The first day of Apple’s WWDC is over and I’m dead tired. There’s no room left in my head to learn anything new about Mac OS X Leopard. Until tomorrow.
What did I learn from Apple’s head, Steve Jobs? Too much. I say that because I’m ending day one of the conference with highly mixed emotions.
To be fair, what Leopard brings to the personal computing experience is well beyond what Tiger brought two years ago, and Tiger is arguably more advanced than Windows Vista.
Sometimes I pity Windows users. They truly don’t know what they’re missing. The next year will further widen the gap between Mac OS X and Windows. Leopard is that good.
Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation at WWDC was a typical Steve-note. It finished in just under 90-minutes, there were few glitches (I detected what I thought was a single crash), plenty of Leopard’s basic features were shown, few secrets unleashed.
It was difficult not to be impressed, and easy to get caught up in the euphoria of the moment. While it lasted, of course. Interestingly, it was Steve Jobs himself who brought the whole show to a screeching halt.
For those Mac360 readers who could not attend, in 90 minutes, developers were treated to the highlights of Leopard, and Steve did a masterful job of pacing himself and the show and tell.
Who wasn’t impressed with the evolutionary changes to the Desktop in Leopard? Stacks is not revolutionary, but very handy, therefore, useful.
The Finder? May the Tiger Finder rest in peace. Leopard’s Finder is a modest but, here it is again, useful over haul.
Gone is the hodgepodge of user interace looks—no more brushed metal. Leopard is all “platinum plastic,” and Steve acknowledged the need to clean it up.
Just as useful and as evolutionary is Quick Look—again a more graphic way of looking at documents. It uses the Finder and a slick preview function. Nice.
Time Machine, Spaces, Mail, Core Animation, Dashboard, and iChat have all been presented before—at Macworld 2007. Each looks like accomplished evolutionary steps toward the future, without detaching too much from the past.
Windows Vista looks embarassingly old already, and it’s been out about four months.
No mention from Apple of Voice over IP, ala Vonage, Skype, and others with a larger user base. iChat is bound to the Mac, hence there’s little video conferencing going except between Mac users. Steve didn’t mention that in his statistics promoting Mac OS X usage.
We’re told that OS X Leopard has over 300 features, and the keynote presentation used about an hour to cover the Top 10 Feature Highlights. The biggest “feature” surprise was Safari.
Safari? The 3.0 version doesn’t look much different than what’s already in OS X Tiger, but there’s more under the skin. And Safari does Windows.
That’s right. Safari is available for Windows users. I’ll give a more indepth perspective of Safari in another review.
What did I learn from Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation? You can fool some of the people all of the time. You can fool all of the people some of the time. You can even fool Apple developers—but not for long.
Steve fooled Apple developers? No, not all of them. Here’s what he did that got many of us upset.
The iPhone uses Mac OS X. The developers, thousands of them at WWDC, want to develop true OS X applications for the iPhone.
It’s OS X. We develop on OS X. Hello? Opportunity is knocking.
Rather, opportunity is knocked up. What Apple did, via Steve’s presentation on the iPhone, right at the end of the keynote show ‘n tell, was offer Mac developers a nasty taste of the future.
Steve said, “You can write great apps for the iPhone.” What he actually meant is this: “You can’t write great apps for the iPhone, but we’ll let you write these rinky dinky little Web 2.0 and AJAX applications which will run in iPhone’s browser.”
That’s not much better than Dashboard Widgets for the iPhone. Hey, Steve. We’re developers. We’re trying to make a living here. How many so-called Mac developers make any money with Widgets?
See the problem? Web apps, those you’d find in Safari, Mac or Windows or iPhone, are not true applications; especially in the sense that Apple’s developer community understands application development.
Apple is throwing us a very small bone that contains almost no meat, no taste and no nutrition. Seriously, if creating these little web app toy utilities that run inside Safari is such a great big friggin’ deal, how come Apple isn’t doing it?
The rest of OS X Leopard is a rich landscape of tools for users and developers. Make no mistake, Leopard’s feature rich, 64-bit, loaded with eye candy and a healthy dose of useful new ways to do this or that. I’m even happy about the new Finder.
I’m disappointed that Apple would insult the developer base regarding the iPhone, iPhone applications, by using the Safari ploy. Maybe, just maybe, there’s something else going on behind the scenes. Unfortunately, I don’t have any evidence.