I'm a father, manager, programmer, scrum master, geek, & movie lover.

New MacBook (Formerly Air)

Apple Predictions for Oct 20

  1. There will be a new 11” MacBook Air, which runs iOS (aka MacPad), and has a capacitive+resistive combo touchscreen (they exist here and here). You can use your fingers or a stylus. It is an iPad for productivity. The iPad’s keyboard dock always seemed like a hack to me. I think it only existed to see if there would be demand for an iOS device with a keyboard. They must have sold a lot, and decided to basically make an iPad with integrated keyboard & trackpad — aka this MacPad. IMHO, all Apple displays will eventually be capacitive+resistive retina displays.
  2. There will be a new 13.3” MacBook Air, which will be renamed “MacBook”. The existing MacBook line will be discontinued due to lack of performance, and because their plastic housing sticks out like a sore thumb compared to all other Apple devices. This would also bolster MacBook Pro sales, by creating a slightly larger divide between the power of a Pro laptop versus a non-pro laptop. At the same time, it makes the non-pro laptop very sexy & sleek. So you’ll have a choice: super-sexy & light but less powerful, or somewhat bulkier but also very powerful.

Apple’s new portable line-up will be:

OSX 10.7 “Lion”

Comments from my old blog:

U.C. said: super,sexy and sleek sounds good to me. at 2010-10-19 10:26:27

FaceTime for Mac

Apple: The Road Ahead: Part 1 of 3

A lot of people thought Apple’s October 20th event was kind of ho-hum, boring, but not me.

I was blown away by it.

The iLife upgrades are kinda cool, but the rest of the event was much more interesting.


Surprise! FaceTime is its own application, not built-in to iChat. FaceTime is currently iOS & OSX only, but remember, it’s BETA. When Apple says BETA, it means BETA. There are lots of Windows iPhone/iPad users out there. FaceTime for Windows will come along soon enough.

After using FaceTime for Mac over the past few days, I realized my Skype-FaceTime-integration prediction was dead wrong. Apple wants to kill Skype, not partner with them. Why would I say that? Because they see “buddy lists” with online/offline status indicators to be a hack that was necessary in a world that wasn’t always connected. FaceTime assumes an always-on connection, and (unlike Skype) will never have fees attached to it. It takes a the Net-Neutral stance of “data is data”, regardless of whether it’s voice, video, text, etc.

FaceTime is a powerplay.

You might ask “Why is Apple going after the video chat market? To what end?

Apple doesn’t really care about video chat, or free calls. What they care about is User Experience.

How is the FaceTime experience superior?

  1. FaceTime doesn’t use your minutes. Once the call is connected, it’s free. If you had the choice between a FaceTime device where many of your calls could be free, or a Non-FaceTime device where your calls would be paid (unless the person you’re calling has the same 3rd party app installed, and running, and waiting for your call).
  2. Unlike Skype and other competing products, users don’t have to remember to turn on FaceTime. If you’re conntected, it’s running. You can always receive a call. That’s good for you, but even better for the person trying to reach you.

So, is iChat dead? As soon as Multi-User FaceTime hits the scene, yes. There are lots of great IM clients out there, which offer great user experiences, and Apple doesn’t need or want to compete with them.

The telecom providers better watch out, too. As soon as Apple starts allowing FaceTime over any type of connection (not just WiFi), their voice plan revenues are going to disappear. Everything will be pure data, and it’s only a matter of time until one of the data providers offers a single rate for ALL your data needs: home ethernet/wi-fi + around-town wi-fi + and 3G/4G. $100/mth for 100GB of traffic, accessed however you want on however many devices you want. I think the ONLY reason Apple hasn’t enabled FaceTime over 3G is that it wants to stay friends with AT&T (for the time-being).

FaceTime still wasn’t the most important thing to come out of the event, though.

Continue by reading Part 2

Comments from my old blog:

Richard said: “As soon as Apple starts allowing FaceTime over any type of connection”

I believe that sentence needs to be ” as soon as Apple is allowed to use Facetime over any type of connection”. I truly think it’s the cell phone providers who don’t want this. It would be a really dumb move of them to allow this as you showed.

Don’t get me wrong I want this to happen. In fact, I REALLY want an iPhone without the phone component but with a data plan. But it is telling that there is a ipad with a data plan but not a ipod touch with a data plan…

It will be interesting to see if the next gen iPad that probably will have a camera, will be allowed to use facetime over the dataplan instead of only the wifi but I am not putting any money on that. at 2010-10-24 00:23:04

Julian said: I don’t get it.

You say: “FaceTime doesn’t use your minutes. Once the call is connected, it’s free.” But either does skype if you’re calling a skype user. As far as I know facetime is only good for calling facetime users. So the aspect skype that charges money (telephony) is simply a missing feature in face-time. A huge feature that is actually the reason skype exists.

