We all know Ping is kind of shit. Well, not kind of. It is shit. But I've been thinking recently (dangerous, I know) and I reckon there are a few ways that it can be rescued. Apple's failed attempt at social is not dead yet.
The first of these amazing methods for resuscitating Ping is to integrate it. Bring something different into the concept - and that's to open Ping up to other services. It's generally known that Apple likes closed (sorry, Steve, it's true, no matter how much you tried to say it wasn't). Ping is a closed network - and unless you're a service like Path, this won't work. Ping is already integrated in that it spams your Twitter followers when you "like" Katy Perry, but it needs more. Let me interact with Twitter through it - not just spam my followers. It's not interaction as such, but being able to Tweet what song I'm listening to right from Music.app would be marvellous.
Along the same lines, Apple needs to make Music.app and Ping.app (yes, I know it doesn't exist yet, just keep reading) speak to each other. Ping as a tracking service would be a great move forward. And added to that, Last.fm scrobbling under the umbrella of Ping would be a great move for users. Maybe this would be controlled from a social hub in Settings.app, like Twitter's on iOS and the various services in the upcoming Mountain Lion OSX update. I've been so frustrated with non-stock music apps attempting to scrobble to Last.fm unsuccessfully and whilst they're at it, they try and get me to use some radical new from of UI. I just want to scrobble from Music.app.
As I insinuated, Ping needs to be taken out of iTunes.app and moved into its own. The benefits of this are few, but positive.
- It makes it seem like a proper social network, not just an afterthought that they've shoved into iTunes.
- As a result, it makes the service easier to use, giving more space to what matters as well as an easier UI and ultimately a better experience.
- A separate app allows this better integration to come into its own.
- I can't see myself ever wanting to use iTunes.app just for Ping. Moving it outside of iTunes is easier for everyone and allows Apple to create a brand for Ping, akin to Find my Friends.
Well, there's my three ideas to make Ping a vague success. If Apple isn't going to change the concept in any way, it might as well just quit it now and kill the service off.
Agree, disagree? Tweet me, @admhawrth.