A more competent writer would have spent maybe a sentence or two explaining the novelty of the briefing and then moved on. Gruber spends four paragraphs. I don't need to know that they gave him free coffee, or that the chair was comfortable. The whole thing comes off as sickeningly conceited.
When I write a post, or when a journalist writes a story, or when you write a comment, you want to have an angle: something that sets your writing apart from the other thirty people who are writing about the same thing. Many publications today will cover detailed information about Mountain Lion. Gruber knows that. Further, there's not actually much new in Mountain Lion: Gruber successfully summarizes the new release in a handful of words in a middle paragraph. While I suppose he could go into more detail on interface minutia between Contacts and Address Book, or pontificate on why Notification Center on OS X looks more like Growl and less like the iOS pull-down, even doing that would provide him relatively little material.
Instead, Gruber focused on the culture of the event. From a company so well known for massive product releases and on-stage demos, the idea of doing not just one, but a large number of in-person demos across the country represents a substantial shift. It could symbolize any number of things, from a lack of confidence to a desire to repair image damage from Foxconn, which is why Gruber finds a need to emphasize how polished the presentation was and how the event was set-up in detail.
I can understand why this might feel like naval gazing, but to me, it's anything but. Gruber is in a unique position to comment on the cultural shifts of Apple, precisely because he's so involved with that selfsame culture. If he's going to comment on Mountain Lion's release this morning, that's going to be his angle. It's completely fine if you don't find it interesting, but questioning his competency, or calling this approach conceited, is wrong.
I think that this piece is akin to pieces you might read in the New Yorker or the Atlantic, in that you see a writer's analysis of a topic or event through their experience, both past and present.
It's doubtful that Gruber is rubbing this in all of our faces. More likely, he's noting it's novelty as a change (or a confirmation, really) of Apple's motivations.
Gruber is a competent writer. His pieces exhibit voice and clarity, though you might disagree with him (I often do), but a contrary opinion is no less competent for its, well, contrariness.
That's the spirit of HN. If you disagree with someone but they challenge you and add value to the discussion, you upvote and challenge back, sharpening both of your stances.
Describing things like this is a way of seeing into the machine and finding out how it works. This kind of event marks an interesting departure from previous WWDC-type promotions. It's an important thing in and of itself.
Further, a dozen other sites were getting this presentation, with the same embargo date and they were going to write the articles that their audiences expected. So absent a unique take that might interest Gruber's particular audience, there'd have been no point to his writing anything.
If not this sort of approach, he might as well have just linked to Engadget and called it a day.
There are many genres of journalism. It's true that Gruber is not Reuters. It doesn't mean that he's not a journalist (even if he doesn't say so himself).
Which wouldn't be a big deal if it wasn't for the fact that shooting the messenger and/or his writing style seems to be a treatment exclusively reserved for Gruber. These kneejerk reactions to one particular blogger are pathetic and belong on Reddit, not HN.
Seems like just a reality of the tech world, everyone just discredits everyone else in the hope of increasing the value of their own portfolio/brand/whatever.
But Gruber has never really been that guy. And I don't think that's ever been a secret. You could drop this criticism on any of his longer-form pieces and making it just makes me wonder why you bother reading him.
So like a typical Gruber piece, right?
I wonder immediately about that “now”. I don’t press, because I find the question that immediately sprang to mind uncomfortable. And some things remain unchanged: Apple executives explain what they want to explain, and they explain nothing more.
What useless reporting! How about just asking a follow up question about what is different? Or why OS X will not support Siri in this release?
Strike out all Gruber's writing involving the feel of the room and this might as well be a feature list on Apple.com.
And instead of a room full of writers, journalists, and analysts, it was just me, Schiller, and two others from Apple — Brian Croll from product marketing and Bill Evans from PR.
Not even a head nod to let us know he has at least a small sense of what his purpose at this meeting is. Just any hint of self-awareness that he's merely an extension of Apple Marketing would suffice. One of the most valuable companies on the planet sees value in free advertising through Gruber. I'm not sure if that reflects more poorly on Gruber as the stooge, or his readers as pawns.
It's cool with me if you don't like Gruber, but we don't really need to hear about it. Instead, just stop reading Gruber. It's particularly useless to read your ad hominem attacks against both Gruber AND his readers in the last sentence you posted.