You say: “a Non-FaceTime device where your calls would be paid (unless the person you’re calling has the same 3rd party app installed, and running, and waiting for your call).” Again how is skype different from facetime in this regard? Don’t I need to have facetime installed (and running) for you to talk to me on facetime? I don’t understand the point you’re making about having to pay.

Besides the lack of online/offline status… which I see as a missing feature rather than a positive, what is ground breaking here? It’s just videochat.

If you’ve done a lot of video chat in the last few days you’ll have noticed by now that it’s mostly a novelty and not good for much. Awkward pauses become…. awkwarder! and you spend most of the time looking at the pane with your own image to make sure you don’t look like a twat.

Lastly, I tried to install facetime. It told me I was missing a security update. I installed the security update. I tried again to install facetime but it still said I was missing a security update. I am for the foreseeable future without facetime for mac. at 2010-10-23 00:24:58

(Derek)[] said: You’re totally right — it IS the cellular providers who don’t want Apple to enable FaceTime over 3G. The thing is, the iPhone is the first cellphone the carriers don’t have full control over. If Apple wanted to, they could be total jerks and enable FaceTime over 3G, and there’s nothing AT&T or anyone else could do about it. The ONLY reason they haven’t already done so is that they value their partnership with AT&T and don’t want to tick them off.

One of the reasons the iPad doesn’t have FaceTime (yet) is because it shipped with a version of iOS that didn’t support FaceTime-via-email-addresses. That shipped later, and enabled the new iPod Touches & Macs to use FaceTime. The next version of iPad (coming in April) will definitely ship with an updated version of iOS, and most likely a FaceTime camera. Things are really going to start moving when that happens. at 2010-10-26 12:25:40

Richard said: “If Apple wanted to, they could be total jerks and enable FaceTime over 3G, and there’s nothing AT&T or anyone else could do about it.”

As long the phone company still controls the bits that get send back and forth to the phone, they have a lot to say. at 2010-10-26 14:13:24

(Zye)[] said: I really like the idea of FaceTime and this post is great. I think you’re right about the direction it’s heading and people aren’t fully understanding it as of yet. It will probably be normal in a few years for everyone to Facetime.

My only argument is that the carriers do have control of both your 3G network and your data network. They build the infrastructure of the networks and they control the throughput. They will have a hand in it one way or another. And if they don’t like the idea of Facetime stealing their calling minutes, they’ll figure out a way to charge the end-user. It sucks but it’s what I believe is under their control. You would have to get government regulation involved to protect the user.

What do you think? at 2010-10-27 18:02:24

Mission Control

Apple: The Road Ahead: Part 2 of 3

As soon as I saw iPhoto’s new full-screen mode, I thought:

I was right. It is the new true-maximize-full-screen button. Awesome.

These are all HUGE things for non-Pro users.

These are the reasons iOS devices have become so popular.

These things will push the Mac’s market share through the roof.

Initially I thought the new Launchpad (home screens) feature would eventually replace The Dock. I thought “They’ll track usage metrics for the Homescreens and The Dock and keep whichever is used most”… but now I think I’ve seen past that to the real truth.

Bring iOS elements back to the Mac is all about following Nintendo’s Wii strategy — bring people who don’t like video games (computers) into the fold, while not alienating hardcore gamers (expert computer users).

  1. Launchpad is not for us. It’s for people who have never enjoyed computing. It’s for people whose first computing device was an iOS device.
  2. There have always been many ways to install Mac applicatons, which is confusing to everyone but the geeks. The Mac AppStore solves that (huge) issue. Don’t think it’s huge? Consider this: how much less useful would your computer be if you couldn’t figure out how to install programs on it? Many people have been stuck in that situation for years, and in 90 days it’ll all be over. The Mac AppStore will go live.
  3. Keeping your apps up-to-date has always been a pain, for everyone. The Mac AppStore solves that, too.
  4. I assume AutoSave will use a new (hidden) temp directory until you choose where to actually save. Maybe you never have to choose, but you can if you want to. This is killer for non-geeks: students who always lose their work, parents, spouses, etc.
  5. Mission Control is great for everyone.

I think Lion already has plenty of “ROAR”, and I can’t wait to see what else it has in store.

Summary of Lion Preview: Microsoft must be shitting their pants right now.

Windows7 came close to approximating OSX, but they have nothing that compares to Lion… Steve Ballmer of Microsoft recently said the next release of Windows will be Microsoft’s ‘riskiest product bet’. They could be attempting to bring an iOS-esque experience to Windows. The problem with that is that Apple put iOS out there on cheaper smaller devices, and worked out the kinks, before bringing its features back to the Mac. In doing so, they discovered which features people would want, and which would alienate existing Mac lovers. Microsoft has no such path in place. They could be preparing a zesty new flavour of Windows to a crowd of fussy eaters.and Lion is just the beginning.

