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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

WWDC 2006 Keynote Observations

WWDC 2006 Keynote Observations

John Hodgeman, what a guy (Where is this big island ?).

Spaces - Linux heads have been begging for this, about time, Virtu have a version of this, in fact I demo'd it to a colleague recently. Virtu didn't have that snazzy ability to organise your apps by dragging them around on the exposè'd version of spaces.
I assume they will also add in the sexy transition effects from their core graphics library.

Verdict: About bloody time, is this going to be another mapping on my multi-button mouse ? Or merely away for me to hide my peccadillo when the boss tromps into mission control ?

Time machine - Windows something called System Restore. It was a load of rubbish. I know people who swear by it and swear at it in equal measure. Personally it has never saved me bother, unreliable, unstable and doesn't actually work. Vista is reported to have a universdal system wide undelete that keep old versions of peoples files - even after they deleted.
Working or not, it is system level backup, drivers, registry (yuk), settings and programs.

What time machine is offering, apparently, fully covers document, system settings, applications, contacts and e-mails etc. Full versioning. It is a great idea, I'm a recent convert to the cult of actually backing up, but my clone can be out of date, by a week at most. That is a long time.

This is offering full fine grained control of your entire system. This has to be a huge load of space. It claims it'll chat to a server, what happens when you disconnect and then run time machine ? What kind of connection is required to a remote store for this to work, how much chatter is there going to be ? Will this work for codec and their connected files ?

Verdict: Jury is currently in session, try again later.

Spotlight - Boolean searching hooray. The network connected search. OK I'm sure my spotlight can search my network drives already, maybe it's not indexing them very well and falls back to a name based search so if that is improved it is all good.

I'm not a big spotlight user, I use it more and it makes me become less organised because it becomes a crutch for badly organised folders. Does that matter ? I'm finding docs just as quick... is it making the hierarchical file system invisible ?

I am a big Quicksilver fan, is spotlight moving into the launcher space going to be interesting, you betcha. I imagine I'll still keep Quicksilver because it is amazingly intuitive and knows what I want to do.

The peasant girl is a big spotlight fan geek, partially because the poor dear ends up being askedtot find archaic documents that our colleagues have lost and can't be bothered finding themselves. She uses spotlight and finds them, making her more sought after in the future, a dreadful cycle of abuse.

Verdict: Looking forward to what this could offer.

The entire package - Seemed like a load of rubbish to me other than they're going to stop fooling about and deliver the same stuff on all machines. It is interesting that it means Front Row will go on the new power mac ? Is there and IR port and remote they didn't mention ? Have they slashed the prices of the Cinema displays to end of line them and develop a new one with IR etc ?

Verdict: Nice consolidation.

Core Animation - OK Looks very nice, I'm not a big graphics man. I'd refer to a pal of mine who is a big game and graphics fan.

Verdict: Ask again later after I've consulted with a higher power.

Universal Access
- OK New voice, Alex, gorgeous, he / she even inhales before talking. Go and listen to that sound clip it is good. No not natural but I would find that so much easier to listen to were I a visually impaired user than the current standard.

Lots of features mentioned, I'm not qualified to really comment on them, I've heard of braille displays before, seen a video of one - no idea how good they are, or how OS X will translate to one.

Steve's demo was much better than a previous MS demo of a Universal Access app. Yes the MS one was speech to text which is hard stuff. However I don't think Steve would have stood on that stage with a product that didn't work.

I did like involving the Vista team there and there is no point ragging on MS because their stuff can't say iPod, which Steve was comical but without hubris regarding.

Verdict: I'm really not going to comment, well done for putting more work in though.

Mail Updates - Did you notice the cute RSS icon hiding there, conspicuous by not being mentioned.

Stationary - PLEASE. OK I know apple makes better templates overall, because they care about design and details. Do we really need to give people more chances to put extraneous html on the wires. I, to be honest I'm fearful given the bad reps Apple received regarding the coding output of the iWeb app. Man those pages can be slow.

A nice mail based media browser tie in for the photo stationary was a nice touch. A pretty contrived example of putting stationary on a draft message though...

To Do and Notes.... err hello Outlook anyone. Apple clearly playing catch up here. I reckon OS X is going to tightly integrate these objects better throughout the OS. However I'm losing count of the number of post-itâ„¢ models we have in OS X.
Stickies the application
Dashboard stickies the widgets
Notes in Mail
Tasks in iCal

Hopefully the OS Wide service might tie these together can I manage them remotely from .mac?

Notes concepts look good, I was recently reading an article about how you can already mail yourself and have an Apple script put special messages translated on to your iCal To-Do list, so this is another nice function to have natively.

Looks like a lot of settings (bad thing) for the To-Dos, I know my boss hates that Outlook makes quick To-Dos so complex, I always smile because iCal allows simple to-do lists that I can manage, with less options, more powerfully than in Outlook.

Tying in iCal to calDav is fantastic, I can't wait to see how this pans out. Notice the Outlook and Thunderbird icons on the iCal sneak preview.

Verdict: Maybe it isn't going to offer the integration of address book and iCal like one screen-shot faker hoped for but none the less some nice new add ons. With the extra larger html e-mails floating around though, I fear for poor Ted Stevens and his tubes, because the internet is not a big truck, you know - mmmk.

Dashboard - No ability to take widgets and have them outside the dashboard layer. OK Maybe it is still top secret, maybe not I don't care that much for dashboard, big RAM hog. OK a dictionary on tap is decent. I use notes, sometimes. Weather and a snapshot month view for working what day is what date.

How much RAM do you think that frightening cramped dashboard was using ?

Javascript Debugger
- I can't wait for this.

Webclip (Nice Icon) - The idea of cutting out web pages to widgets, seems like an MS concept that they can do in Sharepoint, where you can capture others web pages and place them on your own and they update when the original does. See Redmond is helping you copy even as a user..Seriouslyly though I've done some digging and that is great for a static html page, apparently it doesn't work for dynamically spit out content driven pages. Whether WebClip is any better that remains to be seen.

The demo was very cool. I'd love to know how it is doing this, is it picking up cue from the DOM, is it built on pixels, is it gripping some CSS cunning ? The eBay demo seemed to indicate that dynamic pages would be WebClip'd.The webcam bit, blew my mind. apparently "It's all live"

Verdict: Well, WebClip is pretty exciting, it is allowing me to even more control what content I see from the web. I bet it has displeased add sellers though, not more banner adds in Leopard ?

iChat - Well tabbed chats, chax has given me that for months already. Crud from photo-booth... bothered. Animated buddy icons, get back to using mySpace. Backgrounds, I don't see the point.

Did you notice Steve did the "schuuup" sound - I'm sure Justin Long should have a chat with him about that.

iChat Theatre, sharing slideshows, presentations and photos - NICE. Wonder what the speed will be like. That is decent innovation on the part of the program. Sharing features and desktop control sound useful though - if you havn't got OS X Server, is this a decent way to manage desktop support for your users ?

Hopefully they will address some of the god awful connection problems they have. Skype manages to trounce through most NAT routers and even some corporate firewalls... iChat should be able to do the same.

Verdict: More crap for the kids to oo and arrr about when in the Apple Churches, I mean stores and they are fooling around with the iSights. Sharing features and desktop control are excellent additions. The install base being Apple only with fairly shoddy coverage with AOL IM is not that helpful. Skype has an install base of... how many hundreds of thosands ?


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