Gruber TOLD us what is "different" now; what's different, clearly, is that journalists are being given briefings like this to spread the word in advance about OS changes. That's quite obvious from his entire article. You're just being obtuse. As for why Siri isn't in this release, well, one assumes it's cause Apple isn't done with it. It's not Gruber's job, nor is it interesting to readers, to post his guesses about things which are NOT in the new release; what's more interesting is what IS there.
He _literally_ guesses that other journalist will receive the same personal briefing he gets.
Gruber TOLD us what is "different" now; what's different, clearly, is that journalists are being given briefings like this to spread the word in advance about OS changes.
You fell for his writing. "This is an awful lot of effort and attention in order to brief what I’m guessing is a list of a dozen or two writers and journalists." He never asked the question "How many other people will get this private presentation?" or anything equally basic.
An Apple VP specifically targeted Gruber's fanclub. He's a trustworthy sycophant.
I didn't "fall for" anything. Nor do I care that you are guessing about what Gruber did or did not ask. You especially have no clue about other, conveniently unspecified things which you assume Gruber didn't ask about which are "basic", so I care even less about that.
Again, you are personally attacking Gruber's readers, as I pointed out earlier. Now you're doing it again. It's tiresome. Please stop.
Gruber's readers are not merely a "fanclub". They are readers who read Gruber's blog because they get information there. When I worked at Apple, I saw quite a few folks walking around in Daring Fireball t-shirts. I don't think that's an accident, nor does it reflect your reality of Gruber readers being a bunch of hypnotized fanboys.
He literally says he didn't ask about things being "done differently now" because it was uncomfortable. He literally says he guesses a list of others will receive the same briefing.
>When I worked at Apple
Acting like someone doesn't have meaningful contribution to a dialogue because of where they have worked says more about you than the person you're conversing with.
As has been noted elsewhere, a Time reporter described a personal briefing as well. I think you're assuming that his article is a complete transcript of the meeting and any followup conversations, rather than a vignette.
PC Mag: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400311,00.asp
Tech Crunch: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/16/os-x-mountain-lion/
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/edwardbaig/story/2012...
Jim Dalrymple: http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/02/16/first-look-os-x-mounta...
The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/16/2801047/mac-os-x-10-8-moun...
I gave up after reading a handful of those. Which of those people did Apple brief "in this way"?
Anyone could have written those articles just from the copywriting on https://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/features.html
"We can report on Mountain Lion a half-year before it ships because Apple, for the first time, decided to give the computer press a look at a new OS X version long before its release. Normally, we see a new OS X version at most a few days before the shipping date. The early version of Mountain Lion that Apple gave us is substantially the same one that its registered developers will be able to download starting today. After using Mountain Lion intensely for a few days, I'm deeply impressed with its new convenience and security features, its subtle interface improvements, its cloud-based file synching, and its compatibility with software written for earlier versions." http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400311,00.asp
"For the past week, I’ve been using an initial demo version of OS X Mountain Lion." http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/16/os-x-mountain-lion/
"We got our hands on an early version of the OS -- so early, in fact, that it's something of a pre-developer build. (Heck, there isn't even an image of a mountain lion to choose from in the default wallpapers.) The version available to developers today should address some of the kinks we encountered during our testing, not that we suffered all that many hiccups." http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/16/apple-os-x-mountain-lion-...
"Apple recently briefed me on the new features and loaned me a MacBook Air loaded with a beta version of Mountain Lion. I’ve been test-driving for the past week." http://techland.time.com/2012/02/16/apples-os-x-10-8-mountai...
Ps, if Schiller's presentation was as thorough as Gruber describes it, then I hardly see this as free marketing. Time is money, especially for a guy in Schiller's position. Also the coffee.
"This is an awful lot of effort and attention in order to brief what I’m guessing is a list of a dozen or two writers and journalists. It’s Phil Schiller, spending an entire week on the East Coast, repeating this presentation over and over to a series of audiences of one."
This random article I stumbled across while looking myself takes Gruber's assumptions as fact, which I believe to be Apple's intention.
"The company is also changing the way it handles press events, according to worldwide marketing VP Phil Schiller. While Schiller has refused to go into any more detail, Daring Fireball's John Gruber notes that last week, he and others in the media were given separate, solo product briefings on Mountain Lion." http://www.macnn.com/articles/12/02/16/os.x.updates.to.becom...
