There’s a lot of hubub today about a reference to “ix.Mac.MarketingName” appearing as a list of supported devices for some iOS apps, which you can see here:
The answer to both of these questions is no.
What’s really happening is this: iOS apps are coming to OS X.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Walt, you’re goddamn insane!” That may be partly true — I’m certainly hitting the sauce — but I’m sane about this. Check it:
Apple recently put Xcode onto the Mac App Store, presumably so more and more people who aren’t developers can play with the tools, decide they want to build apps for the platform, and then pay Apple money. What’s in Xcode? The iOS simulator. They’ve already built it and taken the first steps to put it in everyone’s hands. It’s a logical goddamn step to take to supe up the simulator so that you can download apps to it. Also, Amazon just put up a way to test Android apps on their website, using their massive cloud computing system. I don’t suppose Apple, who already knows how to build the simulator because it built the simulator, could possibly want to let people test out their apps, either online or on your desktop, even if you’re on a PC. No, that’s crazy, right? That’s batshit insane! Why, they’d need a massive new data centre to power that! Could you even imagine the —
If you’re on the Mac, you’ll get to download and play games to your Mac. If you’re on a PC, you’ll get to test-drive apps in your browser, and then get the burning goddamn desire to buy a Mac. Pretty genius, right?
Let’s ignore the PC aspect of things for a moment, and focus on the mac: you’re talking about the lack of a touchscreen on Mac OS X, right? One: Most apps work perfectly fine in the simulator with just mouse control. Typing works better. And what if Apple decided that the next iMac has a touch screen and, say, a tilting screen to compensate for the whole “arm fatigue” thing Steve talked about when supposedly dismissing rumours of a touch-screen Mac? Exactly.
Also, this fits in with Apple’s continuing plans to make as much money as a money-grubbing God and to make the desktop OS the same as the mobile OS. Note to pundits: this crap is going to happen. Stop fighting me on it. When Apple announced the App Store features of Lion, and the general “appification” of the OS, who was right? This guy. That’s right. While all you goddamn asshole pundits went around the next day saying “oh, yeah, of course Apple is going in this direction, it’s been obvious the whole time,” the day after you said “Apple would never do this,” I’m actually the guy who’s been calling it.
And I’m calling this.
Apple is bringing iOS apps to Mac OS. In 10.8, the only way to get apps onto your mac will be through the Mac App Store, or the iTunes App Store. It’s coming.
Even though the rumours of a new AppleTV/iTV with a handy-dandy app store have proven to be completely false, by virtue of the fact that the upgraded AppleTV has been announced and released, why should this stop tech journalists from talking about it as though it’s a certainty?
Is this really the state of online tech journalism? It’s like everyone’s still giving their impassioned predictions that the Y2K bug will totally be crash planes and end the world, when it happens. It’s embarrassing.
Seriously, journalists: yeah, I guess you can keep repeating a rumor over and over in the hope that one day it will be true, and that by doing so you can appear to have insider knowledge, rather than being, say, a linkbaiting bastard stuck in a loop, but that doesn’t actually make you accurate.
As you all know, I’m not a big fan of patents — they need to shut up — even though I am a massive fan of Apple, and of my close, personal friend Steve Jobs. These two views make me feel conflicted about who to root for when Steve does silly things like trying to sue HTC out of existence for, basically, making the best phones they can. On the one hand, Steve has the legal right to do this, but on the other soft, never spoiled by a day of physical labor hand it’s kind of a dick move.
I’m sorry, Steve, I’m not calling you a dick — I think you’re amazing. I just think it’s a dick move. You understand.
Anyway, my personal view is to let the goddamn market decide, and let things like the fact that Apple just makes the best phone and is clearly still gaining marketshare, despite what some recent asshole reports have said — lying scum! — be the big thing. I mean, really, does Steve view HTC as a threat? I haven’t asked him about this specifically, because when I was about to my wife said she needed the phone to call her divorce attorney for some reason, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t see them as a threat. Why would he? It’s HTC, for crap’s sake.
A blog called Patently Apple, whose entire existence is devoted to analyzing Apple’s patent filings, posted a write-up a while ago about an advertising system that Apple applied for a patent for which included integrating an unskippable advertising system into their OS. This caused a lot of goddamn furor because apparently people have enough of a time putting up with watching ads when they’re using their browser, let alone when they’re trying to launch it. It certainly would be revolutionary if it happened. Anyway, now Patently Apple is talking about a new patent by Apple for a new system to make unskippable-unless-you-pay-extra ads for videos you watch on your iPhone, iPod, or revolutionary new iPad. The full details are pretty long, but you should read them. They’re interesting terrifying.
Basically, the ad system would automatically insert commercial breaks at points in the video timeline. You could either sit through them like a good consumer or, if you preferred, you could pay money to skip them, also like a good consumer. The ads must be addressed either by viewing or goddamn paying in order to unlock the next section of content. The kicker? This unlocking could be temporary, so you could conceivably have to pay multiple times to watch the content you’ve possibly already purchased to get on your device in the first place.
Several things strike me as wrong with this:
- Prior art – I’m pretty sure I’ve seen ads like this online. A lot. Like, everywhere, and for years. Maybe it rates a different goddamn patent if it relates to downloadable media? But I’ve seen ads in video podcasts I watch. Hmm.
- It’s a software patent – and Software patents, as discussed before, are dirty scum.
- It’s evil – No doubt about it, the consumer’s getting screwed in this deal. Whatever happened to owning content? Oh, right, Steve told me once that we never buy video, we just rent it.
I know I’m the main Apple fanboy, and I love Steve so much I’d actually jump on a live Steve Ballmer just to save him from the bald explosion, but this is wrong. All this elaborate work to squeeze more revenue out of loyal customers? How could you do that, Steve? Your customers adore you, they look at you, rightly so, as a crapdamn God, and stuff like this makes it seem like you hate them, or are at least indifferent toward them. Even the bastards over at Google aren’t trying to push through anything as invasive as this. Why do you and Apple keep filing such absurd pa — Oh, wait, I get it! Apple’s making a joke! Steve’s creating all of these bizarre patents to parody to the patent system, to show how ludicrous it is! Ha ha! Good one, Steve, you hilarious, sexy bastard!