It’s become a bit of tradition in the Mac press to make public your guesses, predictions, and desires for what news will come out of every major Mac conference. Since WWDC is right around the corner, we rounded up some of our MacDevCenter bloggers and asked them what they’d like to see Steve unveil at next week’s keynote.
Our curmudgeonly java.net editor Chris Adamson, started things off by simply offering up a repeat of his last MacWorld wish:
An end to .Mac. It’s overpriced, it sucks, and it makes iLife suck.
I’d like to see a 12-inch laptop replacement - probably too soon for a tablet, though. Give iPhone some time then maybe. I agree that a complete overhaul of .mac would be nice. Couldn’t possibly be worse.
I think we’ll see a tower and new displays next week, and the more I look at the iPhone, the more I’m convinced that a tablet will appear at some point. The soft keyboard in the screen that could be there in landscape or portrait, the multitouch…
1. Instead of an end to .Mac (which I dropped last year)… A “good” .Mac service at a more reasonable price (say $5/month).
2. A 12″ MacBook with a Flash drive (no hard drive), LED screen, and just as “cool” (temperature wise) as my old 12″ iBook (which runs very cool).
3. A 6th generation full screen iPod (same size as current iPod but with a horizontal screen). I’d love to get an iPhone. But, I shudder at switching to AT&T Wireless with its higher data fees (I pay $29.95/month to T-Mobile for unlimited (slow) EDGE and unlimited T-Mobile HotSpot WiFi)
4. iLife ‘07
5. Leopard :-)
1. Details about the iPhone. Seriously. We’re three weeks from launch, and we know very little about the details behind the iPhone. How’s email work? Can it do IMAP(SSL)? Over the air syncing with SyncML servers for wireless contact syncing? How’s it handle WiFi? Too many questions.
2. .Mac fixup. Overdue. We need a partnership with an online storage company for better data backups, something to keep those of us locked into a $100/year email address from rising up in the night and storming the barricades.
3. Leopard “hidden” features. Last summer we were promised that some features of Leopard were kept hidden because they were Sekrit. Now’s the time to pull back the veil and show us the whole Macgillicuddy.
4. Server. We need to see what the new OSXS does, even if no one in the public really cares :D
5. A promise to move Multitouch to the Mac in a meaningful way.
I’m suffering from prediction burnout, honestly.
.Mac should die. Mac Minis should not. iTunes needs High Def video and a rental model. The iPhone needs games that take advantage of multitouch. Developers should be able to design widgets for the iPhone. The DVD is dead media walking–will we keep seeing iDVD? What about new High Def recordable media drives? Will iLife/iWork become part of Leopard–or is it time for an ‘07 or ‘08 refresh? What about that iSpreadsheet we’ve all heard about? And what about an iMac hardware refresh now that the laptop line has had its refresh? Oh yeah, and where’s my iNewton?
Two improvements for schools (I just ran into these yesterday in the classroom):
1. Native QuickTime MPEG-2 support — One student brought in a home movie to incorporate into her class project. Her dad, a reported Mac-hater, had saved it in a .MPG format iMovie couldn’t read. I had to take it home and use MPEG Streamclip (and Apple’s $20 QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component) to convert it to a usable format.
2. A Fair Use exemption for classroom use of copy-protected media — Another student used her iTunes account to buy a song to run under the credits in her group’s movie. But the students became confused because iMovie wouldn’t load the file. Instead of explaining why, iMovie said, “This computer is not authorized to play this file.” After three rounds of showing the student how to authorize the file in iTunes and still being unable to import it, I finally realized that the error should have said, “This file is copy-protected and may not be used in iMovie.”
Annoyingly, this usage is exactly the kind of educational situation Fair Use was designed to cover. So I downloaded Wiretap, played the song in iTunes, and recorded the first 90 seconds as an AIFF file. Then we dragged it into the movie soundtrack. I showed the students how to display the waveform so they could line up the beginning precisely, and they got excited to be back on track.
Oh, and like Todd said, a lightweight, flash-based MacBook to wean me off my AlphaSmart Dana. Anyone remember the name of the WiFi laptop Amazon is supposedly making?
After reading Tom’s wishlist, I partially retract my “wish” for the 12″ MacBook with flash drive. I now want a 12″ MacBook TABLET with multi-touch display. I basically want a Star Trek: The Next Generation PADD. And, wasn’t those ST:TNG consoles basically multi-touch displays? :-)
What’s on your WWDC wish list? Let us know in the comments section.