Gruber actually wrote, "I'm guessing" because he didn't have the sense, integrity, or care to ask "Hey guys, how many other people will you be giving this personal, private, ego-stroking presentation to?"
And he's right. Gruber is perhaps the most influential Apple blogger out there. And he clearly merits personal attention from Apple execs.
And that seems to really piss you off. So you are attacking him on Hacker News where he can't respond, and also attacking his readership.
This makes no sense. Has Gruber been banned from HN or something? Where would you say is an acceptable place to post an issue with him? If I can't post it here, and he doesn't allow comments then what do you propose? Certainly you aren't saying he should be free from criticism?
And I didn't say it was unacceptable for you to post "comments" about him; I said that your particular attacks on him were tiresome, misleading and pointless. Which is different.
You can have a writer on a marketing checklist; quality writing is important for marketing to certain demographics.
What is unusual, in this case, is that Apple made it the way they launched the marketing for Mountain Lion.
I agree. Many of the "news outlets" reported on the operating system itself, as that's what their readers want. They're not really that interested in the fact that this private Q&A is different, and who attended, and how good the coffee was.
Daring Fireball readers obviously do, and it's probably why Gruber runs a fairly successful site: he found a good niche.
IMO it's certainly a bold marketing approach.
(edited since I accidentally a word)
And who knows? Gruber may have asked about Siri on OS X, or may have been told about a host of other features but was asked not to publish them. You don't exactly want to go and do that if you want any hope of being invited to future dog n' pony shows.
And that's exactly why Gruber's essay is a press release and not a journalistic report.
However, it seems to me that Gatekeeper's presence embodies a rather more embarrassing admission that, yes, Mac OS is on the verge of needing some kind of malware protection; in the wake of the Mac Defender malware surfacing last year, it was really only a matter of time.
But you can't find a large-scale Windows deployment anywhere that hasn't had to deal with an actual in-the-wild malware outbreak. Security people in corporate America do malware cleanups for Windows several times a week.
At the same time, you'll have a hard time finding anyone in the real world that got hit by "Mac Defender".
About 2 years ago, my then employer was considered a "strategic" customer to one of the big security/AV vendors. They came in to give us their dog and pony show about the future of security, etc... which basically said that the current strategy of using AV to "blacklist" bad stuff is ineffective. (I asked the awkward question "So WTF am I paying for your ineffective AV product?")
The only thing that makes me nervous about "Gatekeeper" is that it is Apple-controlled, and Apple is a mercurial vendor whom I don't really trust to do things that are in my interest. I'd be happier if I could trust other certifying authorities, which would mitigate the impact of Apple cutting of the oxygen to unsigned applications in the future.
The first thing that comes to mind with Notification Center is that perhaps it could be used for phishing-type attacks, by presenting a notification that appears to be from something else.
I suspect Apple will retain the right to pull applications from user's computers for any TOS violation, not just those involving malware. Even when those TOS violations are due to a change in the TOS.
I think a lot of people think that Apple taking away that choice is inevitable. I don't think so- I think it would be completely out of character.
But if I'm wrong, I'm gone.
I agree with you: not having the option would be very bad... but it's very unlikely they'll ever take the option away.
Why would they? The overwhelming majority of their users will never touch it.
Microsoft is going to soon start pushing its users to buy from its app store. I can see a future in which only 'trusted' programs can be run on new computers. Trusted here means programs approved by Apple/Microsoft and the national government of the country in which your computer resides.
I don't know how likely this would be but China seems to like to have a lot of control over the computing its citizens do.
If only approved programs can run on a computer then it is quite easy to disable undesirable programs. There's obviously a kill switch involved. If social unrest gets too great then move Twitter clients to the unapproved list and they all get deleted. This would be a lot easier than installing key loggers and...what? remotely logging into 100 million computers to delete certain programs?
Things like Gatekeeper can in the future be extended and used to exert more control of computing. It may even be a requirement for all manufactured computers as we enter the surveillance state era.
False. It's already been reported that this is not the case. Gatekeeper uses, and clears, the quarantine flag, the thing (which already exists) that throws up the "BLAH is an application downloaded from the Internet. Safari downloaded this file today at 4:30PM" message the FIRST time you open an application. Since after the application is launched, the quarantine flag is cleared, you don't get prompted again, and the blacklist is not checked again either. So, whether it's malware, or some kind of "subversive" app the government wants to suppress, no apps that have previously been opened at least once will ever be prevented from running by Gatekeeper. And nobody ever said anything about deleting anything.
