This article is part of: Tech newsletter, You can register here to receive it on weekdays.
I apologize for being a grumbling old man. But I’m going to visit Andy Rooney in full, complain about the devices, the technology that, no matter how well-intentioned, forget about the average person.
This asks me a proud question. Who is the technology for? Tech is no longer just for nerves, but companies often act as if they are.
A few weeks ago, Amazon and Apple clashed over scandalous audio files. I did not know what they were either. These are high quality digital songs that most people can’t distinguish from regular versions. Similarly, the latest smartphone software features seem smart, but I wonder how many people will use them և iMessage notifications for their boss. One of the newest features of Apple is for about 18 people who want to use the same keyboard to control the iPad and Mac at the same time.
Please do not shout at me. I know some people are passionate about it իր it makes sense for technology companies to serve them. Companies are also constantly improving their products in ways that can benefit both the technically savvy 1% and everyone else.
But I can not help but think that it would be better for technology companies և for us if they focused most of their energy և marketing on what might be available for the technologies that 99% use.
Smartphones are one of the most mass-produced products on the market. What do many people want from their phone? Great looks, simplicity, long battery life, low device և internet surfing costs և better resistance to our clumsiness.
But the hotspot of smartphone marketing in the US is their ability to connect to 5G mobile internet networks, which most Americans can not access; they may not need at all for a long time.
When Apple dedicates all its TV commercials to flushing its toilets, you know that the industry cares about 99 percent. (Yes, I do know that many phones have become more water resistant, including bathtubs).
I loved this The Verge list in 2019 of all the things the tech industry assumes everyone knows but most people don’t. Normal people do not know how Facebook ads are targeted, why Bluetooth is so cluttered (or what Bluetooth is), or whether they should buy extra storage on their phones because Apple is constantly bullying them.
“It’s a powerful reminder of a fact that I think the entire tech industry is constantly forgetting,” Nila Patel wrote in a 2019 article. “Many people have no idea how something really works, they are already hopelessly confused with the technology they have.”
Most people do not have the time, the brain, the time to take care of anything other than the basics of using their phone, computer, TV, or other nude needs and applications. And that’s perfectly normal. The good news is that the richest companies on the planet often do not meet those needs.
Technology companies need to keep making progress. But the balance seems to be out of whack, something new, what people really need.
Tech companies also need to stop speculating that normal people will try hard to control privacy. This may mean that child monitors should not have passwords that criminals can easily find online, և Amazon should not automatically turn people’s home devices into a shared Internet.
I do not have a simple fix. Maybe tech companies need to hire top orthodox professionals to make sure 99 percent of their gadgets, software, and software are usable.
That’s really true heavy make things easier և meet the needs of millions or billions of people. The first step is to remember that technology is supposed to be for everyone.