Steve Jobs Thinks iPhoto is Web 2.0?! Idiot…

Okay, I have copies of both iLife ’08 and iWork ’08 installed (thanks to Lordkat for picking them up so that we’d be ready for their usage at Gnomedex in a few days). They seem to be solid updates all around, but… I’m still a bit baffled as to how Jobs could’ve bungled the new iPhoto unveiling. Let’s see if you can point out the problem in the following Engadget transcription:

10:30AM: “When you get your hands on this, you’ll think it’s great. We’re all familiar with .Mac. It’s our internet subscription service. We’re pleased to announce we have over 1.7M .Mac subscribers, we’re going to see it grow even faster after today. Marry .Mac and iPhoto. Announcing .Mac Web Gallery. Works hand in glove with iPhoto ’08. What does it do? Has one button photo sharing. integrated into iPhoto ’08. Makes web gallery, uploads automatically. Users get rich Web 2.0 experience [Did Steve really just say “Web 2.0”?]. You can see photos in gallary, mosaic. can see in any browser you’d like. Now people that view photos, if you let them, can download print quality downloads. Users can contribute photos from anywhere. You publish on .Mac, someone is on a PC, there is special email address they can get from the web gallery, and they will appear on your web gallery. Photos will sync to your iPhoto library, too.

Really, iPhoto is Web 2.0? You can upload the photos to Flickr or any other photo service? There’s finally an API? There’s a way to escape the .Mac silo? There’s… no way I’m swallowing that load of malarkey, Apple. If you’re gonna call something “Web 2.0,” at least understand what people expect that experience to be. iPhoto is as much “Web 2.0” as my dad is the emperor of China.

Fancier graphics and mirror effects are nothing more than… fancier graphics and mirror effects. This is the same ol’ Apple apps that were designed to work with the same ol’ Apple services (albeit, now with more storage availability). .Mac is still largely a waste o’ your money. If there is such a thing, Web 2.0 app integrates with services beyond its own (and its own product family). iPhoto is merely making it easier and more beautiful for its own users – not for those of us who use Flickr. Sorry.

Oh, I’m sorry… it’s not iPhoto that’s allegedly “Web 2.0,” it’s the .Mac Web Galleries… which are still only accessible through a .Mac subscription and an application that doesn’t seem to interoperate with any other service but Apple’s. Maybe I’m mistaken – maybe .Mac has integration with third-party APIs that I’m not seeing anywhere? My point is that Apple isn’t half as open as people think it is. I’m not arguing the simplicity, but I am arguing that a one-way street is not what people keep telling me this damn “Web 2.0” is.

Why should a user with a photo storage account somewhere else have to upload or reupload those photos? Why should they be left to discover a random plugin (hack?) to get it to work with their existing services? I have the exact same problem with Windows Movie Maker, mind you… but they also left it open-ended for vendors (like to give their users an easier way of getting their data from a machine to their service. The onus is not on the user, it’s on the gateway and the developer.

Here’s the post-mortem.

42 thoughts on “Steve Jobs Thinks iPhoto is Web 2.0?! Idiot…”

  1. Pingback: Left Of Center
  2. Pingback: Windows Fanatics
  3. Pingback: . | zinzi_linkz
  4. Actually, IPhoto isnt the part he called web 2.0, its the interface to the pictures/videos that you upload the .mac website and the features they give you for sharing/receiving pictures online.

  5. Considering that Web 2.0 is a load of crap, I don’t have much of an issue with Steve Jobs characterizing iPhoto as Web 2.0. There is no Web 2.0 and the term should die much like “information superhighway”.

  6. I’ve never seen any definition of Web 2.0 that referred to property or copywrite. Where is that stated?

    In my book, Web 2.0 is just a set of standards. In Apple’s case it’s HTML, Javascript, CSS, AJAX, and H.264. What’s not Web 2.0 about these combined technologies, other than the property clause that you’re attaching to the definition?

  7. Chris,

    I think Steve was referring to the “.mac web gallery” as being Web 2.0, not the iPhoto app itself. Perhaps it is not Steve who is the idiot?

