Tag Archives: macworld

Paying for iCloud storage

Dan Moren had an article at Macworld last week about the price for iCloud storage. Most iPhone users quickly run out of space for a backup, but they don’t use iTunes either because iCloud is just much simpler:

Apple’s philosophy is about making its products seamless and easy to use. Encouraging people to use iCloud backup is, in most cases, smoother and simpler than having to back-up to a computer.

It was 5 years ago that Steve Jobs introduced iCloud and talked about demoting the computer from the central hub:

Keeping these devices in sync is driving us crazy. So, we’ve got a great solution for this problem. And we think this solution is our next big insight, which is we’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device. Just like an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch. And we’re going to move the digital hub — the center of your digital life — into the cloud.

I use iCloud backup exclusively, with only the occasional manual iTunes backup when I know I’m going to immediately restore from it, such as when upgrading to a new iPhone. I expect most new iPhone users rarely sync with iTunes, relegating iTunes to a playback app for their iTunes rentals and Apple Music subscription, but not much else.

That’s certainly the case for my family, at least. After some lost photos recently, I told the kids I would bump their allowance by $1 to cover everyone having at least 50 GB of iCloud storage. No more excuses.

Maybe it should be free, as Dan Moren argues above. Or maybe Apple could encourage upgrades by bundling extra iCloud storage with Apple Music and other popular services. But even today, at 99 cents, it’s a small price to pay for cloud backup that you never have to think about.

Apple’s mindset on Swift dynamic features

I let myself go off into a bit of a Swift rant on the latest Core Intuition. I’ve been doing a lot of Swift development recently. The more I use it, the more conflicted I am. I really love some parts of the language, but it’s not what I would have asked for as a successor to Objective-C 2.0.

Remember when Steve Jobs came back to Apple and compared NeXTSTEP to constructing a building by starting out on the 20th floor, with so much of the foundation and common patterns already taken care of for you? Cocoa allowed apps to be built significantly faster than before. Steve said at Macworld Expo in 1997 that the goal was to “eliminate 80% of the code that every developer has to write for their app.”

Swift is not like that. Swift’s priorities are correctness and stability. These have more indirect benefits to developer productivity than we saw going from Carbon to Cocoa.

When Marco Arment wrote about Swift last month, he mentioned wanting a language designed for high-level apps:

Objective-C wasn’t much better for this, but I think we could’ve done better than Swift if the most important goal in Swift was maximizing real-world developer productivity when writing modern Mac and iOS apps. Swift does a little of that, but gives up a lot to also serve lower-level, more clever, language-geekier goals.

This weekend, Brent Simmons has a new post about the loss of dynamic features in “pure” Swift:

What makes me nervous is Swift’s emphasis on type safety and on compile-time resolution. As long as we also have what we need from Objective-C, then that’s fine — then we still get xibs and storyboards, the Responder Chain, and so on.

I hope Brent’s right that this will be a core part of Swift 4. Leaning on the Objective-C runtime feels like a temporary solution because it only exists on the Mac and iOS. Great web frameworks like Ruby on Rails, for example, can’t be built without relying on a more dynamic language. (And to me a great promise for Swift is being able to use it everywhere.)

Daniel Jalkut followed up with a more optimistic post. He thinks Apple is on top of this, even as he acknowledges the clash between existing frameworks and the new language:

Some major design priorities of the Swift language, namely type safety and compile time dependency binding, are at odds with the design priorities of 20 years of evolution in Apple’s frameworks. How and if that disparity will be reckoned by Apple remains to be seen.

I think it’s telling that the “dynamic” keyword isn’t even mentioned in the main language guide. Anything related to Objective-C is off in a separate set of documentation, which includes discouraging statements such as “Requiring dynamic dispatch is rarely necessary” and “use of the performSelector APIs is discouraged”. For Swift to thrive in the future, as a great language for newcomers and long-time Mac developers, Apple will have to compromise on that mindset.

