The Efficient Mac User

2007 Wish List: iPhone, iTV, Leopard, and More Independent Software Development

- 2006.12.22 - Tip Jar

For my first column of this calendar year (Five Things I Hope to See in 2006), I listed my five hopes for 2006. As we approach the end of the year and find ourselves in the final publishing week for Low End Mac, it's a good time for a follow-up. While I'm at it, I may as well offer my hopes for 2007.

The five things I hoped for in 2006 were:

  1. A good all-in-one device. I wanted to see an Apple-produced all-in-one, something like a Treo with iPod capability added in. Hmmm . . . sounds kind of like the many rumors for the iPhone (no, not the Linksys one!) we've been hearing. Well, I didn't get my wish on this one, but it sounds like we're close.
  2. A truly seamless transition from PPC to Intel. I don't know that this wish could have come true in stronger fashion. Apple pulled this transition off completely, with early releases of every product, and performance better than expected by most. Even Adobe has delivered (sort of) on the promise to have an Intel-native Photoshop.
  3. A racing Leopard. Okay, so we re still hanging with Tiger - but Leopard is promised in spring 2007 (and I won't be surprised to see it earlier).
  4. Truly useful (and useable) media innovation. I asked for an Apple media PC, and Apple announced a coming media PC in January.
  5. Continued open-source innovation. Over the past 12 months I've added a dozen open-source applications to my Mac, and half that many extensions and preference panes. I'm not to the point where every application (or even most) that I use is open-source, but I could see the day coming. I'm also encouraged by Apple's reentry into the open-source foray.

My New Years Hopes for 2007

iPhone

I want my iPhone! I'm to the point where I'm ready to buy a smart phone, and I hope I won't have to wait for Apple to deliver the goods. If even half of the rumors are true, we can expect to see an Apple-produced smart phone in 2007 - possibly as early as the Macworld Expo. (I was convinced that we would see it on November 15. Why? That was the day after the Zune was launched. What better way to completely cut the legs out from underneath it?)

Everyone has their wish list for the iPhone, so I'll throw out mine:

  • At least as much iPod capacity and function as a nano (a little more storage would be great).
  • A robust OS and productivity suite - and by that I mean something that is as good as or better than Palm OS.
  • Full sync compatibility with the iApps, naturally.
  • Bluetooth-capable for accessories and synchronization (but USB and wired accessories are options as well).
  • Full-scale telephony goes without saying.
  • About the size of two nanos with a hinge between them to form a flip-phone style - yeah, that's about right.

iTV

I want an iTV that sets my living room ablaze in media. I probably won't get iTV at first, but hopefully by this time next year. By then I hope Apple will have worked out negotiations with the other large-scale movie corporations so iTunes has a broader range of product. Wouldn't it be ideal if they teamed up with NetFlix and provided a similar subscription-based service through iTunes? And, of course, the iTV needs to be very Apple: It should work every time, all the time, and have the most intuitive and friendly interface possible.

Apple has set itself up to be scrutinized through every step. Since Apple made the unusual move of announcing a product early, it invited the world to watch how well they pulled this off. While I like Front Row and think it is a nice add-on for my MacBook, it's a long way from being ready for prime time. This one will be fun to watch.

Leopard

I want Leopard to be everything and more. I know, my list isn't so different from 2006's, but just think of that list as being way ahead of its time.

Leopard has a couple of (known) cool features, but it doesn't appear to be the powerhouse upgrade that OS X 10.4 "Tiger" was. Yet the timing for Leopard seems crucial: With the release so close to the long-awaited Vista release, Leopard is in position to show all of the Microsofties and Win-dohs diehards that Microsoft is still one or two steps behind.

More than that, I love to have a computer that does more, and it would be great if Leopard opened doors that were previously unimagined.

Independent Development

I want to see breakthrough opportunities for small companies and shareware developers. I've already mentioned that I like to use open-source programs when I can. The real brunt of software on my computer, however, is neither open-source nor large-scale commercial development. Most of what I use on a day-to-day basis comes from small companies like Devon Technologies and The Omni Group - or from shareware producers.

One of the things I love the most about the Mac platform is how much independent development goes on for it. I'd like to see ways for more people to get the word about these great programs and developers, and more ways for them to make money doing their thing. This can only be good for Apple and the Mac platform.

Well, that's it for this year - just four things. C'mon, Apple (and the Apple community) - you can do these!

Happy New Year, everyone! LEM

If you find Ed's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.


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