One More Thing…remember “Back To The Mac”?

Oh, and one more thing:

(This wouldn’t be a column about a Steve Jobs keynote if there weren’t One More Thing, yes?)

Let’s not forget that Apple’s whole message during their last (and first) Mac OS X 10.7 demo was “Back To The Mac.” A stated goal for the future of the Mac is to take some of the technologies they developed for the iPad and some of what they’ve learned from a year’s worth of apps and users and bring them into Mac OS.

Many worry that this means that Apple will do away with MacOS entirely. Naw, it means that they think “my computer wakes from sleep in less than a second” and “multitouch gestures enhance the vocabulary of a GUI” are good things to keep in mind when figuring out the Mac’s next step.

Another lesson Apple could have learned from iOS is that “syncing data” is less powerful and handy a concept than “your data is just there.” After more than a year with my iPad I can state that I rarely put data on the thing via iTunes. It’s always a process where I decide “I want to use that file I was working on this morning with my Mac” and after a brief detour through Dropbox, bango, I’ve got that file I was working on this morning with my Mac.

So when I say that I suspect that Apple’s overall plan for iCloud is to make the device irrelevant, I’m not saying “It doesn’t matter if you have a phone or a tablet: all of your desktop files will be available to you.” I mean that your desktop and your notebook will be no different from anything else. It’ll just be another device that can access and articulate your data in a manner that makes sense for that specific kind of device.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple minimizes MacOS’ whole file system in some near release. Not 10.7, of course. But it’s becoming more and more clear that most of the accepted rules for desktop operating systems are now…well, off the desktop. Even such quaint 1980’s concepts as “windows where you drill through directories filled with files.”

10 thoughts on “One More Thing…remember “Back To The Mac”?”

  1. Multitouch on OS X? When so much as a glance the wrong way at my Magic Mouse blasts Finder icons up to full screen monstrosities, zooming had to be disabled – systemwide. There’s got to be a better implementation.

  2. I feel that the file system needs minified from the users’ perspective. The file system navigation seems to be an issue I experience while guiding novices on their computers. If the files were sorted and found via attributes (tags, meta), and the complexity was hidden by default, I would enjoy using my computer more.

    With that being said, it makes sense to allow power users the ability to view this complexity. I can still see the value of the file hierarchy when I write software, and file system abstraction via attributes could make programming more difficult.

  3. Using a mouse with a laptop is a workflow.
    Using a Magic Trackpad with a laptop is redundant.
    Simply reaching for the mouse shouldn’t trigger an action without undo.
    For real fun, try to set up *both* a bluetooth and USB mouse for left handed use.

  4. Paul, I agree, with a laptop a Magic Trackpad is indeed redundant, but so is a mouse (given the spacious trackpad in all Apple’s laptops). I stopped using a mouse with my MacBook Pro for over a year now and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

  5. Andy, this is a bit off topic but I thought I would ask you anyway. I have been holding off on buying a new iphone. I had a Iphone 3g then went to android and now I want to go back to iOS. Would you recommend buying an iphone 4 now or waiting? Do you think its likely apple will release a new iphone this summer or fall?

    Thanks

  6. Apple is giving us the filesystem that Microsoft promised but failed to deliver in Vista.

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