My money — by which I mean I’ve used the things for months, so yeah, sure, I’ll be on it — is on a multitouch enabled iMac-ish device with a swivel screen, that slides down to go over your keyboard when you want to interact directly, then goes to its normal position when you need to type. You’ve seen rollup desks, right? The cool wood sheet that covers the desk area? It’ll be like that, but with a touch screen you want to have sex with. (You *can* have sex with it, but there’s minimal app support at the moment)
This new iMac-ish line will represent the next step in the iOS-ification of the Mac, AND the impending closing of the platform.
Just to keep you all from getting your panties in a twist, when I say “closing,” I mean that Apple’s going to lock the Mac down to only allow Mac App Store downloads. Because it’s what people are used to with the iOS devices, and also it’s more secure, and Apple will make even more money. This will either come in the next version of the OS, or a point release. If point release, it’ll be first quarter 2012. Believe that shit, you bastards!
Anyway, the swivel Mac: Apple’s goddamn comfortable having monitors that move around freely, and this is like an evolution of that idea, but with sexy multitouch. This just makes sense, in the same way it made sense for me to pour honey all over myself when I was waiting for the light to change, despite what those goddamn prudish cops had to say about it.
Gruber put up a post titled “Wolf!” the other day, wherein he quoted a bunch of folks, from 2004 onward, stating that Apple’s era of relative freedom from security threats would soon be over. The implication moptop’s going for is that people have been gleefully calling for the end of the Mac’s freedom for years, and been wrong, so they will continue to be wrong forever.
First, if you’ve read any of Gruber’s posting, him poking fun at someone else trying to rub a person’s nose in anything is ironic in the extreme; Daring Fireball is nothing if not an exercise in the cult member angrily trumpeting his superiority at having picked the one true faith. It’s an angry blog.
Second, Gruber’s wrong. Shockingly. SHOCKINGLY. Yes, the threat of Malware on Mac has been one that hasn’t, to date, materialized in a large way. But so what? The quotes he provides from these articles aren’t wrong; people ARE making more attempts to crack into the Mac as it gains popularity, and Malware IS becoming more of a threat for the thing. And Mac users DO act all superior about the fact that they don’t have to worry about viruses and other threats. And his own predictions about not just the continued marketshare increase for the Mac, but the continued decrease of marketshare and prominence of Windows means that now, more than ever, people will be using these mobile devices, and it’s not like these malware producers, whose livelihood is based on building malware for either themselves, or organized crime, are going to change their profession because iOS has such a wonderful polish to it.
The Mac isn’t some perfectly secure thing. Nor is Safari. Mac is easily hackable, and every year at the PwnToOwn contest, where hackers crack into browsers for money, Safari — used quite a lot on the Mac — is always the first to fall. And Safari’s on iOS. And is crackable. And Apple has sold 100 million of the devices. And hackers go where the money is. And Mac users are sold security as a benefit of the platform, meaning they’re less on the lookout for threats than PC users are.
Here’s the thing: Gruber is saying that these folks have been calling for the end of Mac safety for years and are wrong because they’ve been wrong so far. This is a logical fallacy, as past performance isn’t a guarantee of future performance, but what kind of Mac devotee — which is what Gruber is — can’t appreciate the value of being forward thinking? Gruber, like so many others, spent YEARS in the wilderness saying “The Mac is superior and one day, ONE DAY YOU WILL ALL SEE.” He’s spent a sizeable chunk of his life spreading that message, and is now able to say “SEE, I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG, YOU PC-LOVING TWATS!” How, exactly, is that different from security experts saying “The Mac is insecure and one day, ONE DAY YOU WILL ALL SEE?”
Is Gruber too drunk on imagined power to see his own inconsistencies?
When OS Lion ships, it will be free if you download it via the Mac App store. It’ll cost $29, just like Snow Leopard, if you buy a boxed version in a retail store. Why will it cost more? It’ll be a convenience fee, basically, so you don’t have to burn your own disc. And when I say disc, I mean that Lion will come exclusively on a small USB thumb drive.
