Both Apple and Google Release New Ads, Both of Which are Quite Misleading or Worse
By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
As I have said many times, the technology wars have left the R&D centers long ago and now take place in courtrooms and on YouTube. Putting aside all the recent litigation between Apple and Samsung, Apple and Google, Apple and HTC (Hmm, noticing a pattern here), and others, the big tech giants are releasing online ads at a faster pace than ever before.
The thing is, too many of these ads are aggressive competition-bashing ads and I am looking at you, Samsung (and RIM, you should be ashamed of yourself). So when Google and Apple release some good old-fashioned product-based advertising, it is worth a head nod. Except, both companies released cute ads this week and while Apple's is quite misleading, Google's, some might say, is worse.
Let me explain. In the Apple Siri ad below, you can see Martin Scorsese talking to his iPhone, which by the way, works significantly better in iOS6 and actually manages to work when demoing it (most of the time). Putting aside the claims that Siri does not respond nearly as fast as she does in the ads, Mr Scorsese says to Siri at one point in the video, "Where's Rick?". Siri then responds with Rick's location on a map.
Is that really possible? I thought not. So I asked my Apple Guru, Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac and he explained to me that for this functionality to work, you need Find My Friends, an App Apple itself released to be installed and configured. You need to be friends with Rick on Find My Friends and you need to be running iOS 5 or later.
While, there are one or two people who meet all those requirements, something tells me the millions of people who watch that ad, will be asking their iPhones "Where's John" for months and won't get a response. Again, not impossible but not common either.
While Apple's ad might be slightly misleading for the common person, Google's ad for the Nexus 7 below, unless I am missing something, is just inaccurate. While the Nexus 7 is getting positive reviews across the board, and has me waiting eagerly to test one, the biggest downfall of the tablet is its lack of true mobile connectivity.
The iPad, as you know, comes in a 4G version so you are always connected, as do many other tablets. The Nexus 7 is Wifi only. Now if you own a Nexus 7, you might have noticed that it is very easy to physically open (how symbolic), unlike the iPad. If you do open it, you might notice the slot in there for future mobile connectivity (LTE I believe). However, right now it is not supported.
As TechCrunch points out, there is no Wifi Hotspot being used in this video (hard to see in the screen shot above, but watch the video) so with the lack of mobile data, how exactly is this dad and son duo connected on their camping trip? (See bottom of post for update.)
While tethering is indeed a decent solution for on-the-go connectivity in general, it is not ideal to be dependent on another device to surf the web, but either way, that is not the case in the ad so like I said, it is remotely misleading.
Well, the case against Apple's Siri ads have been brought up before, mainly because of the speed of the responses, but unless I am missing something here in the Google ad, some Nexus 7 users might just make some noise about this ad.
So, did I indeed miss something here?
(UPDATE: Many have pointed out that the camping in the video is in their backyard within range of the house's Wifi. Unless the Nexus 7 has a better Wifi sensor than other devices or there is some other solution set up in the house, the range is a bit much, in my humble opinion. Either way, it is possible, so I stand corrected.)