  8. I think Steve was calling the Web Gallery “web 2.0”, not ‘iPhoto.’

    As for iPhoto->Flicker, ever heard of the Flickr Export plugin?

    It may not be perfect, but it’s something. There’s also a fantastic, free, iPhoto exporter plugin for facebook which I use regularly. So, iPhoto hardly locks you into to .Mac

  9. Perhaps you should get your information correct before posting things like this. iPhoto isn’t a “Web 2.0” experience, however, the new .Mac Web Gallery is — iPhoto ties into the .Mac Web Gallery to give users this “Web 2.0 feel” on any browser. Instead of looking at this, you should perhaps get your information from a reputable website: There is also a demo: . Is that demo Web 2.0 enough? I believe it is, since it is almost identical to the desktop version of iPhoto.

    Chris, I cannot believe that you (of all people) would post this before getting all of the facts! Much less, calling someone an “idiot.”

  10. Chris-

    I think, in fairness to Jobs, he was referring to the ability of others, who are not .Mac subscribers to use the web-based gallery as if it were a native application–skimming through the events, and viewing and adding slides, for instance. I don’t know if that makes it “Web 2.0,” but I think it’s beyond what you were talking about.

  11. C’mon man, he’s hardly an idiot. I’m sure it was just a verbal omission, as in “Web 2.0-like” display of photos. Don’t be an idiot and fall into the media-hype-esque hype.

  12. Hi, Chris. I don’t see a problem, here, unless it is with you perhaps jumping to an unwarranted conclusion before fully understanding the changes iPhoto 08 brings to the table. According to the Wikipedia entry for Web 2.0, it is primarily “an idea in people’s heads rather than a reality. It’s actually an idea that the reciprocity between the user and the provider is what’s emphasized. In other words, genuine interactivity if you like, simply because people can upload as well as download.” What does iPhoto 08’s Web Gallery provide? Exactly that. Viewers (from any modern browser, not just Mac-based ones) can view and download the media you want them to, and can easily submit their own media (if you choose) to enhance and extend what you are sharing. How is this NOT Web 2.0?

  13. Well, yes… Sorry indeed.
    For you, as your review is as transcendental as a flower dying in the forest.

    Everybody will ready it, nobody will care.

    For all the world cares, you can keep hating Apple.

    “Fancier graphics and mirror effects are nothing more than… fancier graphics and mirror effects.”

    If your little intelligence and hate for Apple can’t make you see past
    fancier graphics and mirror effects, I feel sorry for you.

  14. Chris: You’ll burst a vein.

    This is one of those places where you’d do well to remember you’re not the average user and “Web 2.0” is HARDLY a technical specification.

    Whether you like it or not “Web 2.0” from the first moment referred more to flashy services and pages with animation and “shininess”. Complaining about this is as stupid as complaining that most Ajax is badly named because there is usually no XML.

    Yes, Mashups are 2.0, as are XMLRPC and other kinds of APIs. Still, go out there and ask average users (those that didn’t hear the term for the first time in Jobs presentation, at least) what “Web 2.0” and I can bet you they won’t know about APIs but they’ll know about animation and some of them may infer that it has something to do with pages loading stuff without reloading completely (which the iPhoto Galleries do).

    Arguably, iPhoto Web Galleries are Ajax and “Web 2.0” started when Ajax was created as a fancier name for XMLHTTPRequest when coupled with shiny graphics, no matter what you think it stands for (it started being named so before most of the APIs you associate with it started, even).

    Lastly, because it seem you think what’s being referred as “Web 2.0” is iPhoto: Everyone I’ve talked with understood, as did I, that what was “Web 2.0” were the Web Galleries created by iPhoto. Not iPhoto itself. Your header makes it clear you think it’s referring to the iPhoto program (either that or you’re incorrect on purpose to create pollemic), which is obviously wrong.

    I tend to agree with you, which is why I have you on my feeds, but I think this time you’re way off base in this, both in your opinion and your reaction (otherwise go and hack at all the media that has gotten your concept of “Web 2.0” wrong).

