Two Predications about the Future of Apple Software

Now that the Mac OS operating system updates are free, and the development cycle for that OS is so stable, I think this is leading to the inevitable conclusion:

One day major dot-number OS updates (iOS, and Mac) and iWork updates are going to be automatic, even required.

As it is, Apple already enjoys a very rapid rate of adoption by its users, and not updating immediately seems counter-intuitive. At our school now, we are in the position of asking users to not update which rings hallow when you consider just how few issues there actually are. The real issue is really all about time management: We don’t want to overwhelm our users with things like “update to the latest and figure out how to use it”, but still… it’s so easy now all it does is take the fun out of it all.

The only real technical issue with the Mavericks update is actually with the new iWork suite: The new format is fundamentally incompatible with the old one, and vice versa, and I think I know why. The new format encompasses changes required if the software is going to be sharing documents online as well. The old format used XML which has to be uploaded and downloaded in one swoop; but not so with the new Google Docs-style of breaking everything down into small chunks so that it is network-friendly. That’s a fundamental change to the architecture that requires breaking with the past.

So, the whole reason to make it backwards-incompatible is so that you can have Pages for Mac, iOS, and the web.

Which brings me to another prediction:

A future XCode is going to be a development environment that allows devs to write Mac and iOS and web-based software with the same codebase.

If it sounds complicated, it is. Apple is going to need a way to make sure users are using the same operating system everywhere, to make that sort of system sustainable, hence why this prediction is predicated by the first one.

Okay, one more prediction, which is also actually more like deduction:

Future Software updates will always be backwards-compatible

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