The latest version of Mac OS X improves the efficiency and expands the capabilities of page layout, Web design and graphics work, Apple’s Phil Schiller told a conference of print publishing and design pros on Tuesday.
If you’re the type of Mac user who waits with bated breath for every new product release or strategic pronouncement to come out of Cupertino, Schiller’s speech Tuesday at the biannual
Seybold Seminars in San Francisco wasn’t for you. Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, made only a passing mention of Apple hardware, including
the dual-processor Power Macs announced last month. His remarks on the news coming out of Apple Tuesday —
the release of iCal and the move to OS X-only systems in 2003 — were just as brief.
Instead, Schiller spent the majority of his hour-long speech talking up the merits of the OS X 10.2 update known as Jaguar. And unlike past Jaguar demos that have dwelt on Finder improvements, iChat instant messaging and Sherlock III, Schiller focused on the features and enhancements in OS X 10.2 that would directly benefit the users in attendance at the print and design trade show.
“Let’s talk print publishing and design, Mac OS X, and the things we’re doing to make it great for print publishing and design professionals,” Schiller said.
According to Schiller, those things include: Quartz Extreme: By offloading much of the display burden to the dedicated video processor and video RAM on Macs with Nvidia and ATI AGP cards, the Quartz Extreme technology frees up the computer’s main processor and memory to perform other tasks for designers and illustrators. “Quartz Extreme gives us tremendous performance and capabilities,” Schiller said. QuickTime 6: Schiller stressed the new JPEG 2000 still image codec included in the latest version of QuickTime, which ships with Jaguar. The next-generation JPEG standard lets users capture images at a higher quality and smaller file size than they could before. Inkwell: The handwriting-recognition technology is designed for tablets — popular devices among graphics pros — and allows users to convert handwritten words into text that they can insert into any application, such as Adobe Photoshop. Image Capture: Schiller hailed Jaguar’s tool for importing and sharing digital photos and other images as “a true system-wide architecture for image acquisition.” Image Capture now includes scanner support, so in theory, OS X 10.2 should recognize nearly any scanner that is TWAIN-compliant. ColorSync: Support for Apple’s color-management technology “has been built into OS X at its core foundation,” Schiller said. “It’s not added on. It’s built in.” AppleScript: Likewise, OS X 10.2 features improved AppleScript support, which Schiller said would appeal to print and design pros. To demonstrate, OS X Product Marketing Manager Chris Bourdon used an Apple Script to build a digital-image portfolio using iDVD. Fonts: By far, the warmest reception among the keynote attendees was saved for Jaguar’s font features. Schiller touted the update’s built-in rasterizers for TrueType, PostScript and OpenType; text technology based on Unicode 3.2; and a new Character Palette. “If KeyCaps was an infant, the Character Palette is Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Schiller said. “It’s grown up and beefed up.” Rendezvous: The networking standard that allows devices on an IP network to dynamically recognize each other should be of interest to print and design pros, particular when it comes to setting up printers. Schiller mentioned that Rendezvous is receiving support from printer makers including Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Xerox and Canon. Printing: Schiller outlined the numerous improvements to OS X’s Print Center and described the new printing architecture incorporating Common Unix Printing System, or CUPS.
“Mac OS X is far and away the best print publishing and design platform,” Schiller said.
Print and Web publishers buying new Macs next year may have no choice but to see for themselves. Earlier Tuesday, during Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at Apple Expo in Paris, Apple’s CEO announced that
Macs would lose the ability to boot into OS 9 in 2003.
Schiller described the decision as the next logical step in migrating the Mac platform over to OS X. Apple hopes to have 20 percent of its active installed base — roughly 5 million users — running OS X by the end of 2003; right now, that figure is around 3 million users, Schiller said Tuesday.
As for applications, there are 3,900 OS X-native programs available today, with Schiller lauding developers such as Adobe, Macromedia, FileMaker and Microsoft for their efforts in releasing software for the new OS. Apple wants 5,000 OS X-native applications available by year’s end.
“That leaves a few stragglers, who are working hard to get applications out for OS X,” Schiller said. “We’re working with them.”