Got too many cloud storage accounts with files seemingly scattered across them all? Perhaps Glide, a mobile app that combines multiple cloud storage accounts can help. The app already supports Windows 8 and Android devices, but added a version for Apple’s iPhone on Thursday. Even though Apple approved the application, the cross-platform message in the Glide press release isn’t sitting well with Apple’s developer relation’s team.
First, the application details: Once installed, the free Glide app effectively brings together files from Google Drive, Dropbox and SkyDrive accounts. It does this by grouping files from the different cloud services into four categories: Photos, Videos, Music and Documents. Think of it as a consolidated cloud drive on your mobile devices. You can easily find and download files to your phone, computer or tablet from the cloud regardless of which vendor service you use. And you can share media files to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Sounds pretty useful to me, partially because I have storage everywhere in the cloud — even though that 1 TB of Google Drive capacity included with my Pixel LTE purchase is my main storage these days. I also gravitate towards cross-platform solutions because I use various computing platforms and devices, often switching several times in a day. But Apple doesn’t sound too happy with how Glide’s press release focuses more on the cross-platform features of Glide than on the iOS release itself.
In the release, Donald Leka, the chairman and CEO of TransMedia Corporation, which developed the Glide app, says:
“Consumers really don’t care that much what platform they are on, where their files are stored, or what the file types and file formats are. They simply want to be able to easily access and share a family photo, a letter to a friend, a favorite song or show.”
I tend to agree with Leka for the most part: Platforms are great, but can limit data shared between them. Leka shared a note he received, from Tyler Stone of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Relations group with us via email, in response to his press release. Stone’s reaction indicates Leka’s message didn’t sit well with Apple.
“…We believe the best press releases for a product launch concentrate on that product. Your release is ostensibly for the launch of your iPhone app, but the copy actually references other apps on other platforms more often than it mentions the one being launched. We think the customers, bloggers, and media who follow app launches are usually quite parochial — quite focused on specific platforms — so we counsel developers to craft press releases tailored to each individual platform.
And that brings me to my final point: the tone of your release and your product positioning is at odds with not just our primary marketing messaging, but the entire reason Apple exists. To wit, you are quoted in the press release as saying “Consumers really don’t care that much what platform they are on…” Our drive, our passion, our singular focus on creating the best products we can make is rooted in the fundamental belief that customers really do care about the products in which they invest their time, money, and energy. We strive to make the best products we can because we believe the right product will change a customer’s life. And customers do indeed care about things that change their lives.
Our experience is that customers are interested in apps that help them get more from their iPhone, that give their cherished, chosen device exciting new functionality that fits their mobile lifestyle. I’d encourage you to recast your messaging in this positive, affirmative way.”
Perhaps if iCloud were supported by Glide, Apple might feel differently? At the very least, it seems to want the Glide team to highlight Apple more than the actual core feature of the software.