensing with the other players," he said. "They have come up some very good features without complicating the UI. Things like a palm swipe to take a screen snapshot. I would like my iPhone to be the best it could, even if someone else did some of the things first."
And what of Apple's "closed" nature versus that of the open-source community? Woz did admit that he supports jailbreakers because they remind him of himself and the late Steve Jobs in their younger days.
"So much of me lies in the Linux and open source thinking," Woz confessed. "It's where I'd be if I were young and finding my technology way.
But ever the Apple man, he defended the iOS ecosystem.
"Some say that Apple iPhones are closed but there is a different view," Woz said. "They are closed as to methods of sale and delivery. You can create any app you want to and have the ability to [run it] on your own on the iPhone. You just can't distribute it to huge numbers of people outside the app store of Apple. So young developers are not hindered totally."
And would Woz ever return to Apple? Maybe, if the right opportunity opened up.
"I don't honestly feel I could do better than anyone reading this at a role in Apple," he said. "Jobs had the drive to run things and influence things. If there was something for sure where I'd be a great help to Apple, I'd be there in an instant, as Apple is #1 in my heart."