Furthermore, even after a developer key was blacklisted, apps loaded from disks such as CDs or USB drives don't get quarantine flag. Only files that came from the network.
I'd order a tinfoil hat at this point but I don't know who might have interfered between the aluminum refinery and the sheeting facility.
Obviously this is hypothetical but given the trend toward national surveillance is it hard to imagine that this can happen?
I read the comment as being, "China's key logging exploits are evidence that it likes to control computing and it will seek to enhance this capability." The trend amongst world governments is to seek greater control of computing. I doubt this is going to stop with key logging software and won't be enhanced.
Oh Thomas, Thomas, Thomas. You of all people should know the unimaginable power of porn and the incredibly stupid things people do in response to the promised delivery of the same.
That's unless they want to install any app currently available on the Web that isn't signed. There is a lot of legacy software people keep using, even Mac users. I don't see that setting staying default for very long.
Also, apparently, all applications already installed get this magic applied automatically.
For tools like that, this could actually be a big benefit - it lends a sense of credibility. You wouldn't be able to distribute modified (read: backdoored) binaries, and if you did people would know who you were (at least, to some extent, and Apple could revoke your credentials so no one else would inadvertently run your software).
As for pirated software: I haven't seen a lot of actual 'cracks' lately; mostly it seems to be 'put in this serial plus set these hosts entries so it can't phone home' sort of thing. For app-modifying cracks, you'd have to disable this, but I'm not sure how common that is lately.
(Although it’s pretty obvious that acting like Apple already overstepped that line or will certainly overstep that line in the future is very childish.)
The notification will probably take the same form as the error message you get upon trying to launch a PowerPC app on 10.6 without Rosetta installed.
Also - as long as Apple makes it easy for developers to get signing keys, which seems to be their direction as far as OS X goes, there's no reason for developers to complain about it too much. Just sign your builds, and you probably avoid any warning message.
The only things stored on iCloud are device backups and iTunes purchases.
In what format? If addresses and mail are stored like Apple stores my iTunes metadata, I'll never get them back if I stop using Apple products.
Just web apps, then native apps with massive restrictions on what you can do and how you can build them, then native apps with a few less restrictions on what you can do and how you can build them (for instance compiled from non-objective C sources).
I get that people don't like where they are now but the pattern isn't one of closing down, it's slow but in the other direction. I don't think it's a jump to assume it might keep moving if Apple see the benefit of allowing it. Gatekeeper might, just might, be them seeing how such a model might work.
No. They originally allowed any programming language, then played a bit with disallowing anything other than C/C++/Objective-C.
Tell that to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Netflix or Hulu or anyone else burned by the In-App Purchase mess. I'd bet none of them would say Apple's pattern has been to open up iOS.
Even with those three it's not closed. I read Kindle books on my iPhone (and use iBooks as nothing more the a PDF reader as it goes), just the purchasing model isn't as streamlined as Amazon would like.
Not to mention: Mac Defender was a TROJAN. You HAD to install it yourself for it to work.
From Wikipedia: "Mac Defender (also known as Mac Protector, Mac Security,Mac Guard, and Mac Shield) is an internet rogue security program that can be installed by unwitting users of computers running the Mac OS X operating system". The exact same thing can happen to any operating system. You can install malware YOURSELF even in OpenBSD.
Gatekeeper's a small, small step that doesn't add much inconvenience to developers, but it does help a bit and I'm surprised at how long it's taken to arrive at something so basic & logical.
Users have three choices which type of apps can run on Mountain Lion:
Only those from the App Store
Only those from the App Store or which are signed by a developer ID
Any app, whether signed or unsigned
The default for this setting is, I say, exactly right: the one in
the middle, disallowing only unsigned apps.
Of course, Apple could have done this before. They could push out an OS update that wiped an app from everyone's computers. But that was a huge undertaking and now they have a process that is generally accepted from the App Store, and I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see it more regularly.
Edit: Apple wouldn't even have to be against Bittorrent clients. They could just get sued by record labels and lose, and then a judge would say "You built the capability to remotely disable apps, so use it to disable this one."
If it's about the first, I think the users who can get a Bittorrent client up and running (and have an interest in it, in the first place) are also able to read reviews and ask friends who may have recommended them this application.
