re: Google Now Points To Future Of Mobile
Apple's iPhone 5 will very likely, from a smartphone functionality POV, blow everything including Android away. Having recently switched from an iPhone 4s to the same phone you discuss in this review, I can say that I'm underwhelmed by overall smartphone functionality (at the OS level) but overwhelmed by the vision that the mobile device becomes less of a smartphone and more of just a client sitting atop a massive cloud that's working for me 24/7. Apple's problem here is its cloud. It is missing some of the most important touch points that are necessary to learn about you Fritz, or me, or any other user.
From a business objective perspective, Apple has, for the most part, viewed mobile devices as front ends to its commerce infrastructure because that's all Apple really has in the cloud is a commerce infrastructure. It's all about transactions and ARPU. How many songs, apps, and books or magazines do I buy from iTunes once I have an iPod Touch, iPad, or iPhone? How many in app purchases do I make where Apple takes it's cut.
Meanhwhile, the cloud behind Google Now & Friends is so much more. It's about search. It's about social. It's about geo (which Apple is now finally getting into). And by the time it matters, Google's maturity on these fronts will come to bear in ways that Apple has no chance of answering. In fact, ironically, the company that comes closest to Google in terms of assets needed to build the future you speak of Fritz is Microsoft. It may lack the reach, but the assets are not that different.