Continue by reading Part 3, where I’ll try to give you an idea of what OS11 will hold (OSXI?).

Comments from my old blog:

u.c. said: A Zesty flavour of Windows,I doubt it.They may try but everyone I know is switching to or already has switched to Mac. Seems to be what happens when a Mac Shop opens in your town showing everyone what they are missing.What a lot of time I save not being nagged by a PC to do this and that. Sheer Joy…….and of course they make an iengagement ring:) at 2010-10-26 09:43:06

rebecca said: the comment is simple…brilliant 1 at 2010-10-26 12:25:24

Ian said: I agree that the App Store is HUGE. Especially for beginners. AutoSave is also huge. Full screen as well. I think these changes are meant to decrease the learning curve (which undoubtedly exists) when switching from Windows (or iOS). I think it will help.

As long as they don’t remove the Terminal, I’ll be happy with it too:) at 2010-10-26 14:03:20

Ian said: Another thing I was thinking about with respect to the app store, and Lion, is the OS X SDK. Right now, Cocoa and Carbon are the two ways you code for the Mac. Carbon is kind of old and “on the way out” (hopefully on the pro apps and iTunes too, but we’ll see). Cocoa has some crud too. Cocoa Touch is much more modern in is cleaner from what I understand (I’ve only used Cocoa myself and not Cocoa Touch). I wouldn’t be surprised to see some additional new Cocoa, that is almost exactly like iOS. The goal would be to make it much easier to bring existing iPad apps back to the mac. Not exactly how they will do that, as they could either change Cocoa itself, or make a more modern Cocoa. at 2010-10-26 16:27:49

Apple: The Road Ahead: Part 3 of 3

Where are we heading with OS Eleven? As Steve said, “Back to the Mac”.

OS Eleven will be a dual-mode OS.

Think of it as Beginner Mode vs. Pro Mode

Or to keep with Apple’s Consumer/Pro naming convention: iOS vs OS Pro

Each user can have their own account on the Mac.

When you setup your account, you’ll be able to choose:

  1. Consumer
  2. Pro
  3. Custom

What will those get you? - ConsumerAppStore, Launchpad, AutoSave, full-screen by default, filesystem is hidden, iPhoto, GarageBand, iMovie - ProManual installs, The Dock, manual saves, windowed by default, filesystem is exposed, Aperture, Logic, FinalCut - CustomAllows you to choose any or all of the above options

OS Eleven will be the first operating system ever to be aimed both at power-users and “mere mortals”.OSX recently changed how filetype associations work with respect to what program opens them. Everyone was baffled by this. Why? I’m betting it has to do with Lion’s upcoming AutoSave & Resume State features.

If you hide the filesystem from a user, and the user clicks on a document, they’ll expect it to open in the program they used to create it, not some other program just because of some arbitrary file association.

Get ready, because that is coming in OS11, along with:

As usual, Apple is bringing the future to us now. One more thing:Many of you have been wondering why Apple hasn’t already bought Dropbox. It’s because they have more seamless plans. AutoSave to iDisk & AutoResume from iDisk… on any device, as long as it’s connected to the same MobileMe account, the same way you can pause/resume Netflix movies on different devices. P.S. - thanks to Ian McQuillan for planting the seed of these thoughts in a conversation this past summer

Comments from my old blog:

(Derek)[] said: Thanks for your comment Chris.

User education is where the attention needs to be

Would-be users don’t want to be educated. They’re not interested in computing. They’re interested in being social, and being entertained.

I bet “Simple Mode” has iAds, and “Pro Mode” costs $1000 extra

That sounds so correct that it actually horrifies me.

everyone should aspire to know more

True, but they should get to choose what they want to know more about. Most people choose to use computers as a gateway to other information, and have no interest in the computer itself. We shouldn’t force them to need to know. Anyone who wants to tinker should be able to — just like with cars. at 2010-11-08 20:09:20

Chris Browder said: Actually, Zye, I DO make modifications to my 13-year old vehicle and original, 260,000 mile strong engine. I fully understand how it operates, and I also know what has broken based on the change in pitch to the turbo, the diesel clatter, and the color of the smoke — much like a NASCAR Mechanic. It’s the reason why this vehicle has lasted all this time, if left to the hands of amateurs for pay (“Professionals” as you call them), my car would long have thrown a tensioner, stripped teeth from the running belt, and shoved a piston into the valve and I’d be out a vehicle that gets upwards of 50MPG Highway (suck it, Prius).