Sunlit sync and publishing

It was Macworld Expo in 1997, and Steve Jobs had just come back to Apple. Somehow I was lucky enough to get a seat in the keynote, and I sat there with a big grin on my face as Steve came out to talk about NeXTSTEP, which would eventually become the foundation for Mac OS X. He likened developing an app to constructing a building, one level at a time. A good OS allowed you to build higher.

Microsoft’s DOS gave you very little, so you had to start at the ground floor. Developing for the Mac and Windows was like starting out on a 5-story building. But the developer tools from NeXT were like starting out on the 20th floor, because they were so advanced, because they “lifted the developer up” and let apps be developed more quickly than if you had to deal with all the basic foundational stuff every app needs.

I think the App.net API is that same kind of advancement for apps compared to most other web APIs. It is significantly more consistent and full-featured than anything else out there.

Sunlit syncs stories and photos with App.net, using your App.net private file storage (for storing photo data) as well as private channels and messages (for syncing story titles, permissions, and other metadata). We like this solution because everyone who signs in to the app with their App.net credentials gets sync automatically. It also means that if you authorize other apps to see your App.net files, you can manage the data Sunlit syncs there, or get it out again without us having to directly build an export feature.

(Although we do offer a number of export choices in Sunlit, such as saving photos to your camera roll, sharing them on social networks, or sending them to any app that supports “Open In”. We do this with OvershareKit.)

Publishing in Sunlit is another feature that utilizes App.net file storage. It allows you to take a story — photos and text — and publish it to a URL. The URL is public, but it’s not linked from anywhere unless you directly share the URL with someone. This makes it convenient for quickly publishing a set of photos and sending the link to family, for example.

Here’s what the published stories currently look like: http://sunlit.io/manton/nationalparks

On the surface this may look like Sunlit is uploading photos and other data to sunlit.io, where it’s probably stored in a relational database or on the server filesystem somewhere. But that’s not how it works at all.

The iPhone app actually uploads all photos to App.net file storage, marks the new files public, then generates a static HTML page and also uploads that to App.net. It then registers the story with sunlit.io, which caches the HTML just to make things a little faster. We never store any photos on sunlit.io itself, instead merely referencing their public URLs on App.net. (View source on the page to see the proof.)

This difference means you can move the site anywhere just by copying files from App.net, with any number of available file management tools. Or just copy the HTML file to your own server to serve the page from your own domain. The CSS and JavaScript is all bundled inline in the HTML, except jQuery, which loads from a URL.

We think this approach makes the whole system a lot more flexible and open. Your data is never hidden inside the app and your published pages are never locked behind a server.

Several months ago I wrote this about App.net:

“The promise of App.net is bigger than one type of app. App.net isn’t just a blank slate; it’s an amplifier. It’s waiting to power the next new idea and help it grow into something big.”

I still believe that. It’s making apps easier to build and more powerful, just like NeXTSTEP was. There’s really no other web platform like it. That’s why we picked it for Sunlit.

Layered glass

Nate Barham describes iOS 7 as layered glass:

“The best developers will see iOS as an operational model, not a visual one. Imagine a Tapbots app that, instead of removing the cute ‘I’m a twitter robot in your phone!’ aesthetic, doubles down on it. Zooming metal plates, ratcheting gears not shadowed from without but appearing from within the device, only now it isn’t a robot-esque layer over the stock controls, the UI becomes the character that the developer envisions—even more so than it has ever done before.”

I really like this post, but I’m not totally sold on the paragraph quoted above. Done right, it could be brilliant. But this is a very difficult thing to pull off, keeping the playful spirit of Tweetbot with a lighter, minimalist iOS 7 UI.

And related, if you missed Christa Mrgan’s recent Macworld essay, she also covers how iOS 7 will use depth and motion to switch from “faux 3D to real 2.5D”, with an example from Adobe’s After Effects. Makes me wonder if designers will need new prototyping tools.

