I need to prefix everything I am about to say with a disclaimer: I am not an Apple hater; I just honestly don’t understand the hype.
Apple is a great hardware company; their products are truly stunning. I use my MacBook Pro more than any of my other computers, and I’m the defacto Mac-guy at work. I don’t personally own an iPad/iPhone/iPod (and never have), but everybody else at my house does. I don’t dislike Apple or their products … I very much dislike a certain rabid population of their fan base.
As a software company, I think that Apple is about average. It’s easier to engineer software that will only run on your hardware than it is to attempt to make software that will try to handle whatever you throw at it. Apple products (hardware/software combined) work quite well together, but there’s two sides to that coin.
So, anyway, back to the topic…
Every year, just like every other geek on the planet, I get sucked into the WWDC Keynote. This year I was a little disappointed.
We already knew about iOS 4. We knew what it was going to offer and quite frankly, this update is not about innovation as much as it is catching up. I don’t always buy the quote “we didn’t do it first, but we do it best”. Things like folders and multitasking aren’t innovative (or impressive) on a smart phone … even if you “do them better”.
It’s pretty slick, but it’s not a game changer. If it were on my carrier of choice, I might be tempted to get one. Maybe it’s not all that impressive because we’ve seen it before … no real surprises there.
Really, come on… Sure, it’s cool that this is on a cell phone, but it is really the next big thing? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been video conferencing for years. I’m also pretty damn sure I’d rather do it with a laptop then by holding my iPhone in my hand too. And what if my grandmom doesn’t have an iPhone?
Now, Apple, develop an open video calling/conferencing spec that we could implement on our phones, computers, TV’s, and toasters and I’ll jump on the bandwagon. iPhone users video conferencing with iPhone user’s isn’t overly impressive. I don’t know, if it were truly about changing the way we communicate, it wouldn’t just be about changing the way iPhone users communicate.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that Apple is ignoring it’s laptop/desktop line lately. To quote Steve Jobs, not everybody needs a truck … but those of us that drive trucks would like a to be thrown a bone once in a while. Let’s not forget that (at least for now), there is no iPhone/iPad without the developers sitting behind their MacBooks (that is, until the iPad get Xcode).
It’s quite possible though, that the Mac line isn’t in need of updating. They are not really the company’s cash cow anyway … They’re just the incubator that hatches the little baby cash cows.
Maybe next year, the current crop will be sufficiently lagging behind to deserve a bit of an update.
All-in-all, I know all that sounds hateful, but I miss the days when Apple made me actually want to buy their products. Today, I was just left with a “so what” attitude.