Apple’s Planet of the Apps is the boring college lecture you never attended
Pop Culture
Cable channels have been losing sleep over the blitzkreig of shows from Netflix and Amazon Prime . W hen Apple announced its plans of entering the show business, it did spell doom for them. But when Apple’s debut show, Planet of the Apps actually premiered last month, TV channels knew they still had a chance of survival.

For some reason, Apple’s idea of a debut series was a reality show ( if there weren’t enough of them already) . But of course with a twist. While most reality shows dealt with honing one’s singing skills or showing off their general knowledge, Apple chose something close to its heart. Apps. It fondly named the show Planet of the Apps.

In the show, developers are given 60 seconds to pitch their idea of an app to the celebrity advisors on an escalator in the Pitch Room, a spin on the classic elevator pitch”. At the end of the escalator ride, the advisors either swipe green or red. Four reds from the four advisors means they’re out of the game, but one green means they get another chance to convince any of the advisors to partner with them and hone their pitching skills for a chance to win over 10 million dollars of VC funding and a chance to showcase their app on Apple’s App Store.


So far the series has seen some interesting developments happening. From an augmented reality app by an Air Force Veteran, to having all the advisors fighting to partner with the same developer, the show is getting heated up.

Now in the fifth episode of the series, we have a funny personalised weather app ( yet another one?) named Poncho, which comes with the tag line, We’ve got you covered!”, yet another meditation app, Stop, Breathe and Think!”, because anxiety and depression are on the rise, and a bunch of them which got rejected right at the start.

But f ive episodes down the line, we noticed that the advisors seem more inclined to figure out which app has the most chance of success. They seem to notice which is the most lucrative of them all than really give an idea a shot. Things like Daily Active Users are previous fundings are paid more attention than really exploring a new idea and seeing where it goes. Perhaps that’s the problem of dumbing down something as intricate as developing an app to a matter of swiping left or right. The apps too are all tried and tested and there really isn’t anything new on offer.

However, while it may feel weird for Apple to foray into a reality show, it could very well be an indicator into what’s in store for the future. You can never discount a company like Apple that has literally pioneered the present we are now living in . The very concept of apps came out of the mind of Steve Jobs and it is the legacy of the iconic CEO that is being channeled into Planet of the Apps.

There’s no way of knowing whether Jobs would have approved of this but we can say one thing for sure - Apps really are the future and it makes sense to build something as familiar as a reality show around it. If you consider the premises of earlier reality shows on television, they were all aspirational. Many wanted to be singers, many more wanted to be dancers, some wanted to use their general knowledge to become millionaires. But slowly, and surely, the aspirations of the present and the upcoming generation is shifting towards becoming entrepreneurs.

Planet of the Apps, on face value, may come across as boring and not-so-innovative, but look a little closer at what is happening. Apple is slowly changing the way we perceive the world of apps and developers. They really are the new rock - stars. We have seen so many success stories from the world of software that it has become the new rock n’ roll. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Evan Spiegel and Snapchat. Palmer Luckey and Oculus. Who doesn’t want to be someone like them?

Midway into the first season, it is clear what Apple is attempting to do. It is trying to make app development mainstream. It is putting these nerdy developers straight into people’s living room and making viewers want to be like them. Apple is putting viewers into their shoes and navigating them through a world of startup jargons, VCs, fundings, all the ups and downs and it is showing that in a way which is relatable to just about anybody.

Watch Planet of the Apps, not for the entertainment ( because there really isn’t any), but for the learnings you can take away from it. The fifth episode premiered on July 11th on Apple Music. You will of course need an Apple Music subscription for it.