Macworld guest essays

There were a couple special essays on Macworld recently — guest posts from the developer community. First Brent Simmons, who argues that Microsoft isn’t the enemy anymore:

“The threat to Macintosh was not that Windows machines were cheaper, or that people had bad taste—the biggest reason was that they worked with everything. That was why Apple asked Microsoft in 1997 to continue developing Office for Macs, so we could at least say you could run Word and Excel on Macs. […] But, these days, everything works with everything.”

And followed by Cabel Sasser, with a similar theme:

“I sometimes very awkwardly find myself rooting for Microsoft, Nokia—anybody—to put up a good fight and keep that fire burning under Apple’s collective behind. The smartest, most incredible people work in Cupertino, and their capabilities are boundless and their drive is endless, but sometimes—especially as a developer—you get the feeling that Apple doesn’t really need you, and will do just fine without you, thank you very much. I want Apple to need us.”

Both great essays.

Hotline servers

Benj Edwards writes a Hotline retrospective for Macworld:

“The Hotline system consists of three parts: servers, clients, and trackers. Anyone with an Internet connection can host a Hotline server for free; it’s software that provides for multi-user chat, message boards, and file transfers. Clients are special programs users run to connect to Hotline servers. And trackers are special servers that exist to facilitate connections between clients and servers; they keep an active list of available Hotline servers that wish to be listed on the tracker.”

I remember Hotline. I was building web sites by then, but it still had obvious appeal reminiscent of the earlier BBS and AOL/eWorld days. This article from Macworld is important because it will serve as a sort of Hotline software “about page” for future internet searchers. For many apps that were popular in the 1990s, it’s now very difficult to find an online record that they even existed.

What the Tweet Marker award means

It’s been over a year since I launched Tweet Marker, and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what its second year will look like. Hosting costs have gone up significantly over the last year, though I’ve offset that by combining the hosting for Watermark and Tweet Marker together so that they share the same core servers. I’ve considered other options, too: run a Kickstarter-like fundraiser, charge developers, or ask for donations again.

Now that I’ve stopped posting to Twitter from my personal account, people also ask whether I’ll just shut Tweet Marker down. The answer is no. I’ll keep it running, even if it means funneling some revenue from Tweet Library and Watermark to pay for it. Even if it means having to put out fires and deal with other web hosting distractions.

Hosted web services have a different level of commitment than traditional apps. When I stopped selling Wii Transfer, existing customers could continue to use it for as long as they wanted. Not so with something like Tweet Marker, which becomes useless the minute I shutter the web server.

The Macworld Eddy statue sits on my desk as a constant reminder that real people like this thing and find it useful. There is a lot of uncertainty with Twitter, App.net, Tent.io, and the future of microblogging, but no matter what takes off and what sync looks like, I think Tweet Marker played an important role in the evolution of Twitter clients. I’ll always be proud of that. It would be a disservice to my customers and the Macworld award to ever consider turning off the API while people value it.

Tweet Marker wins a Macworld Eddy

A few times since it launched, I’ve said to friends that Tweet Marker may be the best thing I’ve done. It has reached more users than any of my indie Mac and iOS apps, and it has been especially rewarding to work with other Twitter developers. It’s not perfect yet — there’s more to improve in future versions of the API and clients — but I smile every time I see a tweet about how someone can’t imagine going back to a Twitter client without it.

So it was really gratifying to see “Macworld recognize Tweet Marker with an Editors’ Choice Award”:http://www.macworld.com/article/163951/2011/12/the_27th_annual_editors_choice_awards.html for 2011. Thank you Macworld for seeing Tweet Marker as an important part of the Twitter experience.

And thanks to “all the Twitter app developers”:http://twitter.com/#!/manton/status/143729811406331905 who have supported Tweet Marker in their apps. We are up to 9 supporting apps across 5 platforms — Mac, iPhone, iPad, Chrome, and Android — with more on the way. I’ve opened up the API to over 40 different clients in various stages of research or testing.

