Archive for the 'OS X' Tag

Changing Spots

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

I’ve been using the retail copy of Leopard for half a day now and it seems pretty solid, plus the latest versions of my apps don’t appear to have any problems, which is good to know.

Just about every review I’ve read says that Leopard is more evolution than revolution and is focused on the gloss, but Leopard must be the biggest release for developers that I can remember. Even apart from the headline features like Core Animation, Apple has added plenty that makes putting the basics of an application together so much easier and have addressed a slew of issues and unimplemented features that have been outstanding for years. This is great news for consistency and will help beginner and established developers alike.

I see Leopard as straddling two phases in the life of Mac OS X, marking the end of the first chapter and the start of a new one. When 10.0 was released, it wasn’t truly finished. 10.1 maybe achieved that but it wasn’t until 10.2 Jaguar that Mac OS X was truly usable. Panther was the first to really add more substance and Tiger was an obvious continuation of that.

Leopard doesn’t exactly launch us into the future, but we can get a glimpse. I think it’s the most refined release to date. Although I wish they had done better in some areas, they have at least put plenty of work into the substance of OS X and this is going to pay off handsomely in the long-term. Expect to see many great new apps and new versions of apps for Leopard.

Third Party Applications on the iPhone

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Reading Steve Jobs’s words on the Apple Hot News page, it really couldn’t be better for developers:

Third Party Applications on the iPhone: “Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February.

Much sooner than I was expecting! I would have bet on WWDC 2008, which will probably be the iPhone WWDC now, unlike the last one, which was just pretending to be that (and failing miserably).

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. […] Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer.

Technologies such as Leopard’s Code Signing would support this, which is a good sign (pun, sorry) as any developer can do this.

While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

It was always going to take Apple a while to create the tools for iPhone development and usually you get no word from Apple about something until it’s ready to be seen. Looks like with all the recent noise, Apple felt they had to make a statement. This goes a long way to removing worries that iPhone development will be restricted only to those whom Apple deems worthy. Should be interesting!

Between this and getting Leopard out on time (although no GM build to developers just yet, we’re stuck with the last buggy effort), Apple has made this Mac developer and user very happy. For now! 😉

MacUser UK: Is Leopard a new Dawn?

Friday, October 12th, 2007

With everything I’ve written on the subject lately, but the overall lack of other such commentary, it’s great to read MacUser’s Kenny Hemphill write on the importance of Leopard being released on time and truly ready:

Leopard will also represent the biggest time gap between versions of Mac OS X, and has already been delayed twice so far this year. To justify that gap, and the delays, Leopard will have to be ready for primetime use from the day it ships. That’s more than can be said for many of Apple’s recent software releases, which seem to have been updated on an almost daily basis. That won’t do for Leopard. It’s Apple’s flagship Mac software for the next two years and needs to be free from serious bugs from the very first time that it’s started up.

It’s the Mac, Stupid

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Well, if my last post didn’t cause a flurry of activity. Seems it got picked up on Reddit and a few other places. Over the last few days I’ve seen the comments and trackbacks roll in, read a variety of similarly-timed posts griping about Apple, all a variety on a theme, and I should think everyone is getting sick of it by now, but maybe that’s just me.

It seems most people read my last post as:

I’m mad at Apple because [YOUR GRIPE HERE]

So let’s be clear! I wrote my post as a Mac developer who, for months now, has been concerned that Apple isn’t putting 100% into Leopard, which represents the future of the Mac. I obviously have a stake there because that’s what I do and I don’t want to change jobs anytime soon. My second concern was that, having found continued success with a profitable business model that offered a good deal to its customers, recent events show that attitudes may be changing at Apple.

And why? Because Apple currently has no equal, whether it’s the Mac, the iPod or the iPhone. Unchecked, this can only lead to trouble.

Everyone has their viewpoint and this is mine: as a Mac developer, what’s good for Apple is good for me, except when it’s only good for Apple, then it becomes good for nobody.

As I said, there’s plenty being written about Apple right now, but I haven’t seen much on the state of the Mac. However, I know a number of other developers feel just as strongly about the situation. Our advance exposure to and reliance on future versions of Mac OS X probably places us ahead of the curve.

I’m not saying Leopard sucks, there is plenty of good stuff in there, but there are many concerns about the design decisions made. We also know its development was delayed by the iPhone. We will not know of any further impact until Leopard is released. No Mac user will appreciate a substandard update to Mac OS X and to delay it again for the same reason wouldn’t go down well (although better that than release something that is not ready).

Did the best talent go to the iPhone? We all know the answer to that one.

These next few months should be interesting. Debates around the iPhone will probably burn out soon and if Apple releases Leopard as planned, and it’s sound, it will avoid another, perhaps more damaging backlash. Next month the iPhone will make its European debut and things should stabilise a bit. By the time we get to Macworld in January – the first anniversary of the iPhone’s announcement – the whole landscape will have changed thanks to what must have been the biggest PR whirlwind in Apple’s history. Let’s hope the balance is restored.