It’s people like YOU that have dumbed down my diesels with the requirement for automatics because you’re too lazy to find another route to get to work, leave earlier, or Deity-forbid DEMAND TELECOMMUTING for your job.

If everyone drove as I did, cars would be pushing 70 to 80MPG without hybrid assist, last 10 to 20 years, and become INVESTMENTS and not one-time-use items like a Toaster. I laugh when people say my car isn’t an “investment,” I beg to differ. I run at about 18.7 cents a mile, standard reimbursement for any company or US Government is around 53-cents a mile. No other car will do that, not even the oh-so-perfect Prius (marketed as a Sedan to the masses when in reality it’s a Hatchback, but no one questions authority anymore).

In my world, I’m not alloted the affluence and luxuries of taking the car to a shop unless it is absolutely necessary. Out of my own will to live I’ve fabricated replacement parts, teaching myself as I went. To most, I’m a full blooded can and will do American. To you I’m just retarded, throw it away and buy another one.

I hope you see my point, because I’ve attempted to make it crystal clear.

User education is where the attention needs to be. Linux programs compiled from source omit unnecessary bloated code, resulting in smaller install sizes and faster running on the hardware. Apple used to know A LOT about this but now that they’re back to their standard duality, we wan’t to make our outsourced chip maker lose sleep at night right to chose rhetoric, as they’ve had since the 1990s before Jobs came back.

Just when OS X was starting to become the OS it should be, it’s given a very clear death knell. Think I’m nuts? This is the same company that told you “email will always be free,” then two years later turned iTools into dotMac and required $99 a year to get your email back, and don’t think it was seen by users who became very intertwined with their free offerings that it was anything BUT a money grabbing hostile takeover.

It’s ironic to me that a search engine came to the rescue offering truly free products in exchange for targeted, sensible advertising. Facebook for iPhone now has ads. I can bet you “Simple Mode” does too, and “Pro Mode” costs $1000 more than the purchase price.

Just wait and let’s revisit this and see. The lemmings are set, Apple’s changed the DRM scheme so many times exporting your files via conversion is basically impossible. Those who saw the writing on the wall and played the Pepsi iTunes game to their fullest advantage (a jab back at the company that turned the very people who would need a 5GB music player — music pirates and snobs — into criminals with their one-way, locked down mythology for how it should be done) have already ported their media into a non-traceable, non-crippled file that works on millions and millions of car CD Players that support “MP3” and not “AAC.”

I believe that everyone should aspire to know more, and see a challenge as that — a challenge to better yourself. Instead we pander to the namby pamby and bring the goal closer so that Special ED can feel like a winner.

We’ve entirely reversed Evolution, at least in America. Thank some Deity above that I can move to central europe and be around a slightly less sheeple. (Canada’s not too bad either, I hear.) at 2010-11-08 19:33:44

(Zye)[] said: Chris, thanks for the enlightenment. There is a word that us laymen use to describe your type as well. It’s called pretentious. at 2010-11-11 18:37:24

(Zye)[] said: Great predictions Nostradamus:) But about your first ‘fact’: the reason that iOS appeals to me is more about ease of use and a holistic seamless experience. It doesn’t mean I don’t like computers. In fact I love my iPhone and my Mac and it doesn’t mean that I don’t understand them. I just don’t want to invest any of my time trying to figure them out. The way that I perceive the common user is very similar to a good user interface experience. You keep it simple and you don’t make me think. If you want to call it laziness that’s fine but that’s the job of the computer! It’s suppose to make my life easier. The onus should be on the computer. I want to get home, turn it on, have it ready and do what it’s told. I want it to work seamlessly with any peripherals just by plugging them in and without searching for drivers or performing installations. It’s like my car, I don’t jump into my car on the way to work and modify the engine before I leave. Do you fully understand how your car engine works as you drive? Could you tear apart your engine? Does it make you dumb not understanding the complexities of a modern engine? No, and you shouldn’t have to. It’s job is to get you from point A to B, without breaking down and without any additional work or under the hood maintenance. I think that’s all the common user is asking for. Keep it simple. Make it intuitive.

It’s why Apple has always created great products. And it’s a big market.

Great series, btw. What happens if all your predictions are right at the moment the clock is approaching 2012? at 2010-10-29 13:49:53

(Derek)[] said: Good point, Zye. That’s actually why I like Apple stuff in general. I don’t have to mess with it, the way I used to have to constantly tweak & fix my PC. The turn-it-on-and-have-it-work factor is what I love about my Playstation3, too. No worries about upgrading graphics cards, or adding memory or whatever. It just works. These days I see PCs as high maintenance, and PS3/Apple stuff as low maintenance, and I love them for it. at 2010-10-29 14:36:32