Apple WWDC ’07 highlights

So, this week is Apple’s worldwide developer conference (WWDC) and I’ve been waiting to see if:

  • Apple will finally update the iPod (no… unless you count the iPhone… and I don’t want an iPhone – well, never say never, but it won’t be available over here for a while yet).
  • Apple will launch new MacBook Pros so I can pick up one of the outgoing models at a discount (yes… they actually updated the MacBook Pro just before WWDC but that new LCD display sounds so good I might have to save up for one of the new ones instead).

The video below features some of the highlights from the conference keynote including something that I personally find interesting – Apple’s decision to release Safari for Windows. Whilst this cannot be a bad thing (hey, look what competition from Firefox did to wake up Microsoft and get them to update Internet Explorer), I don’t use Safari on my Mac because so many websites don’t work with it… I can’t see that being any different under Windows; on the flip side, it may wake developers up to the presence of Safari and they might actually develop standards-compliant sites that work across all platforms (meanwhile Apple gets the advertising revenue from the search box and a foothold for application development on the Windows desktop). Regardless of the reasoning behind producing Safari for Windows, it does kind of disprove the whole “we’re really strapped for resources getting the iPhone out and that’s why we’re delaying Leopard” argument. Then again, maybe it was a rush job, as they certainly don’t look to have spent much time making sure it was secure – beta product or not, using known tools to find a flaw inside three minutes is something that Apple should have done before they released it.

I waited to publish this post in case there were some extra items to get excited about later in the week but there doesn’t seem to have been much more to shout about. A million people downloaded Safari for Windows in the first couple of days (that’s pretty good) but I heard anecdotal reports that developers felt patronised by the whole approach to third party application development for the iPhone – John Gruber sums it up on his Daring Fireball blog when he paraphrases the Apple message as “you can write great apps for the iPhone: they’re called ‘web sites'” (he also links to Michael Tsai’s interesting observation about what Steve Jobs said on iPhone application development at D5 and what he said a week or so later at WWDC). According to the MarketWatch video below, analysts and others affiliated with Apple described the keynote as disappointing.

I’ll admit that the finder needs some tweaks and that using Coverflow for documents looks very cool but as for Steve Jobs’ statement that Tiger is already better than the competition and that Leopard will further increase that lead – I just don’t get it.

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