Here’s my take on WWDC happenings for this year. These must be fun to be at. Especially in recent years with all the buzz about Apple. Yes this is a long post, but this is one of the big events of the year for developers and Mac users. Being a web developer with some software orientation, and a Mac user, it’s highly relevant. So here we go…
- Webcast – Once upon a time Apple used to webcast the big events, why has this gone away? In the age of video, why has Apple exited? They used to claim records for it. Thankfully many websites post live updates of what’s going on (even with images) to keep those not fortunate enough to attend informed.
- Apple Redesign – To accompany the announcements they redesigned the site a bit, redoing the tabs on the top that have been there forever with a more modern look, it’s also only top level sections now. Looks like the site is powered by prototype.
Mac OS X Leopard
- Stacks – Awesome. This has a slight resemblance to the old “Launcher” Control Panel, but much better.
- Finder Cover Flow – The new finder looks sweet, likely useful for images, but little else. For some reason I don’t think sorting through spreadsheets and word documents (or source code) is going to be that great. I could be wrong. PDF support is a nice touch though. I wonder if it will read iTunes data for mp3’s and use the right cover art, or just show an generic mp3 graphic.
- Search other Mac’s over Spotlight – Cool, but having cross platform support would be even better. And much more attractive for “switchers” and those who use dual platforms on a daily basis.
- Leopard 64bit – Hopefully this won’t result in compatibility problems (they claim it won’t). Other than that… sweet. Oh wait, I have a G4 Mac Mini at home. Blasted!
- Quick Look – Another sweet enhancement. Hopefully the delay in slower computers won’t be to the point where the word “Quick” is like a cruel joke.
- Core Animation – Core Animation is awesome. I do wonder what this does to battery life on laptops. I wonder if this will be like Aero is to Windows Vista, and known as a battery sucking waste. I hope it’s at least able to be disabled, or ideally automatically scaled back when on battery.
- New Bootcamp – Nothing really groundbreaking here. Just hope it can be done so Parallels or VMWare can share the same install as Bootcamp.
- Spaces – I’ve loved this on Linux for a long time. I’m glad to see Apple adopting it. I think Mac users who haven’t used it before will really appreciate it.
- Dashboard Widgets – I’m a moderate widget user. I’ll be spending more time with them in the near future as both a developer and a user. I think we can have some fun together.
- iChat – Do people still use that? I guess some do for the video part, though I wonder how many know others with such a setup, and the bandwidth/willingness to use it. I would have thought Adium would have destroyed it’s market share a long time ago. That said I WANT the R2D2 Leia projection.
- Time Machine – This is a great utility. Really nice. I wonder if Apple will start making dual hard drive computers standard and push for using 1 dedicated for backup. Considering the price of disks, I wouldn’t be too surprised. Notable exception being laptops.
- Pricing – $129 for 1 license, $199 for family pack (5 licenses). That’s a great deal. A 5 pack for less than Vista. Actually a little less, since I can get a corporate discount as many can through their employer, or if your in school through them. So when are pre-orders taken?
- “Most innovative browser” – Really? Yea, your tabs are really innovative. Never seen that before. Ooh extensions? No that’s a Firefox thing. Tabs aren’t innovative for several years now, they are in every application/website on the net. They were innovative in 2000. Safari has a minimal UI. Sell simplicity not innovation.
- On Windows – My testing showed it to be fairly stable on windows, and pretty fast. Looks like it uses NPAPI so it uses any plugin Firefox or Opera uses. Overall very easy for most web developers to support. Only bad thing will be developers who assumed Safari was Mac OS X only when sniffing the User Agent. I don’t think there are too many cases like this, but those could cause problems.
- Widget Theming – This is what I was most curious about. Safari does use Mac widgets for buttons and other form inputs. I presume this was done to keep things as consistent as possible across browsers. Looks a little strange on Windows, but not bad. Then again, I’m a Mac guy.
- Security – I have a feeling this will make it much more of a target to hackers. So far Safari has faired pretty well. I guess we’ll see.
- Anti-Aliasing – Very well done!
- App Development – Didn’t get a clear picture if apps all run online or are run offline. If they are offline, that makes for 3 current offline support specs. IMHO that’s a disaster in the making. I’d like to learn more about this though. This could be a lot of fun. Perhaps by 2nd Gen or 3rd Gen I’ll get an iPhone and play.
- Google Development – Mention of Google developing apps this way. I guess it is possible/likely to see YouTube featured on the iPhone. I’m pretty certain GMail and Google Reader will be supported.