Only those from Trusted Sources
Only those from Trusted Sources or which are signed by a developer ID
Any app, whether signed or unsigned
Enterprises spend a ridiculous amount of effort in locking down and pushing out software to workstations, so allowing them to maintain their own code-signed internal "app store" could be game changing. Apple has almost no enterprise presence, and this could be an opportunity for them to steal market share from Microsoft, who lately appears directionless and out of touch.
But it's not going to slow down developers, or even kids who like to explore.
> This is a preference in system preferences that is pretty easy to change.
That doesn't matter. It means that if I want people to use my software, I will now have no choice but to join Apple's $99/year Mac Developer program.
Time to port to Linux/Windows.
Here's Apple's own page on the matter: http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/security.html
> Apple wants to help you steer clear of malware even when you download applications from places other than the Mac App Store. That’s why Apple created the Developer ID. As part of the Mac Developer Program, Apple gives developers a unique Developer ID for signing their apps.
This seems strongly to imply that a Mac Developer Program membership is required for code signing.
I very much hope that their phrasing is merely imprecise, and if not, that they will change their minds and provide free signing. I love OS X as a development program, but I will leave it behind if they start down this path.
Why waste time being outraged about something unimportant when you could be BUILDING SHIT?
FOSS and freeware developers, I imagine.
>You're building apps on a $1700 laptop while sipping a $6 coffee in your $2000/month apartment, for fuck's sake.
Sorry, no I'm not. I'm scraping by on a laptop that cost $1100 when I bought it six years ago. My living situation is... let's just say that you're just a tad north of reality. I was making an OK living off of some shareware I wrote until Apple pulled the rug out from under its smaller developers with last year's App Store transition. $100 is not a hardship, but it is a significant chunk of change.
Now, with that all out of the way, that's not actually the point. The point is what this does to people just starting out. Consider how much free/cheap software there is out there because somebody took their little weekend project and decided to pop it up on the web. Now consider what proportion of those people are going to take that leap if they have to pay a hundred bucks for practically anyone to be able to use it. Do you think any of them will be willing to put it out there for free under those conditions?
If I were a Mac developer with a skepticism about Apple's increasingly tight grip on their platform, I'd be much more concerned about the widening circle of APIs that are unavailable to non-App Store apps.
That being said, it isn't like the switch (and its parameters) and the development of Mac App Store-only APIs can't be trends that reinforce each other, of course.
I have the third option, but I will also have to explain this option to the users of my software. Plus, the option is not granular -- it seems like you cannot disallow all unsigned software, but make exceptions.
Here, let's try just one response and you just (safely) assume that it stands in for a myriad of other similarly horrible issues:
Likelihood that Apple will sell its CA root key to an unnamed Fortune 500 company under NDA to make some kind of software rollout problem simpler for them at the expense of the security of every Mac computer in the world? Zero.
Likelihood that an SSL CA will, after sucking the intestines out of a freshly killed puppy dog using its razor sharp SSL CA proboscis, sell its CA root key to an unnamed Fortune 500 company under NDA to make some kind of software rollout problem simpler for them at the expense of the security of every Mac computer in the world? Not zero. Not close to zero.
2. Will the code signing scheme be more vulnerable to malware because of the third-party CA? _____ (fill in)
2. ___ YES ___
How many security breaches has Verisign had? Allowing 3rd party authorities to issue certificates would simply weaken the security that the feature provides. Moreover, it would mean that Apple cannot revoke the certificates, defeating the entire point of the feature.
> it seems like you cannot disallow all unsigned software, but make exceptions.
That would be a pretty broken feature. The only ways for OS X to handle that would be for it to say "screw it, I don't care what's in this specific directory, you can run it", which means that the directory becomes a vector for malware, or to disallow updating the directory once you exclude it, so that the OS can be sure that what you allowed is actually what's running. Both of these are pretty terrible options.
All in all, of the two ways it was likely to go (allowing only App Store apps by default, or allowing only signed Apps that meeting certain criteria), I think this is the much more palatable one.
Forgive me for being naive, but what does "app" mean in this context? Is a shell script an app? What about a python script with GUI elements?
The way code signing is implemented today, for another.
"It's also been designed to let you manually override the protection measures and install something that hasn't been signed, even if your settings are turned all the way up to App Store only."
Can we please stop repeating BS?
People like to make it sound like some kind of slippery slope, but including Mountain Lion, NOTHING has been taken away from users re: freedom, from OS X 10.0.1 to 10.8.
In addition to running whatever from whatever, 10.7 gave you the option to use an App repository. You know, like the one, say, Debian had from decades, only not restricted to OSS.
In addition to running whatever from whatever AND from the App Store, 10.8 adds the ability to only run signed apps. You, know, like the security solution that is considered one of most effective ones by security boffins.
Well, no, that's not quite true. See also: PTRACE_DENY_ATTACH in random binaries (e.g. iTunes) and the gimped DTrace implementation.
Are these showstoppers or the end of freedom as we know it? Not be a long, long way. Are they (fairly small) limitations on the freedom of users? Yes.
I know a lot of people won't like it, it's the equivalent of locking up the box with proprietary screwdrivers, but these restrictions do make life a lot easier for regular users and the people who have to support them.
Also, it's nice to have a choice of operating systems. This kind of thing fits in with the siloed approach Apple takes across the board, so for dedicated Apple users it's not evil, it's just an improvement on what they're already used to.
The "No unsigned code default" has been coming for a while in mainstream computing, thanks to most users ability to blindly click anything attached to a random e-mail or downloaded from their favourite wallpaper site. Out of the options ("App Store Only" or some other signature system), I think they chose the right one. As long as the opt out is there, not only do I not have a problem with this, I'd suggest it's a positive step forward. The only change I'd want is to remove or massively reduce the cost of getting a developer certificate.
Not at all, for several reasons. First, defaults are powerful things. The vast majority of users never change them, or even become aware that they can be changed. This remains true even if you throw an unskippable dialog box right up in their face -- lots of people will just blindly click "OK" to accept whatever the default in the dialog box is, without stopping to consider the alternatives. The result is that default settings tend to become "the new normal," even when they're sub-optimal.
(Example: why did IE6 rule the Web for a decade, despite being demonstrably inferior to the alternatives for most of that time? Because for nearly all users, it was the default.)
This seems especially true in the case of this particular preference, for two reasons. First, it's a technical question ("what's 'unsigned code?'"), which means many users will avoid changing it for fear that they don't fully understand the consequences of doing so. Second, it involves security, and users have been trained that in questions of security departing from "standard operating procedure" puts them at risk, so others will avoid changing it for fear that doing so will expose them to new vulnerabilities.
In other words, it's not unreasonable to expect that offering unsigned code will quickly become an infeasible strategy for OS X developers, even if users still have the option to accept such code. The option may be there, but those developers will find themselves marginalized simply for being something other than the default.
Apple is probably making the right decision for its users, but I still feel there is something we're losing here.
Overnight they'd lose many thousands evangelists and unpaid tech support staff (ever help a family member with their Mac?).
Like with iOS? Hackers will be annoyed, but Apple doesn't care about them when there are more than enough developers who are either in it for the money or who agree with Apple's position.
However, from Apple's perspective, if there are "enough" developers who can't or won't leave (because they develop Mac software or iOS software or both), Apple might not care if you do.
And it's not like the signing process is particularly onerous -- it won't represent even the slightest barrier or inconvenience to shareware, freeware or open source app distribution.
Sir, please click on About this Mac: if there is an icon of a signed page, we are good, but if it has a circle-and-slash around it, well, your Mac is running some unsigned software. Your warranty is void. Please go to the application list in Finder to see which apps you must uninstall...
With this model, the developers will get their news in the same manner as always, and the keynotes can be reserved for a general audience.
The three tiered app security thing is huge and great. I love it. I hope they've ditched some skumorphism.
It's worse than ever—have a look at some of the screenshots. My favourite is the tweet dialog.
Actually there's nothing of the "bad skeuomorphic UI" about the tweet dialog --it's just that its' background resembles a lined notepad.
Other than that, it looks and behaves like any other text entry box and has non skeuomorphic send etc buttons.
So, "worse than ever"? Hardly.
I've never seen a dialog box like that. What was wrong with the standard and universal "plain" native dialog box?
You notice the first time you use it. The 10th? The 20th? After you've used it for a while, it's just a nice detail on the back of your mind, and you're immersed in your text.
I've never seen a dialog box like that. What was wrong with the standard and universal "plain" native dialog box?
It was too plain and boring?
Besides being nice in itself, beauty also inspires productivity.