  15. Hey Chris. That was a nice little blurring magic trick you did there, but when people talk about Web 2.0 being a two-way, they are NOT talking about having APIs or allowing third-party apps on your system. That would be a two-way street with other developers, not with users. USER is supposed to be the point of Web 2.0 — last time I checked the upshot of all the Web 2.0 talk was to make things more complex and difficult for developers, for the sake of users, not to have companies like Apple pave the way for third parties like some yellow brick road.

    I don’t know if Web Galleries are going to look much like ‘Web 2.0’ but I do know that articles like yours pretty much prove that ‘Web 2.0’ means whatever the writer of the moment wants it to mean.

    To stand on this notoriously nebulous concept as if somebody has violated it because they haven’t included a series of things which I am reading for the first time right here to be claimed as the essence of ‘Web 2.0’ (again, this is a very familiar experience to me — almost every article like this makes brand new claims I’ve never read before about what is Web 2.0 and then uses them to bonk somebody over the head with) — is sort of hysterical in every sense of the word.

  16. What’s Web 2.0 mean? How long’s a piece of string?

    Steve Jobs seems to think it means web applications. Engadget quotes him:

    “This is a true Web 2.0 app. Web app behaving just like iPhoto on my desktop.”

    It seems in his mind it’s Web 2.0 if a “page” behaves “just like” (something like?) a desktop application.

    I doubt this is what most people mean by the term. But personally I don’t much care whether Jobs is “misusing” the term since I have no stake in the jargon.

    As for the question of interaction – he seems to be aware of it. It seems there’s provision for third-parties to upload as well as download:

    “You publish on .Mac, someone is on a PC, there is special email address they can get from the web gallery, and they will appear on your web gallery.”

    Granted *someone* – the person whose gallery it is – needs a .mac subscription. But that’s not different to any other service: you either pay or you accept to live with advertising (and possibly data mining). I agree with you in principal that it’s better when APIs are open, but I don’t know I’m too concerned that alternative products might not be able to “build” or sync with an iPhoto gallery. Or is the problem the other way round: that iPhoto doesn’t export to any alternative service? It will with Fraser Spiers plug-in:

    I don’t see any really huge problems with what Apple has done. I think the .mac Galleries look nice enough and will suit some people. I reckon I’ll stick with Flickr myself.

  17. You’re still off. Jobs referred to the .Mac Gallery web site as Web 2.0, because it mimicks a great deal of the iPhoto user interface (including the new skimming feature) through any web browser on a Mac, PC, Linux, etc.

    There’s a link to one on Apple’s web site, or just watch that portion of Jobs’ keynote.

  18. Somehow I wound up with your articles coming into my aggregator last week but I’m pretty sure you’ll be gone next week. Maybe you are just having a bad fortnight, but tell me, do you ever do anything but bitch?

  19. “Web 2.0” has nothing to do with integrating third-party API’s. It’s about creating a rich desktop-like experience inside a web browser, and that’s what Web Galleries do. Sure, using third-party API’s might help spiff-up your app, but we already have a kick-ass web development toolkit called WebObjects.

    And remember, Windows users can view AND CONTRIBUTE to Web Galleries as easily as Mac users can. I even showed slides of it running on a PC.

  20. Well, I don’t know how you define “web 2.0” but some would argue that the AJAX/Flash interface of the new .Mac gallery qualifies. It is pretty nice looking, and I think better than flickr in many ways. (An example gallery is linked on Daring fireball)

    Your main beef seems to be that iPhoto doesn’t upload to other, 3rd-party web sharing services, particularly flickr.

    How many 3rd party option is Apple to take it upon themselves to support exactly to make you happy? flickr? Gallery2? Kodak? Photobucket? There are dozens of photo sharing sites – when is enough enough? I would imagine the copious number of them is why Apple has given iPhoto a plug-in ability that others have used to develop plug-ins that work quite well. I love iPhoto to facebook plugin.

    Maybe they should make it easier to develop such plug-ins. But, you know their whole selling point for .Mac is that it integrates with iLife and without that hook – it’s even less a value. (Personally, I’ve never liked .Mac.)

    However, I will concede that without plugins like the the facebook exporter and the gallery2 exporter getting images from iPhoto to non .Mac photo sites is a royal pain.

