Posted by: Philip Roy on Dec 23, 2010
This is likely to be the last "Year that was" from me, with NZMac.com and NZiPhone.com up for sale. Looking back on last year's post (see here) I was about to start numerous days of writing to finish my Masters (all done!) and after that, I'm pleased to report I finally got the proper holiday I had been hoping for. Of course my trip to the UK included a few visits to Apple stores in London. Unfortunately I let myself down by stating in last year's post that I would commit to more podcasts and reviews this year, when in fact that didn't happen. Sorry.
So let's take a look at the Apple news for 2010 in reverse chronological order (i.e., newest first):
- Apple's Mac App Store to Open on January 6
- Xserve reaches end of life
- Apple introduces iLife '11
- Apple gives sneak peek of Mac OS X Lion
- Apple brings Facetime to the Mac
- Apple reports fourth quarter 2010 results
- Apple premieres new Apple TV
- Apple introduces new iPod Touch with retina display
- Apple unveils new iPod Shuffle
- Apple reinvents iPod Nano with multi-touch interface
- Apple introduces iTunes 10 with Ping
- Apple introduces updated iMacs
- Apple unveils new Mac Pro with up to 12 processing cores
- Apple unveils new 27 inch led cinema display
- Apple reports third quarter results 2010
- iPad available this Friday
- Apple unveils all new Mac mini
- Apple releases Safari 5
- Steve Jobs to kick off Apple's WWDC 2010 with keynote
- Apple reports second quarter 2010 results
- Apple releases Aperture 3
- Apple launches iPad
- Apple reports first quarter results 2010
It may be complacency on my part, but most of that list reads like a typical year for Apple to me. I'm not suggesting their products were predictable or dull...just that I've come to expect amazing things from Apple and they didn't disappoint. Neither did their stock price (I own two shares bought via Oneshare.com - One is framed and on my wall, but the other is from a 2-to-1 split a while back...but can't bring myself to sell).
However there is one exception of course where Apple not only didn't disappoint, they started a whole new adventure and technology trend...the iPad. The iPad has been an absolute runaway success, and the competitors are now scrambling to bring about products that match it. In fact if anything, I would say this year was about others trying to catch up to Apple, again. In the same way that the first candy coloured iMacs brought about a wave of see-through plastic products, we're now seeing competitors attempt to match Apple, from the Windows Mobile interface to the Blackberry book...they may scoff at what Apple does, but behind the scenes they stare in awe whilst frantically trying to bring out something similar.
I do think the iPad is amazing, but I still don't own one. And yes, again that lies with its inability to play Flash. Do I think that will change? No, probably not. Am I likely to change my mind about owning one? Probably yes...I suspect if the rumours are true, iPad 2 will be a much more useful device for me, and something that I would like to own. That lack of Flash just bugs the heck out of me though!
So given that the iPad is the highlight from the above list, then what else was significant? Well we got a sneak at the next OS X iteration, Lion. The Mac App Store that is set to launch January 7 (NZT) is likely to bring about a whole new way of working with your Mac and buying software. I really like the concept, but I truly hope it isn't the only way in the future of getting software. I'll be curious to see what companies do with regards prices away from the App store...ie, if they charge $10 on the store (and Apple take 30%) are they allowed to charge you less if you buy direct from their site and install it yourself? Even if they sold it at $8, they still make more money and we save.
The Mac App Store is already bringing about change for me. Friends who saw me demo the latest version of iMovie (the trailers feature is amazing!) didn't want to fork out for the whole of the iLife suite (because the other apps didn't interest them) so I was able to tell them to wait and just buy iMovie '11 from the Mac App Store. I can't guarantee that it will be available to buy as a separate download, but the screenshot at www.apple.com/mac/app-store/ seems to suggest it will be. I have no doubt the Mac App Store will be another runaway success, but it will be interesting to see how it deals with things like updates, how the apps are installed and can be used, keeping in mind it is an App Store in an OS X environment.
In terms of site news for NZMac.com, there was the updating of the Useful Websites section of NZMac.com, the NZMac.com Community section received a big update, and on NZiPhone.com I was able to unbox, demo (Part 1, Part 2) and critique one of the first iPad's in the country, thanks to Jens at ToshNewZealand.com.
Of course the biggest news for both sites was the launch of a dedicated iPhone app. I'm particularly proud of this app given how bad I am at programming, and it simply wouldn't have been possible if not for the great folk at TapLynx.com. It really is a superb product that lets people like me produce an app within Xcode so relatively easily.
The site lost another long term advertiser during the course of the year. But once again, I can't thank enough the companies that have advertised with me, most notably Dennis @ RentaMac (www.rentamac.co.nz), Jens @ ToshNewZealand.com (www.toshnewzealand.com) and Orcon (Orcon.net.nz).
It's interesting as I write this that the 'early January excitement' that we all used to have around this time feels gone. It is of course because Apple will not be attending the Macworld Expo for the second year running and the Expo has been moved to later in January (see www.macworldexpo.com). It feels disappointing in a way, as probably the only surprise an adult like me would have around Christmas time was what would come out of Apple's doors around the 5th of the New Year. Of course we know that a couple of days later in 2011 we are going to be seeing the Mac App Store, but I wonder if there will be a "One More Thing" New Year surprise?! I hope so!
And that's it folks. Time to sign off and enjoy the remainder of the year. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support. May you, your friends and family have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.