iPhoneDevCamp, iPhone, Safari and Microformats

I wish I could attend iPhoneDevCamp but unfortunately I won’t be in the area (or in the right country for that matter ;-) ).

I just read Chris’ post about iPhoneDevCamp and I think these are the right reasons to make the iPhoneDevCamp.

There are a few facts that support Chris’ view:

  • In the first week Apple sold 700,000 units
  • The iPhone is closed for outside application, but not for web applications
  • Having a couple of million units out (after it is also sold in Europe and Asia) means there are a couple of million users using Safari on their iPhone and want to get the right experience in all/most sites.

The day I heard that the iPhone will be closed to 3rd party apps but will use web applications as its main extension approach I thought one thing. Apple should make Safari (or at least just Safari on the iPhone) Microformats aware.

Since the main interaction of users with 3rd party application on the iPhone is through web sites, extracting as much meaning as possible from such a web site will give iPhone users the best experience. For example, if I had an hCalendar someone in a site, or an hCard, if Safari on the iPhone (or Safari in general) would have Microformats support I could quickly add the meeting or contact information to my iPhone with one click (arrr, is it click or touch?)

If Apple will do that at some point in the future, it means that the Microformats community will gain a couple of million users which might in turn convince web site designers to support Microformats.

Microformats are exactly the small and right amount of standardization that can make the web a better place for both users and developers.

It seems that Microformats becomes more important in smaller devices where the ability to extend their applications and the devices itself is usually limited and input is measured as the smallest and shortest action one should take to make something happen.

Mac Software Updates – I expected more from Apple

We recently got a Mac Mini to the office so that we can test Yedda better with Safari and in general how Yedda looks, feels and works on all of the various browsers on Mac (mainly Safari, FireFox, Camino and Opera).

It’s a cute little machine. I can easily understand why people fall in love with Mac and Apple products in general.

After setting it up and powering it up I ran the Software Updates so that I will have the latest, greatest and safest Mac software.

After running it and updating various things I ended up with 3 items that needed an update:

  • Java for Mac OS X 10.4, Release 5 (Version 5.0)
  • AirPort Extreme Update 2007-002 (Version 1.0)
  • iPhoto Update (Version 6.0.6)

When I wanted to update them, it downloaded them and when it tried to install the updates I got an annoying error (I don’t have the error in front of me now so this is paraphrasing):

“An unexpected error has occurred”

I tried twice and it didn’t work, so I went to the knowledge base articles of these updates and manually downloaded and installed them.

To my “surprise” manually doing it worked like a charm.

Now I know this is a bit of a petty rant, but as a user that never used a Mac full time (the only two Apple computers I used full time was an Apple IIc and iPod) the expectations that were set by Apple’s marketing machine and others were quite high.

The expectations were high, and my disappointment was about the same height.

I’m not a normal/novice user so I did know what to do, but I think Apple should have the decency to tell me why the update/installation failed, or at least provide a button or a link to say what happened (a link or a button would be good so that it won’t alarm the regular users and will give the necessary information to those who knows what to do with it).

It’s as simple as that. Really.