iWeb: Was today the second step?
Last December I wrote Prediction: Apple Will Own Mass Market Web Applications and I think at least some of it came true today with the release of the latest iWeb and the ability to input and use widgets.
When I get back to Minneapolis I’ll stop by the Apple store and pick up iLife and iWork. This will give me an opportunity to get an intuitive sense of how easy it will be to drag-n-drop widgets from, say, Widgetbox into iWeb and deliver something with which I can test and play.
Just watched Steve’s presentation and it was interesting to hear him talk about the new iPhoto and its “Rich Web 2.0 experience.” Clearly this is an overt recognition of the category of Web 2.0 and why not give power to normal users to build their own Web 2.0-like apps?
No serious developer I know believes something a mass market, Web application product like this is possible. Too many factors like latency, performance, using it offline, connecting it to the desktop and other needs are brought up as just a few of the reasons why non-developer types couldn’t possibly build ’em.
You know what? I heard the same sorts of objections for years from people in printing and publishing as software like Pagemaker and then Quark arrived on the scene and that “desktop publishing” was a joke, only real graphic layout artists could build publications, and they loved it when mistakes were made (like an explosion of fonts used on a single page) but today I can’t think of ONE publication that ISN’T laid out with Quark or InDesign.
UPDATE (via Read/Write Web): Just found this video of Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google and Apple board member, describing “Web 3.0” which proves the point better. According to Richard MacManus, “He said that while Web 2.0 was based on Ajax, Web 3.0 will be “applications that are pieced together” – with the characteristics that the apps are relatively small, the data is in the cloud, the apps can run on any device (PC or mobile), the apps are very fast and very customizable, and are distributed virally (social networks, email, etc).”