Live from the WWDC keynote with CDM’s own Lee Sherman, Apple has the latest on their new operating system release:

  1. OS X is 64-bit, top to bottom: Here’s a real demonstration of the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Windows XP x64 has been a mess; virtually no one has adopted it (despite some advocacy on the part of music developer Cakewalk), and a lot of software isn’t compatible (like, notably, any music software that relies on PACE, as well as many drivers). Now Apple will make OS X 10.5 entirely 64-bit, with seamless compatibility for 32-bit apps. Hopefully that includes Core Audio; we’ll be asking more about the details on this.
  2. Automatic backup: Time Machine provides automated backup of everything you do, answering a real need as Apple has found only 26% of users polled are backing up. (I’m guessing 75% of them were lying, too.) Restore everything or some things, locally on a hard drive or on a server. It even works with applications like iPhoto. It’ll be interesting to learn more details on this; this is a feature I’ve wanted Apple to add for years.
  3. Time Lord: [Demonstrating the new Time Machine UI] “Time is a dimension that recedes into your desktop,” says Lee, a la Expose. A timeline on the right side flips through earlier iterations of a folder in Finder. This is a key point, because one of the oft-overlooked needs for backup is undoing human/user error, not just recovering from a drive failure. Everything works right within the Finder. “Best backup UI ever,” says Lee.
  4. New Software Bundle: Leopard will now come right out of the box with Boot Camp (for Intel Macs booting Windows), Front Row (the multimedia app), and the fun photo app Photo Booth, plus, a new app —

  5. Spaces: Apple has finally taken on virtual desktops; Lee says it’s a “nice, clean implementation, even if we’ve seen this kind of thing before.” All due respect to Linux, I’m sure Apple can implement this more elegantly than GNOME and KDE.
  6. Spotlight Finally the Way We Wanted It: Search machines and servers on your network as well as locally, use advanced search booleans (finally, Apple Spotlight catches up with 1970s search tech!), and use a dedicated app launcher, recent items
  7. Core Animation: A new animation layer for developers that integrates text, images, and OpenGL 3D, but with start, goal, and key frames, for adding animated interfaces easily to the OS. Sounds a lot like Microsoft’s new presentation facilities, but Apple-style (and based on OpenGL rather than DirectX); it’ll be interesting to hear how this relates to Quartz Composer (which lacks keyframes). More on this, most likely over at Create Digital Motion. Right now, we’re stuck trying to figure out what the heck this slide means (via Engadget).
  8. Text-to-Speech dramatically improved: Get ready to sample it into your next mix. πŸ˜‰
  9. System-wide to-do item service: We’ll assume you’ll see a zillion GTD hacks for these in the coming months, even though I’ve gone online with all my info, thanks.
  10. Dashboard: “Over 2500 widgets,” says Apple. “About ten of them useful,” says Lee. “Dashcode, with templates, graphical tool for HTML/CSS, and a parts library,” says Apple. “Okay, we’ll finally make a CDM widget,” says Peter. And in the Dashboard-actually-becomes-cool category: JavaScript source editor/debugger, and the Web clip feature lets you make any part of a web page a widget. Nice. (Now I can stay up to date with Penny Arcade.) Easy, on-the-fly widget creation sounds like the real goal.
  11. iChat: Boring: Tab chats, multiple logins, invisibility, etc. — it’s ironic to get these features in iChat, as Lee is telling me about them via Adium, which already does it. Cool/silly: Photobooth effects, video recording, animated buddy icons, “iChat theater”, backdrops. Hopefully this means we’ll have some remote video interviews via iChat on CDM soon. Very useful: share photo slideshows and Keynote presentations.

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  • Bob Savage

    That is a great quote πŸ˜€

  • Let's not forget iChat screen sharing. Extremely useful for helping family members without having to deal with Remote Desktop or VNC…

  • Steve W

    "Now Apple will make OS X 10.5 entirely 64-bit, with seamless compatibility for 32-bit apps. Hopefully that includes Core Audio; weâ€ââ€ΕΎÂ¢ll be asking more about the details on this."

    Hmmm… smells like marketing. Sorry, if it's not known that it works with everything, it's not seamless… and as likely to be either (a) as much of a mess as the other side manage or (b) not living up to the "it's 64-bit" marketing. Ah, the bye-gone days when video-game consoles reached the magic 64-bit stage, and how little that really meant.

  • Gilbert Bernstein

    I'm guessing here, but I think I can explain everything on that slide except higher production values, which is just marketing speak anyways.

    "Scene of layers." I'm assuming this is the one which might have given people trouble. "Scene" in computer graphics literature refers to everything which is being rendered. So, in a videogame, the scene would be the level geometry, the character models, etc. plus all of the data to describe textures and special effect parameters. (for instance, some sort of particle system) Usually Scenes are stored as a list of scene elements in no particular order, or sometimes in a spatial hierarchy of some sort. (bounding volumes are common) I'm not exactly sure what they mean by layers here, since that's not a common term. =/

    The rest seems pretty straightforward. It supports "text, …" as different sorts of rendering, uses a keyframing system, and is automatic? (I assume this means it does the interpolation automatically)

    Hmm… I see a bit more why it's so confusing now, but hopefully that's informative for someone out there. (Hope that wasn't too pedantic for others)

  • Steve, I hear you, but on the 64-bit thing we just don't know. It might be real and seamless; it might be marketing speak — we just have to find the answer. The person who DOES know is at WWDC; hopefully Lee who is there will be able to track him or her down. If not, I can follow up with my contacts at Apple Pro Audio.

    That said, I don't want to overstate my enthusiasm here. 64-bit performance on Linux and Windows yields significant, but not overwhelming, performance gains. I certainly would welcome full 64-bit support, since the CPUs are 64-bit and OS X certainly has the potential to be a fully 64-bit OS. But we'll certainly want to see some specific benchmarks, and honestly, if Apple doesn't deliver, I'm not going to cry over it. The issues with Windows x64 were that the developers weren't fully onboard, and you have some people advocating it while others ignore it. I've got all the resources here to run it, but when it came down to only reaping benefits on SONAR and almost nothing else, I finally said, forget it. (And that's not just audio, either; there's a general lack of fully 64-bit software. But since the gain is only marginal compared to 32-bit, it's not such a big deal.)

    On the animation thing, it's just not clear to me what's in the developer tools and what isn't. There are already ways of doing what Apple describes using Quartz, and even without Quartz you can do it by hand with OpenGL on any platform you like. It sounds as though they're making these things easier from within Xcode, but given there's some crossover with Quartz Composer here (OpenGL for 3D, images, and text) … more questions.