  21. ——- Apple. If you’re gonna call something “Web 2.0,” at least understand what people expect that experience to be. iPhoto is as much “Web 2.0″ as my dad is the emperor of China.————–

    you apparently didn’t actually see the presentation…. if you did, you would know that he is referring to the Web 2.0 experience of Dot Mac.. and how the web page is a 2.0 experience with several features found usually in applications, (after it was created using iphoto, or imovie)

    you may want to save your comments until you see the web experience…


  22. ———–
    My point is that Apple isn’t half as open as people think it is. I’m not arguing the simplicity,

    no, your point was that you don’t understand what the interaction is between iPhoto and the web… if you were trying to wait for some other developer to make something with an API to reproduce the experience then you are waiting in Vain..

    the reason the iPod and iPhone and iMac are successful products is because they aren’t piece milled together into an unrecognizable hodge podge… rather nicely integrated devices, the same approach happens with dot mac, iPhoto and a dozen other apps that Apple is providing for a rich Web 2.0 experience…

    were you waiting for someone to create an API so you can upload your photo that you just took from your iPhone to flicker automatically and your home computer at the same time?

    you’ve got a long wait ahead of you… while the rest of us use our “closed” system to actually experience web 2.0 COMPLETELY with hardware such as the iPhone…


  23. Who died and made you the authority on web 2.0? Jobs said that .Mac web gallery is web 2.0 and iPhoto integrates seamlessly into it.

    Web 2.0 to most people refers to a quality of experience on a web page that is far beyond classic HTML. It is when a web page feels more like a stand alone application. The website that you can create with iPhoto and .mac is without a doubt a web 2.0 site.

    It may not be what you wanted but at around $60/year (don’t renew, buy boxed copies retail) for 10GB of storage and 100GB bandwidth. .Mac hosting is very reasonable.

    At least that is how I see it.

  24. I don’t think Steve is the idiot. What he is talking about is RIA (Rich Internet Applications) which is part of Web 2.0 according to O’Reilly. Web 2.0 is what O’Reilly termed as the “new things/trends” on the internet since the internet became first popular. RIA is one of them, site are becoming more rich and interactive since the first html page came out.

    Web 2.0 a marketing term and not a technical term. I’m sorry that you are confused about what Web 2.0 is. You should blame Tim O’Reilly for all the hype. He is a good marketer… Obviously…

  25. > an application that doesn’t seem to interoperate with any
    > other service but Apple’s

    Your friends can email their photos to your .Mac Web Gallery directly. In other words, if I create a .Mac Web Gallery of my Wedding photos, I can give all the Wedding participants a special email address for the gallery, and they can send their photos of the day to that email address and they appear in my Wedding Gallery automatically. So a week after I publish my gallery it grows from 200 to 2000 photos from dozens of photographers.

    We have user-generated content (my Wedding photos), being published by a user (me) in a non-technical way (Mac), and then having content added to it by a social network (my Wedding participants), all using Ajax (aka “Web 2.0 technologies”) to provide a rich multi-platform Web experience that recalls desktop software.

    The iPhone was demonstrated at the Apple Event sending a just-taken photo to another user’s .Mac Web Gallery via email. How did you miss that?

    At this point you should consider writing another blog post:

    Chris Pirillo Thinks .Mac Web Gallery is Web 1.0?! Idiot…

  26. Congratulation’s on your dad’s new Emperorship, by the way. If he has any concubines free I’d be happy to be of assistance.

  27. I think the operative word here is experience. Web 2.0 is supposed (in my opinion) to make the web less like the web — and that would mean non-broswer products being able to push stuff to the web transparently. It would blur the line the between your computer and what is “out there” on the internet.

  28. No one likes to be called names and be insulted anymore than you do, Chris. Think about what you’re saying a bit more and be a little more humble. We should all do that. Don’t worry though, I’m sure many of us have done the same thing just as I have but those of us who don’t try to improve ourselves and avoid doing the same thing the next time are true idiots. My apologies to any idiots reading this.

  29. Dude. You Guys need to chill. If Steve Jobs wants to call it a wEB 2.0 App or whatnot, let him. After all, he did invent the computer mouse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *