Yesterday Apple Australia kindly flew me up to Sydney for a look around its corporate headquarters and for a very interesting two-hour press presentation from Mr iPod and Mr Hardware. (Mr Software is at WWDC, so I didn’t hear from him.)
In the course of the day, I discovered four new things about Apple that I didn’t know before.
1. The black MacBook is intended to be a 12″ PowerBook replacement
I had the chance to ask Mr Hardware as he was presenting the now complete range of Intel Macs whether anything was coming to replace the 12″ PowerBook.
He told me that Apple has received a lot of feedback from users about the need for a small notebook with a “more professional look”. Apple made a conscious decision to meet that demand with the black MacBook, giving those users the look they wanted at the cost of a slight hit in performance and features. Is that why they cost more?
2. Only 26% of Mac users do backups, 4% use automated solutions.
Of course, you know at one level that the numbers are low, but it is still a shock to see just how low they are.
Those who have watched the keynote will know that Leopard’s Time Machine is designed to increase these numbers dramatically.
Will it work? I don’t think so. The current ability to automate backups with Backup 3.0 and the plethora of third-party automated backup options haven’t brought large numbers of users to the party. This won’t either. It’s not the technical ability that’s missing; it’s the personal habit.
Dear reader, for the love of God get yourself into that 4%. Don’t read the other two things I didn’t know about Apple. Go now and check out DejÃ Vu or BackityMac or SuperDuper! or, if you have a .Mac account, Apple’s own Backup.
3. iTunes prints really nice CD covers.
I use iTunes a lot, but it never occurred to me to visit its Print menu. Mr iPod demonstrated how easy it is to make jewel case covers in iTunes and how nice the final result looks:
4. Steve Jobs doesn’t trust people who use words as a tool of their trade
At the airport I picked up a copy of Jeffrey Young and William Simon’s iCon: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2005) (Amazon ) to read on the plane.
On the homeward flight I discovered an answer to the mystery about the lack of communication between engineers and development teams at Apple and journalists, bloggers and third-party developers (after all, code is words).
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple and became Interim CEO in 1997, he
…quickly saw things that he didn’t like. His predecessors in the CEO’s office has never figured out how to take the reins in a commanding manner…. He set about changing the culture of Apple. Some of the changes were small (no dogs at work, no smoking), and some where whoppers, such as the absolute ban on talking to anyone outside the company who uses words as a tool of his trade. (The one exception: it was okay as long as you has a public relations dog-watcher sitting at your side and yanking your leash whenever she wanted you to stop talking.)
apple, steve jobs, itunes, not apple mail, macbook, words, culture change, backup, thanks Fiona, iPod
, culture change
, not apple mail
, steve jobs
, thanks Fiona