Last week I attended my first Macworld, but it won’t be my last. I had a great time, in large part due to the hospitality of Brent F. Simmons and a host of his fellow Mac developers (see you at Denny’s next year, folks!).
The announcements from Macworld this year paled in comparison to last year’s iPhone announcement, but the buzz among attendees was still very high. It was especially high among developers, which I found somewhat surprising since my impression is that Apple doesn’t do nearly as much for third-party developers as Microsoft does. In fact, more than one Mac developer I spoke with stated that they develop for the Mac not because of Apple but in spite of it.
Of course, it’s hard not to be excited when you see your potential customer base growing over the next few years. Several developers I met believe – as I do – that the number of Mac users will increase substantially, thanks in large part to the fact that more and more people are being exposed to the Apple UI via the iPod and the iPhone.
Last week I also had a brief tour of the Mac development tools, and I have to say, I found them underpowered compared to Windows development tools. What I saw of the development process reminded me of the early days of Visual C++ Windows development. However, it could be argued that this is offset by the powerful APIs that the Mac exposes to its developers. And I have to admit, I could be convinced to downgrade my development tools to get access to thing like Core Animation.
Speaking of Core Animation, my favorite product demo at Macworld was Plasq’s upcoming Comic Life Magic, which really shows off how to effectively use Core Animation to improve a product’s UI. I’d never get any work done if I had that application.
Of course, the downside of Macworld for me was that – as with pretty much every tech conference I attend – connectively was dismal. So, my apologies if you’re waiting for me to reply to your email, blog comment, forum post, etc. I’m getting to it, I promise :)