Tweet Marker is a little unique among most of the other Eddy winners this year in that it’s still completely free. I won’t see a sales spike following the announcement. If you’ve been enjoying the service, consider picking up a copy of my iPad app Tweet Library, or donating directly “on the site”:http://tweetmarker.net/.

Was Macworld worth it?

As I “wrote in January”:http://www.manton.org/2010/01/macworld_expo_2010.html, I decided to go to Macworld to show off Clipstart and Wii Transfer, and to experience the conference again and hang out with friends. I ended up doing less of the latter, because I lost my voice and was feeling terrible for a couple days, but nevertheless the trip was great and I’m very glad I went. Worth it.

Here’s my summary of the show, what it took for me to be there and what I got out of it for “Riverfold”:http://www.riverfold.com/. This is supposed to be in the spirit of “Rogue Amoeba’s excellent series on Macworld”:http://www.rogueamoeba.com/utm/2007/01/16/should-i-exhibit-at-macworld-part-1-costs/, but more from a super-tiny company perspective, and just where my experience differs.

I do want to quickly mention costs, since that’s the primary consideration when planning these things. I took advantage of the Indie Developer Spotlight shared kiosk to keep investment low. In fact, I wouldn’t have gone otherwise. I kept the whole trip to about $2700, with a rough breakdown like:

$1250 – space on the show floor

$900 – hotel for 4 nights

$250 – flights to and from San Francisco

$100 – printed “2000 flyers”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/manton/4326331440/

$200 – other misc costs, cabs, and food

I could have saved some money in there on the hotel, but in general I think I did pretty well. For a lot indies it’s probably not that much different than a WWDC trip.

flyers_ollie.png I worked 8 hours each day on my feet at Moscone North, in my little booth space in the very corner of the expo. I was lucky for two things: Guy English was awesome and covered for me a couple times so I could take a real break; and the restrooms and water fountain were so close I could slip away when traffic was slow and be back without missing much.

The less expensive booth option was supposed to be for a table shared between 3 developers, with presumably a dozen or more small companies filling the area. But unlike the iPhone pavilion in the center of the tradeshow, which was packed with exhibitors, hardly any Mac developers took advantage of this offer. It was just me and one other company.

This was disappointing at first, since a less dense area doesn’t convey the same excitement and means less foot traffic. But there were other aspects of the deal that turned out better than expected, such as included wired internet even though none was originally promised. Compared to a traditional booth, it was a bargain.

Before leaving Austin for San Francisco I jotted down a few notes on how I could measure success, since I didn’t want to pin whether it was worth it just to direct sales.

See friends and meet new people. Check, but there were a lot of people that I ran into very briefly and didn’t get to really talk to. See aforementioned lost voice.

Get ideas from customers. Check, got plenty of great ideas. I loved talking to random Mac people, not limited to just the ones who bother to send email.

Figure out how to sell the product. There’s nothing like explaining your application over and over again all day to refine your pitch. I feel like I have a much better handle on this, but there’s still work to do, and web sites to update.

Actually sell some copies. I used a coupon code to track sales. During the conference my sales were flat, but in the weeks since I’ve had the best sales days of Clipstart ever.

Get exposure in the press. Check, was interviewed by Ryan Ritchey for “The Digital Lifestyle”:http://thedigitallifestyle.tv/home/2010/2/12/wii-transfer-at-macworld-2010.html, Merlin Mann for “MacBreak Video”:http://www.pixelcorps.tv/macbreak301, and talked with other members of the press on the show floor. I should have done more but lacked the energy.

Win best of show award. Nope, but wasn’t expecting it. I think it’s a shame that only one Mac application won, but on the flip side it’s great that it was “Inklet”:http://tenonedesign.com/inklet.php. Really cool app.

Everyone’s expectations coming into the event were low — the previous exhibitors who backed out, the attendees who wrote Macworld off, and the press who questioned the show’s relevance. But clearly Macworld 2010 was a success. The second day of the expo I was late to the show floor, arriving just a few minutes before they opened the hall. There was a huge mass of people waiting to get in.

