Keynote Thoughts/Reactions


There has been so much written about the Steve Jobs keynote on Monday that I’ve been too busy reading to make any of my own comments.

Overall, the biggest surprise of the keynote for me was the lack of surprises.

Leopard’s “top secret” features were very slick (new desktop, new Finder), but not as earth-shattering as I had hoped. (Note that I’m still looking forward to Leopard almost as much as the iPhone.)

If the keynote felt a bit disappointing, it is surely the fault of having one year since we first saw some of Leopard’s most impressive features.

Here are some quick notes on the keynote:

  • Stacks: Stacks The long-fabled feature finally debuts as a part of the Dock.

    These icon groupings function a lot like the tabbed Pop-Up Folders from Mac OS 8 (or, for the cynics, like more sophisticated versions of folders in the Dock).

    They store a lot of items together (files, folders, apps) and fan them out (or display them in a grid) when clicked. When you’ve chosen the item you were looking for, the stack snaps back to its compact icon on the Dock.

    This should be especially handy, given the introduction of a new Downloads stack in the Dock to store all downloaded files as they come in. (I love the little hop that the stack makes when a new download arrives!)

    Sadly, stacks seem to work only in the Dock.

  • Quick Look: Offering speed and efficiency, Quick Look allows for files of many types to be previewed without opening their creator applications.

    With a tap of the spacebar or a click on the Quick Look button, a preview appears which can be used to flip through pages of a multi-page document, look through slides in a Keynote file, or view a photo or video in full-screen.

    Very slick.

    A relatively minor feature, until one considers the bonus — Quick Look is a system-wide architecture, expandable by third-party plug-ins for new document types. As a system feature, Quick Look functionality can be built into any application (like a QuickTime container of old), in turn powering some really cool features like iChat Theater.

  • Resolution independence, ZFS, and Screen Sharing were all notable no-shows. These features may still be coming and may have just missed the cut for publicity, but they are interesting omissions.

  • Boot Camp gains and then loses a great feature: As John Gruber points out, the Boot Camp feature page on listed a nice feature that would let users switch from Mac OS X to their Boot Camp Windows installation without restarting via a clever use of Mac deep sleep and Windows hibernation.

    Apparently, after a developer at WWDC asked for details, the engineering team reacted with horror that the feature had been posted to the web, and had the text pulled within the hour.

  • Safari on Windows: Intriguing news. As Gruber points out, it’s more “ice water for the people in hell.”

    It should provide a wider base for Safari, and hopefully encourage web designers to better support Safari, benefiting Mac and iPhone Safari users, as well.

    While one can view Safari for Windows as a Trojan Horse taste of Mac OS X living, why is Apple going after Firefox rather than IE in its market-share graph?

  • iPhone third-party development: I have to agree with many posters around the net — while the idea of web development to put functionality onto the iPhone may be a clever idea, selling it to the assembled Mac developers at WWDC as a “sweet” proposition was downright insulting. Web development is not the same as app development, and Apple knows it. Michael Tsai says it best, using Steve Jobs’ own words.

  • Why are there no new details regarding the iPhone release?

    Mysteriously, the iPhone site was revised following the keynote, adding new angle-view movies of the iPhone — yet the actions the iPhone performs in each video are the same as the original, head-on view movies — with no updates since January — including Cingular instead of AT&T, “Web” instead of “Safari” and more!

    Why would Apple launch such a tremendous product without even updating the site to reflect the finished version of the iPhone?

    I feel like another Apple iPhone announcement1 has to come out of Apple (unexpectedly) before the 29th…

In my next post, I’ll talk a little more about Apple’s site redesign — a massive update that went live immediately following the keynote. There’s a lot to look at.

In the meantime, to catch up on other keynote revelations:

  1. Please say iPhone pre-orders online (shipping to arrive by 6/29)! 

One thought on “Keynote Thoughts/Reactions

  1. Nice summary, Scott. I don’t own a Mac but it was a good read nonetheless. I’m looking forward to your reactions to the site redesign too — and thanks for linking to Ubiki, I’ll return the favor on my sites!

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