The Smartphone is the new computing platform

I learned this weekend that Apple thinks the desktop is it’s computing platform.   For Google the smartphone is the primary computing device.

A first world problem is giving your child a tablet or smartphone. How do they buy stuff for their device? How can you stop them running up massive in-app payments by accident.  To even create an iTunes account you need to add a credit card as proof of identity (you can delete it later but it’s a faff).

With the kids wanting to play Minecraft, the solution I came up was gift cards.  The cheapest Google play card is £10. The cheapest iTunes card is £15. Both overkill when Minecraft is only £4.99 but it gives some leeway for buying other stuff and testing the in-app payments theory without running up a massive credit card bill.






Google Play was easy. Try and buy the game, and the payment screen on the tablet has a “redeem” button. Type in your code. Job done.


iTunes was much harder.  Harder because the payment screen on the device only let’s you enter a credit card as a payment option.  An internet search implies you can top up your account online but either I was being thick or its a convoluted process that I couldn’t decipher.  Fire up iTunes on a PC and its dead easy.


So much swearing later the upshot is that I was doing it wrong. It’s 2015 and I thought we live in an smart device world and PC’s are for old people and enterprises. But it seems that Apple consider the smart phone to be an ancillary device to be managed from a computer whereas Google consider the device to be the primary computing platform.  I’d say this is probably a reflection of what the companies are; Apple is a physical products company, Google is an internet services company. But it’s an interesting reflection of the mind set and software interface design choices going on in each company

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