There will be a Macworld 2011. I’m really excited to see how it works to move the whole expo and conference to Moscone West. I’m not sure if I’ll be there yet, since as demonstrated this year I can’t plan nearly that far in advance. Throwing all of this together 2 weeks before the show only worked because of everyone who made things a little easier during the week.

Thanks to Jason Snell, Merlin Mann, Adam Lisagor, and everyone else who stopped by and waited patiently through my demos; also Guy English, Paul Kafasis, David Barnard, John Fox, John Chaffee, the RogueSheep guys, my booth buddies from “Hello Chair”:http://hellochair.com/appsaurus/, and the other indie developers I’m forgetting; and especially Albert McMurry, Dan Moren, and John Gruber for telling people about Clipstart. It succeeds only because of word of mouth.

In closing… Maybe it’s because James Cameron is still in the news, but I’ve always loved this line from the character Rose in Titanic: “It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I trust it.”

That’s mostly how I felt about exhibiting at Macworld. Even though it was “cheap” by tradeshow standards, for me it was real money and a risk. I booked my flight the day I realized that the only reason not to go was because I could fail.

Macworld Expo 2010

I haven’t been to a Macworld since the late 90s. I’ve had it in my head for a couple years that I’d like to go back, but with so many developer-focused conferences it’s been hard to justify an extra trip for Macworld. At the same time, my “indie apps”:http://www.riverfold.com/ need a nice marketing refresh. So why not exhibit at Macworld and get to see the show again while reaching a new audience of potential customers?

I knew I’d regret it this year if I didn’t take advantage of the “small indie pavilion kiosk”:http://macworldexpo.com/indiespotlight. So with frighteningly little planning so far, I’ve booked the expo, flights, and hotel. I’ll be at the show and I’ll be demoing the just-released Wii Transfer 2.7 and the unannounced Clipstart 1.3. The rest of the details… not so clear.

But I’m pretty excited about the conference and hope to see many of you there. The expo runs February 11th – 13th, and you can “get a free expo pass here”:http://rcsreg.com/macworld/AMU29713.

Macworld review for WebSentinel

This month I’ve been lucky to have “Clipstart”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/clipstart/ featured in both the US and UK print editions of Macworld. It’s great to see the product in print.

Around 1996 to 1998 I worked for a small Mac software company called Purity Software. When “Ned Holbrook tweeted”:http://twitter.com/nedley/status/2639266306 that he had a collection of old Macworld print magazines, combined with having Clipstart’s review fresh in my mind, it jogged a memory that one of my products from Purity was reviewed in Macworld and I had always wished I had kept a copy. WebSentinel was a C++ PowerPlant app with a great UI for server products of that era (“screenshots here”:http://www.purity.com/websentinel.ws?page=exp — warning, Mac OS 8), though in hindsight it suffered from some annoying bugs and had trouble scaling. It turns out that 10 years later the review is nearly impossible to find online, but by following a series of broken links I eventually got a copy from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

I’m archiving it below. It ran in the December 1998 issue.

WebSentinel 2.0

Master of the Realms

By Jeff Davis

For Macintosh Webmasters who find their server’s built-in security limited and tedious, Purity Software’s WebSentinel 2.0 promises relief. This WebStar API (W*API) plug-in provides support for multiple database mechanisms and an attractive interface for an array of security services, including new features such as support for workstation restrictions, HTML log-in forms, and account expiration.

WebSentinel 2.0 extends the realms model of Web security common on Macintosh Web servers. Rather than applying permissions to a folder (such as the Logs folder), you set permissions for a group of URLs (the realm) that share some specific text (any URL that contains .log, for example). This method can be very powerful, allowing administrators to secure like files regardless of their location on the server.

In addition to standard HTTP authentication for realms, WebSentinel 2.0 supports HTML-forms-based authentication, allowing you to present personalized log-in screens. Webmasters can designate customized forms and no-access files for each realm. WebSentinel 2.0 even offers Redirection realms, so requests for certain URLs can be automatically sent to another page.

