Tuesday 12 June 2007

WWDC thoughts

Well WWDC is over and the dust is settling. I've gotta say I'm really liking the looks of Leopard; I love the cover flow in the new finder and the quick look feature. Why is it Apple always have really great ideas; which with hindsight seem so obvious :). e.g. the two fingers on the touchpad for 2D scrollwheel thing? Or the iPhone user interface with your fingers. Or the iPod music quiz game (if you've got an iPod, you have played that game right? Cool & addictive eh?)

Stacks looks cute (I like the eye candy of the reflections in the dock :). Spaces is welcome but no biggie as there are a number of alternatives that have been around a while now. Time Machine is awesome (ZFS really) and can't wait for that. And the new iChat looks fun :). Don't really care about Mac.Mail changes as I try and use gmail for all mail now. I wonder how much other Core Animations stuff will creap in...

I did kinda wonder if Leopard would have more native virtualization for out of the box support for Linux & Windows (X is already supported nicely); with maybe Parallels being integrated into Leopard; but I guess with Parallels and VMWare, its best to keep healthy competition in that space

The choice of using Ajax for the iPhone is great news; anyone can now develop applications for the iPhone in a standards based way that'll work on other platforms & browsers. (I was a tad worried it was gonna be Cocoa / XCode stuff for the iPhone :). Its also good to hear that the iPhone isn't gonna be locked down per se; anyone can write applications for the iPhone.

The other nice thing is now we have a single, fast browser (WebKit/Safari) that runs on the iPhone, Mac and Windows. See Joe's comments via Dion. If the iPhone takes off, especially with alpha-geeks; I wonder how many enterprises will start writing their intranet apps for the iPhone, Mac, & Windows; i.e. picking Safari as their standard supported browser instead of the usual FireFox (or IE for windows-only places).

I wonder how many windows users will actually explicitly choose to use use Safari on the Mac. I guess its used in iTunes anyway, so there's really lots of Safari (or rather WebKit) users already; so Apple might as well make it available. I wonder if Apple will release iLife for Windows as well?

Still its hard for WWDC to be as cool & exciting as the iPhone stuff; I suspect its gonna be increasingly hard for Apple to get us excited about the next OS X when often the really cool stuff is gonna be the non-PC stuff (phone, TV, remotes, tablets etc). e.g. have you seen the new ads? Amazing aren't they; especially the calamari one; I love the lovely google maps integration :).

Only 2 weeks to go to the US iPhone launch; can't wait for the european launch now! Hopefully they'll have fixed the few glitches in the early iPhones by then :)


Unknown said...

I'd wager that Safari Windows will be a failure. Opera usage stats are at about 0.9% and Opera is a technically good browser with a very un-Windows-like UI - as Safari will be. Discounting the rabid loyalty of these users, I reckon Safari will take a percentage of Opera users, say 20%. And a much smaller fraction of Firefox users. People who still use IE in this day are beyond redemption and likely to continue suffering for as long as MS lets them.

Matt Watson said...

James, the 5000+ developers here don't seem to think it's quite over yet ;-) The new features in Leopard look cool, but I agree, the iPhone will over-shadow it. Till I saw more demos here at the WWDC, I didn't quite get the hype behind the iPhone - My N73 is running Webkit and it's the best browser I've ever had on a phone, with some features I wish I had in a desktop browser (Snapshots of pages for the history, zooming out to see whole page and panning around page), I can send emails, basically do everything the iPhone reputedly can, and seems to run fine on gmail and reader and has google maps etc.

The UI is a huge improvement though. The keypad on most phones is now trying to do things it was never intended to do.

I was excited by the full AJAX support, it's a great way to get apps on your phone. Was surprised there is no Dashboard equivalent for downloading small sandboxed web 2.0 apps that would mostly run on the phone, that's the way I thought they were going to go.

Living in Sydney though, I can imagine problems - Data plans are still too expensive - $40/mo for 1GB is the cheapest and the iPhone will use a lot of data. I Surf on my phone with EDGE all the time and it's sort of OK, but HSDPA will hopefully be in the iPhone by the time it gets to Oz, otherwise a lot of it's usefulness will be severely curtailed.

I'd still like to see the ability to do offline state (iPhoneGears) and add native apps to the iPhone - I would really miss Salling Clicker, the way it pauses my TV when a call comes in and puts the callers name and photo up on my TV... Maybe what we need is a way to get phone events to trigger web 2.0 calls (Hmmm, security issues...)

Safari on Windows will be the only way non-apple people have to test their web-site will work on the iPhone - pretty big motivator for Apple to release it I think - any market share they capture will be a bonus.

James Strachan said...

Matthew; whoops, I meant Steve's WWDC keynote was over :). Or I guess, for someone who's not there, its over :)

Yeah am surprised there's no dashboard yet; maybe they'll get there in the future?

I agree about the iPhone. The only real negative I've heard so far is folks don't like typing on the keyboard; but to be honest I don't wanna type on a phone, period - I just wanna surf my address book, use google maps & surf the web & make calls :) But I guess its a bit of a worry if the keyboard stuff is a bit crappy.

Am wondering if all the native iPhone functions will be available via JavaScript?...