Believe that shit.
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.
So I just loaded the new iOS app Showyou on my iPad. It’s basically Flipboard for video, in that it combs your facebook and twitter feeds for video links, then shows them to you in a single spot.
Anyway, Showyou. It’s nice enough, and it does what it says it does. It’s got two viewing modes: a grid-view, and a list view that for some reason only showed me two videos that Liz Gannes shared somewhere. I’m honestly not making either of those things up.
While the grid, with its differently-sized screenshots of the video, looks nice enough, it scrolls both vertically AND horizontally, such that you kind of just slide around aimlessly looking at videos. And when you scroll, it takes a second to update, and you get the checkerboard. Now, I may be an old man who’s currently drunk — that’s more than a little likely — but this is confusing. Scrolling around I have no idea if I’ve seen all there is to offer. Where the crap am I in this goddamn grid? I have no idea. Constraining the scrolling to a single axis would make it pretty and stop it from being confusing.
Regarding the list view, I’m assuming that’s supposed to be the less-fun-but-more-usable viewing mode, but honestly, it showed me links to two videos shared by Liz Gannes, and while I tried to scroll past, it wouldn’t show me anything more.
TechCrunch wrote about Showyou, and Scoble made the first comment, chastising Aaarrrrrington et al for not giving it more ink, or recognizing it’s “one of the most important new iPad apps.” Really, Scoble? One of the most important apps? Because it lets you look at links people are already sharing with you? What makes this important? Ever the self-promoter, Scoble links to his own blog, so that TechCrunch readers can see the proper technique for a blowjob — if your knees aren’t bleeding, you’re doing it wrong — where he goes on and on about the importance of AirPlay. Is AirPlay a big deal? No, not yet, because you need to have an Apple TV to get the full living-room experience, and most people don’t even know the thing exists. But he personally likes it, so he thinks it’ll be a huge success. Judging by many of his past comments, he actually thinks that his liking a thing will make it a huge success.
Scoble, you arrogant twat, most people aren’t like you. They don’t have twenty-seven boxes connected to their TV. They don’t want that. They’re still trying to get used to the goddamn magical intensity of the iPad that they’ve owned for a year. And since AirPlay isn’t yet open, it’s not going anywhere. If TVs themselves supported it, sure, but that system failed when it was called DLNA, and despite your incomprehensible assertion that it failed was because the iPad didn’t exist and didn’t support it, it failed because in general, not enough things had it, so you couldn’t reliably use the fucking thing, and so no user would get into the habit of using it, if they ever had the right combination of gear to use it in the first place.
I don’t know why I’m getting upset at Scoble. It’s not like he’s even remotely credible when it comes to technology: after all, this is the guy who, in his conversation about why AirPlay is so fantastic and will totally catch on, said:
RSS was NOT open, by the way. It was largely controlled first by Netscape and later by Dave Winer. It was a standard that was made popular by Dave Winer and his company UserLand. It became a defacto standard because everyone started using it. The same way people are already starting to adopt AirPlay (thanks Rob Mitchell for the Lifehacker links that demonstrate such).
RSS is a de-facto standard that any developer can use. That doesn’t mean it’s open. Dave Winer controls it.
Of course, father of RSS Dave Winer stepped in and defended his honor, saying:
Scoble, RSS was and is completely open. Someone creates everything. Please.
Scoble did not respond to this.
Seriously, getting upset at his portrayal of technology is like criticizing the specifics of your infant child’s plans for a rocketship to Mars: Scoble thinks that a freely published spec for a text file isn’t open, and that Dave Winer is sitting in some goddamn castle somewhere, rubbing his fingers together cackling over all the control he has over it. And thinks that a proprietary piece of tech made by Apple is somehow more open an accessible than a free and clear spec for text files.
I could write down all of Scoble’s technical expertise on a single sheet of paper, then be able to use the entire paper to write something worthwhile, because it would still be blank.