Once realms are defined, you grant access to users, groups, and workstations. In addition to simple user names and passwords, administrators can define expiration criteria for each user, consisting of a date, a number of days, or even a number of accesses.

WebSentinel 2.0 supports multiple “data targets” (back-end databases); you can save your information to more than one type of outside database, including those in Purity’s own Verona format and those in FileMaker Pro.

It took me about 60 seconds to install WebSentinel 2.0 on a Mac server running StarNine’s WebStar 3.01. After another five minutes, I had my users, groups, and realms up and running. Both the administrative application and Web-browser interface are attractive and usable, but a few very minor interface glitches exist. Although assigning access to users and groups is quite simple, WebSentinel 2.0 needs to offer an easier way to display all users and groups assigned to a given realm within a single window.

The security options all worked nicely, and there was no noticeable performance hit with ten users and realms. I did encounter problems when trying to use the plug-in with WebTen, due to an inconsistency with Tenon’s W*API implementation. Tenon has a patch that addresses these problems.

Macworld’s Buying Advice

Macintosh Webmasters will definitely find that WebSentinel 2.0 offers an elegant extension of WebStar’s realms-based security. But those dissatisfied with the whole realms concept should look to other options, such as Tenon’s WebTen, which offers built-in file and folder security.

RATING: 3 1/2 mice PROS: Elegant interface; authentication forms; multiple data targets. CONS: Lack of file and folder security; no easy way to view access by realm. COMPANY: Purity Software (512/328-2288, www.purity.com). $199 (upgrade from 1.0, $79).

December 1998 page: 62

Rogue Amoeba at Macworld

“Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba”:http://www.rogueamoeba.com/utm/2009/06/04/the-future-of-macworld/ on exhibiting at Macworld 2010:

“I’m delighted to be able to plant a flag and say that in 2010, Rogue Amoeba will again be exhibiting at Macworld. We still believe in Macworld and all that it provides. We believe it’s relevant, useful, and worth having. We believe that meeting new customers, talking to existing ones, and sharing a great time with all manner of Mac friends, is still worth doing.”

I like companies that make decisions based not just on spreadsheet numbers, but on belief and instinct too. It’s a shame Apple didn’t show more of that when weighing whether to continue exhibiting at Macworld. Because Rogue Amoeba doesn’t sell on the show floor, the conference has to be less about directly recouping costs and more about connecting with customers and building goodwill and name recognition. See also “Should I Exhibit At Macworld”:http://www.rogueamoeba.com/utm/2007/01/16/should-i-exhibit-at-macworld-part-1-costs/, from Paul Kafasis in 2007.

I haven’t attended or exhibited at a Macworld since the late 90s, and every year I miss it.

Core Intuition 12: Macworld

“Daniel Jalkut”:http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/ and I have wrapped up episode 12 of Core Intuition, available now on the “Core Intuition web site”:http://www.coreint.org/. If you are a Mac or iPhone developer, or even if you are just interested in what two developers think about current Mac news, please subscribe and give it a listen.

This time we talk about Macworld 2009, including announcements in the keynote, third-party developers “Fraser Speirs”:http://speirs.org/ and “BusyMac”:http://www.busymac.com/, future iPhone devices, and the Macworld user conference. Plus: I spill more details on my new indie app and Daniel shares a tip for refactoring NIBs.

Got feedback? We’ve love to hear from you at “feedback@coreint.org”:mailto:feedback@coreint.org.

Give us a tablet already

I’m going to skip the usual Macworld predictions and cut straight to the good stuff: Apple needs a tablet for the huge numbers of artists and creative professionals who have stuck with the Mac for so long, or who are finally coming back to the platform. I hope for this every year, but the evidence is starting to mount that yes, Apple is working on something.

John Gruber doesn’t see a tablet happening:

“But why force software UI’s designed for traditional hardware form factors upon a totally different device? A successful tablet-like device from Apple, I think, would clearly be designed as a secondary computing device — a satellite attached and synched to a Mac or PC (probably, of course, through iTunes).”

