So, once again Apple rocked the community with a full score of new apps, ranging from the most excellent iLife '08 to the gigantic and extremely well written Web 2.0 app called .Mac Web Gallery. Everything appears to been in development for several years, however they did it in one year. And in a couple of months Leopard will arise as well. Compare that to Microsoft's five year Vista "experiment". So how the heck are they able to do this time and time again, staying ahead..
The answer is so simple..
If you have read or watched Apples "Think different commercial" you already know why Apple stands out to this extent. The people that actually build their software, engineers like Scott Forstall, designers like Mike Matas, they aren't exactly what you would call an average software developer. The front most profiles, the decision-makers within Apple are front-runners for OpenSource development, they often come from small independent ideological companies like Delicious Monster and OmniGroup. Not what you would expect from a company making it's living by making software and hardware. Other similar companies keep their cards close, for good reason. If you make an invention you can't simply make it available for all, then it can be copied and suddenly you're out of customers..right? Well, Apple has realized that if you find the best people in the world, and somehow manage to combine their talents, others will find it hard to follow, no matter if their holding the source code.
"..no respect for the status quo" it says at line 8 of "Think different". And this is exactly why Apple have so devoted fans, because they really change things. They don't make something that people buy and then sit back and look at the money flooding in, they keep on working, making things better..
It's very exiting to see Apple moving into the Web development community in full force now. Well, really they where one of the first to make use of the old HTTPRequest extention, now cleverly named AJAX. (see web gallery)
.Mac Web Gallery is really a desktop app on a website. It mirrors iPhoto perfectly, and it can do everything Flickr can, and then some. The focus is in great design and great functionality, making things easy to use, removing the typical "website look" and replacing it with a familiar and logical design derived from the desktop apps. And of course, all metaphors that exist in the desktop app, browsing, mosaic and the new "skimming", they are all reflected onto the web app. This makes for a familiar and consistent user interface. Cos that is what we really want, something we just can use, not learn to use.