Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Stephen Hackett

The Hackett File: The year of Macintosh

With the holidays here, it’s always a good time to reflect on what we’re thankful for, remembering the blessings in our lives.

As a Mac user, there’s a lot to celebrate this year. Apple remains dedicated to meeting the hardware needs of Mac users all across the spectrum, from those buying their first MacBook Air to take to college, to the professional who is about to order a Mac Pro next month.

Then there is Mac Catalyst, which should usher in a new era of app development atop macOS, unlocking the riches of the iOS ecosystem for Mac users. SwiftUI, while still a ways off, should continue that work as Apple strives to unify their various platforms in new and interesting ways.

There’s also Apple’s general approach to the Mac and its operating system. While there are those in the community who would like to see Apple move more aggressively in changing the Mac, I don’t see things that way. Change for change’s sake doesn’t make any sense on a platform as mature and relied upon as the Mac has become. Gone are the big updates of the first decade of Mac OS X, replaced by more calculated, steady improvements.

Yes, of course, there are times where I have wished Apple would move faster with certain features or system applications. Look no further than how long it took Notes or Reminders to become good. Apple’s often content to let third parties rush in and figure stuff out, just to come in a few years later with something that works for a lot of users.

In a sense, this protects the Mac from Apple going down too many rabbit holes as things become popular. Just think back to the netbook craze. Many people — including myself and Jason — made Hackintoshes out of tiny laptops like the Dell Mini 9 and the MSI Wind to see what the experience would be like.

It wasn’t great. And time proved that Apple was right to not get into what would end up being a fad killed off by tablets like the iPad.

The trick is knowing what is a fad and what is a genuine change that Apple should bring to the Mac. Clearly, the company still believes touch is not the right interaction for macOS. I’d rather Apple be late to the party — or not come at all — then to do something poorly on the platform I use every day to make my living. I’ll raise my glass to that any time of year.

[Stephen Hackett is the author of 512 Pixels and co-founder of Relay FM.]

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