Back To The Mac: As Expected

So as Bonnie posted in yesterday's News Of The Day, we've got a few announcements from Apple during their "Back To The Mac" event.  I found none of these surprising – that isn't a bad thing, actually – but I think it bears closer analysis as it gives us ideas of trends we see both in Apple technology, but in other technologies as well.

These, of course, are going to affect us progeeks, so I feel it's worth calling them out.

So here are the new features of Mac OS 10.7..  A few things stand out:

An App Store

This one was obvious a mile (or several kilometers) a way.  People are now used to app stores thanks to the iPhone, the iPad, services like Steam, Console DLC games, etc.  It's regarded as fast, efficient, and now, frankly, expected.

I see this as an extension of the online resources Apple has now, and the cultural/conceptual foundation built with the App Store.

Effects: The App Store concept is pretty widespread, this is going to be the clincher – an App Store will be a normal expected piece of every technology.  Expect even more focus on this idea, consolidation among those providing such services, and a further acceleration of the diskless/boxless experience.  More interest in developing for Mac with this fast and quick delivery.

Launchpad and The Full Screen Apps

In short, your Mac can act like an iPad (made easier with the other features).  The iPad and tablet metaphors clearly have penetrated people's conciousness, and Apple is glad to ride on that.  This also suggests to me that Apple realizes that iPads may be gateway devices to other systems.

Effects: Further adaption of tablet and iPad-like functionality as an option if not a norm.  A desire, in some cases, for simpler computer metaphors and rethinking of useability.  I also see potential interface changes on non-Mobile, non-computer, non-Tablet electronics like gaming consoles.

Mission Control

This will just be easier to use.

Further Speculation

  • At some point I think Apple will release iPad/iPhone emulators for the Mac to further leverage the software available.  They just won't do it until it can be a seamless experience.
  • The iteration of OS X after Lion will probably have the iPadlike interface as the default – if more new users are coming to the Mac at that time.
  • Apple is playing up the feedback loop of Mac-iPhone-iPad-Mac.  That's a subtle way of marketing their technical integration and emulation.  It's also clear that they consider this a strength of theirs and want to leverage it.

So those are my thoughts. What are yours?

Steven Savage