Also, I've never felt 'bored' from seeing a native dialog box, and I've never thought of a paper clip on lined paper as a thing of beauty.
Neutrality for these kinds of quick-and-functional interfaces is probably the better UI design decision.
You cannot plausibly tell me that the Twitter dialog has bad usability because you don’t like its aesthetics, at least not without extensive usability testing.
You might not like the aesthetics, others might. (I hate most of Apple’s skinning attempts but the Tweet dialog is actually one of the few exceptions to that. I think it’s aesthetically very pleasing and I like it very much.)
I do think that the Tweet dialog is awesome and fits perfectly. I also cannot see how the paperclip negatively influences usability. I just cannot. It seems extremely implausible to me.
When it comes to the Tweet dialog, Apple exhibited exemplar taste. It’s well done and none of the metaphors are wonky or introduce strange behavior. That is my opinion.
It’s only when skeumorphism impacts behavior that it becomes a serious usability issue. For example: The Address Book used to have three panes. Since Apple pressed the app into book shape for Lion they had to ditch one pane to keep with the book aesthetic. That’s a problem.
"Skeuomorphs are material metaphors. They are informational attributes of artifacts which help us find a path through unfamiliar territory. They help us map the new onto an existing cognitive structure..." — Nicholas Gessler
Also, fascinating how the iPhone is the first step in the halo effect but at the same time is also the most profitable. They are building on the halo effect and lock in of the iPhone/iPad to the Mac ecosystem.
This clearly means that non-app store apps are second class citizens. I had wanted to use iCloud in a program I'm working on at the moment. I'm now going to have to seriously think about if I'm willing to make my app only available through the app store, or not use iCloud.
I suppose notifications could be abused as well (perhaps some kind of notification-phising, where an app posts notifications that appear to be from something else?)
No releasing on your homepage.
No mailing out to people.
No humble indie bundle.
No developing an app with paying apple $99/year.
* The "Gatekeeper" concept is interesting, but I expect we'll hear a lot of grumbling about the default setting. We also all remember the concern about the App Store eventually becoming the only way to get software for your Mac; this will do little to allay that.
* Hopefully Launchpad will have some keyboard-based shortcuts, search-as-you-type (the way a Stack does), perhaps a separate/faster editing view than drap-and-drop, and other usability enhancements to make it more useful. I like it in concept, especially with the trackpad pinch shortcut, but not enough to keep using it once I got all of my programs installed.
* Whither new iWork?
* Some of the tweaks Gruber talks about really make logical sense, and I'm excited to see them. I hope that reliability & clarity hasn't suffered by the time of release; each release of OS X has seemed jam-packed with more "stuff" at the expense of much of that stuff's stability and polish, it seems.
* Gruber didn't mention a new Finder, so we're left to guess and find out in just a few days.
* I wonder who the other journalists are. This format for a press reveal of a product is... interesting, I guess, is the word I'd use right now.
It is, of course, a very large departure for Apple, which generally doesn't even return calls from anyone but Pogue or the WSJ, and even then doesn't generally comment.
I'd say that the lag between announce & release is a little more worrisome and something that I wouldn't want to see become a trend at Apple. I've always felt that a big part of their press was their general tendency to release right at announcement of a product or soon thereafter. Though, now that I think about it, I guess their OS releases have, by necessity, had to have some lead time associated with them.
OS X Lion was demoed on stage in October 2010, made available as a developer preview in February 2011, and launched to the public in July 2011.
You've got Gruber talking about only on the most visible features, but spending more thought on corporate communication strategy and iCloud directions.
Jason Snell articulates new features as clearly as I'd expect from an Apple "New in Mountain Lion" page.
Edward Mendelson I think covers even more features, but not as clearly as Jason Snell, and I think his vision of "AirPlay display to TV" -> "Mac is video game console" is fatally doomed by latency. But it's ok. We have enough people touching the elephant and describing it to dilute that.
So here you have the new strategy for non-event announcements. Arrange for simultaneous views from multiple, competent sources. Let the first sounds in the echo chamber be accurate and well informed to keep the erroneous speculation to a minimum.
 I could also be wrong here. With gigabit 802.11ac just around the corner, one could conceive of a TV device that optimized the latency from wifi to screen. You know, by tearing apart the industry's entrenched model and doing their own vision. But I'm just groping an elephant here.
When an Apple-exclusive blog gets preferential treatment and news scoops directly from Apple, it's reasonable to ask whether it's anything more than Phil Schiller's astroturfing outlet.
Yearly updates? Most exciting nugget of news in the post, IMO.
The only problem is that iOS updates are free, while OS X updates are not. With one update per year, they run the risk of version fragmentation if users have to pay to keep up with the upgrade cycle.
This is why iPod Touch owners have to pay for upgrades while iPhone users do not.
I think Apple may have relaxed that recently though, and I wouldn't be surprised if they release Mountain Lion for free.
Next stop: De-crufting iTunes.
Totally agreed. It's been pretty apparent for a while now that iTunes should be broken up into Music, Books, and Movies, each playing to its own strength and linking to a separate "iTunes store" app. And also that iPhoto should be renamed Photos, with full iCloud syncing.
As an example, with Lion they more or less removed Spaces entirely. This was a killer feature for me (and many many developers / professional users), instead they replaced it with some sort of fullscreen-ish-applications.
It works exactly the same way in Lion. Better, from the perspective of moving apps from Space to Space.
The only thing I see different in Lion is that you can't do two-dimensional layouts of Spaces.
Coda in one screen, Tower for version control and deployments in the next screen, Terminal and MySQL Chrome for managing the remote server and verifying deployments, Chrome for web testing. After I've made the loop so to speak, I'm ready to go back to Coda to fix a bug or work an another feature, and the circle begins again.
So my mental model works in a circle, with each next step only a screen away. In Lion the screens are laid out in one line, and I feel like it is harder to get to the screen I want. I have to remember the number of the screen rather than just the position of the screen. (For example upper right, lower right, lower left, upper left.)
If you've been using Lion all this time thinking spaces no longer work then this is your lucky day!
Can I get an amen for free code signing certificates that derive from the Apple Root CA? Not $99, not $5, free.
Overall: more like this on more OS's.
"On the Mac, Notification Center alerts are decidedly inspired by those of Growl, a longstanding open source project that is now sold for $2 in the Mac App Store. I hereby predict “Apple ripped off Growl” as the mini-scandal of the day."
It brings to mind Steve Jobs's rant against Android (the whole I-will-spend-every-last-cent scene) for "ripping off" Apple. But this is a case of "inspiration".
I've not seen the feature, but choosing the words "inspired by" makes everything sound a-OK. And that's a very fine line to walk.
The Reality Distortion Field is just kool-aid with capitalization.
It's embarrassing how much faster these kinds of tasks are on the iPhone than the Mac now, though network issues can still be a problem inside buildings, and the voice recognition isn't perfect. If I could just type my requests to my Mac, I think I'd find myself using it a lot more often. It would be like a realization of Jef Raskin's (and maybe even more his son Aza's) ideas on 'humane' and command-line interfaces as the ultimate UI.
Go to sys prefs and turn off "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps" and most of the problems with Lion are solved.
I can see the next release after this being effectively a completely walled garden desktop OS without even a command prompt.
On a machine that makes Apple a ton of money from developers (where do you think most iPhone apps are written) will get an OS without a command prompt?
And you can see this happening?
I know Apple is using iCloud to sell hardware and not the other way around, but I cant help but think iCloud can never be what Dropbox is so long as they don't make it available cross platform a la iTunes.
Of course I'll leave it switched off, thanks.
I found this comment very interesting. It seems like Apple will be updating OS X aggressively. Will this force Microsoft to do the same with Windows?
(As an aside, if iCloud will be used to "sync" your iWork documents between your Mac + iPad + iPhone, then that will be a great thing.)
I would love to see iOS move in this direction as well
Seems to me that not everyone at Apple was thrilled with the one-man spectacle that Jobs made the company into. I'd wager that most of the executives (especially Forstall) are going to raise their public profiles in the coming years in an attempt to use the rather high launching pad that is Apple to make a mark. Under Jobs that wasn't easy.
10.9 = Last needed cat name.
11 = New naming scheme that doesn't involve big cats.
The final release of 10.4 was 10.4.11.
But you are absolutely correct, there is no reason to assume it won't happen.
Interestingly, the Engadget article mentions more than once they thought 10.7 would be the last 10 before the jump to 11.
"Right now, at least, the company's not ready to close the book on chapter X"
"This may not be the jump to OS 11 we were expecting after Lion"
This change in Apple's approach is very encouraging and goes to show that for all of their success, they have not their moxy.