In the movie On the Waterfront, the story turns on Mickey’s lament – “I couldda been a contendah”. In the bowels of Apple’s Cupertino development center, the same lament could be made by Apple’s Mac development team. Last year, Mac sales grew by 28% despite having to heft a 100% price premium against PCs for identically the same basic hardware. Meanwhile, Windows PC sales eked out less than 5% growth. For the past 3 years, touchscreen APIs have been available in Objective C for Mac OS/X developers to readily incorporate into the Mac OS/X operating system. But Steve Jobs said NO.
But now that iPhone and iPad have been successfully launched there is no no reason to hold back. Okay lets get the bad news off the Apple Mac Teams chests – a very good Lion update to Apple’s Mac OS/X is hobbled by the fact that multi-touch and gestures are still not brought to the Mac’s full screen. They are still confined to the trackpad and “magic mice”. Steve Jobs insists that touch screen operations ickify the screen with oily finger smears while users’ arm would tire out. Mac Team to to Steve J: let the customer decide if they want to wear gloves or blatantly ickify their screens or use a stylus and get their arm workout for the day. As any Wacom touchscreen users can tell Steve, multi- touchscreen operations are very productive and their arms can take the punishment.
Note to Steve B. and Steve S: Thanks to Steve J., this is your last reprieve for Windows.
Still no on-screen multi-touch or gestures for Macs
Ye Editor can just imagine the contrasting scenes among the development teams in Redmond and Cupertino after the Apple OS/X Lion update announcement today. Redmond there were sighs of relief as many of the Mac Lion features were seen to them as catch up or easily duplicated – and the critical multi-touch gestures on Macs are still confined to the “magic mouse” and trackpad. This despite the fact that:
1)Gorilla glass, gloves and some very nifty styli are available for clean touch screen operation;
2)Apple’s lead could have been 2 1/2 years on Windows 7 and 8 for the ease-of-use and efficiency advantages of multi-touch screen operations; now when Windows 8 comes out in March-April 2012 Microsoft will have the lead in the PC desktop and laptop world. Worse, Windows laptop PCf are appearing in sleek form becoming equivalent in portability, sleek styling, and battery life to the iPad, iPhone and MacBook.
3)Touchscreen operations, not Touchpad or Magic Mouse, deliver so much better ease of use and speed of operations;
4)Apple’s Mac team delivered 28% growth in sales last year despite having at least double the PC price for the exact equivalent in hardware and maybe 1/5th of the number of Apps/Programs that Windows has. Steve, you could have given Macs a compelling and crushing advantage over Windows.
Even without Mac TouchScreen capabilities, the NYTimes sees Apple Mac and iDevice Ringing the Death Knell for PCs. So the Apple development team have had to grin and bear the fact that one of the best chances to upend Windows PCs has slipped away. As consolation, Mac Teamers can tout some of the other Mac Lion features – fortunately there are many. See theOpenSourcery.com complete review of Mac Lion OS/X for all the details.