I miss the Apple freak out days

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 12:18 AM | comments: 0

I'll never forget the day in 2006 when I brought home the first Mac model with an Intel CPU. It was the end of me building computers and dealing with crappy commodity craptops. Then came the release of the iPhone, which was another lustful moment. Even the iPhone 3Gs had magic. By the time the iPad came out, I started to get "meh" about the latest aluminum thing (though I'm obviously in the minority on that... as the iPad clearly found a market that didn't exist). Today they made some more announcements, but nothing that grabbed me. Where are the hero gadgets?

First off the, new iOS has some pretty radical changes, and I would say they're all for the better. If there's one thing I feel about my iPad, it's that I feel like it's going back in time (all the way to 2010!) in touch interfaces. But there are web apps I use that show how sweet it could be, like the web-based Gmail. It looks great on the iPad. It looks like the entire OS is going that way.

It is slightly annoying that all of the flat, no-gradient UI has the fanboys inappropriately touching each other, because when Windows Phone did it in 2010, they all insisted it was awful. I mean, some of it is damn near cloned from WP. This from the company that invited Redmond to "start their copiers?"

At the end of the day, copy or not, the changes are really good decisions. The core apps are so long overdue for improvement beyond minor refinement. Would I switch back to iPhone? I don't know, I would miss the live tiles, and they've gotta meet the camera quality that Nokia is delivering on.

The most tempting thing out of the announcements to me is the MacBook Air updates. I know, they appear pretty minor, but the new CPU's are power sippers, and they're pushing the battery to an insane dozen hours. There are bigger and faster storage options, too. I think if I were still contracting, I would have already ordered one.

They teased the next OS X version, and it includes more iOS-ish changes. The big question on my mind is whether they'll embrace touch. There are already things in OS X that seem like they would benefit from it (like Launchpad). Or perhaps they see that Microsoft blurred or removed the line between the two, and that has led to a great deal of criticism. I'm on the fence, but it seems like every screen should be touchable at this point.

There is much rejoice over the new Mac Pro, which will come some time this year in an odd cylinder shape. The creative types into video and audio have been asking for this for a really long time, but the initial reaction hasn't been very positive. The reason people liked the big old "cheese grater" (best case ever!) was because you could load it up with hard drives and video cards. No can do on the little piston. Video people are pissed because it will force them to buy an external chassis for those cards, connected via Thunderbolt. A lot of those SDI interfaces and SSD cards are already expensive, and this won't help. The design is a bold move, but I wonder if it will go the way of the cube.

Whatever Apple does going forward, I just hope they continue to make the best laptops. I mean, someone will make the best laptops, but I want each one to be the "favorite computer ever" that each one I've had in the last 7 years has been.


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