Petter Silfver
May 18, 2015 · 3 min read

No one is more happy than I am that you raised this question! We did put a lot of thinking into it, but decided to cut parts out to slim down the length of the article as the answer is not an easy one — because I’m as puzzled as you are that we ended up going with Apple ☺

To start off, the boring part of the answer is actually partly in your comment: Who would be able to undertake the enormous work of actually bringing in, providing and maintaining relevant and localized content? This is why the resembelance in the execution of Moments is so close to that of App Store and iTunes. Apple already have the structure in place of bringing in services, products and content (be it applications, music, books, movies, etc.), distributing them, and maintaining them. Part of the work is Apple, part of the work is the creators, and the synergy has proven itself successful.

A second part of the answer, which is to be honest something we’ve realized even more since we went live with the article, is that most of these services (like UpTo that you mentioned, or Sunrise) are built around a calendar experience. We might be completely off the road to sanity here, but in the structure we’ve tried to describe, you could use Moments (i.e. be interested in knowing about when a TV-show start, when your team is playing, etc.) and not be a calendar type of person at all. Sure, using any calendar in-sync with Moments would hopefully be a 1+1=3 for certain people, but it’s not a requirement. Is disrupting the market of calendar services not to rely on a calendar at all? I have no idea, but it would be fun ☺

This brings me to the biggest question we had for ourselves while putting this together: Why put this inside of a proprietary system, and not have it open and free for all?

Our thinking is of course a dubbled edged sword, and you might completely disagree with the reasons:

  1. It has been proven again and again that when Apple does something — with the unfair advantage of having full control and access to core services — they remove those small but oh-so tedious obstacles that are in the way of service excellence.
  2. Other products, like Sunrise that I personally use as my main calendar and that do support TV-shows, sports, etc., often times keep those gems for themselves. The reason — I can only guess — is that it’s part of their USP:s. There is no easy and direct benefit for them to maintain this information, and then let someone else eat the cake. With Apple, it’s actually the exact opposite. They thrive on letting 3rd-party integrate with this type of information. But in true Apple-style, I imagine they only let us have half the cake (i.e. the normal event information), and keep the steroid-version-information for the event details for themselves in Calendar.

Sunrise is actually a perfect example of almost all our points. They keep the event information for TV-shows, sports, etc., have to dilute the experience of picking them in a 25.000+ item hierarchal navigation inside the product, and finally have the user decide which time-zone they want it to be adjusted to because it so much built on the current definition of a calendar.

That’s why we went with the half-open-half-closed concept this time. Hell, some applications out there would probably be better of being a part of this kind of service instead of being a stand-alone application.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I’m glad your enjoying it! These type of discussions are the reason I got started again ☺

    Petter Silfver

    Written by

    Head of User Experience at Volvo Car Mobility (previously R/GA and Doberman)