Tuesday, June 12, 2007

WWDC 07 Keynote - more detailed comments

Like many, I was very disappointed in Jobs keynote address, and not surprised that Apple's stock prices dropped. The lack of hardware was depressing.

But Jobs did introduce many 'amazing' features for Leopard, and announced a competing browser for Windoze users. I'll briefly comment on what he presented.

Leopard Overall
I have to say that most of what was demo'd was visually appealing, but not particularly practical. It gave me the impression that Leopard will be the OS for people "who don't care about getting things done". I also suspect much of the animations in folders, docks, and file sorting will mean alot of demand on your processor, RAM, and maybe HD space. It wouldn't surprise me at all if you had to have an Intel Mac to use Leopard. Waiting until October makes this more digestible for Mac users. By that time, the number of Intel machines used by consumers may exceed PowerPCs in use. Furthermore, PowerPC Macs may have started to reach their EOL by that time.

New Desktop
Meh. I don't use the dock much. It stays hidden. So all of these tricks and gimmicks on the dock seem like wasted processor cycles. I look forward to minimizing my mouse use in my computer experience, not increasing it. 

And, I actually like brushed metal looks.

These are sets of files you make for certain tasks. I like the idea of putting all my image processing apps in one stack, and molecular biology apps in another stack. This seem better than trying to remember the name of little used apps or what you have available. The problem I have with the Stacks concept is the need to use a mouse to browse them. Maybe Quicksilver can be integrated with this. But maybe QS can already do this.

Network View/Back to My Mac
I'm all for making my files available to me everywhere and having fast network browsing. But I have two problems with this idea. First, you need to keep your freaking machines ON all the time to take advantage of this. Maybe you can't even let them sleep. What a waste of electricity! The second problem is that it seems you'll need a .Mac account to make use of it. Is this a way for Apple to push its much maligned internet service? I think we need to get away from .Mac, not become more dependent on it.

Coverflow for File Browsing
Yuck! I don't use coverflow now with iTunes. Seeing an Album's cover doesn't make me want to play a song from it. So why would I want to use coverflow with the finder? Flipping through file icons or previews isn't really an efficient way to get at my files. Sure, their may be times I want to browse stuff, but mostly I know what I want.

Quick Look
Sounds like a nice way to browse the content of files you browse with coverflow. And certainly for images it could be very useful if you don't want to look through a host of thumbnails. But I would bet not all apps will be adequately supported for QuickLook.

64 Bit
So... will this work on all Macs? I somehow think you'll need a fast Intel machine to really take advantage of it. We'll have to see how it actually works.

C'mon Steve. The rest of the world (>93%) is using either Skype or MSN for chatting, particularly video chats. That's a lot of 'heartwarming' opportunity lost by iChat users. This means despite how nice iChat is, I can't use it to do vid chats with my Mom or most of my family. So, despite the holograms and so forth - the focus needs to be on true interoperability - not features.

WebClip and Dashboard
Again, I rarely use Dashboard. It's a memory hog and doesn't sit on my desktop unless I install some doodad that lets me do so. In fact the most common Widget I use is "Stop Dashboard".
How about fixing the problems with processor load before bloating this feature? The ability to clip part of a web page and have it dynamically update as a widget sounds nice. But I can't imagine it would be useful to me during the work day.

Boot Camp
Wow - having Boot Camp built in sounds nice. But I didn't really understand the part about how Parallels and vmWare are both excellent alternatives. Seems like Apple's move puts them in a spot. What we really need is a BootCamp for Windows laptops so I can use MacOS on them.


We saw this the last time, and it looks very useful. I still question the HD and RAM assets you'll need to have available to use it effectively.

Also saw this last time - a 'Virtual Desktops' ability for OSX. If you didn't use the shareware/freeware versions of this now, you won't use Spaces later.

Safari on Windows
Ummm... why? Apple can't even make Safari work effectively on a Mac. I mean, I can't blog on Blogger with Safari now, or use our university's online content services (e.g., Moodle, WebTycho). Why would porting this experience to Windows users be a selling point? This kind of pisses me off, as Apple hasn't taken care of its own flock yet. Yes, Safari is great for many things and has fantastic feature. I really like the way it handles RSS feeds. But if it can't handle secure access points now,  I don't want to see Apple waste time on making it available for Windows users. Pointless exercise.

OK - there's my slant. Hopefully I've spurred folks to look differently at Steve's reality distortion event. 


Jason said...

I'm pretty sure they already said Leopard will work on G4's at least, if not even G3's still. No way can Apple cut off the PowerPC line yet. I'd bet that the number of PowerPC's in use dwarf Intel Macs still.

I've been using coverflow in iTunes since the day it was released and really like it. Seeing the album art does make me want to play that album. I mean, back in the old days when going through my 300+ CD collection, I chose what to listen to by album art as I wasn't reading the tiny writing on the spines of them.

Still, I'd of like to have seen some more revolutionary features in Leopard. Though Time Machine will be great and for me the instant preview feature will be welcome.

umijin said...

I think I read that today as well - so I hope I'm wrong about that.

About coverflow - I'm sure many people do use it and enjoy it in iTunes. But many people do not. And I think a lot of folks don't want the OS to be 'iTunified'.

I saw some interesting follow up comments from developers about the Keynote you might check out.

Here: http://mjtsai.com/blog/2007/06/11/wwdc-2007-keynote/

and here: http://daringfireball.net/2007/06/wwdc_2007_keynote