iWatch, iGlasses, Apple television. We’d all like to know when and how much. Another question that I’d ask Tim Cook has more to do with Apple’s current product line. The question would go something like this: ‘Tim, what’s with all the Apple abandonware?‘
Nearly Abandoned Software
There are basically three kinds of software. The kind we buy and use, is supported, and gets updated every so often. Then, there’s vaporware, the kind where an app is announced but doesn’t ship for a long, long, time (sometimes never).
Then, there’s one that’s more insidious than vaporware. I call it 21st century abandonware; software which exists but seems abandoned by the developer.
Apple has a growing list of abandonware for the Mac; software which doesn’t get much love, seldom gets new features, and some features are even removed.
What’s new in iMovie, or iPhoto, or Garageband? Sure, new versions look different, and buttons are moved around, but where’s the new functionality? 64-bit seems about it.
It’s been years since those apps have had meaningful upgrades. Add iPhoto big brother Aperture to the list. Sure, Apple cut the price tag when it opened the Mac App Store, but where Aperture once was a competitor to Adobe’s Lightroom, it’s now just lame.
Ditto for iWorks’ Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, each of which hasn’t had much upgrade love since about forever and the latest versions were actually downgrades, not upgrades. Each came with features to be more compatible with less endowed iOS versions.
Final Cut Pro X was an actual downgrade from the previous version of Final Cut Pro. Remember iWeb? iDVD? Safari for Windows? Apple TV?
Maybe Apple has a shortage of qualified iOS and OS X developers. You’d think $100-billion in the bank would be sufficient to hire and train enough good developers to improve the current product line.
Maybe Apple pulled their best developers away from the Mac, iWork, and iLife to concentrate on fixing iCloud. Or, maybe those same talented developers are flush with riches from Apple stock and just don’t care as much as they once did. Whatever the cause, Apple’s list of seemingly abandonware is growing.
One more thing: Here’s my take on the future in ‘2014: The Year Of Apple? Or, Google? Or, Samsung? Or, Microsoft? Or, Amazon? Or, Linux?.’ Hint: It’s not Linux.