‘Never Say Never’, Indeed

Cricket, writing at Tech Reflect:

While Apple was busy transitioning to Intel, I was working on the software team responsible for Dock, Exposé (later Mission Control), and Dashboard (now deceased). We did a lot of experimenting with new interface concepts; one was a radical new way to manage apps and windows. It effectively made the existing Exposé irrelevant as well as the Dock as a way of managing running apps and windows.

It never became an approved project, but I continued to live on it for many months until it just stopped working with newer versions of hardware and software. By then, our team had moved on to other things.

At WWDC 2022, I was very excited to see Apple announce a new feature for macOS and iPad called Stage Manager. It’s a radical new way to manage windows and likely makes much of Exposé and the Dock functionality irrelevant. Sound familiar? Well, it turns out it looks familiar too!

What a fun story.

(On my WWDC show this year, Craig Federighi mentioned that one of the engineers behind Stage Manager had worked on single window mode during the Mac OS X public beta — 22 years ago.)

Thursday, 9 June 2022