At this point, it’s pretty clear that everyone loves the iPhone. Celebrities, executives, Time Magazine, even my Uncle Jim. It’s Apple’s biggest sensation since the original launch of the iPod, and a break-out success all around.
Unfortunately, the June arrival of the iPhone came at a cost. Apple had to delay the launch of its Leopard operating system by months in order to pull software developers off the Leopard team and onto the iPhone team. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. If anything, I presumed only good could come of mingling iPhone DNA with Leopard DNA.
But it’s mainly been frustrating. The delays were bad enough, but it really does appear that the switch-up had an impact on the overall quality of the shipping version of Leopard. I can’t think of an operating system from Apple since OS X 10.0 so filled with bugs and questionable design decisions. There are whole communities devoted solely to the documentation of Leopard bugs.
Worse, some of the intentional choices with Leopard aren’t up to Apple’s standards.There are many wonderful features like QuickLook and Time Machine, but a lot of the new interface elements are just flashy for the sake of flashiness. CoverFlow is goofy for browsing through anything other than photos in the Finder, and I will never understand the logic of a translucent menu bar as long as I live.
I’m never going to join the throng calling Leopard the new Vista, but I do have to wonder: How much did the stress put on the Leopard team to finish the iPhone disrupt the shipping version of the OS? This is a team that definitely put in 80, 90 hour weeks if not longer to finish the iPhone and then had to go straight back onto Leopard to meet an ambitious ship date. Whose quality wouldn’t take a hit under such circumstances?
What do you think? This is the first time in memory when I can recall a core Mac product being impeded or hampered by a more pressing new market product for Apple. What does that mean for the six-color bleeding Mac faithful? Are you bugged, or just delighted you got your iPhone on time?