Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Apple gets "it" again?

I'm skeptical.

I've seen bits and pieces of the announcements this week, in-between packing, loading, and cleaning and getting ready to move.

My trouble with Apple is that they never seem to finish anything any longer.  I understand that they're big and important now, but the bugs are bigger and more frequent now.  Pleasing the whole population by adding feature-after-feature, while ignoring the bug list just screams Adobe.

Apple does seem to test, when they feel like it, which is better than Google.  Google only seem to test while they're creating their software.  I have a 2013 Google Nexus 7 tablet with Android version 4.4.2 on it, and it seems to have all sorts of little issues which make the tablet unlikeable.  Those little issues of course, are exacerbated by little issues in third party software.

I'm still having silly issues with (Mac) OS X 10.8.5, and 10.9.4 isn't ready yet, so I'm not moving.  Equally, iOS 7.x seems buggy but Apple leaves mobile users hanging in the breeze quite often, security issues and all.

One thing that struck me that Apple gets it again is the mobile hotspot functionality that you can start from your Mac running Yosemite.  When I use my iPhone 5c as a mobile hotspot, they have the cheesy little links icon to show that Apple products are happy together--at least, when they work together.  (Do I seem more bitchy than usual?  I'm not sure the lack of sleep is helping.)

For developers, the Swift language seems to be quite useful.  The one thing that will cause resistance is that it's not one of the already-established languages.  Microsoft copied a lot of Java to create C# but they had developers stuck in their development platform.  Google has been grooming developers with their summer coding programs.  Apple has often been knocking heads with developers, rather than courting them.

Mind you, Objective-C is a fine language, and it's been around since the mid-1980s.  Apple extended it to work with C++ somewhat in Objective-C 2.0.  Naturally, in the mid-1980s, C++ wasn't much.  People were still coding in Pascal and making the switch to C.

However, all of those iOS game developers will like where Swift is going because of its interactivity, if it doesn't slow down performance or throughput in development.  Remember CASE tools?  Magic has its price.

I look forward to updating quite a lot and getting my hands dirty.  I haven't done much independent development for a while, and if Swift can re-kindle my interest, all the better.

What if Apple was in your car, your house, and on everything mobile you had?  Would it be a nightmare or a dream or both?  My history with the company says that it would be both.  "Two steps forward, one step back." always seems to apply.

On the other hand, I don't see Google being much different, just in a different form.  However, they have to deal with everyone who wants to create something from their open source code and still call it Android.  By the way, have you seen anyone using a Chrome OS computer?  I have not, though I expect my near future proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area may change that.  (It's odd to see the new Maps for OS X practically pointing to my new home.)  It's just that a lot of the country is still not connected so well.  Google doesn't get that.  Apple doesn't get that.

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