Leopards Input Secret

By David Morgenstern  |  Posted 2007-06-09 Print this article Print

?"> One longstanding rumor for the Mac platform is a new version of iWork, Apples productivity package. Last fall, the Think Secret site said iWork 2007 will feature a new spreadsheet application and updates to the Keynote presentation application and Pages word-processing/layout program. However, WWDC appears to be an unlikely venue for such a client-side announcement. Still, it may be a way to get the word out in advance of back-to-school purchases of MacBooks in August.
Is the Mac making a stealth entry into the enterprise? Some sites say its so. Click here to read more.
One bit of speculation came from Mac networking vendor Peter Sichel, founder and chief engineer of Sustainable Softworks The company makes a suite of Mac OS X IP networking performance optimization utilities. But speculation came following the work on Keyclick, Sustainables new Mac OS X tool that adds sound feedback—the "click"—to modern non-clicking "soft" keyboards and keypads. Sichel says that the audio feedback improves the user perception of key input. He wondered if Apple will extend to the Mac platform the multi-touch gesture technology found on the iPhone. After all, according to Jobs, Apple owns the input technology. "Steve [Jobs] obviously believes multi-touch is a revolutionary technology and has created the iPhone around it. The timing is right [to bring it to the Mac] because iPhone will ship later this month. Sichel pointed to the chatter over the iPhone SDK. "Perhaps [Jobs] just means Widgets, but I think supporting multi-touch applications would be far more significant. Would it be Steve-like to announce multi-touch technology in Leopard at WWDC, some new multi-touch hardware, and encourage developers to write the next-generation of awesome applications using this technology? It just might," he said. To Sichel, the recent announcements by Microsoft and Bill Gates of the "Microsoft Surface" touch technology at D5 were a me-too advance response to an expected Apple multi-touch move at WWDC. Are there security implications lurking below Microsofts "Surface?" Read here about the concerns. I love that kind of thinking. The computer marketing business is a big chess game, isnt it? My own speculation for a Leopard hidden feature will be support for Intels Robson architecture, given the brand name Turbo Memory. The latest Santa Rosa chip sets from Intel, now found in Apples refreshed MacBook Pro notebooks, support this cache architecture. However, its not implemented in these machines. About a year ago, I wrote about Intels progress on the Turbo Memory and the use of flash cache architecture in Windows Vista. Turbo Memory offers a logic-board alternative to the use of "hybrid" flash-enabled hard disks (Vista ReadyDrive) and external flash thumb drives (Vista ReadyBoost). The advantages Turbo Memory would have over thumb drives and hard disk caches for system acceleration is that its data integrity is trusted between sleep states and even shutdowns. This can save time and creates a better user experience. As far as Ive heard, as of April, no PC vendor had taken Intel up on Turbo Memory, aka Robson. That reluctance may appeal to Apple. The enhanced user values sound like something Apple could get behind, even if it means a slightly higher-priced product. Perhaps we will see something on Turbo Memory support in the Leopard briefings, heralding its arrival in some future notebook model. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

David Morgenstern is Executive Editor/Special Projects of eWEEK. Previously, he served as the news editor of Ziff Davis Internet and editor for Ziff Davis' Storage Supersite.

In 'the days,' he was an award-winning editor with the heralded MacWEEK newsweekly as well as eMediaweekly, a trade publication for managers of professional digital content creation.

David has also worked on the vendor side of the industry, including companies offering professional displays and color-calibration technology, and Internet video.

He can be reached here.


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