I think his reasoning is exactly correct if you think about a tablet as just a Newton or large iPhone, but as I say above I don’t think that’s the market at all. Honestly as much as I loved the Newton, the iPhone works great as a replacement. The primary market for a Mac tablet is the millions of people who look at the Wacom Cintiq and drool. An Apple tablet has to run full Mac OS X because it has to run Photoshop, Acorn, and Painter.

(Both Gruber and Dan Benjamin also discuss predictions during the latest The Talk Show episode, just posted. While you’re listening, also check out the Hivelogic comprehensive podcasting guide.)

So what about this: what if the MacBook sub-notebook and the tablet are one and the same? Imagine a beautiful slim MacBook with a detachable keyboard and touch-sensitive display, for example. Avoid the weird connections by making the keyboard Bluetooth only, with all the guts of the machine (including flash-based hard drive) behind the screen. I have a first-generation Toshiba Tablet PC and the hardware design is just bulky and terrible because they tried to make it all things to all people. A MacBook Nano-Tablet-Air could embrace “thin” and “tablet” and ignore everything else to achieve a truly great design.

But who knows. We’ll see in about 30 minutes.

The Hivelogic Podcast

Watching from the sidelines as Dan Benjamin prepared his first podcast really made me want to get out “the microphone”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/manton/194992192/ again. Creating a podcast is a great experience, and I always tell myself I’ll do them more frequently. There have been a few recent events that I’ve wanted to capture as podcast episodes, including the experience waiting in line for the Wii, but it just hasn’t come together.

Enough about me. Go listen to “The Hivelogic Podcast with Dan Benjamin”:http://www.hivelogic.com/articles/2007/01/06/podcast_is_here, interviewing “John Gruber”:http://daringfireball.net/ about the upcoming Macworld announcements. The Macworld keynote is this coming Tuesday at 9am Pacific, but I haven’t heard word yet on whether it will be streamed live or a delayed rebroadcast.

Macworld 2007 predictions

“Dan covers his Macworld predictions”:http://hivelogic.com/articles/2007/01/04/macworld_2007 in great detail. Instead of predictions, since mine will probably be wrong, I’m going to list what I want to see:

Tablet. I tend to agree with “Steven Frank’s analysis”:http://stevenf.com/2007/01/wherein_i_predict_the_future.php more than “this former Apple exec”:http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1981815,00.html, but either way it remains pretty unlikely that a tablet is going to happen under Steve Job’s watch. At WWDC once Steve Jobs called the Newton a “little scribbly thing” or something similar, and it wasn’t long before he officially gave that division the axe.

Numbers. Some people still insist on sending me Excel documents. We need a simple application in the iWork suite that can natively read/write Excel documents and handle the basics.

Finder. I’m pretty sure Leopard will sport a new Finder, as well as user interface candy paint applied across the operating system. The only question is whether they’ve rewritten it from scratch and in the process introduced even more problems. I’m optimistic on this one, though, and expect an elegant UI evolution from the Finder team.

What I don’t care about:

iTV. See “previous post about DRM”:http://www.manton.org/2007/01/goodbye_itms.html. If I want to watch a movie, I’ll put in a DVD. However, I do hope to draw some inspiration from whatever they do and apply it to “Wii Transfer”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/ development.

iPod Phone. I have no doubt it will be well designed, but it will also be at least $299 (guess). I have only owned a couple mobile phones in my life, and they were free or nearly free. The iPod Phone will have to be something no one’s even thought of yet for me to consider it. It’s kind of like “Nike + iPod”:http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/, a luxury that I don’t really need.

Anyway, should be a fun Macworld. I haven’t been in years and I’m a little jealous of those who are attending this year. (But not jealous enough to want to get on a plane next week.) Part of me misses the old days, having a booth and talking with users or seeing what was new on the show floor. I was at the first Macworld keynote after Steve Jobs came back to Apple, while Gil Amelio was still in charge, and I’ll always remember it as something pretty special.